BY GARY EDMONDSON
The American Revolution inspired the world. Our founders proved false the ridiculous notion of the divine right rule of monarchs and the subjugation of colonies. The French spread our ideas and ideals throughout Europe – while being governed by a despot. The 19th Century saw the awakening of people to their right of self-determination, which carried on into the 20th Century.
In that century, the American republic, built upon [and continuing to expand] its foundation of freedom, saved the world from evil empire builders – the Nazi/fascists on the battlefield and communism through containment and diplomacy.
We were that “shining city on a hill” envisioned by John Winthrop, according to the CBC’s Neal Macdonald. He elaborates:
“Centuries later, American presidents would return repeatedly to Winthrop’s hilltop-city metaphor, the first invocation of American exceptionalism. JFK. Barack Obama. And Ronald Reagan, adding his own words: ‘A tall, proud city … teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.’”
And now, Mr. Macdonald? “Trump is America, and America, it turns out, isn’t so exceptional after all.”
So, what happened? Cowardice. Any person or thing perceived as slightly different became terrifying. Fear, of course, leads to hatred [to hide the cowards’ yellow streaks].
About 4.5% of Americans identify as homosexual, bisexual or transgender. With 327 million of us, that comes to fewer than 15 million people. I think the other 312 million of us are safe. To persecute these folks for being different and to try to deny them their rights as Americans reeks of cowardice.
Of the above group, about 1.6 million people identify as transgender, less than one-third of 1%. Yet cowards attack this threatening force to the delight of other cowards.
About 7,000 desperate Central Americans are fleeing violence in their disintegrating countries, seeking asylum and protection. They still believe in the promise of the United States. Our Coward-in-Chief acts like they are the Visigoths at the gate
While Vladimir Putin gloats over the decline of American influence in the world, the man he helped elect pulls us out of one international agreement after another, now declaring himself a “nationalist” in opposition to the message of universal liberties, freedom and respect engendered by our founders.
That message transformed the world. Our leaders led the way.
Trump is a problem. But he’s not the problem. He’s only the festering pustule of anti-American cowardice that the right-wing media has been spreading for 30 years, dimming the lights of our once shining city.
You can’t lead from behind a wall.
– Duncan resident Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party