Dear America,

I am wondering today why are you so angry?  Most of the people that say they are voting for the hate monger on a pedestal, angry about Muslims and angry about Mexicans, are white, middle class suburban folks who say they are very angry with the government, angry with Obama, Obama Care, and big business run government.  And so the answer is yet another big business? What are you so angry about?  I drive over 3000 miles every month through the suburbs of the North East and most of the homes and cars that I see are in pretty good shape.  People seem to be dressed in relatively nice clothes, or at least in designer sweat pants with colorful emblems displayed across their backsides.  I generally see suburbia doing pretty well.  But still you are angry, America.  I fear it is contagious.  I fear that I am turning angry, too.

Sure there’s things to be angry about.  Like top level executives making dump trucks full of money while their employees make a tiny fraction.  That maybe true, but those executives have to live and breathe their jobs, usually and statistically making their home lives suck, their life much shorter, and their social life a lie.  Nobody could possibly want that, unless you’re so shallow that money really does mean everything to you.  Maybe suburbia is steaming angry about illegal immigrants taking jobs at less than five dollars per hour cash under the table?  It seems that the anger is misguided and misplaced and should be placed squarely on the shoulders of your neighbor who owns the company who is hiring these poor folks to avoid taxes everyday while simultaneously complaining about his taxes.  I’m not sure that it does much good to be mad at the people who walked thousands of miles just to get a meal, who are only doing what they think is best to survive, and who can’t understand the language you are yelling at them in.

I guess I’m just confused as to what could make you so angry, America?  Do you think you are due more? I see you with your cable TV, new flat screens, smart phones, nice new cars, and I can’t imagine what you could be so angry about?  Where does the deep anger come from?  Are you upset because you think you deserve more?  For doing what?  What have you done lately for your country?  What have you done lately for your neighbor?  For your wife?  Your kids?  Besides complain about politics every four years and scratch your nails mindlessly down the chalkboard of life impatiently waiting for the next presidential election so you can align yourself with who you think to be the winner and then gloat.  This isn’t football you know.

I don’t vote.  Probably never will.   Where I think voting makes more of a difference is at the local level, your house seats, your mayor, your city council.  Bring your voice there, where it can directly effect the community you live in, where your voice starts small and builds as it gets closer to the nations capital.  I’m not sure that you can show up to a booth once every four years to pull a lever, guess on the other names on the ballot, proudly display your sticker like a grade school gold star, and call yourself an American for exercising your “right”.  It’s bigger than that, it’s badder than than, its more intense than that, and it is simply not that easy.  Every election year when the subject is broached and I say I don’t vote people always tell me I’m giving up my American right.  I always ask them when was the last time they voted, and the most common answer is the last presidential election.  But doesn’t this mean that you are giving up your American right too?  I knowingly give up my right to vote, but are you knowingly only voting in the presidential elections?  Making a difference in your community and your government starts at the local level.  And just not enough people participate at that level to make a difference.

Voting for Trump certainly is not the answer.  Then again, maybe voting for Hillary, or Bernie isn’t either.  You might as well vote for your cat.  “Fluffy for President!” I can see the taglines and hashtags now.  “Fluffy would make the Purr-fect President!  #FurMoreYears.  Its all the same, they are just politicians, fat cats vying for power, respect, money and attention.  It’s all big business.  Most of the Trump supporters tell me I should vote for Trump because he is not run by big business.  And I agree, he is not.  He can’t be.  Because he IS big business.  You would just be replacing multiple big business with one big business.  That’s called a monopoly and it is not supposed to be very American.

Maybe we should all vote for the guy on the monopoly game.  He seems OK.  He steadily increases rent as more homes are built.  The nicer the area, the higher the rent.  I guess that makes sense.  “One Nation, Under one Monopoly, for all!”  Is that an oxymoron?  Does that make any sense, America?  If it does, please write me back and explain. Maybe the monopoly guy is just as good at running a business as Trump.  At least we are just as familiar with him.  And no hair is better than bad hair, monocle and all.

And I hear this one a lot.  “Trump should be president because he knows how to run a business!”  That’s fantastic.  But running a country is not running a business.  Our president should be extremely compassionate to all who are living in it, wealthy, poor, immigrants, natives, healthy, sick. The people that live in this country are not assets.  They are humans.  We need to have more compassion for other humans.  We need to have someone represent us that has a lot of compassion for all.  It is difficult to run a big business and maintain compassion for people at the same time.  “You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet!”  Big business makes difficult decisions everyday that sometimes burn people, displace people, anger people, derail and deride people.  That isn’t very compassionate.  And I don’t consider that to be very presidential.  Do you America?

A democracy doesn’t mean that everybody wins all the time.  There are certainly going to be people who aren’t happy with the results.  But it shouldn’t be hate filled anger spewing violently from their guts.  It shouldn’t be Forty-nine percent on one side and Fifty-one percent on the other.  Not everything can be divided so evenly into right or wrong, win or lose.  This isn’t football, you know.  We are human beings, and that which separates us from the animals is reason.  We should be able to work together to blur the lines and find a place where everyone can live harmoniously, compassionately, and with great care for other fellow humans.  Isn’t America all about letting everyone getting a say, living in peace, and having their slice of apple pie?  Well, America?  Are you?

Maybe we should go the opposite route and stay angry.  Who is angrier?  We can let social media set the divisions.  Are angry Twitter followers angrier than angry Instagram followers?  It could be a new reality television show.  We can call it “Make America Angry Again!”  Hey, you never know. Maybe we can get Donald Trump to star in that one, too.

Sincerely,

Anthony Norman White

 

Anthony N. White is a writer currently living in Rochester, NY.

He can be heckled on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @Ruthieshusband

Or on Facebook, of course.