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    I'm Staying American. How About You?

    Because I love my country, Tuesday's election broke my heart. My fellow Americans -- less than half of us, but still too many -- turned their backs on what is best in our country to elect a man who has no love and no understanding of the things that make America great: freedom and equality.

    Somewhere between forty-seven and forty-eight percent of voters decided that they wanted a race-baiting authoritarian instead. Those voters turned out not to love the same country I do, not to love it for the reasons it is worth loving.

    But I still believe in that America. I believe in the America of liberty, equality, and justice for all, the America that has not always lived up to its values but still always had them. I am not quitting on that country. I was raised to love it, and I will die believing in it.

    If America is about white people hating brown people, you can have it. That version of America can go to hell, and will. Yes, I know our history of racist violence and plunder. I cannot deny it. But I have no allegiance to that history. The America I believe in, the America worth believing in, has always existed alongside that uglier vision. They are the wrestling sides of the American soul. I am not done wrestling. If we give up on our better angels, there's no country left for me to love.

    For the last five nights and days, I have been asking myself what I am going to do now. And I still have no answer but Whatever I have to. The path forward is not yet clear, and I am not ready for everything I may need to do. I am not eager for any of it. This is not the fight I would have chosen.

    But I have had it easy. I grew up lucky in a free country, in a generation that was not asked much. I was a sunshine patriot, born in the sun. I could praise the heroes of our past, the Franklins and the Lincolns and the Dr. Kings, without having to ask if I would have met their challenge. That isn't true anymore. I wish it were, but it's not.

    Some generations are asked to go to Valley Forge: to stand by their country when the outlook is darkest. Some generations are chosen to stand up for the American experiment, to risk and suffer for it, to bear witness. We have now become one of those generations, and we are off to a sorry start.  But this, of all times, is not the time to quit. This is when America, the America we grew up loving, needs us most. The time for the sunshine patriot is gone. These are the times that try men's souls.

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    Comments

    I think the best thing about being you is that you're a teacher. You'll help people vote better.  They probably won't even know it.  Go get them, professor.


    Yep and I am going to fight this.  I am already talking to my nephew in Pennsylvania, a liberal Republican who would never vote for Trump to help take the Democratic Party over everywhere. So I am never leaving the US, I am going to try to change this and make the party better. 


    We're nearly a month post one of the worst days of my life and I'm STILL not sure how I feel about the country of my birth. I WANT to still love America. But I don't right this minute. Right this minute I'm embarrassed to be an American. I feel like I live in the United States, and that's the best I can do right now. Thinking of Hillary as my President-in-Exile is helping a little (hey, if they can live in an alternate reality I can, too.) 

    I'm hoping I'll get past it, but every day he does something to embarrass us on the world stage. Every day he adds another person to his cabinet that HATES the agency they are being put in charge of. Everyday I hear of a new swamp creature being added to the swamp he promised to drain.Everyday I see a newly emboldened republican party in some part of the country doing something else to make this a harder country to live in.

    Maybe it'll reach a point where it will stop, and all of a sudden it'll start to look like we're being included in this new, great America, but so far all I'm seeing is the ugly side of America. The part I want nothing to do with.

    So yeah, I live here. But if I had a choice, I wouldn't. At least not now.


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