Friday, January 20, 2017

The Day America Died

The Day America Died

January 20th, 2017 will be a day I will remember as the day my country died.  A day when we traded all that we cherish and hold sacred for the ugly, ignorant, and vulgar.  Today is the day when the Orange Man begins his four years of tyranny and we the people, and the rest of the world suffer as he denigrates the greatest country on earth.  It may seem that I’m bitter about the outcome of the election, a sore loser if you may, but I’m not.  I’m angry that America chose such a poor leader, and that our prestige in the world has dropped so low.

The Orange Man will not make this country great again (for the record it already is great).  You cannot put hope in a narcissist to inspire his people or lead them in any great capacity. I had hoped earlier for a silver lining, but now I’m convinced there will be no silver lining. We will be mired in ineffective leadership for the next four years.

So, what’s left to do? Fight. Fight to keep what shred of decency is left in our government from letting us fold into tyranny.  Keep the government on their toes and in line with what we the people, all of us, want, and take on the smugness of those that think because they have the majority that they can do what they want.  This is a wake-up call for all Americans to make sure our government remains our government and we hold accountable those who we trust to make the laws.  Complacency is not an option.  Ignorance is not a value to be upheld. There is a thin line between democracy and dictatorship and we’ve finally reached that point.  We will not go to the dark side; we must keep our balance toward enlightenment.

I was in Senegal during the presidential elections.  When the results were final, everyone was in shock.  The saddest thing a Senegalese said to me was, “Now you’re just like us.”  It hurt to hear that because I know what he meant.  For the entire world America is the beacon of hope that everyone looks toward.  We show the way for so many, and represent a decency that all aspire to. In America, you can be who you want to be without being beholden to anyone.  You can dream big, and with hard work and determination, live big too.  The sad part is that many Americans are so fearful and ignorant of the world that they don’t see how we are perceived in the rest of the world.  This was our greatness—that we as a country can inspire others to dream big and have the confidence to make changes in their lives despite the odds.  But not anymore.  We are just like the rest of the world now to many.

The title of this posting is “The Day America Died,” and I know this is a temporary death.  The values that make us great need to be in the forefront to drown out the bombastic crassness of the Orange Man and his flunkies, and to remind Congress of their duty to represent all Americans and fight for what we know is right.  My Senators will know my name, my voice will be heard, and ignorance will be taken on, not just brushed aside.  As I spend most of my time outside the U.S., I will continue to show others the great side of our country and even though we are going down a rabbit hole for four years, the values we cherish are still there.  I will continue to inspire my students to dream big and to teach them that anything is possible. 

We will get through this I know.  From this death will come new life and we’ll be greater as always, not again.

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