A while back, I was having a conversation with a close friend about being American. ‘It’s it funny,” I asked her “how we call ourselves American? Isn’t that a perfect example of our collective narcissism; calling ourselves after the continent as if we are the only humans who count on this entire chunk of land?”
“What should we call ourselves if not ‘Americans?'” she replied.
“Well ‘United Staters’ would be too much of a mouthful so maybe we should just shorten it and call ourselves ‘USers,'” I tossed out carelessly without much thought. Suddenly I realized what I had said. “Users! Oh my God! That’s perfect! Because what else do you call the citizens of a country that consumes, exploits and pollutes the resources of other countries?”
I’ve thought about that conversation many times since that that day. I know there would be many who would call me a traitor or would try to argue the accuracy of my thoughts about this country by bringing up all the “good things” the U.S. supposedly brings to the rest of the world. In fact, I’m not sure that I shouldn’t sometimes worry about my safety with the way I so carelessly voice my distaste for the country of my birth. But…am I wrong?
For most of my life, I believed the propaganda and thought the U.S. was the greatest country on the earth; loved and respected by all. Once I started to realize I had been brainwashed throughout my education into believing this lie, I hoped (and almost believed) the collective would push for becoming better; especially as the younger generations became so interconnected with their world peers through online interactions. Now, with a true sociopath as president and so many U.S. citizens still supporting him, I find it hard to believe this country will become the country it describes itself as being in our passports. I cringe when I see the flag and realize what it has become to stand for…what it always has stood for to the rest of the world that wasn’t indoctrinated since they young age of 5 years old to believe the lies our teachers told us.
Last night I watched President Obama deliver his powerful eulogy for John Lewis and, not for the first time, I wished he could still be our nation’s leader. The evil orange baby that is the White House today is such an embarrassment but, even worse, he’s such a huge threat to so many other people in the world. He truly exhibits all the signs of a sociopathic personality but yet there remains millions of my fellow countrymen who remain loyal to him and intent on electing him for a second term. If it weren’t for the unbelievable support and loyalty that asshat garners from my fellow citizens, I’d still be proudly flying my flag and believing it stood for freedom; even when we didn’t get it right. Back when I believed we were at least trying to get it right, it was a lot easier to be “patriotic” without the brainwashing. But today, in the era of Trump and the Trumpettes, it is impossible to not see the greed, arrogance and rampant ignorance.
Perhaps it’s necessary for the U.S. to no longer be able to hide behind the pomp and circumstance of the presidency and to finally be exposed for the egregious world citizens that we are through the greedy and obtuse president that we elected. Perhaps a country founded on invasion and genocide and built on the back of slaves kidnapped from other continents should implode so spectacularly. Perhaps it’s just karma knocking on our collective doors and visiting upon this generation the sins of the past and the continued greed and privileged callousness of our present generation. Perhaps, in order for the rest of the world to live free of our greed, violence and destructiveness, the U.S. will be forced to become aware that the rest of the world isn’t just a place to exploit labor, steal natural resources and plant military bases.
Perhaps our time has come.