Why Don’t I Just Leave?
A reader (using the pseudonym of “Chris”) wants to know why I don’t just go back where I came from instead of staying to criticize America.
It’s a refrain often heard today as xenophobia sweeps this ailing nation.
And it deserves an answer.
The short answer, in my case, is that I think the United States, despite its failings, is worth saving. And I believe it still can be saved.
Even with Donald Trump as president and with so many Americans spewing hate.
For centuries this nation has held up the torch of freedom and democracy for the rest of the world to follow.
Admittedly, America has sometimes had misguided leadership. It has strayed from its noble mission. But overall, this land has been our land – a land in which we are free to pursue our dreams, beyond the reach of oppressive princes and potentates.
Rich or poor, we can hold our heads high, unfettered by notions of class or caste. And “we the people” are empowered to govern ourselves.
It is a concept that is always under attack by formidable forces. And it is more endangered than ever in these troubled times. But I believe the vast majority of Americans would again defend it with their lives.
No, “Chris,” I am not going to pack up and go back to Jamaica even if you and your kind come marauding down Post Lane with your guns ablaze.
I will not be intimidated by the likes of you.
And I will not be intimidated by your belligerent president. I will continue to point out his flawed behavior – without fear or favor.
And as even the most “low-information” observers can see, Trump is behaving outrageously.
In addition to a multitude of domestic transgressions, he is pursuing a destructive and dangerous foreign policy.
He is embracing the Russian oligarchy, which is an undisguised criminal enterprise. while he gratuitously insults Canada’s prime minister, mocks Britain’s chief of state and belittles traditional US allies around the world.
He must mistake civility for weakness. When our former allies respond to his attacks, he is in for a rude awakening.
But I believe this, too, shall pass. We the people will not meekly accept this aberration.
It has been said that the darkest hour is before the dawn. My hope is that a new dawn is coming for these United States. And I do not intend to go anywhere in the meantime.