Whether our fore-bearers were conscious of it, or oblivious—they were a part of an amalgamation of something great, something that the world had not seen yet. The American Idea was brooding out of the society that so closely resembled it. Borne out of the philosophies that shook the world in the Enlightenment, America catapulted these notions into practice.
Individualism borne from liberty.
Equality borne from justice.
Responsibility borne from self-government.
These ideals pushed the colonials into a self-realization of the breadth of difference between themselves and the foreign rulers that slowly lost their control over them. Thomas Paine chose his words carefully when he spoke of the American colonists having a chance to do what rarely had been done before… to create a new world. America’s history books do not teach the American Revolution in the way that would do much justice to the event that transformed the world. This Revolution was a materialization of a country built on Equal Rights, Liberty, and Individualism. And since that moment, our history has been a story of our nation’s struggle to bring that notion to fruition.
The great Society of Freedom has had a checkered past, most would argue, and I would not fight them on it. Our nation has had its highs and lows without a doubt. The Civil War preceded the failure of the Reconstruction. Our fight against Nazism preceded the Civil Rights Era and the Vietnam War. One could say easily that our country has followed a direction of taking two steps forward, only to take one step back through most of its history. And it is time that we change this habit now.
The inception of this nation was founded on the principle that banished hereditary aristocracy, only to later allow it to build a plutocracy in its stead. We speak of being a government of the people, by the people, for the people—but we currently hold a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich…
Our nation created a society that strives for Equality, only to continuously withhold Equality from its people, while not holding others to Justice. In a time when gender, race, and sexual orientation hinder people from Equality and Equity, wealth and celebrity-ism allow others to act without regard for laws and consideration for others.
This morning I read a tweet that seemed to summarize the most intrinsic, instinctual emotions I have experienced in the last two years. “Being angry all the time is exhausting and corrosive. Not being angry feels morally irresponsible.” This tweet flashed before me less than an hour before I saw the headlines that another Trump cabinet member is resigning amid investigations of ethics violations in the course of their duty to our country. Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, is stepping down due to scandals of misuse of power—another cabinet member in a long line of Trump’s cabinet secretaries that have left office due to scandals…
It truly is exhausting being angry all the time; from rampant racism, unbridled nepotism, public servants seeking only to enrich themselves—all with the proposed façade of pride in American Democracy—our fore-bearers would be ashamed. It may be exhausting to remain angry, but it would be disastrous to relent under continuous atrocities committed against our institutions and ideals. So I will continue to be angry, because to do otherwise, would inherently surrender my morality. And that will not be taken from me.