Are we great yet, America?
I’ve been wondering if we’re here; if this is the supposed greatness he was talking about, the kind his supporters were forecasting, the kind their hashtags refer to. It hasn’t seemed particularly great to me lately, but hey I’ve been wrong before so I started asking around.
I asked a young Syrian couple, handcuffed at the airport next to their 5-year old son. They weren’t so sure.
I asked a Standing Rock grandmother, as a stranger flushed pepper spray from her eyes. It was difficult for her to say for certain.
I asked a Transgender middle school girl who has to wait until she gets home from school to use the bathroom. She had her doubts.
I asked an exhausted single father whose 8-year old son will soon be losing his reduced price lunch. He didn’t look convinced.
I asked a Muslim family in a Detroit suburb, while they scrubbed the spray painted profanity from their front door. They were less than certain.
I asked the public high school Science teacher who has been told that she is overpaid and that the earth is not warming. She is less than enthusiastic
I asked the wounded Veteran whose benefits aren’t likely going to be enough to sustain him as he becomes a grandfather. He was fighting to stay optimistic.
I asked the black teenager, as he watched the KKK parade past family’s Virginia row home. He had no reply.
I asked a teacher at a Jewish day school as she and her students huddled outside while waiting on the police to sweep their classroom. She was noncommittal.
I asked the gay couple, wondering if they’ll get to have the wedding their families have been dreaming of for years. They couldn’t answer.
I asked the Alabama family whose taxes and health insurance costs will climb next year, eliminating the already razor-thin breathing room they had. They didn’t think so.
I asked the Rust Belt factory worker who is now realizing that his job isn’t ever coming back and that coal isn’t either. He looked unsure.
I asked the fourth grade students in an inner city Philadelphia theatre program, whose coming semesters are in doubt. They weren’t able to answer.
I asked the undocumented woman being separated from her husband and 5 children who are all citizens. She looked skeptical.
I asked the elderly couple in a public housing neighborhood in New York City, whose ceiling is still leaking and will keep leaking. They didn’t believe so.
I asked the exhausted parents of an adult daughter with severe depression who will soon be losing the healthcare that keeps her illness at bay. They had their doubts.
I asked the victim of a campus sexual assault, who feels less able to come forward than ever. She had no answer.
Then I asked a wealthy, white, straight, Christian Republican Congressman, whose salary, family, healthcare, job security, emotional well-being, and daily life are unaffected. He’s sure it is.
Maybe he’s right and we’re all wrong. Maybe the rest of us need to get with the program. Maybe we all need to stop complaining. Maybe we all need to shut up and embrace America’s present, glorious greatness.
All we need to do now, is to all become wealthy, white, straight, Christian Republican Congressmen—and we’ll be set.
Or maybe those of us who are not—need to make our voices heard.
Get on with it, America.
Originally Published on JohnPavlovitz.com
Photo: Getty Images