My Country Tis of Thee

Today, July 4, 2017, we will celebrate our new land. Our family has been here about one hundred years, give or take. From the ghettos of the Pale we now are ensconced in beautiful suburbs and the amazing streets of Manhattan. From the poverty of Polish shtetls we are now jet setters with ivy league degrees. We’ve got lots to celebrate here in America. Lots.

And today we will celebrate. Hot dogs. Hamburgers. Corn on the cob. Baked beans. Filling our stomachs has never been a problem for us. Perhaps the menu could be healthier but that’s our free choice.  So today we will indulge our new-found traditions. The food will be kosher of course. The vegetarians amongst us (like all families we have a few) will settle for less but their substitutes will be better than last year’s and not as good as next year’s. We never worry about having enough to eat here in America.

Tonight our town will sponsor thrilling fireworks. The whole town will hear the excitement. Some of us are lucky enough to see them without leaving our doorstep. The thunderous roar of the brilliantly colored explosives that light up our sky will excite even the most blasé among us. It will be wonderful!

So, good food, good company, amazing fireworks. What’s the problem?

The problem will be the topic of discussion. Nowadays when we get together with family and friends, there’s one consistent issue. It’s not the economy. It’s not healthcare. It’s not love for Israel (we will be a passionate Israel-loving group, most speaking fluent Hebrew and most with Israeli passports). It’s not even Israel’s latest set of problems which can’t be minimized but are not yet existential threats. The problem is the president. Donald J. Trump.

Is he an existential threat to these United States of America? Maybe so. His supporters, like supporters throughout history, cannot be deterred. It seems that no matter how evil, how insane and how demonized he is, they continue to support him. Are they not embarrassed? Apparently not.

And how about our cabinet and Congress? Are all of these people so pathetic that they can’t see him for what he is or are they so pathetic because they think like he does?

America, Americans, we are in trouble. We thought, we newcomers, that we had found our sanctuary. We thought that the welcoming Statue was embracing us, her huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Are we learning that America too can betray us?

Are we learning that truth can be whatever the powers that be determine it is? Like in all evil empires.

America, where are you going? Please come back. Hurry.

About the Author
Rosanne Skopp is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother of two. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and travels back and forth between homes in New Jersey and Israel. She is currently writing a family history.
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