President Jon F. Kennedy
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.