I look at you sometimes, lately, and I wonder who you are. Remember when God, family, flag and country mattered to you? Remember when you were a melting pot, welcoming legal immigrants into your expansive embrace? Remember when that meant that people who chose, of their own free will, to come here had to assimilate into their chosen adopted country? When such immigrants were happy, even proud, to adopt the language and customs of their new, chosen home (or at least to encourage their children to do so)? Remember when your name inspired pride and unity among your own people and, equally importantly, when that same name inspired (albeit sometimes grudging) respect (and, sometimes, deterrent fear) among the peoples of hostile lands? Remember when your presidents weren’t longing for a “post-American” world?
I do. I remember it well, and I miss it, I miss you. I miss sleeping soundly at night, unafraid of my own government. I miss awaking (from my now restless sleep) to a world that was relatively (relative to now, that is) peaceful, to a world in which the American president’s “red lines” were actual red lines and that crossing them had consequences, real and dire consequences. Consequences, let’s face it, that were more rhetorical than actionable . . . though if pressed. . . . .I miss knowing that your enemies were ours, that those who would hurt you, hurt me. Now, it seems, unbelievably, that I am your enemy because I neither agree with nor support the horrible policies of your current president. Me, an “enemy” of America, land that I love? It’s just mind-boggling. How did that happen?
I miss you, America. You once stood strong beside our allies in Europe and Israel, but now, you do nothing but signal weakness and submissiveness to dangerous nations that once listened very carefully to our soft speech and understood all too well our big stick.