“THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated” - Thomas Paine
In my many years as an American, I have not lived at a time like this--a time when so many of our political leaders repeatedly demean Americans, work without good process, lie, promote people with worrisome records related to racism and hate, and flaunt their privilege.
I have never lived at a time when there has been so much suspicion and proof about our leaders with regard to illegal foreign acts and influence.
Never before have I known a leader to augment his own wealth by hosting foreign dignitaries and conducting the country's business at his own personal golf clubs, hotels, and clubs thus profiting from the government business. In fact, I believe that this kind of work would be unethical in the state where I live.
I never remember a leader who made fun of the handicapped, demeaned women, and told outright untruths and multiple contradictory statements. I don't ever remember a name-calling President--one who called people "bad" and "sic" before. Even if I disagreed with Presidents past, I never recall them using such demeaning and hateful language. I also never remember a President before who put foreign dignitaries and acts ahead of the acts and leadership of our own country's leaders.
I am discouraged with our current leadership. I am worried that so many support him and wonder why. If he told the truth and backed up his claims with truthful evidence and acts, I might feel differently. For example, why not share his taxes as he promised he would if elected. Why not give back his salary if that's what he said he would do. Why not fully investigate the Russian influence on the election so it won't happen again. Why not seek to improve The Affordable Care act rather than destroy it. Why not diversify the cabinet so that Americans can be led by those that represent the many cultures and classes that make up our country too. After all aren't we a government "for the people by the people."
I've been willing to look for the good. So far I have agreed with one point the President has made which is to work for the eradication of human trafficking. Of course like all Americans, I want to reach for a good life for all with as much freedom and opportunity possible, but I don't believe we'll get there by looking back to a time gone by. Instead, I believe we will get there by looking forward and looking around to the great ideas and potential that exist. Rather than old time, coal mining jobs, retrain coal workers in modern day energy industries. Rather than using past solutions for infrastructure improvement, seek the best, modern efforts to build our country up in lean, modern ways. Put people to work protecting the environment, teaching our children, providing medical care, working for global peace, growing healthy food, creating art, and innovating for good life on this planet and in space--the next frontier. And, of course, work to protect the most vulnerable amongst us and those who face the greatest prejudice, inequity, and injustice now and in the past.
We need wise, bright, honest, caring leaders who will empower and inspire all Americans with good strategic process to elevate who we are and all that we can be.
This is a discouraging turn in the road, yet I will continue to read and try to remain open minded, but I won't agree with bad acts, mistruths, a lack of opportunity for all Americans, and indignified treatment to immigrants and those who visit our country. I am delighted that our country is filled with multiple cultures, varied races, all ages, and genders. I do believe that our diversity makes us a strong nation, and when we ignore that, we face terrible challenges.
Thomas Paine's words ring true for me. While Trump is yet to be named a tyrant by the majority, his actions steer in that direction. His mistruths and laws that diminish our lives strike at the freedom we value above all else as Americans.
I will have to take the next step which means putting political action, research, advocacy, and support on the schedule. I'd rather it be that those who are wonderful leaders, the men and women who are unafraid to stand up to the corruption, could do it on their own, but they need us now--the President and his cronies have incredible power, the kind of power that frightens me as an American.
Like most who agree with me, I'll take it step-by-step. I'll continue to listen to those who disagree and those that continue to support the President ,trying to understand, but up to now, I can see no reason or promise in this.
What will you do at this time in America's history. Ten years from now when you look back at this time, where do you hope we'll be and what actions will you be proud to say you engaged in during a time when the liberty and prosperity for the average citizen is threatened. It's a time when everyone has to lead in ways that they can with their best intelligence and commitment to our country and the global society we live in.