Today I read that the United States administration wanted to change the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty. After the famous line “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” they wish to add the line “who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge” as if with an asterisk or side note, with very small print at the bottom of the brass plate.
I was brought up not thinking we were a small print kind of country, but, after enough pharmaceutical commercials, tainted elections, and of course reality television I realize we are the worst offenders. In one lifetime I saw a country completely rebrand itself from being a innovator of proudly, quality crafted culture, to a rapidly approaching second rate sweatshop of knock-off plastic life.
It’s a shame, but no one said that America would always be the shining light and the American Dream would always be valid. Countries change, people change, we migrate. I think as communication increases as it has through the advent of the internet, and new generations realize that nationalism is a fleeting cause, we will less define ourselves by our motherland, and more by our personal ideals. Those that were brought up in a world where their country defined them, gave them purpose, culture, and privilege will find this notion repulsive, but as someone who aspires to be a true citizen of the world I can tell you, not having nationalism but judging each culture (not country) by its individual gifts and deficits allows you to experience so much more the world has to offer without going against some imaginary credo to some imaginary entity you pledge allegiance to.
The powers that be will put those in charge that will want to watch the world burn for various reasons from time to time. We’re in that time right now, and instead of realizing the power of humanity they fear the very thing that has made us as a nation, and as a culture, great. That happens, and just like millions of immigrants who could not fight the tides any longer decided to leave their countries to realize their dream here, we have the option to leave as well, and seek fulfilment in cultures richer than ours. One thing ultimately unites us; we all are Earthlings, and ultimately it is a shared existence, and the idea of nationalist seems so ridiculous to me, for those that find comfort in being limited by our potential as humans.
So why live here? Because the United States isn’t a fascist nation (yet) and what made it great originally still makes it great now, that there are still those that fight the darkness of ignorance to leave the light on for like minded luminaries. That said, it’s more important than ever to open people’s mind to the world, and fortunately, it is easier than ever to travel outside your culture. I think we got to this place because we made it too comfortable to be ignorant, and we’re all at fault for that. It’s our job to chip the armor and let the light in to the places that exist in the darkness of pure nationalism. Open up the world to people as much as you can, no need to argue politi
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain shortly after the Civil War. How far have we really come I wonder.