With the presidential election just days away there is plenty of churn happening on both sides of the spectrum. Everyone is rallying to their perspective corners and trying to find any piece of solace that assures them their candidate is going to win. Some have viewed the past three plus years as an anomaly. Others have seen it as America- revealed. The reality is, come Tuesday November 3rd a lot of Americans are waiting to see if the real America will stand up.
Make American Great Again
Five years ago, President Trump descended onto the scene on a golden escalator referring to Mexicans as rapist and murderers. He was the antithesis of political correctness and said the words that lay deeply in some American’s hearts. He went on to ride the wave of a build the wall, lock her up, America first, America alone strategy to victory. People were looking for someone to “shake things up.” The gamble was whether this reality show star could pull off the same achievements that a Hollywood star had done 35 years prior.
The slice of America that reveres deregulation, conservative judges, conspiracy theory, win by any means necessary, and might makes right are pleased by the president’s first term. They see the stock market’s success as a sign of America’s success. Poverty be-damned. Free speech be damned unless it’s backed by an AR-15. Racial equity be damned unless it means white is right.
There is also the slice of America that wanted to give this self-proclaimed billionaire a chance to move the country in a different direction that’s re-thinking its 2016 decision. Some of them are evaluating whether shaking things up really meant breaking every norm along the way. Those are the ones that are at stake in all of the so-called battle ground states. How many lies can anyone take? Do they really want a leader who puts Pinocchio to shame?
The Soul of America
In rides Biden and Harris on the proclamation of saving the soul of America. The foundational argument that the past 3-plus years are not the real America. We’re better than a race-baiting xenophobic, misogynist, white supremacist. The Democratic ticket is bent on removing the divider-in-chief from his sycophantic throne.
However, there’s a slice of the Democratic electorate that views elections as nothing more than rearranging the seats on the deck of the Titanic. Trump did no more than expose America for the lies its held self-evident for centuries. The scab had been ripped off and the true soul of the nation was laid bare.
If anything, the country was confronting the misdeeds it had hidden in the closet all this time. The real reason to overthrow this want-to-be dictator is to burn it all down and start over. Bring in a completely new regime free of baby boomer biases and self-serving legendary tales of “the way it used to be.” Used to be for who is the real question.
Truth, Justice, and the American Way?
There’s a sports saying that a team’s record is what type of team they are. The saying goes “they are what their record is.” If it’s a winning record, they are a winning team. If it’s a losing record, then all the talent in the world can’t change that. A team can claim they are better than their record. But in the end that’s all you have at the end of the season. But what if you’re a 500 team? In other words, you have as many wins as losses.
Could that be where America is? Is the so-called American exceptionalism rooted in a false premise of truth, justice and the American way? How can truth be the prevailing norm when we went centuries with the accomplishments of so many people of color hidden from our history books? Justice has always been a delicate lie spoken only in select circles. Although the current focus on injustice revolves around color it more accurately centers on access and wealth.
As to the American way, that depends literally on which side of the tracks you’re on. The American way could mean color or capability, money over merit, access over need, and bluster over ideas. Take your pick. Americans would like to think it’s the opposite but, like I said, it depends on which way you’re viewing the train from. It can be coming or going depending on which way you’re facing.
Will the Real America Please Stand Up?
So, what is the real America? By most accounts, the political middle is dead. There is no longer a liberal right or conservative left. There are only tribal factions warring against each other. Pick a color, blue or red, and battle to the death. That sounds a lot like a gang mentality. Anyone looking for Tuesday’s election to make some grand statement on the state of America, will be sorely disappointed. It won’t take but a few months under the next administration to find out it didn’t.
Whether you are waving your blue team flag or red team flag at the end of this election cycle the hard truths will still be here. Half of the country is fighting the other half in an all-out battle for supremacy. The real America has been standing up for 244 years now. Everyone’s waiting for it to turn into something that it might not be capable of. Maybe that’s why they refer to America as an idea. In other words, “a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action”. Maybe it was never really meant to be.