Turning Over and Letting Go

dsc_0115It is the first time I have ever said this:  I am ashamed of being an American.

But I believe in the democratic voting process.  A majority of Americans voted for Donald Trump to be President.   Can I accept it, that a sexist, racist, nationalist, narcissist is President of my country?  Yes, because it means the majority of Americans think this is appropriate.  This is reality:  a reality TV star is President.    Of course we know reality TV is not reality.  Someone is standing behind the cameras in the control booth calling the shots, making sure the viewer gets heightened entertainment while being robbed of the thrill of living.  Someone unseen is managing the outcome.  That is reality, and I accept it.

I do not like this turn of events, but I hand over my country to the new generation.  I belong to another generation and it is time for me to step aside.  I use a computer, but I prefer movies to video games.  I am part of a defunct era. 

I belong to the age where we loved America from sea to shining sea, and we were interested in preserving our pure waters, our clean air, our mountain majesties, and the fruited plain for our grandchildren.  I am part of a generation where women clawed their way into the workplace thinking they could get a fair shake and equal pay, while they gained control of their own bodies.  I am part of the generation where the Statue of Liberty was revered as an American symbol welcoming foreigners, immigrants, and refugees to a safe place where they and their families could find work, could find a place to call home.   

My generation staggered with flag burnings, and the refusal of Christian prayer in public schools, but we held fast to the tenants of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and found our way, preserving the fundamental principle of the United States, that we are a free nation where one can argue against wrongs and demonstrate peacefully, even vigorously, without punishment, where one can practice any faith or no faith at all without ridicule, judgement, punishment, and without being forced to participate in a national religion. 

We even believed in privacy, and we thought a good education and intellectual vigor improved us and the world.  My generation was proud of the population diversity of the 50 United States, and we were chagrined about its roots of genocide and slavery, anxious to make reparations.  And mine was a generation delighted in advancement, discovery, invention, and possibility.  It was a generation that welcomed the first non-white President of the United States.

Mine is a generation that has passed.  The next generation will have its own passions and problems, its own achievements and struggles.  I wish you the best.

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