What really makes America THE America? What makes America truly EXCEPTIONAL? Are we born smartest, working hardest, or always blessed with the best luck? Will our world-class universities or aircraft carriers assure our superiority in the future?
America is exceptional because we have the society, the system, and the culture bringing the best out of its people. America's prosperity, warmness, and opportunities continuously provide such a wonderful place for its citizens, and attract the best talents all over the world, together making America exceptional.
We are exceptional because we empower each other to outperform, to be super individuals collectively. We are self-reliant and confident to solve problems instead of relying on a political leader promising such as I alone will solve it for you.
America offers great opportunities as long as you make your efforts; it is not a great tribe where an individual is entitled to good things if he/she is part of it, or his/her relatives have done a great job previously.
When things get tough sometimes, we should get together to fix, instead of hating each other or ones who are different, pointing fingers, and demanding being taken care of as victims, which makes us fall prey to politicians telling us it is all because of 'them', evils, neighboring rapists, … This is how a political genius acquires absolute loyalty even if he would kill someone on fifth Ave, because he hits the nail straight to the ugly spot of our hearts, owns our soul, even subdues an evangelical despite of a proven incidence of paying a prostitute over a hundred thousand dollar to shut up. He even started an exhortation that he is the chosen one by GOD. This sounds too familiar to many Asian American immigrants who came from places where authoritarians make themselves Godly above people legitimizing the obedience of their loyal subjects.
When the President openly calls Proud Boys, categorized by the FBI as an extremist group, to stand by, it reminds us of the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, when the Dictator called on his supporters to oppress all different political voices as unpatriotic.
Patriotism is from people's hearts, like flags rose all over the country spontaneously right after the 9/11. Germany in 1930-40s with mountains of flags is an example of distorted patriotism when leaders try to facilitate the obedience and uniformity, shutting off the thinking, the sense of basic decency, and common senses.
US is sure not Nazi Germany, however, our broken political system cannot automatically prevent the extreme political phenomena like the 2016 election. Political craziness in only a small portion of activists could tip off the balance in a polarized political landscape, and causes a dire consequence.
Many voted for the candidate after only a few televised debates because they are deeply touched by his WORDS sympathizing their pain caused by dirty politicians, greedy corporates, and foreign evils, and promising an easy fix. While people are excited by chanting 'lock her up', 'build that wall', 'Mexicans pay for it', not many actually demand a due diligent process to know the person really well. They will vote for him again despite that none of chanted wishes are done.
The president does deserve a credit for a major tax cut, serving no purpose though of a small government when the spending was not cut and the deficit hikes. However, those deluded believers do not care much about that in the first place. They had great satisfaction chanting those three-words out which could have been pressed down deeply along with some other desires; we all have our dark sides which could be manipulated by clever politicians.
Selecting the US president, the most powerful position in the World, is becoming like a reality show or a small purchase when we make our decisions based on a sales pitch. Our two party system with a primary and final often makes us choose a less evil, the least stinky.
Our election process and political system needs a serious reform, with transparent track records due diligence review of our candidates, better ways making our choices, and voting methods in the 21st century assuring reliability, robustness, easiness, self-verification, and privacy. Our powerful country needs a reboot. Making America great again starts from all sides coming together, to heal a divided nation.
We don't need a smart-pants president who knows everything including the best medicine curing COVID-19, who empowers only his base to run over political opposition. We need a president with empathy, integrity, and broadness capable of bringing all sides to the table to find common ground, and work together overcoming serious challenges ahead.
America first is for all Americans, not just Americans on one side. As former Governor John Kasich pointed out recently, America is at the cross road. We might disagree with each other on policies, but we can all agree a divided America will decline and sink hurting us all.
Who should we give our votes now?
To Trump, or not to Trump, that is the question.