Last night, I was thinking about a couple of songs that run through my head. One is "Maria" from West Side Story. I had read that the central syllable was a "dishordant" note. So I brought it up to hear.
Apparently, I don't know music. It sounded fine to me. But the lovely sweet song 'Maria' was followed by 'America', a joyful contratemps song where the boys expressed having to fight there way into NYC society and the girls expressed how much better life was for them even in the slums.
And I thought of the current times, where things are so much better for their children, but not yet equal for all.
And then I thought of the current election.
Where some people do not want "others" to join in our grand US adventure. Where some are afraid of change and "others".
I was an "other" once, or at least my ancestors were. Everyone here is "other" except Native Americans. My English and French forced their way here and decided THEY were the new native people. When Germans came here later, my ancestors decided "they" were too strange and didn't belong.
A few generations later, when the Germans were part of the culture, the Irish came, and they were treated like dirt. But they became part of the culture. Do even the most fanatical "nativists" now think Germans and Irish people living here aren't part of "us"?
Then the Italians and Eastern Europeans came. They moved into the slums and worked their way out of them. After couple of generations, they lost their language (but added some to ours) . Can you tell who of us it from those places anymore?
And other people came here. Chinese who built the railroads, Russians fleeing the Czarist monarchies and the Soviets, Jews, fleeing from everywhere, and people from all over.
Can you tell who's ancestor was Russian or Polish now? I can't and it doesn't matter. My BI is half Korean and one of the finest people I ever met. I can't guess at the ancestry of my youngest sister's life partner,.
I might be surprised at my own. I bet I come from all over Europe and given my maternal Canadian French ancestry, there might well be some Native American there too. It doesn't matter! I'm proud of everyone in my past and present.
So there is this loudmouthed, boastful, lying, deceitful, cheating, groping, hate-filled nativist asshole demanding MY vote, as an American, to keep other hard-working people out of this country.
This country, where people dream of a better life not for themselves but for their children, this land where the best and the hardest-working people come to work and prosper, this land where we have a statue holding a shining beacon to the world saying all you who are willing to try your best, "come here, come here, our golden light shine bright", join us, become one of us, make our land a better place...
And this demogogue, this would be dictator, who feeds on fear says NO! Stay away, leave us alone, we don't want new people and new ideas, DARES to want to become our President.
There are always frightened people fearing for their routine life, afraid of "others". They forget that their grandparents or great-grandparents were "others" once. They forget what makes us strong.
We grow and thrive in diversity. New thoughts match to old habits, and better things come from that. New ideas lead to new ways, new thoughts, new discoveries; a continuing change, a look toward the future.
The German Chancellor Bismark once said that America is fortunate to have friendly neighbors North and South, and oceans East and West. But he only saw a part of it. The people matter more.
In 1860, before our massive Civil War, people said "the United States "are"; after it, they said "the United States "is". That was a profound difference. The war was fought between some States against the Government. When it was over, there was a Nation.
And it was a "Nation" for the first time. Nebraska farmoys and Massachussets fisherman boys met for the first time. Alabama cotton growers and Virginia tobacco boys met for the first time. None had ever had a sense on the whole place as a "nation" before. By the end of the Civil War, they did.
And now we have the party of Abraham Lincoln and General Grant living in the South in fear.
Shame, I say SHAME on you Republicans for claiming Lincoln as your birthright and denying his ideals!
Nations come and Nations go. All that is required is the failure to to keep striving toward democracy. Let the first little dictator in, and others will follow One just a little worse than the last. Like a frog in a heating pan.
The time to act is not the next election; the time to act is NOW. We have to choose the President who will keep to the ideals of Democracy, not the one who says "trust me I will figure it all out myself and tell you what to think"...
That is how democracy ends, in dibs and drabs,