“May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion” — President Eisenhower
I am immensely grateful to you. Since your birth the World has seen a development, previously stifled, hindered and even negated by empires, religions and cultures. Technology, commerce, medicine, ethics, math, the arts and sciences, culture. You decided to be at the frontier, and with your tenacity, you came to define almost all progress in recent history.
I moved here from another country (a country that, had it not been for you, probably would have been speaking German). Certainly I would not have come to this world, had it not been for you. You rid the World of the darkest forces we had ever witnessed, you brought my grandparents together in your uniforms, gave my mother a birthplace — and ultimately took me in as one of your own.
Because of you, we completed the uniting of our nations and codified what both universal and inalienable rights are. You dictated that the Age of Conquest was over, and - even in the face of adversity - to find compassion. You taught us mercy on the battlefield. You established tribunals and bellowed out, that certain acts are so atrocious, that committing them is a crime against our very existence. You outlawed the killings of civilians by the hand of military and made suffrage universal. You crafted a plan, and showed the World that, as battles cease, you rebuild the smoldering ruins of your foe.
You split the atom and mapped the genome. Gave us moving images to enlighten, express and entertain us. You transcended time and space as you connected us to the Internet. And with building of a canal, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic, in still recent memory, you laid a cable spanning the width of the latter, connecting the Old World with the New.
You took us to the skies, and in your quest to go further, stretched out you grasp, reached for the stars and achieved what eons of civilization had only dreamed of; you set foot on another world.
You held the one behind you, together in a War that never turned warm.
You welcomed free thoughts from free people. They gave us IBM and Microsoft, Google and Apple, Ford and SpaceX, facebook and airbnb, Standard Oil and the New York Times. They gave us the polio vaccine, heart transplants and DNA sequencing. They gave us dwarf wheat. They gave us rock’n’roll. A greater Gatsby, a catcher in a rye, a future to go back to, told us that teen spirits smell, that puppets have masters and that dreams can become real.
They gave us hope.
But they also held up a mirror for you. It shows blemishes and dark parts of your history too. Slavery, treatment of the Native American nations, eugenics, the Blacklist, Jim Crow — to name only a few (I’d throw in the Imperial system, but I can’t give you full credit for that).
But divergent from your sisters and brothers, you kept looking in that mirror. Your own self-doubt and introspection kept you moving forward — taking the rest of the World with you. Slavery was abolished because of you. Globally. Ancient doctrines of annexing conquered land was abandoned because of you. Globally. Freedom of speech was defined by you, and then accepted. Globally. Whenever you sidestepped, you learned. The greatest critic of America is America. Always has been.
“We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress” — Richard Feynman
Your remarkable ability to fathom complexities, dissension and discord made you a safe haven for people who wanted (or needed) a better life. In their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, you allowed them, accepted them and even craved them.
Allowed, accepted and craved us.
People like me.
I didn’t come here from persecution or torment. Though many of us did, I am writing to you for the ones who did not. The ones who sought a future that could only unfold here. We took our craziest imaginations and wildest aspirations and moved here.
Not because we couldn’t live somewhere else. But because we couldn’t be alive anywhere else.
We weren’t refugees from persecution, we were refuse of thought.
Entrepreneurs, academics, musicians, artists, doctors, scientists, business leaders, thought leaders, engineers, authors, creatives, mavericks, makers, tinkerers, artificers, creators, athletes, actors.
Waking Dreamers. Misfits.
“America is not a country. It is a world” — Oscar Wilde
We didn’t come to flee a past, but to build a future. With you and for you. Not in spite of you, but because of you.
But something changed. We still wish to build our future with you — it is still here we find the greener grass. But you don’t look like the America we fell in love with.
You have become hardened, and it pains us to see you grow in a direction we can’t follow. Towards a future we can’t be a part of. A future we wish we could embrace and contribute to. Take shared part in and, with you, achieve greatness. To continue your growth and development of a better world.
Two images appear in the mirror now; a Land of Dreams and a Land of Despair. They exist side by side, but one is taking stronger hold of you.
Your persistent aggression against women, dragooning them to undergo forced and unnecessary medical penetrations, to allow safe, simple, legal and, possibly otherwise, non-invasive procedures.
Your hateful rhetoric against non-christian religious groups, calling for methods of oppression, that you forced the rest of the world to abandon a century ago.
The opposition to scientific method and proven knowledge, belief in pseudoscience, equating religion with government and truth (in spite of your founding principles).
“I’m a registered Republican, I only seem Liberal because I believe that hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not gay marriage” — Will McAvoy
Your unforgiving lack of interest in police forces brutalizing, persecuting, discriminating against and sports killing your own citizens, should they not be white.
That every day of the year, at least one of your citizens is planning to hunt other humans. Almost every day a massacre occurs at the hands of them.
Your infliction of spiritually based legal frameworks and doctrines, seeking solely to worsen the quality of life for some, whether based on sexual preference, identity or understanding.
That people such as Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina can be perceived as valid candidates, and gain popularity as they instigate hatred, welcome violence or let statements so vile, I lack words to describe them, go unopposed.
That the front runner and presumptive Presidential Candidate of a main political party is inviting, instigating and encouraging physical assault, not speaking out against white supremacists, gathering a paramilitary protection squad — and let it go on, unquestioned by the media.
That you allow your corporations to corrupt the common wellbeing, act predatory towards and abuse the weakest of your citizens, the ones who need your protection the most, as well as the environment. Forego accountability, accept a de facto institutionalized system of bribery, and corruption, while allowing poverty to spread.
Your disregard of the words “well regulated” in your 2nd Amendment; it being the only place in your constitution regulation is mentioned — and allowing more than 30,000 humans, every year, to be slain.
That you think of it as normal, having one one hundredth of your country imprisoned, have state sanctioned killings to rid your society of unwanteds or believe punishment, rather than rehabilitation, creates safer neighborhoods.
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America” — President Clinton’s 1993 Inaugural Address
The mirror hangs on the wall still, but you seem to ignore, and occasionally even applaud, when you see in it the Land of Despair.
We are still with you. We stand by your side. We wish to see you great again. We wish to be part of it. To contribute to it.
The entire World follows your presidential elections — as provinces followed the election of Caesar. You are the leader of the Free World. Not because the free world sought a leader, but because the world wasn’t free until you made it so.
But great leaders are no longer steering you towards eminence. Rather, tyrants are seducing you, by tearing you apart with fear and hatred. Waking Nightmares.
Dear America, please be mindful. Please be cognizant of your role in this world. In history. In the future.
Dear America, please go forth with a mind more open and a soul less torn.
We will continue to be grateful for what you have done for us in the past. Even when a future with you seems dark. We will tirelessly continue to seek the Land of Dreams — by and for all; One nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
The Waking Dreamers. The Misfits.