Not too long ago people were more identified by town. Revolutionary days. People were “of Concord”. Or “of Saratoga”.
State was king as the founding fathers worked to build the Declaration of Independence. Big difference between being from Massachusetts and being from Virginia.
For me, history in grade school was all about New York State, the Empire State, where I grew up. From the power of Niagara Falls to the power of Wall Street. State definitely trumped country… and world.
I was proud to be an American when John Kennedy was elected. He embodied the American ideal. I was young. He understood me. My generation.
I couldn’t have been more ecstatic than when Barack Obama took the podium after his first election. America was proud. We were the land of diversity. I beamed.
And when he made that speech to the Muslim world….to millions on the other side of this confusing planet…I felt like we were truly leading the world. America. My country.
But now? With Donald Trump being the embodiment of our country? I’m embarrassed. His values are not my values. His America is not mine.
I question if country is really the important thing now? Should we be a world of independent fiefdoms all trying to compete?
Shouldn’t the “world” be king?
Donald Trump in a speech to the UN recently said that his loyalty was solely to his country and he knew everyone attending felt that same way about their country.
But did they? They didn’t have trouble putting the world first in joining the Paris Climate Accord. We were the only country not to join.
I trust we all realize that we are one world sharing the same problems. Melting icebergs. Rising seas. Isis. Womens’ rights. Jobless societies. Refugees. Education. The list goes on. And on.
Our loyalty, first and foremost, should be to this big beautiful blue planet. Our world. Issues need to be addressed globally. It’s the only way. If we attempt it state by state, country by country, continent by continent, the problems will simply ooze out the sides. Get stuck in the cracks.
The isolationism of Monroe has no place now. It probably never did.
It’s fine to wear a red American sweatshirt. Hang a flag over the barn door. Bake a cherry pie on Washington’s birthday. As long as we’re holding hands with all our neighbors around the world. As long as we know that “United We Stand. Divided We Fall” pertains to being one with all the countries of the world. Not just us clinging to each other in this place we call America.
I question unconditional loyalty to country. Forsaking all others.