Primp and preen. That’s all we’ve done. This nation held an election, as it is wont to do, and we paraded ourselves in front of the world as an advanced society, a democracy where the will of the people reigns. We like to say that even though many of us disagree, we can come together once the votes are counted and the nation has spoken.
But it’s not that simple.
This is not a perfect system, and many of those that disagree are never heard. And many feel that this is not a true democracy: someone wins the popular vote but loses the election?! And why is it that only two parties are ever really in the running? Because of money. How does money make for a democracy? And what about representational democracy? Our system awards a winner-take-all prize, so no matter how close things are only one party is represented.
But regardless of those issues, I have one overarching argument which is evidence of our primping, our ability to sugar-coat the underlying problems. While this nation was ostensibly founded by pilgrims seeking religious freedom, it has been built on invasion, deceit, slavery, genocide, imperialism. These things are all well-documented, and ignoring them is why we have the result we have today. This country is inhabited by many well-meaning, loving people. But it is also inhabited by racist, xenophobic, misogynistic ignoramuses. Until we reconcile the past, the present will be subject to the influence of these creeps.
….Now, I respect that others have differing opinions. I am not so prideful and full of myself to be deaf to the voices of others. Also, I believe, as Howard Zinn wrote, that history (as it is written) is not objective: all historians choose what to include and exclude in their work; so my understanding of history is not absolute or comprehensive. This is a brief opinion based on a basic education in U.S. history.
But Good God! How can one deny that this country is built on the backs of enslaved peoples, that it is steeped in the blood of those that stood in the way of ‘progress’? You cannot deny it, period. I am deeply disturbed by the result of this election, but even had the powers of good won, the terrible sins of this nation would still be open and bloody.