For those for whom Angela Lansbury’s 1962 Manchurian Candidate and Kirk Douglass’ 1964 Seven Days in May weren’t the euphoric and tragic bookends of an American Presidency that was the light of the world, this week’s revelations from The New York Times and Washington Post regarding the possibility of a sitting President of the United States, being an agent for an enemy of the state, must be particularly shocking. However, for Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation, this, Breaking News, resurrects reminders of both The Green Book and, we choose to go to the moon.
Nonetheless, as with Nixon’s resignation, now is not the time for either cheering or jeering; nor time to expend energy ridiculing those so frantic to hold onto a whitewashed history of their place in the world, that their votes have placed nation and future on the altar of a sworn foreign enemy of all earthly democracies.
It is a time to contemplate how we must channel the wisdom of Lincoln, compassion of Bobby Kennedy and judgment of RBG – in order to preserve, protect and defend America from the men who believe they, and they alone, are America’s greatness – and a political party willing to destroy America as it self-destructs.
In 2012 when U. S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was twenty-three, Paul Ryan took his seventy-eight-year-old mother to a Florida campaign event – to assure Florida residents that Medicare wouldn’t be sliced and diced until the generations after theirs. The retirees living at The Villages, seemingly forgetting their children and grandchildren, as well as those of others, applauded thunderously for the Wisconsin Republican, using his mother as a political prop.
As Americans, we tend to be in a more satisfying comfort zone when we can name a thing, label a place or categorize a person, but before we jump the smoking gun and incite a violent rush to Supreme Court judgment of an unjust administration, let’s be mindful: if we make 2019-2020 about allowing people like Dick Cheney, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, Chuck Grassley and all who tarnish American Exceptionalism, in order to abide in the inner-circle of power, define us – we lose opportunities to deserve those who sacrifice for our collective wellbeing, safety and country – especially those who show up, without being paid.
Indeed, we are in another historical chapter, though a different leaf, where America’s Green Book needs to be carried, for the walls that have historically haunted America remain both antecedent and foundation for the hate, fears and violence of those possessed by greed, and a need to feel superior to others in order to see value in themselves.
Aesop warned, we are known by the company we keep – true also for nations and their financial institutions. So, let us forever beware: in a land mesmerized by Selfies and herded by Social Media, traitors can hide in plain sight.
For American democracy surviving and thriving in a post-Trump/Pence era, we must find within ourselves, Lincoln’s compassionate reconstruction – and be the authority legitimizing America as an ongoing diverse conversation, all-inclusive agency and kindness to all strangers – especially children seeking asylum at our borders, only to be locked in ICE cold cages.
The world is not our oyster, and every time we pry it open with violence, bigotry, Opioids, insufferable health-care costs, climate change denial and government shutdowns, we invite, me first pride to go before our nation’s perilous fall – even as, Times up for people like Donald Trump Jr, Mitch McConnell and Steve King.
As with William Wyler’s Ben-Hur, America’s challenge is to recognize true enemies of the state and not succumb to, Where there is greatness, great government or power, even great feeling or compassion, error also is great. We progress and mature by fault.
Our best defense:
- Justice for All
- Protecting all like Jayme Closs
- Acting like Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Save all children
- Encourage girls and ratify female equality
- Defend the NY Times, Washington Post and all who honor the Fourth Estate by giving us the gift of factual information
- Prevent government shutdowns from evaporating incomes – particularly those of TSAs, California Fire Fighters, Police and Federal Employees
Remember, wisdom and reason are always whispering to those willing to listen.
Whether propagating the self-deception of a reality show society or willfully picking up the gauntlet with which gun violence has targeted reason, let freedom ring in favor of our right to agree to disagree without NRA tools of mass destruction; rethink In God We Trust fear and faith on the backs of our green, our tired and our poor – failing to see our fragile life-line to, there but for the grace: Sandy Hook, again.
A near death experience can magnify our enlightenment or regurgitate casting our sandlot against people who look too tanned for comfort with lifestyle choices unbecoming our inclusion, or swing away like guardians putting themselves in harm’s way for those striking out at bat, but still rounding their gerrymandered bases.
We could snatch from the bowels of the lies we tell ourselves about gender equality, a more creative, and collaborative boost to minimum wage, teacher salaries and American ingenuity – committing ourselves to a real America First focused revival that reinvigorates construction and manufacturing careers.
Whatever our heritage, homage or hue, ultimately, we are the solution to moral bankruptcy, political perjury, Conservative prejudice, human extinction and the atmosphere we’ve created in the name of prosperity astride a foundation of poverty.
The American Dream is not sleep walking through nightmares of knocking down the doors of those who trusted our now frigid, Statue of Liberty promises, with ICE picked madness, oppression and death by automatic sniper fire camouflaged as Constitutional.
We can choose to be passionate in our compassion, or ruthless in our rallies.
Tis the season for Catastrophic change: Twitter & Facebook admitting, like Bank of America and Wells Fargo, they are American in name only, domestic terrorism in Las Vegas, and, the ship sinking the united in the United States, ignoring brown people left behind by Hurricane Maria and swamp thing’s fake news.
Sometimes all it takes to be good neighbors, is replacing the power of 140 characters with the art of silence – meditating, perhaps, on what would be our response to being labeled, card-carrying members of, The Axis of Evil – or the land of the hacked.
We can stand up for Standing Rock, stand with San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and stand tall for Justice by bending a knee and exposing the soulless promoting tax reform as miracle for the Middle Class and, not good for me.
Thoughts and Prayers language can be the veil giving cover to both puppeteers and puppets, masking our massive self-deluding addiction to Opioids and guns — bequeathing children, streets littered with plastic, Styrofoam and dreams of violence.
Maybe hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, drought, and raging forest fires are unavoidable cycles, but our breaking treaties with Native-Americans, internment of Japanese-Americans, shooting unarmed people resembling Henrietta Lacks and being too war intensive: invading Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq – is more eclipse.
We can ignore Dulles brothers’ legacy to Koch brothers, and languish in a shroud of mystery and conspiracy theories while assassination truth is denied by a president who, at 71, needed help to discover the political cover of, optics as hurricane response excuse – but Las Vegas reminds us, the next moment has never been promised.
We can live life with grace, generosity and gratitude – or clone ourselves a politically motivated 21st century Nero, fiddlin’ away our Exceptionalism.
Indeed, everything has its season, and time yields to life changing events, but if we fail to, seize the day from irrational leaders, Boomlets, like Millennials before them, will only inherit the winds of perpetual war and domestic violence, before abrupt climate change can educate Global Warming deniers.
Believing thumbed digital phrases while walking is conversing, we are self-disconnecting from human communication. Losing the art of listening to our inner voice of reason, we divorce humane communion. Until we exude tolerance for those with whom we disagree, we risk, acts of pure evil, and deny ourselves all-inclusive vision.
Shooters, Isolationists, Originalists, Fascists and Supremacists prevail only when we desert the potential of a loving human chain of diversity, waiting for permission to share – because little produced by humankind is ever at its best when unilateral, first launched or white-washed.