This is not who we are

I am a father. My ten-year-old child is the center of everything I do. Pretty much every effort I make and each breath I take is in the service of keeping my child safe and healthy.

If I were unfortunate enough to live in a place where war, gang violence, or other social upheaval caused my child’s life to be in danger, I would, like all decent parents,  turn the world upside down to move my family to a safe place, a place where there was hope.

I was inspired largely by my life-role of father to write my second novel. In The Rabbit Skinners several young children are kidnapped–brutally ripped away from their parents. The villains in my novel are not of the species of monsters typically inhabiting novels on this theme. The perverts. The psychopaths. Instead, they are animated by the same malignancy now rotting away the ideals of America.

My novel’s villains want to change America to a country where  people’s worth is determined by their race and country of origin. They are the sort of monsters who would be very happy with a “zero-tolerance” policy. They would enthusiastically vote for and slaveringly follow Donald Trump.

My novel’s villains are neo-Nazis.

Separating migrant children from their parents at the border, or mandating prosecution of every migrant attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally, is a “solution” that appeals only to bigots and fools. The transparent lies Trump tells (sorry, tweets) to dissemble and deflect and confuse are even more pathetic because his flat-earther followers often really believe him. Trump could shoot someone in the street and his supporters would still, with glazed eyes and lolling mouths, follow him. He could suggest he’s the second coming of Jesus, and many of his followers would actually believe him (his right hand going up and down while doing that neurological thumb-to-forfinger circle, lips in a fat, wrinkled ring: “I dunno…who knows? But I gotta say! People are saying that I’m very very great…you never know, right? Who knows? I don’t! But a lotta people are saying! I could very very much be the son of God”).

It’s probably not technically accurate to say that American democracy is dead, but it’s certainly on a life support machine. Our wannabe dictator-messiah is clawing at the machine’s power cord to rip it from its socket.






9 thoughts on “This is not who we are

  1. I was at a blues festival on Saturday; the county registrar of voters had a booth there. It was staffed by two young women, appearing to be in their early 20s. I went over and thanked them for what they were doing, explained that i was already registered, and concluded with “What you are doing is vital.” One of the young women replied “Now, more than ever, we need to mobilize the vote.”

    There are people who get it. There are people who are rightly horrified. And, sadly, there are still people more than happy to be the “good Germans” until the policies they support and defend affect *them.* We *shall* overcome.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It is never acceptable to use any people group, especially innocent children to promote your political ideology. Both parties need to quit parrying with each other and actually work together to solve the problems of this nation. At the moment, these immigrant children should be on the forefront of everyone’s concern.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I live in Texas and I’m appalled by what’s happening. I can’t stand seeing families and children being separated. I get that we have laws and there might even be circumstances where a child is better off, BUT ripping any child away from what they know in that situation is cruelty and that’s not what the US is supposed to be about. I am angrier about this then anything in recent history because it’s our country’s fault. Mr. Trump definitely made an executive decision that isn’t in line with our core beliefs. I don’t care who you are, children being abused in this way is absolutely disgusting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jenny, I agree with you completely. This and similar actions by the present administration are always supported by an underlying assumption of “American exceptionalism.” But, to the extent it exists, American exceptionalism can only be identified by our adherence to democratic ideals such as inclusiveness, civility, and compassion. These ideals are what freed the slaves, gave women the vote, etc. Remove those ideals and we’re indistinguishable from countries like Russia. Maintaining such a great democracy requires a well-informed population with good critical thinking skills, and the erosion of these two qualities is what is now destroying America.


  4. There are no words to explain how horrified I am by what is happening. Before I retired I taught U.S. History and Government at both the high school and college levels, and I taught the U.S. Constitution, line by line. Donald Trump is the most ignorant president in our history and the greatest threat to our democracy I can imagine. Why impeachment proceedings have not already begun against him I do not know. When the story broke about the children being taken from their parents I cried for 3 days. Now I am taking whatever actions I can to help groups providing attorneys to represent these children and their parents and to support political candidates who will stand up against Trump and for our Constitution.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. America hasn’t seen a crisis comparable to this since mid-1800s, which culminated in the Civil War. It would be best to weaken this radical president and his minions in 2018 and throw him/them out in 2020. Then add mandatory Critical Thinking and Media Awareness courses to all our schools.


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