I love the United States. Despite its numerous flaws and despite the missteps we have taken over the years, I still consider myself to be a patriot. Captain America is still my favorite Avenger. Yet, despite my own personal zeal for this nation, which has given me so much, I still endeavor to temper my Love of Country with well-informed skepticism. In an era where information is so readily accessible, it is a social responsibility of a citizen to remain informed and engage in an adult and mature dialogue about the issues that pervade our society. That being said, I have made a commitment to start this blog; searching for some small way in which I can contribute and participate in the national dialogue which (sad to say) is in the process of devolving in a manner I find rather terrifying.
America was at a crossroads. I use the past tense because we have now committed to a particular direction I feel many Americans find particularly troubling (to include myself). This encompasses many areas of concern across both sides of the political aisle.
I regret to say, I have been woefully absent from the world of U.S. current events for the last year. This election season was particularly painful for me and I vowed to take a back seat and attempt to remain blissfully ignorant for my own mental health and well-being. Yet, as we enter into the Trump presidency I realize that this approach is highly detrimental for myself and my country. Despite the fact that the news and twitter feeds will likely be the cause of chronic heartburn which will slowly burn a hole in my esophagus, I cannot shirk my responsibilities any longer.
I would like to note that despite my general isolation from the news feeds, I still participated in the democratic process and voted…if you haven’t guessed it by now * spoiler alert* I did not vote for Trump.
Truth be told, in the grand scheme of national politics, a period of self-imposed general ignorance during an election year is no great anomaly. I think many people grow frustrated with the campaigning, attack ads, and the myriad of other contributors to 21st century cynicism. Yet, as we approach the end of the first week of a Trump Presidency, my ability to afford him some moderate “leeway” has become tenuous at best.
“Let the man have a chance to succeed or fail.”
“Perhaps all the events throughout the presidential campaign was nothing more than elaborate theater to get elected.”
“I have faith that Trump will surround himself with qualified experts that will ultimately steer him and our nation away from ruinous disaster.”
It would seem that these statements were mere wishful thinking on my part; a vain attempt to salve my soul in some way; an elaborate fantasy constructed to preserve what small inkling of optimism and hope still resided within my mind. Perhaps it has been my absence from the daily grind of the news cycle that has amplified the impact of the Trump Administration’s and a supportive Republican Legislature’s latest actions, but it seems I find myself truly horrified on a regular basis. Needless to say (well…if it were needless I wouldn’t be saying it, I suppose), my outlook for our near term future is pessimistic.
I had mentioned at the start of this first post that my efforts are to become a contributing member of the national dialogue on issues concerning Americans. It is also important to continue to openly discuss and examine what is happening around us to ensure that such important topics of civil liberties, security and our national character are not swept under the rug by way of an executive tweet encapsulated in ALL CAPS and some hateful hashtags. Selfishly, though, this blog is likely my own form of therapy to soothe my conscience and make the day-to-day efforts of being a well-informed citizen more bearable.
I would end with a request. Well, I’m almost inclined to say…plea: Stay informed. Stay Engaged. Don’t give in to hate and bullying that I feel will become characteristic of American politics in the near future. We owe it to ourselves, our families and our neighbors to become well-versed in current affairs so that our arguments are more cogent and enhance our ability to combat tyranny with facts and reason…raising ourselves above the very low bar that the Trump Administration set for itself to date.