I am a patriot. I love living under the Red, White, and Blue. I love patriotic marches and songs. I tear up at the great things America has been and done. I am grateful to the soldiers that sacrifice so much. I’m proud of the ideals and the opportunities and the liberties that we have represented to the world for so long.
That’s why it’s hurting so bad to be an American right now.
We loudly proclaim to be the land of freedom and opportunity, equality and diversity. Then what do we do? We call for illogical limitations or deregulations that end up hurting more than helping. We demand closed borders and the deportation of “foreigners” and refuse to fund programs that aid and better our society. We want to unite as Elitist Patriarchical Vanilla Believers who don’t want to help anyone who can’t/won’t help themselves or don’t fit into the mold we’ve created. We claim this to be the vision of our founding fathers but we’ve twisted and corrupted it seemingly beyond repair.
We have liberties we can take advantage of. But we are not free.
Freedom would be a government and society that allowed everyone the complete control of our own bodies, free from criminalization or judgement of how it’s used or packaged. Freedom would be understanding, compassion, and respect for all human life, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexuality, education, or economic status. Freedom would be a system of green, sustainable practices which helped rather than harmed the planet. Freedom would be complete affordable access to education, healthcare, housing, and food and water for everyone. Freedom would be equal rights and opportunities and pay across all spectrums. Freedom would be the combination of empathy and knowledge in coming up with solutions rather than governing with greed and personal bias and reintroducing or creating more problems. Freedom is living completely without fear of discrimination, starvation, bankruptcy, homelessness, disease, violence, incarceration, or limitation.
True and complete freedom is Utopia, Eden before the Fall, the Marxist doctrine on paper, a post-apocolyptic society that has actually learned from the past, perfection that can never truly be reached.
But we could at least try. We could attempt to do what is right not from a religious or economic standpoint, but from a humanistic one. We could take care of people rather than criminilizing, marginalizing, or dehumanizing them. We could put our money toward better education, better health care, a better food industry, more renewable resources, and redistribute the wealth. Do we really need to spend billions of dollars on weapons and debates that lead nowhere, or worse, backwards? Is it really wise and equitable in the grand scheme of things to have resources and power controlled by such a small group as they are right now?
Call me a liberal, a dreamer, a hippie, delusional, blasphemous, whatever. But I think we can do better– at this point, that shouldn’t be surprising.
So tell me. What’s stopping us from being the America we were originally supposed to be? Why are we stopping ourselves from truly being the land of the free?