Feminist, Opposed to White Supremacy, Supportive of the LGBTQ Community, Defender of All Religions, Are Definitely an American

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Courtesy of risingthermals (Flickr CC0)

America is not easy. We are the most diverse nation in the world, by design. If you want to be a true American, you must not only choose to accept, but also understand many different cultures, religions, and lifestyles. I consider this a privilege and I welcome the challenge. America is an interesting and exciting nation. But it remains far from “great,” thanks to the most corrupt and incompetent government in the free world.

As a young man, nearing the voting age of 21, in 1967, I knew two things from all my experiences as an original baby boomer. I would always be an Independent voter and a lifelong feminist.

American
Courtesy of Victoria Pickering (Flickr CC0)

I rejected political parties when I was in high school. They made no sense. The idea of voting is to select the best candidates, not a political party. I had witnessed the subjugation of women in our society every day as a child raised by a single mother. I knew that all Americans were not equal under the law long before I became an adult and eventually a registered voter.

My parent’s generation experienced the very best and the very worst of our government. Post-war America was likely the most complicated period in our nation’s history. While men were fighting a war thousands of miles from our shores, women were forced to care not only for their families but also for the production of war machines needed to defeat the forces of Germany and Italy involved in the mass destruction of European cities and the millions of people who occupied them. In December 1941, came the military forces of Japan in the Pacific front. The loss of life between 1941 and 1945 was devastating, and tears flowed constantly from America’s cities and rural communities.

With the end of hostile actions came an effort by one man to create a new fear for the security of America. In 1953, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy began what would be known today as the ultimate “conspiracy theory.” In a scurrilous effort to demean dozens of Americans, claiming that they were agents of the communist regime of the Soviet Union, he held hearings with the intent of condemning hundreds of well-known Americans as traitors to our country. This original “witch hunt” was debunked, but not before the reputation and careers of thousands of loyal Americans were destroyed.

This effort by right-wing politicians has been renewed in the 21st century. If you define yourself as a feminist, opposed to white supremacy, supportive of the LGBTQ community, and a defender of all religions, you are under attack from the fascist party occupying the right side of the aisle in our nation’s Capitol.

Efforts to move our country in a backward direction continue, and with a Supreme Court stacked with extremists so far to the right, rights confirmed over 246 years are being taken away. “Fascism has arrived in America, and it’s waving the flag and carrying a cross.”

Change is not always good. When change is negative, focused on the destruction of everything we cherish about being an American, it is depressing and creates a huge challenge. Will the American people fight to save the United States of America, or will they surrender to the dark forces of greed, hatred, fear, and the need to feel superior to others?

Diversity is our national treasure. Sadly, nearly half of our nation’s people refuse to think for themselves and accept what makes us “America.” As a large segment of our nation moves closer to the ambitions of the dictator who ruled Germany in the 1930s and into the mid-1940s, real Americans are forced to do something we’ve never done before. We must stand together and become not only involved but immersed in what is happening in Washington on a daily basis.

Do not underestimate the damage this biased Supreme Court is doing to our nation’s future. They are failing to perform their only function, protecting the Constitutional rights of all Americans. We are in the fight of our lives, and the only question is will real Americans prevail, or is the end of the United States of America closer than anyone wants to believe?

Op-ed by James Turnage, Novelist
Edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

Quora: What does it mean to be American in the 21st Century?
American Progress: Blueprint for the 21st Century

Top and Featured Image risingthermals‘ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Victoria Pickering‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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