Americans, take responsibility for your politics
At a crossroads between good and evil, our country needs every citizen to consider how they contribute
The death of John McCain was not unforeseen. He orchestrated and organized his final days so that even the nation’s mourning of his life would be service to his country. It’s because he understood that now, more than ever, the America he fought to protect needs examples of compassion, cooperation, and courage.
Though there was no mention of his name, Donald Trump was put into stark contrast to the life of John McCain throughout the week of scattered memorials. If John McCain was the American hero as in the stories told in his eulogies, Trump will be an American villain by comparison. He is not the cause of all of America’s ills, but he is certainly representative of them. And who does Donald Trump represent?
Who still supports this man who is so obviously intent on corrupting the investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia? Americans used to care about political leaders committing crimes. I think they still do, they’re just not able to see it. Trump uses his political position to control the narrative so that the public doesn’t know what to focus on. More people need to be aware of this strategy.
What I see is an America that is distracted by outrage. Republicans and Democrats should not be mortal enemies but intellectual and political rivals — a civil, adversarial relationship meant to serve the people, not confuse or divide the people. We should not believe that our fellow Americans are somehow opposed to our life, liberty, or prosperity.
If Donald Trump is still your man, I would encourage you to find someone who doesn’t think so and ask them why. Trump has demonstrated his willingness to divide Americans over controversies he manufactures. I do not want to live in an America divided by identity politics and populism and information warfare.
I want to live in an America where our political leaders provide examples of strong ideals spoken boldly; where our elected representatives are fiercely loyal to the people who elected them, and willing to work as a servant to them; but most of all, I long for an America where every man, woman, boy, and girl is brave enough to help a neighbor in a time of need, regardless of race, creed, or ideals.
That’s on all of us if we want to see it become reality.
Our political discourse is our responsibility. Do you want to be like Donald Trump, bombastic and loud and unwilling to be wrong? If not, then look to John McCain, who often made decisions and stuck with them though he knew they would not serve him or give him an advantage. He was willing to admit decisions he regretted, but he soldiered on and attempted to learn from his mistakes.
If you want to be like John McCain, be courageous enough to throw a few punches in a rigorous debate. Be compassionate enough to try and understand someone else’s story. Be cooperative enough so that when someone needs help, they know they can rely on you. Be the American hero you want to honor someday.
America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
Alexis de Tocqueville