I was born in 1952. I was educated first in Catholic school and then in public schools. I grew up saying the “Pledge of Allegiance,” mostly by rote, occasionally with real understanding and appreciation for my count.
In the 1960s, specifically 1968, when the country, at least to this 16-year-old, appeared to be in shambles, I took to the street along with so many others my age.
During the 1968 Democratic Convention, I marched to free Tom Hayden, even as I didn’t know who Tom Hayden was. Together with thousands of young people like me, I flooded into Lincoln Park, where I smoked weed and appreciated The Merry Pranksters and street performances.
I was 16 years old, heart-driven, and I knew–I felt–that the injustices of the War in Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the ongoing struggle for Civil Rights both in the South and North, and the often overlooked discrimination against women, demanded that I become vocal, involved, that I join with others who felt the same.
During the 1968 Democratic Convention, the split in the country and in the Democratic party was violently exposed. Some argue that the Democratic party never recovered.
However, the pervasive feeling with so many young people that year is they had an obligation as Americans to rise up, to join in protest, at the injustices the country was facing on so many fronts. Not to become involved in the conversation, regardless of “side,” was to neglect one’s duty as a citizen.
For me, the world in 2016, feels much the same. We are post election of a man without experience, a man who seems determined to divide this country further, a man who refuses to release taxes, set up his businesses in a blind trust, who cozies up to Putin, to Taiwan, and who has expressed admiration for leaders such as Qadaffi and Hussein, a man, who if you remove all the apparent lack of decency and morality, is a man, who at his very core, has no experience and who lacks the character to be president.
This is a man who lacks the ability to reunite the people of this country. His actions regarding the press, in my opinion, make him dangerously anti-America. This country has as a motto e plurbis unum–out of many, one. So this man’s job is to unite the states of this country, the people who inhabit those states, and somehow make them one. Make them whole.
All his actions regarding cabinet choices, regarding his inability to stay off Twitter, to ignore baiting, it interact with the press, to behave in any manner reminiscent of the President of the United States, indicate either he has no interest or no ability to reunite the country.
Not only is that a tragedy, but it makes Anti-America, dangerously Anti-America, because we are a diverse country that need to be one country, and the president-elect appears to be bound and determined to keep us separated.
No one wins when a man like that has power. I am horrified that this man has not recognized how ill-equipped to lead the U.S. and stepped down, as Nixon once did and as LBJ did when he refused to run as president.
However, the arrogance of the president-elect will, no doubt, prevent his ever doing anything honorable. He is a humiliation to the country, and I pray that those of us on the left rise up as we did in the 60s and bring our disgust front and center, and that we never let the world (and our country) think for one minute that this man is normal, that his presidency can ever be anything but dangerously Anti-America.