Happy Birthday, America. It is July 4, 2022. You look a little haggard these days, but then again, you are 226.
I hope you have hundreds more as a vibrant democracy, serving as a “city on a hill.” But I’m afraid your run as a democracy may be coming to an end.
On this 4th of July, I keep thinking of January 6.
Driving around Oklahoma in the spring, where I took all the photos for the post, I saw American flags everywhere. The sight of the Stars and Stripes is common across the USA, from the coastal states to the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains. But I saw something disturbing flapping in the Oklahoman breeze – Trump flags.
Let’s recap the last six years.
- As president, Trump paid a porn star hush money in an illegal scheme that landed his co-conspirator in jail.
- He withheld funds from Ukraine for personal gain and constantly took Putin’s side over that of America’s intelligence agencies.
- He ran up more debt in four years than George Bush or Barack Obama did in eight.
- He lost the presidency by 7,059,547 total votes and 74 electoral votes. Oh, and he cost his party the House and Senate.
- Then, he repeatedly lied about it and tried to overthrow the government.
And yet, many of my fellow Oklahomans, the majority of which attend church and call themselves Christians, still support him. It makes me wonder if they follow Trump or Jesus? If you genuinely believe in thou shall not commit adultery, lie, steal, or murder, I don’t see how you can do both.
I also don’t know how you can love America, democracy, and Trump. Like, Liz Cheney said during the most recent January 6 hearings, “Republicans cannot be both loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution.” The peaceful transition of power and accepting loss is the foundation of any democracy, but the Republican Party is quickly moving to take away the right to choose our leaders. Places like Georgia recently gave the state legislature the final say in elections, and if this is allowed to stand, they will almost certainly override the next election. The GOP tried to do it when they lost by 7,059,547 votes, so they will do it if they lose by less.
My only hope is that enough people in the heartland who go to church, fly the flag, and love our country realize there is a better way. They don’t have to support Trump again and can choose someone who supports democracy, doesn’t fire off racist tweets, brag about sexually assaulting women, or constantly lie. Of course, this will require them to turn off Fox News, listen to the January 6 hearings, and admit that Trump lost.
Time will tell, but on America’s birthday today, I am still hopeful because I believe there are enough good people in the country to pull us through this dark time.
What do you think? Will democracy survive in America, or was January 6th the beginning of the end?