My husband and I broke down today to order Disney+. We did it just to finally be able to watch Hamilton. The musical was as good as the hype, which is a rare occurrence anymore.
As I was watching it, all I could think about was how did we get to this point in our country? After all the sacrifices of our founding fathers, the men, the women, the children, the slaves, and the indentured servants, each in their own way, to get our country going, how did we get to this point of allowing around 100 people bring our country to its end?
Yes, it is around 100 people holding our country hostage right now against getting COVID-19 in check, against helping our fellow citizens out financially when it is most needed, and against putting the President in his place as a co-equal branch of government by holding him fully responsible and accountable for the mess we are in as a nation. Senators, the vice-president, governors, cabinet members, Supreme Court Justices, and a few billionaires are the ones allowing the man in the Oval Office to continue his tirade and march towards total authoritarian rule.
Our country has survived upheaval and uncertainty of the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, the writing of the Constitution, the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, Slavery, Pearl Harbor, World War I, World War II, the Cuban-Missile Crisis, 9/11, several bouts of influenza, and several economic crashes, but we don’t appear, so far, to be able to withstand the onslaught of one Donald J. Trump.
Partly that is because he is just a hot mess making hot messes all over the place. Partly it is because the elected officials who are supposed to keep him in check aren’t doing their jobs. Partly it is the free press who have gotten into bed with politicians rather than being independent as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. Partly because most evangelicals prefer to make a deal with the devil than practice the actual teachings of Christ, whom they profess to worship and love. But mostly, mostly it is us.
We, as a collective, have become apathetic, numb, and callous to what is happening around us.
We have allowed our systems and institutions to become cases of the fox being in the henhouse and expecting the foxes to regulate themselves. We have allowed ourselves to become so self-absorbed in what is happening on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, the Kardashians, the Real Housewives, or Survivor we aren’t paying attention to what really affects our lives. We have become a nation who cares more about ourselves and what we can get, rather thinking about how to make the lives of everyone better and richer. We have allowed a few people to have more collective wealth and power than the rest of us combined.
We, as a collective, have allowed this to happen.
We, as a collective, can do better. We, as a collective, have to do better. Because if we don’t, what has happened in D.C. with the military being used against civilians to break up a constitutionally protected peaceful protest, in Portland with unmarked special forces abducting citizens, in the continual draining of our treasury by the extreme wealthy and the President and his family, and the offering of rewards for criminal behavior as long as it benefits the President.
We MUST exercise our right to vote. We MUST call, write, Tweet, or meet with our elected Senators, Representatives, and Governto tell them enough is enough and they must put the President in check. We MUST write letters to the editor, blog or Tweet expressing this tyranny must stop and must stop now. We MUST begin to care about our fellow citizens near and far, young and old, gay and straight, black and white, and everyone in-between.
These are no longer we shoulds. We are at the point of we MUST, because if we stick to we should, we will no longer have a land of the free. We will no longer have the unalienable right to pursue happiness. We will no longer have the unalienable right to liberty. And, we may even no longer have the unalienable right to life.
As one of my favorite songs in Hamilton keeps stating, we must…
…rise up, Rise Up, RISE UP!