Cry, My Beloved Country.

The people of other nations are worried about us.

Us? The United States of America?

Yes. Due to the actions of our president, the U.S.A.’s self-described stance as “exceptional” is in jeopardy.

How did we become exceptional? In the 20th century our place was firmly established by President Franklin Roosevelt, who built a governing-manufacturing-citizen coalition here, and a coalition of allied nations in Europe and Asia. Together they patched enormous and varied resources, which enabled the defeat of war-waging Germany and Japan.

The peace and order that followed has been maintained and bolstered by U.S. leadership and military might that left us atop the world of nations.

But we are no longer leading, no longer convening the major democracies in the cause of freedom and justice. The shine is gone. Instead, our president dismisses allies and embraces murderous dictators, even musing how much he admires their power over their countrymen: “He [North Korea’s Kim] speaks and his people sit up in attention. I want my people to do the same.” His people? Sir, you work for us.

Because of his divisive words, his daily blasts of insult and rage, our civil discourse is fracturing, with crude online and in-person name-calling that’s harmed children and families, that some have now carried to physical violence in the streets.

Beloved country, what is happening to us?

In the midst of a global pandemic, unseen by the nations of the globe for more than a century, coupled with the ensuing economic depression, our president mocks world renowned U.S. scientists, shuns their life-saving advice, denies states life-saving support and encourages disorder.

Consequently, we hear some of our fellow citizens exclaim, at a time of a deadly contagion, “I want to be ‘free,’” from the “oppression” of suggestions by public health officials to wear a mask, because “I don’t want my government telling me what to do.” But without the leadership of these agencies, how can we expect to be rid of the COVID-19 virus and its deadly threat to our lives?

Our governors asked us to stay at home, and we did, for three months. As a result, the rate of COVID-19 infection, then roaring through the states, and the horrible rising toll of death, slowly stopped climbing and reached a plateau, which allowed hospitals and healthcare workers to breathe and their facilities to re-group.

But then … infections began to skyrocket in those states whose leaders ordered them to “re-open,” for citizens to resume normal activities. And with the onset of flu season, we’re told by our scientists that illness, COVID on top of flu, will again rise and become deadlier than it was last spring.

Remember those health workers so daily taxed, their energy overcome, seen in harrowing video diaries last spring? What’s to become of them? On those dedicated health workers will fall the burden of our mistakes, of failed national leadership.

All while our president has so diverted our attention from our genuine national crises, to those of his own personal imagination, that our nation risks a shattering of what makes us “exceptional.”

After federal forces descended on Portland in the summer, columnist Roger Cohen received a letter from Brown University history professor Michael Steinberg, the former president of the American Academy in Berlin, who expressed these alarming words:

“The American catastrophe seems to get worse every day, but the events in Portland have particularly alarmed me as a kind of strategic experiment for fascism. The playbook from the German fall of democracy in 1933 seems well in place, including rogue military factions, the destabilization of cities, etc.”

Even Germany’s leading news publication has expressed its concern for us, saying, “the foundations of American democracy have grown brittle.” — a warning from the nation once, itself, consumed by fascism that fought to consume the world.

Does this sound like the United States of America we want to pass on to our children, and their children? We’ll have a chance to decide, in less than 40 days.

What say you, beloved country?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.