Winning ‘Muricans, Losing America

Winning ‘Muricans, Losing America

Adrienne BoettingerWednesday,8 June 2016

Have you heard that America is going to be made great again? I read that on a bumper sticker so it must be true. The good ol’ days will apparently be brought back though the good ol’ days Donald Trump wants to bring back were the same that involved lynching, women in the kitchen, gay people in the closet, Communist witch hunts, and nuclear arms races.

But nothing deters Trump’s fans. Not when he believes a judge can’t be fair to him in a civil case against Trump “University” because that judge is of Mexican-American heritage, not when he riles up his supporters into violent frenzies, not when he denigrates women, not when he seems to seek out the support of white supremacists, and not even when he uses his tiny thin-skinned hands to pick up the Constitution and wipe his ass with it.

Because that’s what he will do. His support of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights extends only as far as using the Amendments in a manner convenient for him. He’s ready to tear up the First Amendment when it comes to journalists who aren’t nice to him, immigrants who are Muslim, or protesters who disagree with him. When it comes to the Second Amendment he now wants to get rid of the pesky phrase “well regulated Militia” when he previously wanted to get rid of the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.” He doesn’t care for warrants and probable cause required for the Fourth Amendment or the “due process of law” in the Fifth. He’d lock up his opponents despite the Sixth Amendment, wants to torture suspects and attack their families in contradiction of the Eighth, and has said he will get rid of birthright citizenship guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

I’ve long worried over what it says about America that this man has become a viable candidate for the highest office in our land but now I’m worried that we’re actually losing America. America is an idea — a promise of freedom and the bold notion that all persons are born with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That we will welcome the world’s poor, teeming masses yearning to breathe free. That we won’t judge people based on who their parents are or what religion they practice. Of course, there have been many dark days when we have not lived up to that promise—annihilation of Native Americans, slavery, internment camps, and limited suffrage come to mind—but the idea of America dreamt of by our forebears lived on.

What do we stand for now? An absurdly expensive wall that will do nothing to solve problems of unauthorized immigration? Banning a religion practiced by 23% of the world’s population? Killing the families and friends of suspected terrorists? Greenlighting torture?

I find little comfort in the promises of Senator John McCain that the rest of the government would stop Trump from executive overreach when he’s elected President. Even if he doesn’t find a way to overrule the rest of the government when it suits him, Trump is still an awful, bigoted, misogynistic, shortsighted, thin-skinned bully who has held voters in his thrall for far too long.

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Image Credit: Gage Skidmore on Flickr

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