For over 46 years, I was an American. I was one of us — even though I am Jewish, an unrepentant liberal, and gay. There was room in the tent, even if a few people called me unpatriotic for opposing the Iraqi invasion.
But this year, things are different. Was my grandmother a citizen when my mother was born? Yes. Does it matter? Maybe I get dispensation because I pay in taxes what most people earn in a decade. I thought that in this country, one no longer had to buy freedom or the right to be protected from government interference. But if neo-fascists get their way, birthright citizenship goes away. If that happens, hell, I am moving because I am not paying my tax dollars into a system that makes me prove my mother’s citizenship. I bet that America would find that most of their tax dollars comes from second generation Americans and not the Tea Party Express members who fear that their status as descendants of European conquerors doesn’t buy a loaf of bread.
Then there is this talk about the oppressive Atheists who deprive Christians of their right to pray in schools. News flash: it isn’t just the Atheists. It is every mainstream of every minority religion that wants breathing space from fundamentalists — of whatever religion. As religious as were the founders, they believed, and the case law of our nation’s highest court supports, that there be a separation of church and state, mostly for the protection of the minority against the tyranny of the majority (thank you, Thomas Jefferson). Chew on that, Christine O’Donnell.
Protest is the hallmark of our nation. We were founded upon the belief that we had a right to protest the edicts of King Charles of England. So when video captures a campaign aide stomping on the head of a protester, one has to wonder who has hijacked our nation. I disagree with the campaign aide’s candidate on more things than I can count but I support his right to campaign on his ideas. If his staff cannot support the right of the opposition to protest, then they are totalitarian thugs. They don’t belong in the great experiment in democracy that is America.
Also in this election cycle, we learned that there are those who believe that if this nation were to allow gay marriage, it would be tantamount to allowing a person to marry a piece of furniture. No joke. Try telling that to your girlfriend.
Where did the ideals and dreams of America go? I am a stranger in my own land.