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We’re Better Than This, America

May 5, 2016

My Fellow Americans,

We find ourselves at the threshold of a “new time”. These times of great change are difficult and often we get wrapped up in ideals and forget our humanity. I urge you to remember your humanity. The political climate of the United States is currently ugly, and growing only uglier, despite Ted Cruz dropping out of the race.

I trolled some Trump supporters on Twitter this morning and found anti-Hillary rhetoric, memes and conversations that I expected, but what was unexpected was my own reaction. “Yeah, yeah,” I thought, “they’re just scared of her and they’re crazy.” But if they’re scared and crazy, what are we? Posting anti-Trump rhetoric of our own goes through his supporters’ filters the same way theirs go through ours: with many grains of salt and not a lot of recognition. I’ve been “feeling the Bern” for quite a while now, but some of the anti-Hillary sentiment coming from the Bernie supporters is equally, if not more, upsetting.

Let’s step back from this particular election for a moment and discuss simple humanity & survival. As Americans, and human beings, we all pretty much want the same things: safety and health, the opportunity for prosperity, and an inheritable place to live for the next generations. There are outside threats, as there always have been, and natural threats, but the biggest threat to our humanity, safety, health, prosperity and planet is human beings ourselves. If we lose sight of the fact that we are in this together and continue to run elections like a contemporary Roman Coliseum we will ALL lose. To think that getting your candidate in the White House is winning, and the other party’s candidate in is losing is a horrific way to run a country. Democracy is by the people, for the people. Oh, right. That. Let’s not forget that. For the people, the people, us, all of us born here, all of us who came here to learn, to work, to teach, to perform, to grow, to prosper, to be a part of this diverse, beautiful nation.

We have a sordid past, though, and whether your family has been in this country since the Revolution, came through Ellis Island, or you just got here last year, we have a responsibility for the actions of our past. This land wasn’t ours to take, yet we took it from the Native Americans and haven’t even come close to finding a way to make up for the fact that we wiped out an entire culture trying to build one for ourselves. Slavery and racial discrimination mar the history of our beautiful country, and the war for racial equality, the fights against prejudice and injustice are still being waged. Our rise to power in the global community was a direct result of the use of the atomic bomb, one of the greatest crimes against humanity in the history of human beings. We’ve messed up. A lot, but that doesn’t mean we should continue to. In fact, we should learn from our mistakes and be better

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, or what to believe in, or that we need to band together to maintain our status as a world superpower. I’m just going to offer a few reminders:

  • Learn. Constantly. Keep asking questions, especially when you can’t get answers. Ask, ask, ask! Search for answers, dig for truth. Make your own educated decisions.
  • Teach compassion. Be compassionate. Teach love by practicing love. Teach respect by being respectful. Teach what you know, and learn what you strive to know.
  • Remember that we are united, not divided. Think about your next door neighbor growing up, or the guy who delivers your Dominos pizza, think about your car wash attendant, your bus drivers, your cousin’s new baby, your doctor, your therapist, your bartender, the kid you babysit for, your dry cleaner, your toll booth attendant, your AT&T customer service representative, and remember that we all have goals, we all have families (by blood or otherwise), and we all want to have a place to live peacefully.

Think about those things before you vote. Practice these things. Think about these things every day. And on days when you can’t think about anyone else and you seem to be drowning in the minutia of your own life, hope that someone else is thinking about these things. Hope that someone has the humanity to lift you up. Don’t drown in hate, in fear, in desperation, but swim towards something better, and pull a few people up with you.

 

We’re better than this America.

 

PS: That’d be my slogan if I were running for office.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 6, 2016 5:44 AM

    SO proud of you for this, the Adria Manifesto 2016!

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