Up until this last election season, I would’ve been the last person to say that it could happen here…that an American candidate for the highest office of the land would turn on their own people.
Lucky me, I am among the latest of the damned, being both a journalist and a woman. Having to witness a candidate routinely describing proposed policies of discrimination, disrespect and hate against not only those of other ethnic groups and religious affiliations, but sadly, those of us who are defending the very Constitution he is proposing to swear to uphold—starting with the First and Second Amendments.
Holy cow! The rhetoric is causing concern among many of our nation’s top scientific and political experts who fear that the result of the election may even bring on violence. What is this, a third world country?
Some of the Republican nominee’s supporters even initiated a Twitter campaign of support to repeal the 19th Amendment to the Constitution—the one which gave women the right to vote. Seriously? How are we to be the Land of the Free and the home of the Brave, if we can’t get along with people of the opposite sex or other viewpoints; much less nationalities and religions?
Just an FYI—this is the WHOLE BASIS of the U.S. Constitution—live and let live. Unfortunately, everyone seems to want to interpret it as “Live like I live or die”, which saddens, angers, and frustrates me.
History is full of the unlikely and unexpected and if anything, it should teach us to be ever vigilant against those who seek to restrict freedom— for it starts small and unnoticeable, and the next thing you know, it’s at your front door, asking for your guns, or maybe even your turban headed friend hiding in the attic.
You can say “It’ll never happen here” but it certainly seem that the rhetoric of “Us vs. Them” is ramping up—and there are too many examples to cite.
As Jimmy Fallon, an Irish-German- Norwegian American (get it?), said: “This country was built on the idea that we do not all agree on everything. That we are a tolerant, free nation that encourages debate, free-thinking, believing—or not, in what you choose. We need to get back to being brave enough to accept that we have different opinions—and that’s okay.—that’s what America is built on—the idea that we can stand up and speak our minds and not be punished for that, or mocked on the internet, or killed by someone you don’t know.”
This belief is what will make America great and nothing else—and the concept seems to escape a great majority of Americans, which is sad. The ONLY country in the world designed to do what religion professes to do—love and respect others regardless of who they are and what they believe.
In the end we either stand united or fall divided by these petty illusions of ‘difference’.