I think “Make America Great Again” is a short-sighted, narrow-minded, insular, and selfish mindset. The America First attitude implies that our greatness can only come at the expense of others. It implies that we want to make this country greater than others, and to hell with everyone else.
People who buy into that type of rhetoric tend to view this as a dog eat dog world. They think that the only way to rise up is by climbing over the top of others, and the more extreme adherents prefer to wear cleats while doing so. Much better traction that way.
I don’t want to live in such a world.
I sincerely believe that a rising tide lifts all boats. We are all in this together. Having traveled internationally, I tend to have a more global worldview.
For example, I think if we want to reduce the number of people who seek asylum in this country, we need to help our neighbors fix the problems that are causing their countrymen to seek refuge with us in the first place.
I also think that if we don’t join our fellow earthlings in trying to reduce carbon emissions, we’re not going to have anything left to make great.
I don’t think giving everyone equal rights will somehow reduce my own.
I don’t think giving everyone a living wage would reduce my own, either.
I think our pollution becomes their pollution. I think our greed becomes their deprivation.
I believe with all my heart that war benefits no one when all is said and done, and that no profits are worth the death of even one human being. If we sunk as much time, money, and effort into promoting peace as we do in propping up war, this would be an amazing big blue marble, indeed.
Watch out for whose neck you’re stepping on, folks, because yours is right there under your noggin, just waiting to be squashed, too.
Such a simple, elegant phrase. Such a kind and decent concept. I don’t know why so many people struggle with it.
There are so many out there who make it a point to say just the opposite. You’re not welcome. You shouldn’t be able to come here. You can’t buy my cake. You should sit at the back of the bus. You shouldn’t be allowed to marry the person that you love. You are not welcome to be a part of our club. You shouldn’t have the right to vote. You can’t rent my apartment. You don’t belong here. America used to be great when we didn’t have to treat you with respect. How dare you speak up? We get to control what you do with your body. You must be walled off. You must be silenced.
We see it everywhere. In the red MAGA hats, in the “lock her up!” chants, in the attacks on innocent people on the streets. We see it in the hatred that oozes from the mouth of the very man who is supposed to lead this country. You’re not welcome. You are an enemy of the people.
Hate makes you look ugly. It reveals the disease in your very soul. It makes us all so much less than what we could be.
When you hate, when you marginalize people, when you try to prevent people from having the same rights that you do, you cause suffering in this world. Why would anyone want to do that? I will never understand it as long as I live.
When you find yourself in a place of inclusion, where people are welcoming and accepting and embracing of your unique qualities, it’s such a freeing experience. I’d rather be wrapped in a rainbow than beaten by a tiki torch any day of the week. That should be obvious. Why isn’t it obvious?
I’m feeling very ineloquent about this whole subject compared to the conversation Ellen Page had with Stephen Colbert recently. Check out the video here. It’s really worth watching.
Thanks, Lee (and Ellen Page) for inspiring this post!