Shoulda. Coulda. Woulda.

By Nathaniel E. Hocker on February 7, 2020

In Unitarian Universalism, we have 7 principles we live by, the first being: “We affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” When it comes to this current administration; the so-called president; I am conflicted even to speak his name, let alone try and find some semblance of dignity. In fact, I don’t know that I have ever been as challenged to find worth in anyone, as I have with this guy: Trump (formerly Drumpf).

Our nation seems more and more quickened to the allure of whatever this man is pedaling. I feel strongly that his “brand” is nothing short of destructive! Anyone that succumbs to fear, in my opinion, has already given up . . . at least in this instance. What’s most scary are the similarities I have drawn amongst him and many of the world’s past criminal dictators, Hitler, Stalin, to name a few. His behavior is even akin to that of neighboring and current dictators: Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin . . . Yikes! I am certain many would disagree with that observation, though ‘on-the-low’, I am certain those same many would agree with me. If it weren’t for their (Trump’s base) love for party and distorted definition of patriotism (which doesn’t mean you have to like any president by the way), the values I am sure they have would be brought to the voting booth. The question is not: What has America come to?, but rather: What have we allowed our country to become? I wonder if we care . . . Do we?

The “fall of America” continues . . . mind you, it didn’t start with Trump. The cracks in the foundation started way back in 1619, on the shores of Virginia. It began when the first 20 or so African people, termed “indentured servants”, were stolen from their native land and brought to the Americas. Those then cracks would soon develop into canyons with the sanctioning of slavery in 1641. The great wealth that America has acquired (mostly stolen), I would argue, has largely been derived from the exploitation of Africa. And while it continues to accumulate, many of those slave owners’ families still benefit. What a foundation to stand on, eh? Despicable indeed . . .

The 6th Principle in Unitarian Universalism that we live by and affirm: “The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.” Wow! Is this possible? In the event we ever reach such an aspiration I will be blown away! How we get there should be fairly simple, however, through a shared belief that we are better together, and by a shared love recognizing that we are all brothers and sisters! There is one “race”; we are HUMAN! There is one planet, EARTH! We are here, NOW! Are these things so hard to comprehend? Which way do we head, towards civil liberty and open discourse or towards fascism and Twitter diplomacy? The last I recall, thinking is not that difficult.

I believe it is fair to say, that this U.S. administration is establishing new norms of ill-behavior. The sad part is, many are buying what is being pedaled. Anger and cruelty disfigure public discourse and lying has now become commonplace, but some bat neither eye. It’s appalling! US Editor, John Mulholland said: “America is at a tipping point, finely balanced between truth and lies, hope and hate, civility and nastiness. Many vital aspects of American public life are in play – the Supreme Court, abortion rights, climate policy, wealth inequality, Big Tech and much more. The stakes could hardly be higher.” He is far from wrong on all fronts. When comedians and editors are able to identify the truth faster than our own government, speak the necessary truth-to-power the American people need to hear, and fear not the retaliation of dictators, you know we have a problem.

The next generationS to come are certainly in for several surprises . . . Apologies are in order to all future generations in America! If anyone thinks our children, and their children, won’t take on the responsibility of having to clean up what has been destroyed so far; their children aren’t even here yet, think about that! We can find 600 billion+ dollars to pay for America’s defense, but can’t seem to understand how we pay for Healthcare for all? This is but one of countless roadblocks the next generations will be faced with because we have unwillingly sought to do justice for all Americans. In fact, this administration doesn’t consider healthcare a right! And yet our national anthem implies we are “free”. . . hmm . . . interesting. The shame we should feel is overwhelming, and yet some don’t see that we have tremendous problems that continue to mount. Half the country has its eyes open, and the other chooses to be oblivious.

Some of you might be asking yourselves, “Does this guy hate America?” The answer is a solid, NO! As my place of birth, I hate what we won’t face, the many despicable truths about our past. I hate what we have become, a continued, now a new breed of “world police”, even as domestic terrorism rises. I hate that we have established ourselves in the world as wholistically, dumb. I hate that we haven’t learned the incredible error of our ways as it relates to racism. I hate that we have set ourselves up for some kind of greatness, and have yet to learn the value in humanity. We continue to behave in a way that yields no good example from one generation to the next, let down after let down . . .

America has done great things and continues to, but when is enough finally enough? Make America think period!

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