We have all been told from birth that we are blessed to live in the greatest country any collection of humans has ever devised. That whatever it is, we are the best, the most generous, the most caring, the most unified. That there is no challenge we can not overcome.
Sadly to say, after watching what has unfolded in the U.S. in the last six months, my conviction that this is actually true is being greatly tested.
We have all had a front row seat to the pandemic that is ravaging this country.
Initially we were told that we would emerge from this crisis stronger than ever. But will we really?
At the beginning we marveled as concerned citizens did remarkable things to help one another. As heathy heath care workers from across the land risked their lives to help beleaguered and overwhelmed colleagues in New York City fight the pandemic. We heard story after story of neighbors helping neighbors, of sewing clubs making face masks, of engineering students cobbling together ventilators, etc.
After all, this is the country that totally united after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Men went to war and women went to work building planes and ships. We rationed gas, planted victory gardens and salvaged metal. We were all for one and one for all. We followed President Franklin Roosevelt who had proven his leadership capacity by tackling the Great Depression when he became president in 1933. We had faith in him.
This is nowhere close to where we are today. After the initial surge of coming together, we have steadily fractured and allowed ourselves to be divided by “leaders” whose entire universe centers around themselves We’ve injected politics into the most mundane of affairs. We’ve derided citizens because of how they vote, instead of giving them equal due because they salute the same flag.
We’ve ignored health experts and tried to undermine world renowned scientists hoping to making poll numbers better.
We sent soldiers off to Viet Nam from 1957 to 1975. By the end, 58,220 never came home. The bloodiest year was 1968. We lost 16,899 that year. By comparison, we’ve lost 140,000 to Covid-19 since the first of the year. Yet we have no national coordinated plan to deal with this pandemic.
It is a sad, sad spectacle to watch unfold. To watch “leaders” who believe more in dividing and conquering than in healing.
We have all been taught that we are better than this. Our parents and grandparents showed us the path.
And now, watching us lose our soul is hard to grasp.