To My Fellow Americans, From One of You

Hey! 

You! 

You of the red, white, and blue. Of the free and the brave. Of the purple mountain’s majesty.

Yes, you. 

I’m just like you, born of Lady Liberty, weaned on a mother’s milk of revolution and independence, all tied up with a Fourth of July bow. I can’t run away from who and what I am, even if I wanted to.

And I don’t. 

Right now I may reside outside the confines of the Nifty Fifty, but I’m still one of you. American parts. American made. I still care—deeply—about what happens in yon Motherland. I yearn to see the rollout of USA: Full Potential…and I still believe it’s there, buried under all the rhetoric and White noise.

So what I’m about to say, know I say with love: Holy shitballs, America, you have got to get your act together.

There are a LOT of you I don’t agree with. I actively rail against the policies some of you fight so tenaciously for. Heck, I may even loathe some of you, personally and with malice aforethought.

But I don’t want you to die from this virus. I don’t want your mother or father or sibling or kids to die. I don’t want another 275,000 Americans to die out of sheer apathy or surrender. 

The country—our country— is facing one of the biggest tests in its history, and…it’s failing. Epically. Spectacularly. Why it’s failing is not so important right now. We can parse that shit out later. What’s important right now is figuring out how to save the whole kit and caboodle from falling off the cliff face. Because right now? It’s balancing on the edge, by the toenails. 

And unless everyone starts working to save everyone else, not just the folks you agree with, the whole thing is going to go over the edge.

There will be no country left to duke it out over. It won’t matter if your guy won or lost. There’s not going to be much left to fight over.

You don’t have to agree with me politically or ideologically to protect yourself, your family, your neighbors, the health care system, or the economy. You can hate me, you can hate what I support, what I stand for, who I vote for, and still act to protect yourself, your family, your community. 

It’s the economy, right? Well, the economy ain’t gonna recover when 3K people a day are dying, when millions of people aren’t shopping, aren’t buying, don’t have the money to spend, can’t pay their rent or mortgage, aren’t eating out or traveling. You don’t need to be an economist to know that. Oh, there are plenty who will be ok. But there are millions who won’t be, who already aren’t. 

The health care system cannot sustain what is coming. And no one in their right mind can continue to expect the nurses and doctors to bear the brunt of such apathy. We’ve traumatized an entire generation of health care workers. 

Never have so many done so little of what was asked. 

A great country does not abandon its citizens in the midst of a global pandemic. There is nothing great about leaving people to die, alone, cut off from their loved ones, nothing but a Zoomed goodbye. 

That’s not great. That’s appalling. 

The greatness of the United States has always been the resilience of its people, not the government. It’s the people, not the abstracts. It’s not who sits in the Oval Office. It is the sheer determination of the people to overcome—and overturn—our worst impulses, our darkest hearts, to light the way through our darkest hours. 

It’s not the President. It’s not the governor or the mayor. It’s the everyday American who must bear the weight of determination to fix this. 

It’s you.

You want to make America great? Don’t get sick. Don’t infect Grandma. Wear a mask. Yes, sacrifice is necessary. I know it sucks you can’t get together on Christmas. Use it as an excuse to lounge around in sweatpants all day. I know it sucks not gathering with friends and family. It’s been a long nine months. We all long for normalcy, but we owe it to those who have no choice–because they are essential workers, because they are frontline workers–to protect them by doing everything we can.

And you guys! The dawn is coming.

But we all know how the saying goes. When is it always darkest? 

That’s right. Before the dawn. 

You need to buckle down, buckle up. You need to care. About yourselves, about others, about the nurses who are crying every night because they are elbow deep in death, about the doctors who can’t hug their own kids at night. About your neighbors, and yes, even about all those people you disagree with to the point of hating. Because the boat is sinking, and when the vessel starts taking on water, it doesn’t ask how you voted or what your ideology is. It just goes down, with everyone on board.

It doesn’t matter what party you support. It doesn’t matter whether you watch Fox or MSNBC. All that matters is this: Either care…or you don’t.

And if you don’t? Well, then there was never anything great to get back to, was there?

Be safe.

Love,
Me

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Vic Crain says:

    Patriotism has become unfashionable on both the Left and the Right. That’s one of our problems and one of the biggest dilemmas moving forward. “Country” is a term to which a lot of people choose not to relate, and the notion about caring for others when one’s own prospects are sinking is just as alien. The America in which I grew up is now a train wreck and your very eloquent appeal is likely to find a lot of deaf ears.

    Like

    1. WandC(D) says:

      I know. But I had to try. It breaks my heart to watch all of this, especially from the perch of privilege I have of *not* being in the midst of it. Be safe!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Vic Crain says:

        Totally understand. Frankly, many of my friends and former coworkers are living elsewhere now, and I’m somewhat envious.

        Like

  2. Vic Crain says:

    Reblogged this on CRAIN'S COMMENTS and commented:
    I fear this message will find much resistance.

    Like

  3. May your voice be heard, not only in the US, but around the globe.

    Thanks for this, and

    Be safe.

    Like

    1. WandC(D) says:

      Thank you–and you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Guestspeaker says:

    Reblogged this on From guestwriters and commented:
    It is getting time more Americans come to their senses that when there shall be more deaths there shall not be much left over to take care of recovering economy.
    It’s high time that Americans start realising they had one of the worst presidents America ever had and who did so much damage not only to the country, but also to the people, that the recovery or the making of America Great Again will take years if not decades in case they do not switch gear soon enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. -N- says:

    Patriotism? I wonder. One of the qualities the US offered after WW2 was forgiveness and the Marshall Act. Then came anti-communism and McCarthy, and suddenly the swift boat and if you don’t vote Republican you are not a patriot even if you lost your arms and legs in some stupid anti-commie conflict.

    People are just being selfish and ignorant and stupid. it’s all BS and it is time to rethink.

    Well said and badly needed. Sadly, those who need to listen will trash what you say – their reptilian brains don’t work like yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WandC(D) says:

      Something shifted–seismically–around 1980. And I fear we are just now reaping the rotted benefits of that shift.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Twindaddy says:

    Sadly, most of the people who need this message wouldn’t comprehend it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WandC(D) says:

      You are right. Which makes the whole thing even more frustrating than it already is. Stay safe.

      Liked by 2 people

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