Lately, when I tell someone I am a Republican it feels like more of an admission than an assertion.
Watching this party implode into the black hole of conspiracy, corruption and debauchery that it willfully elected nationally in 2016 — and in many states in previous elections — is difficult. The GOP used to be the standard bearer for true patriotism, conservatism and holding fast to principles of right and wrong.
Now, to preserve party unity, Republicans are forced to ignore collusion with Russia, illegal meetings that were lied about multiple times by multiple members of the administration, and far too frequent lies by a President who praises himself by fabricating phone calls and other conversations to claim others find him amazing.
According to recent polling, more Americans are embarrassed that Donald Trump is President than approve of the job he is doing in the office.
Instead of reversing course and trying to rebuild his relationship with Americans, Trump continues to “play to his base” where his support hasn’t waned since Election Day.
Unfortunately, that small, staunch base is made up of people who hold some pretty nefarious beliefs. For instance, running Stephen Miller out to the microphone to talk about immigration policies is a good way to play to the absolute worst of the Trump supporters. Hillary Clinton was wrong to call everyone who wanted someone other than her to be elected “deplorable” but it doesn’t take a very deep dive to find some really deplorable people who find the most recent action – an attempt to limit not only illegal immigration, but also legal immigration – a step in the right direction.
As a person who has adopted a child from another country, it is despicable for this President and his wayward family and staff members to pretend they had any interest in that issue while they were hoping Russian connections could help them find information to turn the tide against their opponent.
You often hear the term “white flight” used when white people leave racially diverse urban areas to live in suburbs where the populations are more homogenous. Now, our nation’s policy is a version of that which could be called “white welcome.”
English speaking immigrants are given preference. Suddenly, the melting pot no longer wants to melt together people of different races and cultures. The new preference is to melt together people who already look and talk like us.
So much for “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
In fact, Miller, the administration and their lackeys in the right-wing media are, in fact, openly attacking the Statue of Liberty – or at least the poem which has been affixed to its base for more than a century.
I never thought I would see the day when members of the Republican Party would attack anything about this American icon of freedom.
Remember when the GOP attacked members of the other parties for being un-American? Now they collude with Russians and bash Lady Liberty.
I hated the idea of a Trump presidency, but even my wildest fears couldn’t reach the depths of the issues that have come to light in just over six months in office.
That poem has “only” been on the Statue of Liberty’s base for about 115 years. It has survived two World Wars, numerous natural disasters and hasn’t been touched by a terrorist attack.
But now it faces its most potent attack yet – from the very White House entrusted with preserving everything for which Lady Liberty stands.
I remember when a man who was a true Republican, President Ronald Reagan, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.
“Americans were reminded that Miss Liberty, like the many millions she's welcomed to these shores, is of foreign birth,” he said. “The gift of workers, farmers, and shopkeepers and children who donated hundreds of thousands of francs to send her here.”
The people of France gave the statue to America and generations of citizens of this country always held a very different view of what America is than the current administration whose President reportedly called the White House a dump while taking one of his many visits to a golf course.
Like Jed Clampett in his Beverly Hills mansion these vulgarians have the nerve to attack the beacon of freedom that Reagan called “mother of exiles who lifts her light beside the golden door.”
That golden door is tarnished and is closing rapidly. Today’s toady Republicans are complicit in allowing it to be slammed in the face of those we formerly welcomed.
Reagan said, “I have always believed there was some divine providence that placed this great land here between the two great oceans, to be found by a special kind of people from every corner of the world, who had a special love for freedom and a special courage that enabled them to leave their own land, leave their friends and their countrymen, and come to this new and strange land to build a New World of peace and freedom and hope.”
If we don’t stop these xenophobic actions, we will no longer be known for peace, freedom and hope, but fear and loathing of anyone who doesn’t look like the ideal American in the eyes of those who see light skin as the highest virtue.