I’m reaching out to my friends on both ends of the political spectrum. We live in contentious, divisive times, and many days it feels as if our country is about to split apart into a fragmented mess. I’ve written many posts on this blog about how we need to find common ground and attempt to heal, or we are going to spiral into something violent and bloody.
Well, here is yet another opportunity for us to come together, if we have the courage and fortitude to show unity.
Yesterday, our president called certain American citizens “sons of bitches” for protesting during the national anthem before football games. Regardless of whether or not you agree with their form of protest, which is both peaceful and civil, and whether or not you believe in their message, which is a plea for improved social justice for African-Americans, you should be horrified by the president’s remarks.
We are Americans. We live under the rule of law established by our Constitution, and one of our most fundamental rights is the right to express our beliefs, especially beliefs which run contrary to government policies. This right is imperative for a free society. If we do not have the right to speak our minds, to criticize our leaders for their failures, and to question injustices, we are no longer free people.
Regardless of whether or not you voted for Donald Trump, you need to recognize that his remarks are a form of authoritarian fascism, which discourages citizens from standing up for their rights and encourages employers to punish employees for questioning authority.
In a free society, it is simply unacceptable for the president to use the office as a means for squelching public discourse. His words were deplorable, and his message, though cloaked in pseudo-patriotism, is as un-American and unconstitutional as anything I’ve heard in my life.
Now is the opportunity for us to come together as free citizens and tell the fascists and bigots who feel empowered by their leader in the White House, that we will not allow hate to divide us, and we will not allow fear or threats to take away our rights to express our beliefs in peaceful and civil manners. We are Americans, whether we are black or white or brown, whether we are liberal, conservative, or moderate. We are the shining beacon of liberty. We are the greatest country on earth, not because we are perfect, but because we have the freedoms and the rights to stand up for our beliefs and express our views without fear. Now is the time for unity.