Monday, November 5, 2018

One Nation Indivisible?

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." ~ Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of United States of America

 Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall
Subject: Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall | Date: 08/19/2015 | Photographer: Michael Vadon |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

When I was growing up I was proud to be an American.  I was as much of a flag waving soldier saluting gung-ho son of a bitch as any 12 year old wheelchair bound boy could be.  Songs like, "I Am A Real American," (Hulk Hogan's theme song) got my blood pumping, man!

I never thought that my pride would fade.  It has.  Of course, I never thought we'd have so divisive a president.

Yes, a portion of the populace will always disagree with the occupant of the Oval Office.  Thus is the nature of partisan politics.  Yet, I've always felt that the president had the people's best interest at heart, even the ones I thought were wrong on the issues.

I was NEVER a fan of President George W. Bush, and I still blame his fiscal policies for the economic crisis of the mid two thousands.  Nevertheless, after the 9/11 attacks. He visited a masque to show the country that Muslims were not the enemy.  Like him, or not, there's no denying that he was enough of a statesman to value being a unifying leader.

Fast Forward to today, and we have a president who seems to relish keeping Americans divided among themselves.  This is a president who has

  • tried to ban Muslims from entering the country,
  • Pardoned a sheriff who had been convicted for defying a court order against racial profiling,
  • Canceled the DACA program, thereby disenfranchising thousands of tax paying dreamers,
  • Praised the assault on a member of the press,
  • And said there were good NAZIs in a white supremacist demonstration, turned riot, in Ferguson.

  • Just this summer, he had thousands of immigrant children torn from their families and interned in make-shift Gulags.  As I write these words, our president is deploying 5,200 troops along our southern border to repel a group of asylum seekers fleeing violence.  On top of that, he's threatening to repeal 14th Amendment via executive order. 

    When I was young, it was easy to take pride in my country.  Although I was too young to articulate the details, I knew on a visceral level what it meant to be an American.  The recognized a set of shared values which defined what a good American was.  In a day when our leader shows public disdain for minorities and treats the Constitution as a suggestion, I find it hard to know what it means to be a good American anymore. 

    Tomorrow, November 6th, we have a chance to define American values once again.  By helping the Democratic Party take control of the House and Senate, citizens of good conscience can make it clear that Americans still value tolerance, equality, and compassion.  We have the power, and responsibility, to make America one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all. 

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