Caryn Sullivan: A societal storm is brewing and we must stop it

We have the power to hold fast to American values and traditions by casting out the politicians who show even an inkling of wanting to move our country away from them.

Friday Food for Thought
Caryn Sullivan

Early this month, Hurricane Ian blew into Florida, leaving a swath of destruction. In a matter of hours, life changed dramatically for many residents. As I watched from afar, I was reminded of the importance of having a plan.

Nearly 13 years ago, I became a widow and single mom, after my husband suffered a fatal heart attack. Recognizing how hard it is to make decisions in the middle of an emotional storm, I executed a will, set up a trust, and bought a cemetery plot so my kids wouldn’t have to pick up the pieces after I was gone.

When I took those steps, I had a sense of what the future would hold. But that’s no longer true.

These days, I’m watching as a societal storm picks up speed. I’m watching as the metaphorical roof is ripped from homes; as limbs blow off branches; and vehicles submerge in rushing water.

Writing for Alpha News on Saturday, Julie and Allen Quist put my feelings into context. In a comprehensive piece, they walked readers through the way in which critical race theory and neo-Marxism are replacing the pillars upon which our nation was established. They explained how it’s all part of a plan to dramatically alter our country. Bit by bit, our culture is being scuttled, replaced by a wholly undesirable way of life we’ve witnessed in other countries.

Over the past six months, I’ve written about how our language is changing, about how students are asked to identify their pronouns, about how free speech has been undercut — and more. These are some of the elements the Quists highlight in their commentary. I recognized the road markers; I just couldn’t see the destination.

But it’s clearer now. I’ve had a reluctant reckoning, for this is not something I imagined would come to be in my lifetime. But George Orwell’s novel, “1984,” feels more like reality than fiction every day.

COVID provided the perfect cover for a burgeoning neo-Marxist movement. We were told to stay home, mask up, and take a novel vaccine — because it was for the greater good. And most of us did.

Though I never imagined we would live through a pandemic, it’s not hard to envision another crisis in our future. And, if — or when — one comes to pass, it’s not hard to imagine that the draconian measures we endured — and the compliance we experienced — will come to be again.

Which begs the question, how do we prepare for the worst-case scenario — another lockdown; government-run media; or, God forbid, civil war? I don’t have the answers, but we can begin by remembering that the best offense is a good defense, as we saw this past weekend.

Recently, PayPal announced a new policy whereby it would fine customers $2500 for spreading misinformation. Horrified customers quickly cancelled their accounts. And the stock price plummeted.

On Friday, the Florida surgeon general shared that a recent study demonstrated young men who take the mRNA vaccine experience an alarmingly high incidence of cardiac-related deaths. Twitter exercised its muscle by blocking him, stating he was spreading misinformation.

But people pushed back. PayPal reversed course and the surgeon general’s post reappeared on Twitter.

It was an encouraging example of how, though it’s constantly tested, we haven’t lost our power. We need to continue to summon our courage and exercise it boldly.

We still have the power to stop this neo-Marxist movement by voting for politicians who reject that course. We have the power to hold fast to American values and traditions by casting out the politicians who show even an inkling of wanting to move our country away from them.

When we head to the ballot box, we need to be mindful of the impending storm and, in the vein of ‘hope for the best and prepare for the worst,’ we must vote as if our lives and our country’s future depend on it. Because they do.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not represent an official position of Alpha News. 


Caryn Sullivan

A retired attorney and author of the award-winning memoir, "Bitter or Better: Grappling With Life on the Op-Ed Page," Caryn Sullivan has inspired readers with her thoughtful commentary for the past two decades. To learn more about Caryn’s work or to connect, visit