The inoculation of American propaganda, so well done because it is mostly true, is diminishing in its immunity.

For 75 years, I have believed we were the greatest country with the kindest, strongest, most caring people. I took the Statue of Liberty and the tales of World War II to heart. I loved Horatio Alger stories, New England backbone, Mid-western vitality and stick-to-it-iveness, Western grit and adventure, Southern verandas and sultry weather. I still read Reader’s Digest.

Then I became aware of current events and history. I learned about USA turning a ship of Jewish refugees on the Virginia coast back to certain death, the atrocity of the Civil War, racist presidents, the incarceration of our Japanese population in World War II, and the exploitation of the poor by the rich.

There were the vicious, hate-filled McCarthy hearings, the tremendous effort to gain civil rights legislation, women’s liberation, Stonewall, the Vietnam War, assassinations of two Kennedys and Martin Luther King, and the ongoing regime-change wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I kept my belief in American goodness, thinking that all people make mistakes, are misled, or arrive at times in impossible situations.

The 21st century has dissolved my belief. Corporations are now people. Foreign dictators and money now invest in our elections. Our president prefers other dictators over American governmental agencies, our allies, and the American people. Our government’s department heads are “acting,” and Trump has a vendetta against asylum-seekers that’s fast equaling Hitler’s vendetta against the Jews.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has used the words “concentration camp” describing the conditions for minors in the hands of our border control. Except for the gas showers, she is right. “Save the Children” is working for the first time in the USA.

Congress obfuscates, Trump threatens a veto, no money is forthcoming to alleviate this situation, but everyone has a July 4 break. Except the children.

This has happened by our own hand. We’ve let executive power expand, let this Trump fellow go unrestrained from the moment he said Mexicans are rapists up to today, when we are drowning in his mean tweets and discovering our Constitution has no teeth in terms of removing him.

How do we manage this? How can kind, rational people “reach across the aisle” and work with people who stonewall and defy black-and-white law? People so wedded to ideology that the suffering of children is unimportant?


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