Deep down, in spite of everything, I guess I really do love America.
Or at least, I love the idea of America. The land of the free, home of the brave, truth, justice, and the American Way- you know, the whole bit. I still want to believe that’s the real core of our nation, no matter how much evidence I see to the contrary. I still want to believe that there’s something special about America.
But after this past Wednesday, I’m forced to concede that there isn’t.
We’re not the leaders of the free world, or the best example of a government for and by the people, or anything of the kind. We’re just another one of those “shithole countries” where sometimes a seditious mob storms the capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of a fair and democratic election- and the next day, life goes on.
It’s pretty sobering to suddenly realize how close we might be to the violent toppling of our democracy. But the thing is, it shouldn’t be sudden. We should’ve been expecting this to happen any day now.
Why? Because every country goes through the growing pains of tinpot dictatorships and violent revolutions- we were being naïve when we assumed that America was somehow immune to those pitfalls.
We just weren’t old enough as a country to have gotten to them yet.
Think about it- counting from 1776, the USA is only 245 years old. Do you know what that means? That means that if you’re my age (29), you’ve been alive for more than ten percent of America’s entire existence.
That’s SUCH a ridiculously short amount of time to have started claiming that we had our shit together- and getting invested in the narrative of that claim is the reason that we’re now collectively blindsided by our shit rapidly falling apart.
But the silver lining is that this might not be the end of America after all- just another bloody chapter near the beginning.
…or is that a silver lining? I don’t know anymore.
Guess we’ll have to let the future historians sort it out.