America, Who Are We?

Jun 25, 2018

I am sick. I am sick because I have lost who we are.

What do we stand for? I used to think I knew but, over the last couple of years, I have become less and less sure.

Credit Carl Nelson / WNIJ

After a campaign of sexist, racist, classist xenophobia, we elected Donald Trump. In the aftermath, the most unsavory elements of our citizenry emerged, emboldened. Since then, the respect and sanctity of our most fundamental cornerstones are crumbling out of political ambition … and winning.

Our intelligence community, journalism, the legislature, good will and public decorum, our national word, truth -- all have been contorted and twisted under Mr. Trump. We have withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accords and the Iran denuclearization deal. We insult longstanding allies. We buddy up with dictators and autocrats. We’re pushing a trade war with Canada. Canada?

Our international reputation, our greatest strength, is facing irreparable damage.

The North Korean summit amounted to a statement that is as hollow as a termite-infested log. The Trump administration has cast so much doubt on the media by his declaration of fake news – which he himself defined as any news critical of him – that the very concept of truth means nothing.

Now? Now we are ripping families apart and holding children like dogs in a kennel, literally -- and there is no law that says we must. And we have become comfortable with accepting brazen presidential lies. Truth means nothing. Morality means nothing. What of justice? The American way? Humanity?

So who are we? What do we stand for? Is a couple extra dollars in your paycheck worth the very moral fabric that made our nation great?

I am Joseph Flynn, and that is my perspective.