American Values at Risk

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The thing that holds us together as Americans is values. Not language. Not creed, color, or religion. This gives us Americans a flexible identity, made possible because it sits atop these bedrock values. We believe that Americans have basic rights like education, healthcare, clean air and water, and we have a commitment to diversity, justice, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. These are our American religion. That’s what we pledge allegiance to.

Today, we see a rejection of those values and that pledge by a vocal, regional minority, influenced by foreign adversaries, sowing division and discord while wrapping themselves in the flag and praising the military. The far right is increasing combative, unreasonable, and armed. I fear them. Their allies, who once seemed like decent men, also seem to fear them.

There has always been an ugly undercurrent of white supremacy in America. Bringing it out into the open, praising and emboldening it, weakens our bedrock, and cruelly strips away the veneer of civility and government by compromise that has defined our nation. Until now. It is not just Democrats, but values, that are under assault. If we can’t agree on those values, who are we?

It is wrong for the majority to be oppressed by a religious and culturally backward regional minority dominated by white supremacists who flaunt their right to guns and have unreasonable and disproportionate political power because of a slave-era compromise. It is my right to be free of fear. Fear of them. Fear of guns. Fear of war. Fear of starvation. Fear of getting sick, of losing hope. This has to end.

I’m ready for another march on Washington to save the country. We have to do something. Who will lead us in affirming our bedrock values?

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