We Are the UNITED States of America. Remember?

Every morning when we wake up, my husband and I turn on the television to see what new national calamity has befallen our political climate.

I cannot take it anymore.

I cannot last three more years.

I cannot help but resent the divisiveness and the name-calling.

I have a right to live in a country where people agree to disagree politely, without threatening harm to, disrespecting or belittling the opposition. I am afraid this starts at the top. Mr. President, are you listening? You need to cool your jets and get it together. And the news show interviewees, who represent the president, are frankly rude as hell on TV. They may think they’re selling the president’s position, but the only thing I see is a panel of obnoxious people talking over each other. That’s neither an interview nor a discussion.

Remember, we are the UNITED States of America.

We are ALL Americans. We come from different backgrounds, religions and political parties. The point of our elaborate government is to ensure freedom and democracy for all, not the existence of an oligarchy that flexes its political power through a financial, or physical stranglehold on the people. We don’t exist in servitude to those who harbor more green pieces of paper. And yet in truth, the very act of having opposition is exactly what MAKES us Americans. The opposition has the RIGHT to oppose us, respectfully, legally and safely, without verbal or physical abuse. No one is supposed to be threatened for expressing his or her views.

THAT’S what makes us special.

To me, THAT CONCEPT is the American dream. Moving up the social ladder, buying a home, educating one’s children and starting a business are all important of course, but these goals start with the ability to speak up safely and engage in public discourse in our American society without reprisal.

I can post on social media that I disagree with the “Right to Life” movement and that I don’t think there should be prayer in public school. I have the promise that I can express myself without retribution.   I should not be belittled or blocked from a Facebook group for expressing an unpopular point of view. Likewise, I should keep it civil when for instance I am discussing the president, reproductive rights or my reaction to the Republican stance on immigration.

Yes I’m guilty of calling the head guy an asshat on Facebook…repeatedly. I apologize and will refrain from it in the future. I am not apologizing because he is the president. I am apologizing because although it felt good to vent, it did nothing to help the circumstances and it was disrespectful to my fellow Americans, Mr. Trump included.

This continued animosity in our society that plays out everyday on the television and in the newspapers is criminal. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much anger in this country. It is debilitating. It is exhausting to listen to every single day. And it is absolutely threatening to our democracy.

Propaganda is used against us by our fellow Americans every day. We are being manipulated. It has become such a constant that we are now literally ripe for a fascist coup.

Granted, I have my share of frustration with the current administration too. But, we must stop villainizing our opposition and start remembering that we are Americans first and Democrats or Republicans second. Finding common ground is important. Being inclusive is important. Remembering the words on the base of the Statue of Liberty is important. Those words stand for something that is uniquely American.

All of the energy we are using to trash the opposition should be used to try to find some common ground. What are the REAL objectives of the political parties? Can they just lay it out there, once and for all in the open?

Do Republicans really feel this country only exists for rich, white men and the rest of us should do their bidding? Do they think that every American should be Christian and that the bible should supersede the Constitution? That’s what it looks like. If they want to rein that in a little, perhaps they need to work on it.

Do Democrats really believe that social programs do not need to be audited? Do they understand that a budget needs to be restrained even when there are lofty goals to help the underprivileged? Do they think that immigration is a right or a privilege?

I feel like Congress is comprised of High School wrestling teams that forgot the rules of engagement. The point is to win your match, not to destroy the other team. If you destroy the other team, you destroy democracy, the pillar of the American dream.

Assuming the president is of sound mind and that he has some heartfelt ideology, I would implore him to print out his current mission statement. I wouldn’t mind seeing that from the two major political parties either. I do not like this waffling. I don’t appreciate the constant name-calling and the fear mongering. I don’t like feeling that Congress, and frankly the President, are operating at middle-school level.

I wish we could get an arbitrator to work with the Senate and the House to teach them team-building exercises. They need to actively listen to the objectives and motivation of each side WITHOUT talking back, if only for one day. Is there a Social Psychologist out there up for this task? We could start a go- fund -me to send them to the hill…

Perhaps we need to really understand those mission statements before we slug out the details. It’s time for Congress to take in the mats and go back to the training room. They need more coaching.

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