How do you love a country where nearly half the people who went to the voting booth chose a man who campaigned on fear and hate? How do you love a country where the majority of our elected representatives are arguing over how many millions of its citizens should have their health care stripped from them?
The above text opens the article in Rolling Stone by Jesse Berney speaks to a conundrum that I and many others face on this 4th of July. It's the birthday of the United States of America but I for one am not feeling very celebratory. Donald Trump casts a pall over our nation with his ignorance, his disrespect for others, with his fragile and petulant ego, his poor conduct in a position of leadership.
It's like birthday party for an older relative who has more days behind them than before them. August of last year was my mother's birthday, what turned out to be her last. At the time, we feared as much. By the time Christmas rolled around, we pretty much knew. You look for signs of hope, of optimism; but there are few to be found and what remains flicker dimly. The next month, she was gone.
With that ignorant son of a bitch sitting in the White House on this 4th of July, I feel similarly disillusioned about the future health of our nation. Human history is littered with nations and empires that fell from greatness, fell from power, fell into the dustbin of history. Why should the United States be any different? Why should we expect to survive as a country when history tells us that the odds of survival are not in our favor?
When my mother passed, it was a mercy, ending her pain and anguish. It was her time to go. But is it our country's time to go? Or are we being pushed towards our end ahead of schedule by the feckless stupidity of Donald Trump and the poor example of his lack of character?
I think our country has many more years in front of it as a great and powerful nation, a shining example of freedom to the rest of the world. But I fear those years will be shortened under the misguided "leadership" of Donald Trump. We can do better and rise to our potential if we don't have this buffoon dragging us down.
Jesse Berney asked, "How do you love a country" in times like this? The answer is we can but it isn't easy. Love rarely is. But if we remember that we are more than one man and we are better than that man's appeals to fear and stupidity, we can find and hold on to the love of this country and nurture it to endure and prosper, in spite of Donald Trump.