Dunno if you’re like me, but I was raised on stories of America, the survivor. America, the scrappy. America, the fighter. The country that came from behind, stood for truth and justice, took some punches, and then came out the other side – stronger than ever. The Sons of Liberty. The Underground Railroad. Rosie the Riveter. Symbols of American strength in adversity.
As I grew older, more educated, I realized that America had a darker side. The side that fought against extending the promise of the Declaration of Independence to all. The Know-Nothings. The Confederacy. The Klan. Jim Crow. And yet, even in the darkest hours, Americans still stood. Still fought against injustice. Bled at Gettysburg. Fought against the Klan. Marched at Selma. That’s the American legacy, right? We overcome, for a brighter tomorrow.
Well, America, if we want this current situation to end up in the history books as the same type of story, we’re going to need to get our s**t together. Really? White supremacists? Marching in DC? Attacking the Capitol building? Killing police officers? During a massive pandemic? Which millions of Americans don’t believe in? Are you kidding me with this nonsense?
Wear a damn mask. Social distance. Stop listening to garbage conspiracy theories like Q Anon and its ilk. Stop humoring the rabble rousers screaming about voter fraud without any evidence. Stop abetting white supremacists. Stop complaining about your individual rights being threatened when your local and state governments do the very thing that we formed a government for: look out for the common good.
I mean, have you seen yourself lately, America? I love you so damn much but you’re a g*****n mess! Get it the hell together. Nathan Hale regretted that he had but one life to give for this country. How about you act like you’re worthy of that. Ike warned us that a nation that valued its privileges over its principles would lose both. The rampant selfishness and privilege of those who don’t believe that COVID is real is just that type of attitude.
Individual rights and freedoms are great, America. We’ve all got that right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – but when your liberty starts interfering with my life, and the lives of millions of others around the nation, and our very form of government and peaceful transitions of power, then we’ve got a major problem.
So, what’s it gonna be, America? Are we going to stick it out and be that shining beacon on a hill? Or are we going to stave in the hull of the ship of state with the ballast of ignorance and fear, and slip beneath the waves into ignominy? Will we, in fact, remember the better angels of our nature? Or will we, as that same author wrote, die, by our own hands. It’s up to you, America. Get your s**t together.
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