American exceptionalism is an oxymoron these days.
Because a moron is in the White House and 63 million people thought that was a good idea.
We are a drifting hulk and striving for steady leadership. Or even a little respite — comic relief — in our search for direction. (Thank you, Justin Trudeau, for your choice of socks on May 4th. May the Fourth always be with you.)
The abject corruption and self-dealing in this White House is so abhorrent and anathema to our 250-ish year-old experience (ok, the Teapot Dome scandal was amateur hour compared to this Administration), that we have no response.
We keep thinking we are crazy because it can’t be happening, and surely the Congress and Department of Justice would investigate. Oh, wait, this is the Congress that passed AHCA and a DOJ that imprisoned someone for laughing at Jeff Sessions.
First Brexit and then Agent Orange made the sane among us worry about the portents of a World War II redux. One in which fascism/nazism would win precisely because 45 is enamored of strongmen and dictators.
If France “fell” to Le Pen and Merkel didn’t do well in local elections, then the conventional wisdom is that the world would devolve into conflict that would end the world. Because now, as distinct from 1945, many groups have nuclear weaponry.
I believe that conventional wisdom. And I am grateful for the election of Macron — which meant, for me, that people who love liberty, even for those they may personally despise, won the day — and the shoring up of support for Angela Merkel.
But we must remain vigilant.
Because no one has to like another person, for any reason or no reason, but all of us must believe in a person’s rights to believe and behave as they do, within the confines of the law. That means if you beat up someone, you go to jail. That means if you don’t want “others” in your town, suck it up or move. It means that you are responsible for your choices and your destiny and there are no scapegoats for your sorry life.
The beauty and reality of a free society.
These tenets are under siege. And I will fight for them.
THE REST IS ADDRESSED TO WHITE AMERICA WHO VOTED FOR TRUMP:
I am white, educated, and reasonably well-heeled. My immigrant grandparents struggled and so did my parents. And now my siblings and I are successful. We stand on the shoulders of two generations. And our children will get everything we can give them.
Because we know where we came from. And the gift that is this nation.
Too many people after too many generations here forget the gift of this nation. And then chose to despoil it with a con man and grifter.
Let me be clear about something: if you are white and voted for Trump and you take assistance — food stamps, medicaid, or go to the emergency room for medical care — you are a scourge on the society. You depend on me for your care. And that aid ended with the election of Agent Orange. And I am good with it. Because immigrants deserve the promise of this country more than those born into it who feel more entitled than grateful.
Maybe Reagan poisoned you with the “welfare mothers driving Cadillacs” which was a whistle call and untrue. But if you had any self-esteem or any drive, you would have seen through that. You are lazy and you think white privilege will grease the wheels.
Would I give you a managerial job if you failed 6th grade? Are you kidding me?
You are so interested in entitlement reform? Most of those who receive benefits are white (and Republican). I am good with it. I don’t want to pay for you. You were born with more rights and privilege than anyone else in the world. If you and your family blew it, it is on you. And because AHCA was passed, you need me to pay for your ER visits. Instead of making me pay those taxes to provide those services, I will get a tax break. Thank Paul Ryan and Agent Orange.
I am tired of you. Get a job. Harvest the fields. Like my grandparents who worked in sweat shops and my parent who did odd jobs from when they were 5 years-old. And studied when they could and learned about the world.
I will contribute my tax savings to people like my parents and grandparents who struggle to make it here so their children will have good lives.
No, I have no sympathy, except for the coal miners who will lose their medical coverage now. But if they voted for Trump and the Darwinian view of life, then, well . . . .
Don’t cry to me when you are turned away from the ER.
I voted for Hillary.
Which meant more taxes for me.
To take care you and everyone else.
Because I believe in the promise of America.
But you don’t believe in that promise.
Because you elected Agent Orange and a Congress that would repeal ACA.
I believe in the sanctity of human life – from inception to the end. My heart bleeds for every unnecessary death and for every injury or malady that can’t be repaired or remedied. I can’t even read about a child dying without tearing up.
Oh, and you should know that I am a lesbian raising a child with my partner.
You may think that is a sin and beyond the pale. And you would be wrong. We live a life with the same principles as in my parents’ home: work hard, be compassionate, be humble (here is where I fell down), and pay it forward. I would compare my charitable giving and my civic involvement to make everyone’s life better against 45‘s in real dollars and as a percentage of our incomes. And have it posted.
But, you and I, we are very different: my family and I take responsibility and work for a better world. My family and I don’t wallow in what is. My family and I are forward-looking and seek to heal the world. The latter a commandment in my religious tradition. I am not a person of faith, but I believe in the wisdom and directives of our ancients.
And as far as sins go, what you all allowed –i.e., electing 45 — puts you in a Hell that even Jesus didn’t anticipate. Jesus is on my side. And you know it.
So, if you obeyed even just these three commandments, how did we get here?
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Don’t bare false witness against thy neighbor.
Do not covet that which is your neighbor’s.