I read a phrase that asks “What does being an “American” mean?” After thinking about this for a few moments, I realized that it is really a two part question, “What is “old American” and what is “new American.” Old America never provided a United Health Care Act. New America is striving for it. New American is seeking to redefine and reallocate a fiscal budget so as to slash deficient costs, and I believe thereby, at some point in time, improve the country’s overall credit rating. I realized that through the 240 years what it means to be American has changed occasionally due to current events and conditions. For example, during World Word II it became okay to become suspicious of any Japanese American. As a result of irrational fear, we placed them in prison camps. McCarthyisms tainted the country with prejudicial views against homosexuality and other intolerances, another form of fear bore out of irrational logic. And then there still persisted white and black segregation in schools, restaurants, and bathrooms even though we claimed the black man free and equal. How about the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, investigated allegations of communist activity in the U.S. during the early years of the Cold War (1945-91). It was established in 1938 and the committee wielded its subpoena power as a weapon and called citizens to testify in high-profile hearings in Congress. The intimidating atmosphere often produced dramatic but questionable revelations about Communists infiltrating American institutions and subversive actions by well-known citizens. HUAC’s controversial tactics contributed to the fear, distrust, and repression that existed during the anticommunist hysteria of the 1950’s. America sometimes gets it wrong. I mean, where is HUAC when you need them today? Shouldn’t Trump be called to testify in court about the “incidental collection” of surveillance data during his campaign? Is a Russian national backing our current presidential cabinet? And shouldn’t this investigation be done by an independent investigation team?
But back to the original question. What it means to be truly American at the core involves those values that have transcended space and time. Those virtues that never cease even when Lady Liberty is pushed to the brink, and are in fact made to shine even brighter than before. To be American has always meant extending aid when your neighbors were in need, it has always meant tolerance of ethnic difference in a world full of rich cultures. American has always meant polite political speech, even though we know the underlying anger may not be born on the face. Funny this particular characteristic does not seem to shine through during 5:00 pm rush hour traffic on Friday afternoons. In the past America has explicitly declared to the world, “Give me your huddled mass and we will take care of them.” American has meant equality for all, even though that very equality wasn’t fully recognized in a country that was built on slavery. It was recognized later with the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. American means “we will defend liberty, provide justice, and ensure peace and tranquility of the nation.” These words evoke patriotism in the ears of every civilian and citizen who hears them. Truth be told, America has seen false imprisonment, dishonesty, favoritism, inequity, turmoil, and tumult and these characteristics were even provoked before from a commander and chief in our tainted past political history. We have seen the military abuses at Guantanamo. We have witnessed the unfair treatment of prostitutes, homosexuals, and transgender people. Groups, who by all intense purposes, should be protected. Sometimes, many of these unsavory leadership characteristics are clandestine and certain corrupt acts are never seen or heard by the public’s ears, but they exist. They exist because over the course of time the hearts of men have not changed and the sad truth is, “How can you protect good without evil?” One is dependent on the other. It is at the heart of every organism to survive, and sometimes survival means the issuing forth of evil acts. We just don’t like to hear about it when it happens, and so we pray that these “evil acts” do more good than harm. And when we are told, everything worked out for the best in spite of these evil acts, we breathe a sigh of relief and overlook the transgression as a necessary wrong. War. Survival is war and Trump is a warring heart.
Dealing with and accepting the Trump regime is like including a naughty little boy to your backyard pool party. You know the one I mean. The boy who keeps spiting water in your face all the time. We might not really want him there, but your mom told us it is the right thing to do, to be inclusive instead of practicing exclusion. So we tolerate him and look forward to the day when we will not have to tolerate him any longer. Graduation Day!
Trump is putting America on a noodle diet; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That is a $3.00 a day diet. It’s a “skinny budget.” What is the sacrifice of a “skinny budget?” A trimmer waistline, better credit scores, lower interest rates on loans, and a shiny new red convertible. What that shiny new red convertible will become is still unwritten. Let’s hope it doesn’t spell out L.E.M.O.N. Russian noodles anyone?