By John Horton
At times I see so much hate, racism, anger and fear among our citizenry.
For example, Steve Bannon, former head of Breitbart News, is now CEO of Trump’s presidential campaign. Bannon and associates are avid supporters of “Alt-Right” (a segment of right-wing ideologies presented as an alternative to mainstream conservatism in American politics). Among some particulars of the political spectrum that are promoted and supported by Alt-Right are: white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-Semitism, nativism, right-wing populism, neo-reactionary movement, and the like.
Accordingly, I decided that I could be a “spectator,” or I could be a “participant.”
In choosing to be a “participant,” I identify with Robert Kennedy: “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
Personally, and firstly, I give thanks for being a citizen of the United States. I give thanks to all those who helped and empowered me over the years, decades and three-quarters of a century, plus. I give thanks to all those whose backs and shoulders that I have stood and built upon all this time. And, I give “heartfelt thanks” for realizing that I have not been alone, nor have I done it all by myself. Only in America, at this time and place, could have I been so blessed and fortunate in receiving all my “gifts of love, laughter and life.”
True, America is not without her “bruises, blemishes and blockages,” but she is still, by far, the best when it comes to freedom, opportunity and progress. In short, America is not perfect, but she is far better than her contemporaries are.
Despite sometimes demagogic behaviors and xenophobic attitudes, there has been a mostly positive renaissance in America in (overall) terms of the economy, education, empowerment and equality of her peoples. America is still great because she has an innate strength and enduring stamina to heal her bruises and cleanse her wounds. America is still great, because she steadfastly promotes optimism and assertively overcomes pessimism. All in all, America is still great because she indefatigably promotes inspiration and consistently defeats alienation. As such, America is still great. And, let there be no doubt, whatsoever, about it.
We are Americans. We can achieve this “unachievable dream.” Yes, we can, for we have come so far and done so much together.
I firmly believe that most Americans want what is best for our fellow citizens and our country: fairness, opportunity, responsibility, education, respect, equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
If “we” work together, this can be accomplished. Our history, heritage and humanity demand and require this of us.
This is why and how America became…and is the greatest nation on Earth. Therefore, let us collaborate and go forward to make this happen.
To paraphrase JFK: “Ask what you can do for country…not what country can do for you….”
Or, to quote FDR: “All we have to fear is fear itself.”
Basically, we all want the “same things” for ourselves, families, children, communities and country as a whole.
Therefore, let us…wisely and unselfishly…do the right things for our common good and united purpose.
We are all in this together. In this effort, we are one and we are the same. When it comes to this, there is no “we” or “they.” No “them” or “us.”
We can appeal to our “better angels.” We can be(come) that “shining city of the hill.” We can be(come) those “thousand points of light.”
America has enough riches and wealth for all of us to be adequately provided for. There are enough natural resources, human resources and technology resources for all of us. There really is.
There are some who want to take our country back to the “good old days,” whatever that means for them. When it comes to the “critics and naysayers,” we can become Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena”: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…who spends himself in a worthy cause…and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” We need to go forward…not backward, for our America is still growing and is futuristic. We need to build bridges…not walls. We need to climb upward…not fall downward. We need to progress…not regress. We need to germinate…not contaminate.
We must believe in ourselves…and in each other…if we fail…our America fails. And, in this circumstance, failure is not an option.
We can have America the beautiful…land of the free and home of the brave. We can have it all. It is up to us. Yes, it is!
We are at the precipice of what could be…what can be…and what should be. Let us not falter. Let us do what needs to be done for America and the world.
This is our opportunity to fulfill our aspirations, hopes, dreams, ambitions and potentialities. This is our chance to do “good” for all of us.
Hatred and racism have always been amongst us. They are evil and they kill the human spirit. Hatred and racism have been used to breed divisiveness, disharmony and disunity. Thusly, we can no longer allow hatred and racism to divide Americans along these social, economic and political venues. In today’s world, we need more camaraderie, commitment and compassion. Together, we can make a difference. Sometimes, there is a need for a society of “we,” instead of a society and culture of “me.”
As such, I strongly believe in compromise, sacrifice, fairness, and unity. Together, we can get the job done to improve opportunity and to promote responsibility for all Americans. Our history, culture and heritage speak to this “possibility of circumstance.” We should never allow our partisanship and pettiness to debilitate or destroy us. We have come too far and done too much, together.
Sometimes we must put our country’s overall best interests ahead of our party affiliations and individual differences. Sometimes, we must strive for the common good, general welfare and more perfect union.
We have the capacity to make significant headway towards that more perfect union and for the overall common good. United as One in spirit and solidarity..epitomizing the concept of “e pluribus unum.”
By our thoughts, words and actions, we can achieve a better condition and improved future for all Americans. True, it will be challenging and vexing, but if we put our hearts, minds and backs into it, we can accomplish this.
We can do all of this, because we are Americans. Thank God, we are Americans. We have the capacity to overcome any obstacles in our path. Now is the time to put in the hard and smart work.Now is the time and place to just do it.
We are stronger together. Our America is (still) great, but she can be better and greater. Yes, she can!
Therefore, let us come together and rise up together and go forth together and be together for ourselves and for our America. For, she and we deserve no less than our best efforts in these matters.
Yes, we can overcome the hate, racism, anger and fear, for we are Americans. Let us, together, be all that we can be, for we are Americans.