As the headlines cascade with an intensity and import that rivals any story I have covered, the old reporter’s heart within me begins to beat faster and faster. When you sign on to a life as a journalist you hope that when a big story breaks, you are there to cover it and cover it with integrity. I feel the rush of the moment. I try to parse what we know, and what we suspect. And while my days of running the halls of Capitol Hill and the White House looking for comment and context are behind me, the muscle memory remains. I call sources and I take to the platforms I have to add my perspective.
And yet I am also a citizen of this great nation and while I strive to make sense of the news and the facts, on a gut level my soul is filled with sadness. This is a moment where the United States faces the future with danger and uncertainty. That this moment has long been in the making or that the reckoning is necessary and unavoidable does not diminish a sense of loss.
There is no shortage of farce in the current scandal. We see actions befitting the Keystone Cops. But there is nothing funny in the gravity of what is before us. The comic grace notes do not diminish the far greater tragedy.
I find myself thinking of other moments from our history when the path ahead seemed shrouded in shadow and danger. I seek solace in a recognition we have steadied ourselves before. Is there a keel to our ship of state? Is what is happening now the corrective? I hope so. I would go so far as to say I believe so and brighter days lie ahead.
Ultimately what has saved this nation often comes from the energy and actions of the citizens. Indeed the drama is playing out primarily in Washington but we all have parts to play in making sure that those who represent us understand a vision of this nation, not as it is now, but as it should and must be.