I woke to thoughts of Nationalism, of all things, musing in particular on Trump’s first visit to the United Nations at the beginning of the school year, and specifically of his address to the peace-making body (born out of the atrocities of two World Wars) saying:
As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always—and should always—put your countries first.
But this time my mind didn’t linger on his contradictions, say with regard to the sovereignty of N. Korea or Cuba or Venezuela or Iran; Instead I thought about the ways his vision contradicted even the most basic unit of human belonging: the family.
Mothers easily put young children’s needs ahead of their own; while community members consider what will benefit the whole; and citizens address the needs of those who currently have less means available to them–both near and far.
This is not only the way of the heart–as revealed in our nation’s response to recent tragedies, here and abroad, but also a very practical way forward to what all humans desire–peace, security, individual expression and belonging.
Other methods have been tried throughout the millennia–and failed. Hence, the vision and creation of the United Nations whose charter brings together leaders from around the world to secure a better future for the whole of humanity.
To be fair, Trump’s “Me First” mentality fits him and his family and most importantly–his business ethos.
What it doesn’t fit is our nation.
It never has.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Our experiment was to hold a vision not only for ourselves, but for the world. For all “men.” Because nations are make believe, and boundaries change, and land and water can’t really be named or claimed, not forever, just ask the fires and the hurricanes and the immigrants and the refugees.
What persists is the human heart. Breath. The need for clean water. Healthy food. Medical attention. Belonging. Community. Contribution. Understanding.
It really is very simple.
A mother is a mother is a mother.
A child is a child is a child.
Fear is fear.
Hate is hate.
Trump is Trump.