And I’m not very particular about who the “you” refers to in this headline. America, the United States of America, belongs to all of us, an important thing to remember as the Fourth of July explodes in celebration across the land.
It doesn’t belong to President Trump. It didn’t belong to President Obama, or any of the Bushes who preceded him, or Bill Clinton and Hillary. It’s easy to forget in these silly times that we are not ruled by a king. That’s why we had a revolution.
It belongs to conservatives and liberals who hate one another, to flag waving bumpkins, to urban sophisticates with their precious coffees and good addresses and problems with appearance. It belongs to railroad bums who are too old to catch trains anymore. It belongs to drunks and drug addicts and holy nuns and faithful believers and folks who have an abiding hatred of the very idea of a religion.
Of course we are a divided nation. We have been since the beginning. We will remain so, gloriously so, because we are, first of all, a human nation defined by its flaws, its weaknesses, its unabashed passions, its evil and its goodness.
We all belong here, good or bad.
We lose that sense of belonging so easily at times.
We are in one of those times.
There are some things to be aware of in this country of ours. Through some unusual circumstances and shenanigans, we ended up being presided over by an idiot who has no respect for our history, for our people, for anything but winning an endless series of skirmishes he sets up.
But trust me on this, President Trump will be gone before you know it. If we all do our duty in November, we will wake up on the day after the election feeling like sweaty field hands who just got to take a long, cool shower and use the best of the house soaps.
He will have two years left in office, and while that is a long time in most people’s measurement, it is nothing in the course of American history. Zip. It’s gone. And he will be gone, too. You have to trust that. The circumstances that bumped into one another and led to his election won’t happen the next time.
We can stop paying attention to him any time we want. He is completely ineffective. His journeys abroad will lead to nothing but humiliation because, face it, the moment he walks in to any room, his arrogance makes him the most foolish person there.
And all the smart players know that.
NATO is not going away. Our friendships, which span the globe, will be warmed up and strengthened. In many corners of the world, people will ask us not to do this again because it has been so troubling, so damaging.
I’m going to bike off to the Fourth of July Parade here in my town with that knowledge in my heart. The man is a short-timer. You control that. not him. You control everything, actually, if you just take your responsibility seriously.
Start thinking hard about voting in November, and then resolve to vote whenever you can. He’s not a big enough man to wreck this nation, not the part of it that holds people who love being American, who love the imperfect, tortured idea of it, with all of its flaws.
It still belongs to us.
Find someone you disagree with today and tell that person “Good for you!”