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Proud of Y’all

So many Americans are doing their best, and I’m proud of you.

I was going to write about how bankrupt the Republican party is, and how that organization would rank on the functional scales used for diseases and conditions in psychology and medicine, but nah.

I really just want to say how proud I am of America, even some Republicans who are resisting and pushing back against Donald John Trump and have done so for over four years now. I know it’s not over, that it won’t truly be over until we see the election results, and even if Donald John Trump loses, he’ll still be in office until 20 January 2021. But all the same, there are a lot of really good people who do believe that basic decency matters. That human rights matter.

I know Biden talks about the soul of the country. And that’s sort of what I’m getting at, but not entirely. Because even if Donald John Trump loses this election, there will still be a lot of people who voted for him, who support him. It’s very distressing and sad that they cannot or will not see the truth before them. And it was sad every day before, and it will be sad every day hence.

The soul of America will live on even if Donald John Trump is reelected, maybe especially if. The soul of America that I was taught about, alongside its many sins and foibles, was basic decency, human rights, democracy, service, helping, joking, struggling through, getting up when you’re down, and then offering your hand to the next person who needs it.

So many people work every damned day to keep America’s soul going. Keep it up! Thank you!

The truth before us isn’t only how bad Donald John Trump and his enablers and teammates and patrons and followers can be. It’s also how good and kind and hopeful the majority of Americans are.

When we look back on the years of the country under Donald John Trump, we must remember all the efforts to reduce the swelling, to break the fever. The people who brang us cups of juice and made us cheese toast. Maybe Donald John Trump gets reelected, and the country gets turned into the world’s goldest giant resort for schmucks and rubes. But not without a fight. And even if it does, somewhere all these glorious people will still be shining with the true American spirit against the darkness, against the greed, against the gross and ruinous bastards who think we’re no better than a bumper sticker, one for three dollars, or four for ten.

The soul of America is not for sale to Republicans or anyone. It cannot be beaten, shot, arrested, or silenced. It is the ever-present cry for a world of free people practicing their educated guesses and discussing how to make things better for everyone. It rebukes the liar, befuddles the bigot, and distresses the despot. And it ain’t going nowhere.

The election is in nine weeks. Please register to vote (even if you happen to be a Trump supporter, but especially if you aren’t). Please do vote.

American Values

The biggest culture shock in decades is the partial abandonment of American values by the Republican party and its voters. America used to stand for something, but increasingly to hear the conservatives tell it, the dictionary needs to say “undefined” or even “meaningless.”

They claim that kneeling insults troops while they apparently abandon the long-held belief that American foreign policy was to spread, support, extend, and generally bolster democracy around the globe. Why do we remain in Afghanistan? Why did we go to Korea and Vietnam? What was the Berlin Air Lift for?

The long-standing, shared value was that democracy works and that it is a gift to the world. Some of that was a guise for spreading American capitalism, sure. Some of it was the idea that a democratic world would be safer for America. But at least some of it was about liberty and truth and justice.

And the Republicans have yet to explain how you get truth or justice, much less liberty, without a leader that believes in those things. How you get them without a free press. Indeed, we hear often the suggestion that people don’t care about tax returns or undue political pressure placed on subordinates.

People are supposed to care. That’s an American value. To boldly and blindly strike at American values is, by definition, unamerican. To attempt to subvert the institutions of the USA, be it the FBI, the IRS, or any other vital organ, is unamerican. Americans can criticize freely, and we expect our institutions to undergo changes to address corruption and lesser dysfunctions, but we do not and should not hack away carelessly at our own governmental body.

We were proud of our leaders. They spoke to the best in us, lifted us up. They reminded us of our commitments to those with less developed countries. They believed in progress. They weren’t perfect, but we carved their images into the rockface and built monuments to them not out of worship, but of recognition of what they stood for and as reminders that we aspire to continue their legacy.

I do not understand these Republicans that would sell away the values of America so quickly, for a tax cut and a seat on the court. It does not seem like a conservative thing to do. I can only hope that the real Republicans, the ones who spent a decades including an anti-lynching plank in their platform, the ones that believed in limiting the debt and aren’t afraid to raise taxes if needed, that see the need for regulations, I can only hope they will come back home to America and help defeat the farce that has replaced them.