Dear America

via iStock Photo/Lisa Thornberg

Dear America,

It’s been a heated few years. Politics brings out the worst in all of us, myself included. And we should be ashamed. The fighting, name calling, finger pointing, and venom spewing are not going to get us anywhere. Just over your shoulder at the at the last 12 years. It’s hard to recognize Rock Bottom until you’ve come out of it and seen your struggle in hindsight. And keep in mind that no one escapes Rock Bottom unscathed.

I’m throwing in the white flag and calling Uncle. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have made an unscheduled landing at Rock Bottom.

Only we the people can put heel in hand to boost each other out. This twisted system of “me” versus “we” in our values system must go. It’s simply not working. WE must compromise, listen, and make amends. There is no winning when so many Americans have already lost so much. The America I see is not the country that a host of patriotic songs salute (and they all me me teary).

My Country Tis of Thee

Our glorious Land to-day,
‘Neath Education’s sway,
Soars upward still.
Its hills of learning fair,
Whose bounties all may share,
Behold them everywhere
On vale and hill!
Thy safeguard, Liberty,
The school shall ever be,
Our Nation’s pride!

This Land is Your Land

As I was walking,
That ribbon of highway,
I saw above me
That endless skyway,
I saw below me
That golden valley.
This land was made for you and me.

Where has the brotherhood gone? Where is our sense of community and common man? We are an aptly named country and a lot of brave and smart people brought this little colony together to create the United States of America. Where is the unity upon which we rest our laurels?

There is much talk of freedom, independence, rights, and the good ol’ American way. I don’t believe it is the American way to trample on others in your own pursuit of happiness. America is not lacking in confidence but it sure is lacking in compassion.

As we move into another election season I suspect the climate here will get more heated. There will be a medley of songs to pump us up as we pump our fists in the air proclaiming to be proud Americans. There will be flag pins and starry bunting to drape ourselves in patriotism. We will slip into rhetoric galore and face the glare of opponents, all while forgetting we are stuck at Rock Bottom. Our inclination will be to fight as we regard all those who disagree with our opinions as foes. We will see ourselves as red or blue, forgetting we can blend to make a lovely strong shade of purple.

I’m asking you, America, to swallow the venom. There is no place for anything short of respect and compromise. Hubris, vastly different from its cousin Pride, has no room at this table. Greed must be crumpled up and thrown into the sea, along with Hate, Spite, and Intolerance. We are the United States of America. We are currently in a state of disgrace as we sit back and watch our fellow citizens suffer in hunger and hurt.

Our economy is weak.

Our children are sacrificial lambs in the political arena.

Our families are homeless.

Our veterans are hurting.

Our soldiers are in harm’s way for unknown reasons.

Our schools are failing.

Our college costs are soaring.

Our health is in demise.

Our healthcare lacks fundamental care.

Our air, water, and soil are polluted.

Our women are lagging in the corporate world (still).

Our country is sagging beneath the weight of Greed.

Our spirits are sinking.

Never before has the chasm between rich and poor been so wide and deep. We are pitted against each other, branded as opponents in terms of tax bracket, religion, zip code, color, gender, sexual orientation, heritage. It’s time to lend a hand rather than point a finger. America, can you at least try to operate with heart instead of hate? I’m pledging to do my part to make this election season a positive one. Are you with me?
Your friend,

Ilina

 

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