What should we stand for?

The United States is far from perfect. Its construct and stated ideals are enviable. But, we imperfect citizens challenge those ideals, even when we stumble into doing the right thing. It is the aspiration to live up to those ideals that make us better than we are at times.

Right now, a populist leader has painted a different kind of America. Our ideals are being frittered away in the name of searching for greatness, which is puzzling in itself. With this in mind, my question is what do we stand for? And, are we living up to that ideal under this President.

We stand for equal rights for all Americans. Groups whose rights have been denied or challenged over time are once again feeling uncertain of their equality. This is occurring at the same time white supremacists groups are feeling more empowered,

We stand as a beacon of opportunity which has led to a diverse country with diverse thinking and idea-creation. Yet, legal immigration has retrenched at the same time illegal immigration has come under attack. Plus, immigration or travel from some stated countries has been stalled or threatened.

We have stood by our allies valuing our relationships which is a strength. Yet, the populist leader has a nationalistic bent and has questioned the veracity of NATO, the EU, World Bank, WTO, UN, multilateral trade deals, and the presence of US troops. He has also placed tariffs on our allies which has caused them to reciprocate. Our diplomatic and military leaders are dismayed by these actions.

We have stood for human rights around the globe, even when we could pay more attention in our own backyard. Yet, this populist leader has white-washed human rights abuses missing chances to raise concerns and penalties.

We have valued the role of the media as an important check on power. Yet, the media is under attack in this country by an untruthful and bullying President. These attacks have deteriorated the trust in our media, which is a shame

What do we stand for? Are we missing the mark on key ideals? What should we do about it? What are your thoughts?


15 thoughts on “What should we stand for?

  1. I agree with all that you’ve said Keith. Without oversight from the Republican senate it seems the populist has gone rogue. Hoping for a turn around after the first of the year but once emboldened it will be difficult to reign in the dregs of our society that deal in hatred.

  2. Holly, I hope that occurs as well. But, I also hope good legislation comes out of the House with a chance to pass the Senate. Passing things that have no hope of getting through the Senate will be a waste of time. ACA shoring up, infrastructure investment would be two good places to start. Keith

  3. I believe in the majority of the people of the USA. I believe they stand for many fine values.
    Why you ended up with a draft-dodging, uneducated, irresponsible, inexperienced, egotistical fellow in the Whitehouse, just because 25% of the voting population said so is another matter.

    • Roger, I love your optimism. I am cautious in today’s world with so few in our country reading any news or relying only on the President’s twitter feed, which is little news mixed in with more opinion, misinformation or disinformation. Keith

      • It’s happening all over the world Keith.
        For instance….India has a problem with people being lynched by mobs accusing them of kidnapping children.
        He’s not the only incompetant in the top job of a nation, being the USA does tend to raise the profile, that’s all.

      • Roger, true. One of Trump’s worst exports is the phrase “fake news.” It feeds right into the hands of other leaders who have or are squelching media. Keith

  4. Note to Readers: I read a news piece on how many foreign papers are treating Trump with kid gloves so as not to poke the bear. When someone once asked me how to get along with a narcissist I worked with, I said they should market it to him, treating him like a client. That is what is happening here.

  5. It seems to me that Trump does not share virtually any of the values this nation has been said to stand for. I know that he shares none of mine. Which brings us to him being elected two years ago. Those who voted for him and who still support him went to the polls that fateful day with eyes wide open, for he had made no secret of his racism, his crude and arrogant ways. So, the question becomes, has some portion of this nation changed its values? Has greed supplanted humanitarianism for that 30%-40% who still approve of him? And the only really important question is, how do we put this train back on its track? How do we turn things back around once Trump is gone? My fear is that there is another just like him waiting in the wings, only perhaps with the intelligence he lacks, which would be a dangerous combination indeed. Trump is despicable, but he is the symbol of the problem, not the problem itself. The problem itself lies with this grossly divided nation, and the portion who no longer embrace the values we thought we all shared.

    • Jill, great questions. As we have discussed, it all comes down to ego with Trump. Not what is real, but how is he perceived. When the perception he portrays is challenged, that is when he attacks like a cornered animal.

      The perception of how he looks is challenged by GM’s decision. What his cult does not realize is Trump misled them as he cannot stop market forces. It all sounds good, but he also abetted the decision with his tariffs play.

      Trump does not stand for anything but himself. He has been like this throughout his career, so this is not new. As this crumble, he will throw others under the bus and blame others for things – the Fed, Democrats, the elite, the Chinese, immigrants, etc.

      I cannot believe people don’t see this man for precisely what he is. Keith

      • I said in the beginning that Trump viewed the presidency as an ‘ownership’ of sorts. He believes he owns Congress, the military, the various agencies, and that they must and will bow to his wishes. The power went to his head even before he had the power. He is frightening in his abuse of power and in considering what he might yet do to further lead this nation down the path of destruction. But even more frightening is when we consider that he is only the manifestation of a large contingent of malcontents in the nation. I’m working on a two-three-part series now, to debut Thursday afternoon, that addresses many of the issues that face this nation today. Like you, I cannot believe that some 40% still cannot see him for the fool he is, and I wonder how … or if … we can open their eyes. Sigh.

      • Jill, agreed on all counts. He thinks the AG is his personal attorney. He thinks the Fed Chair is his banker. And, so on. I did find comfort that the Senate voted against his wishes on moving forward with condemnation of Saudi Arabia. To many, Trump swung and whiffed on this issue. Keith

  6. Dear Keith and Jill,

    What I worry about is that the GOP left in the US Congress will dig in as more becomes public about president’s treachery, rather than work on behalf of this country and its peoples. They don’t care if Rome burns while they sit by and do nothing.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, there will be the obstinate ones who will rationalize as much as they can that the eighteenth drawn line in the retreating sand is still one the President has not crossed. Yet, there will also be a growing number who realize the President is more than a liar. He has used his office for financial gain as a walking conflict of interest. That makes him grossly negligent as he has violated his oath to the Constitution. Those are the two terms that should be highlighted – conflict of interest and gross negligence. Keith

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