My history is filled with patriotism. As I matured, I became aware that not all of it was realistic. My government was often in opposition to the will of the people. I slowly learned that those we elected failed to perform their duties to serve the people of the United States of America. I am not claiming to be wiser or more intelligent than the men and women with whom I shared the changes in my country; I was simply more interested in the events I believed were more important than who would be the next great superstar in music or film.
My first remembrance of my interest in politics began in 1956. Dwight D. Eisenhower was running for reelection as the President of the United States of America. I was ten-years-old.
I didn’t know much about politics, but my class had begun to study history, and the defeat of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler in WWII by the allied forces of the free world. To this day I refuse to believe that my patriotism and love for my country was misled. My biological father, and several of my uncles served and even lost their lives protecting our country and the world from fascist rule.
At the beginning of each school day my fellow students and I recited the Pledge of Allegiance with pride and a lump in our throats.
With age comes wisdom and the acceptance of the truth. When our nation became involved in Southeast Asia, and eventually the war in South Vietnam, I questioned my government and its purpose halfway around the world. I graduated high school in June of 1964. In September of that year I believed a recruiter representing the United States Air Force that I could serve my country and at the same time learn skills which would offer me a career after my service. He lied more than once, and cost me valuable lesson in the future.
I informed him that I suffered from severe migraine headaches which began with becoming comatose at the age of five. He assured me that that would not be a problem.
To make a long story short, it was a major problem. My assignment after basic training resulted in an escalation of what was later termed as a ‘disability.’
However, I was discharged after serving five months and twenty nine days, which prevented me from many benefits offered to other men and women who decided to serve their country.
Okay, I am aware that this is a long, personal story. It was intended to reveal my state of mind in 1964. My principles were genuine. I loved and love my country today. I have little or no respect for my government, but my dedication to the people of America was never altered.
My greatest pride is that the America I cherish is composed of the most diverse men and women in all of the free world. Although we cannot claim to be a great nation based upon the racism and bigotry which continues to exist, we can claim to be a nation of individuals who share a love of our country while disagreeing on the many issues which separate us. We can also pride ourselves on the fact that when we are challenged by a common enemy we unite in support of the nation we love.
Today our nation faces a common enemy once again. Donald Trump fails to represent the great majority of the American people. His few efforts have demonstrated the fact that he supports the wealthiest of Americans which includes himself and his family. More importantly he rejects the Constitution; with his primary target being the first amendment.
What Trump ignores is the fact that the American people will not allow him to destroy the nation of our founding fathers. Today his approval rating is under 36 percent, which is the lowest in history for a new president.
I will not claim that all of the presidents I remember in my 70+ years of loving my country were perfect.
Eisenhower was the president until I was a freshman in high school in 1960 when John F. Kennedy was elected. As Young Americans we were elated. His youth and intelligence were celebrated by youthful men and women across America. And when he was assassinated during my junior year I and my classmates were devastated.
We questioned LBJ, and were more distrustful of Richard Nixon. One by one the leaders of our nation offered more questions than answers.
In 2008 a man with a strange name in American history, and a heritage from slavery inspired my generation to offer their support in greater numbers experienced in American history. Barrack Obama became our 44th president.
Mr. Obama faced greater challenges than any or our previous presidents. He was forced to face an economy which was in a near depression. Our nation remained engaged in two unwinnable wars. And he face a Republican Party led by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner who promised to do nothing simply because he was a black man. They kept that promise.
Today the American people are challenged by a man who hates America and seeks the repeal of the 1st, 4th, and 14th amendments to our Constitution. He has committed multiple criminal actions and refused the will of the American people. Donald J. Trump is not an ‘American’ president.
Whether or not the investigations into his relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin produce facts which will remove him from the White House, the truth is that he is a failure; a loser. He does not represent the majority of the American people, and that includes his supporters.
Today that same “Pledge of Allegiance” which I loved to recite each day has no meaning. The greatest document ever written by man, the Constitution, has no relevance in Washington.
This must change. The Republican Party has proven that it supports Trump’s fascist ideals and must be rejected by all true patriots.
Take your country back and remove all Republicans from office in 2018.
Please re-post; thank you.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey
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