“My Country, Tis of Thee”
Fair warning the following entry is rather lengthy and is dedicated to politics in America. This is my first overtly political piece, which if you know me is nothing short of a miracle. I am very involved in wanting to better my country, city, region, and people. I also have many opinions when it comes to political ideologies, etc. Now with that said if you continue to read at some point you will probably whole heartedly disagree or be offended with some of my thoughts and opinions. And you know what? That is ok. Differing opinions are a great thing and are what makes our country work. No one person has all the answers therefore one political party definitely does not have all the answers. But I beg of you to please read this entry if you have any thoughts or opinions of political matters or issues facing our United States. Without further ado, “My Country, Tis of Thee.”
“My country, tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty; of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside let freedom ring!”
My fellow Americans, let’s have a talk. Actually let me rephrase we need to have a talk. Read that opening verse of “My Country, Tis of Thee” also commonly referred to as just “America.” Really read them. Are we proud right now? Are we letting freedom ring? I hope we’ll answer those questions and more tonight. Democrats, I get it you’re mad. You’re mad that the American electorate elected a man you cannot stand and think will destroy our country; I get it, I truly do. We will talk more about that later. Republicans, you are also mad. You are mad because protests occurred only 1 day after President Trump took office. You’re mad that people aren’t giving him a chance, ‘saying things like he’s not my president’, and debating how big of a crowd really showed up at his inauguration. Again, I understand your frustrations, I honestly do, and we will get there.
First though I want to talk to everyone; Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Jew, Gentile, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, anyone who calls this country home. Let’s all take a step back, breathe deep, and remain calm. We are letting our emotions override our brains and manners. We need to start using facts, rather than raw emotion. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for opinions or any emotion, but we need to learn how to measure those. We have to articulate those points without mockery, ridicule, and blame. That form of dialogue will not help us, our cause, or anything else. Notice I used the words we and our. I am as guilty as anyone else. What I haven’t done personally though is spread complete falsehoods or ‘alternative facts.’ I may share opinion but I will not blatantly spread fabrications and lies, just because they support my opinion. That is where I and many who may read this differ. It isn’t just one party or group of people, all groups are guilty. I am not going to point fingers and blame at any private citizen individuals or claim one group is worse than the other. I will however point out examples and those in the media or in positions of powers. Some of this will only be my opinion, and most people’s favorite comeback is, “opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one.” It is their favorite when their opinion and yours don’t agree. As I said at the beginning I like differing opinions, and hearing the other side out. I cannot and should not tolerate complete lies though. If you intentionally spread complete falsehoods it is no longer a matter of opinion, it is you being part of the problem. Let’s move forward now. Full disclosure I am mainly going to focus on the main 2 American political parties.
Democrats let’s start with you. I am a registered Democrat, and I hate to say it, but the party often makes me ashamed to be aligned with it. You all are wondering why you just got beat on the national stage. There are many reasons. One is your elitist attitude. I am sometimes guilty of this too, but I am truly appalled at the way you often treat conservatives and Republicans. Do not chastise someone who simply disagrees with your opinion. Do not look down on a people who simply want to work an honest day’s work for a decent wage to raise a family. I know many of you will say you don’t, and maybe you don’t but I have seen too many that have. There is nothing wrong with having a simple life. I agree education and being informed are great and silver bullets to many issues. That does not always require going to a university though. I have also too many times seen those Liberals/ Democrats who claim to be so tolerant completely ridicule someone else for having a different view or belief. Come on folks as long as they politely disagree, agree to disagree. Better yet, try to work to find some compromise. We cannot discount an entire people, and that’s what Democrats are doing. I would say the vast majority of Republicans are not racist, xenophobic, etc, but yet you have to throw it in their face that you think they are. And I get it, their candidate said many awful things, but everyone makes a decision for a variety of reasons. Take them on their issues, and work to find middle ground. That isn’t to say everyone is open to hearing opposing arguments, because we all know that isn’t the case, don’t waste your time on those folks.
It doesn’t stop there, while I agree the government should be there to help the people, we cannot have a people to be completely dependent on that same government. I agree that Healthcare should be attainable for all people, not just those who can afford it. I will hit with that later. I also am a huge supporter of the Affordable Care Act. To act like it is perfect or doesn’t need some changes is foolish. I actually work intimately with ACA, and though I claim to be no major expert on it, I have seen firsthand just how great it can help, but also where there are some unforgiveable gaps. Former President Obama even said if the Republicans came up with a truly better option he would support a full repeal and implementation of the new law. Now with that said I also agree with President Obama, that I find that to be highly unlikely.
The reason I am a Democrat is because I believe in freedom to live our lives how we see fit without the government telling me what to in my personal life, and also there are times where the government should step into save and help its citizens. I am not a Democrat to force my views on others if they disagree, or to totally disrespect the Office of the President. I did not agree with many policies George W. Bush put forth, but I respected the Office, and I respected him as a man. I truly feel anything he did he truly believed it was for the betterment of the American people. Needless to say I was also a big supporter of Barack Hussein Obama. That does not mean I agreed with every word or policy he had either. I was disgusted at the birther movement, and the complete disregard many in the “media” had to completely lie about his past. You cannot convince me he is not an American or that he is Muslim. Not that it would matter if he were Muslim, we do not have to take a religious litmus test to hold office, even the highest office in our country. The first amendment covers that with ‘Freedom of Religion’ which I also take to mean freedom from religion.
I say all this Democrats to get to my point. Donald Trump is YOUR 45th President. Whether you like it or not, he is in fact your president. Now I am not telling you to support his policies, but you have to respect the office or you are not better than the Republicans we railed against these past 8 years. When POTUS Trump tries to enact something you disagree with use your ‘Freedom of Speech’ to disagree. Disagree with humility, and the understanding that freedom of speech is a right, but also one that carries great responsibility. I know many of you do not like the man Donald Trump, and I can understand. You don’t agree with many of his policies, again I understand, but you need to give him a chance to actually govern, so you can have real issues to debate. I want to talk about 1 quickly. Saying ‘America First’ is not xenophobic in and of itself. He has said other things that can be debated. However, our government’s first priority has, is, and should always be to improve life here in the United States and the safety of its citizens. That’s not saying we will not help other countries or not accept immigrants. It simply means we need more focus on our country at home; I don’t how you can try and argue that.
With that, when you do discuss policies you do not agree with do not spread complete lies to help your point, it will only hurt it. Debate the issues, explain your side, and use facts to get your point across. I know what you’re thinking, why should we? Because we cannot succumb to tactics used by others of the past. We must raise the bar of the debate and conversation and take the high road. Eventually the hard work will show. In closing for now, let’s work to reach out to moderates and conservatives to find common ground. Most of your fellow democrats are nowhere near as liberal as the 10% of the party try to push the party platform. Let’s work to take our party back, and work with the right to find common sense compromises and solutions.
Now Republicans, you are probably smiling and maybe even agreeing with me, wanting me to come over to the Elephants. I have thought about that more than you realize, but now is when you are probably going to be offended. Where to start? Let’s go with calling any Democrat a “Libtard” or every millennial a “snowflake.” I have never met a single person who needed a “safe space.” I think the media wants to help perpetuate the myth there is a large number of those people to help keep a division not just between political parties, but generations as well. Reach out and talk to the individuals, and you may find out millennials and democrats are nowhere near who you thought they were. Most people if you were to talk to me especially about my personal beliefs would think I’m a Republican and I’m not. Many Democrats share your values and beliefs trust me.
Here is where we start to differ, although I share your typically “Christian” beliefs personally, we cannot force or legislate our religion on anyone else. Before you try to come back with we were founded as a “Christian Nation” and should justly legislate that way. Let me ask you a few questions. Why did most people come here to the “New World?” The answer is to escape religious persecution whether it was the Catholic Church or the Church of England, or whatever it was to worship without fear of reprisal from the government. In those documents you claim to know so well and live by, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, our Founding Fathers could have declared a National Religion. You know what they didn’t do? Ever ask yourself why? I have some theories, some claim many were Deists. If you are unfamiliar with Deism it means they believed in God, but thought He was hands off for pretty much everything. Meaning they should let the law of the land dictate how we should govern. In addition let’s say most had some forbearing of our modern denominations. Which would be the official religion? I’ve seen Christians who ultimately agree for most of their religion but would nearly come to blows over small differences in interpretations. Furthermore, I see so many of you rightfully support the Nation of Israel and ‘God’s Chosen People’ the people of the Jewish faith. Would you support them practicing their religion and faith in your “Christian” nation? It’s a valid question, because although there are similarities and even agreements between the 2 faiths, they are clearly not one in the same. Next faith based question, how do you think theocracies have worked throughout history? Theocracy is a nation that is ruled by a national religion, for those of you unfamiliar. It helped bring an end to the British Empire, the Roman Empire, and how do you feel about living in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Afghanistan before the American invasion?
Moving on, let’s talk about your often utter disregard for the truth. If during President Obama’s 8 years you bought into stories from infowars or Breibart news you honestly need to reevaluate where you get your information. I will even let you all keep Fox News, but please understand there is plenty of videos where even Fox offered completely false information to make you believe President Obama wasn’t an American citizen or a Muslim of which he is neither. Very few people will go to a Christian church for over 20 years to disguise they are Muslim, think about that. If he was so dedicated to the Islamic faith do you think he could stand to go to a Christian church that long? Could you as a Christian sit through 1 Islamic service at a Mosque? If your answer is no, then why do you think he did, and for that long?
If you shared ‘stories’ that talked about ‘false flags’ again use some common logic. It baffles me that you will almost come to blows to anyone who says 9/11 was a conspiracy, but the murder of over 20 innocent children by a psychopath in Newton, Connecticut was some mass government conspiracy to take your guns. What kind of logic is that? Here’s the thing, I’m with you, I’ve nearly come to blows with family members who try to say crazy theories about 9/11. At the same time I have nearly lost my mind at people who said over 20 children weren’t murdered in that town. Go tell their parents. No “crisis actors” were ever hired, those children were murdered, and to try to argue otherwise is completely evil and sick. Let’s keep talking, I saw people sharing ‘stories’ after the Boston Marathon bombing claiming some of the victims were the same as the Newton parents or Aurora, Colorado movie shooting. Are you even remotely sane to buy into that? People use your brains just a little. It could be disproven in about 1.2 seconds. Again why do you only believe conspiracies if they benefit or share your opinion? It is truly frightening the amount of intelligent people who believed these things. One more, what about that mass government plan to invade the south and set up FEMA camps, Jade Helm 15, remember? Yeah, it was a large training exercise for the military you claim to fully support.
If anyone truly listened to President Obama and his stance on guns; he did not want to take any guns people already had unless they were obtained illegally. However, he did want to restrict future purchases on certain type of guns. If you disagree with that, that is fine and your right, but he never had any intention on gun confiscation. You may also want to re-read the text of the 2nd amendment again. You are probably about to say, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Here is the full text of the 2nd Amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Please explain to me the first phrase, “A well regulated militia.” When was the last time you went to muster in town square to demonstrate your knowledge and proficiency in the use of weapons? To me, again a supporter of your and my rights to bear arms, I believe there is a case that some restrictions can be placed on firearms. You may disagree and that is ok, but don’t always just quote that second half of the amendment look it as a whole. You may change your mind, or you may not, it’s just something to truly think about.
We are really just scratching the service, but we probably need to wrap up soon, so let’s move on. Let’s talk about the birther and Muslim movement again briefly. I will concede part of that was started by Hilary Clinton, however the Republicans and Fox News did not stop for 8 years, even many people still believe that to this day. Although many personalities will tell you now, they never believed that. See Glenn Beck, who was one of his biggest critics, said the right slant media went too far and should be ashamed for spreading lies. You can disagree with Obama’s policies that is fine, but you cannot deny that he was President. If you ever claimed he wasn’t American or was a Muslim and therefore wasn’t a legitimate president and ergo was “not your president” what right do you have to tell anti-Trumpers that Trump is their president and to get over it? Again think about that carefully. I am actually on your side remember, Trump is my president, even though I don’t agree with the man. You have to really think about this folks, you have brought a lot of this backlash on your own party and candidate who is now President. I have also seen so many say they were glad to hear God mentioned in Donald Trump’s speech. Great, did you ever listen to any of Obama’s? I’m guessing probably not, President Obama referenced God and scripture often. Let’s be fair and honest folks.
Let’s talk about POTUS Trump for a few moments. Folks the picture of the inauguration was proven to be taken at similar times and the crowd did appear to be smaller. You know what? I would expect it to be, Obama being sworn in was a major symbolic moment in our history, the first Black President. Here is my problem; I couldn’t care less who’s had a bigger crowd. The media again making a story out of nothing, but guess who cared President Trump. So much so he sent his Press Secretary out to address the media and flat out lie. In addition the next day while giving a speech in front of 157 stars that represent CIA operatives, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, he rambled about it for no reason for nearly 2 minutes. Then Sunday he sent Kelly Conway a top aide on “Meet the Press” to talk about “alternative facts.” Stop just for a moment, and pretend Obama was still president and sent one of his aides to the media and started talking about “alternative facts” you would lose your mind and don’t tell me otherwise. It didn’t stop though, no sadly it didn’t. Monday while addressing a congressional delegation he made claims that literally no one can verify or even supports that due to “millions of illegal” votes and “vast voter fraud” that is the reason he lost the popular vote. Now Trump is going to waste taxpayer money for a complete investigation into voter fraud that occurred during the presidential election. Now wait, no one knows where he is getting this information, and so far no other politician or credible media source is reporting it. If he has something that can substantiate that claim, I get it. I don’t think he does though. I believe it is a complete vanity exercise to try and win the popular vote, and for no reason. POTUS Trump you won the Electoral College, and 32 states I believe, you are this country’s President. Who cares if you lost the popular vote, you are now President. Let’s do what president’s are supposed to do and start governing. You cannot worry about everyone liking you, nearly half the country isn’t going to like you anyway because you aren’t from their political party. Do your job, govern, and try to win them over with your policies, that you claim will help the American people.
Let me stop here to say, I hope President Trump is our most successful president of all time, and our country does nothing but flourish under his administration. Anyone who would wish otherwise is foolish, because they are only asking ill will on themselves and all they hold dear. Blindly supporting the president is not very American though, we are to voice our disagreements and concerns. Republican voiced their concerns the past 8 years if I’m not mistaken, so don’t expect Democrats to just “shut up” and deal with it. That is their right. Now with that said, I think protesting on Trump’s first full day in office is a little crazy and I in no way support the rioting; you have to realize though the rioters were a small fraction of people there, who were probably just looking for an excuse to act stupidly. Most of the protesters were peaceful, and although vulgar, often were not doing anything that was overly frowned upon.
I also want to talk about the ACA with you all for a moment or ‘Obamacare’ as you all often call it, and so did President Obama so it is what it is. The ACA did some amazingly wonderful acts. Allowed people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage, often for the first time; allowed Medicare to lower drug cost for Medicare beneficiaries by eliminating the Part D’s, or outpatient prescription drug benefit, coverage gap also known as the donut hole. Don’t know what that was/is I suggest reading up on it; it will probably blow your mind how they could do that originally. Now that isn’t saying the law is perfect, because it isn’t, but my point is there are great things it needs to keep in place. Maybe the Republican congress can get a better plan out there, I hope they do. We cannot repeal it without a replacement. For those of you saying insurance isn’t something Americans are entitled to, I agree and disagree. I do not believe insurance itself should be a promise but the ability to have healthcare and affordably I truly believe is. It even says so in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.” That was Thomas Jefferson’s original draft. This is what actually made it to the Declaration, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Read Jefferson’s original words, “the preservation of life.” How else can one preserve life if not through healthcare? Should someone have to live the rest of their life in poverty because they had cancer? Absolutely not, and I’m not saying it should be free. But folks it should be affordable. I think a public-option should be considered. We aren’t going to make you take the government’s insurance, but we will give you the option if you want it. We have the right to live; we have the right to liberty, and to pursue happiness.
In closing this is my message to Republicans. Win me over. I too value our Service men and women. My biggest regret is never serving in the armed forces, so I believe in strong military and supporting veterans. I believe in respecting the law and officers of the peace, but I am also aware they are people and make mistakes. I believe in fiscal responsibility and a need to balance the budget and reduce the national debt. I agree personally on almost all aspects of your social beliefs too. However, I do not think it is my place to force my ideas on anyone and it is definitely not the governments place to legislate it. Marriage is a religious institution, what the government recognizes is essentially a contract known a civil union in recognition of marriage. I don’t think you can deny 2 consenting adults that recognition. I do not think abortion is right, but I also don’t think you can flat outlaw it either. People know you can kill a fetus, and I would rather them go to a medical professional than some ‘doctor’ with a dirty knife or wire hangar endangering the mother’s life. Don’t buy into the late term abortion argument. 98 or 99% of abortions are performed before the 20th week. Again I am not advocating for abortion quite the opposite I’m just telling you why I have my beliefs. We should pray for those who make that decision, it is not our place to judge, that is between the individual and whoever their God is. Isn’t that really what the Republican party and Conservative movement is founded on, less government intrusion? Yet it seems many Republicans do not want the government out of things governments do, i.e. taxes, regulations on any business or industry, but does the want the government to dictate how people live their personal lives. That doesn’t add up folks.
In closing thank you for reading this extended piece. Sorry, if it seemed I was long winded at times, but this piece was more of a keeping my sanity by getting this off my chest exercise. I hope it at least makes you pause to reflect on our current state of affairs. I am not accusing the individual of anything I myself haven’t done, so please do not take this as a personal indictment. However, we as a nation and individuals need to understand what is happening, and find ways to work together. I’m from Kentucky and our state’s motto is “United we stand, divided we fall.” We will never all agree on everything, but we are in this world and in the country together. We have to work to find middle ground. Political polarization is killing our country and our love for one another. Let’s come together to work on common sense solutions and compromises. We have to have open dialogue and the ability to work together. If we don’t I am afraid that every 4 or 8 years we are going to just be undoing what the previous administration did, and never moving forward as a country. I encourage us all to discuss this, and feel free to leave your thoughts. Please be civil, and let’s talk to one another. May your God bless you, and May God forever bless the United States of America.
Sweet land of liberty; of thee I sing!
M. Coty Myers