How America has Not been made great again

Even though I moved to Timor Leste a couple months ago, I can’t escape politics in my home country. So I’m going to just dive in, with this bit that’s more like an extended social media post than a blog entry, I suppose, but does at least reference some of the international perspective I’ve gained over the last 15 years of focusing on life abroad.

Here’s the current situation in regards to my beloved US of A, as things have evolved over the last four years of Trump’s presidency:

  • Nations around the world are barring Americans from entering because of our terrible coronavirus response.
  • People I talk to from Australia and Britain don’t want to visit the US because our crazy gun culture makes them feel unsafe.
  • Health care is no cheaper and no easier to come by, and worries about availability of medical insurance and care are growing.
  • We’ve lost our moral standing on human rights by our refusal to meaningfully confront internal racial injustice.
  • We’ve lost our global leadership by refusing to cooperate in addressing a climate crisis that we effectively started.
  • Our reliable postal system — a little-recognized but super-important hallmark of a ‘developed’ country — is on the rocks like never before.
  • We’re mired in a public health crisis that has tanked our economy while nations we used to look down on are doing much better with COVID.

So how has President Donald Trump ‘Made America Great Again’? He hasn’t.

!! Read to the end for Action Items !!

When I was in my 20s I was ashamed of my country because I saw it, out of pride, unilaterally start unnecessary wars and live out the worst excesses of consumerism.

In my 30s I spent time in several African countries, and ran into people who were happy to put their lives on the line for any chance to come to America. I started to have some pride in my country again, as I realized that we were getting a lot of things right and that we did some good in the world.

Now, in my mid-40s, I see a different and I think more dangerous kind of pride — the pride that thinks we don’t need the rest of the world, and we can just focus on ourselves and do things our way. It’s the kind of pride that wants things to be like they used to be, that doesn’t want to acknowledge the growing interconnectedness of our global world and the demographic shifts that are making our country more diverse, in every sense of the word. The kind of pride that stokes our divisions until they are so large it could literally end us.

For quite a few decades, the United States has enjoyed the benefits of being the top power in the world. Those days are over now, I think. The decline has been a long time coming, but Trump has sealed the deal. He’s made America worse, in so many ways.

I hope that he will be voted out in November — not so that we can keep our status as a superpower. No, I have a more basic worry. I want him voted out so that we keep our country at all.

!! Here are the promised Action Items !!

So here’s the challenge: Don’t vote for Trump.

If you’ve already got that taken care of, then reach out to anyone you know in a Republican or swing state and convince them not to vote for Trump. Plus lean on them to tell everyone they know not to vote for Trump.

Connected in any way to the ‘evangelical’ church? Speak out yourself against Trump, and get leaders to speak up, too, and help the slow Christian anti-Trump movement to grow and spread.

Oh, and do this in the next week. (Because early voting is available for both candidates, you know.)

That’s it. Go do it. God help us.

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