It’s Independence Day again here in Washington D.C. traditionally a time to renew our commitment to “freedom” for Americans. On this 242nd birthday of the nation most Americans are united in fear for the loss of basic freedoms under President Donald Trump: free speech, press and religion, due process and control over their bodies. Trump, meanwhile foments fears among his followers of crime, gangs, immigrants and civil servants. And Americans of all beliefs fear they are losing the American Dream and its promise of economic mobility.
As a recent immigrant from Canada and as a journalist labelled as “enemies of the people”, I find myself vilified by my own government. The recent irrational attacks and insults by Trump toward Canadians and Canada, the land of my birth have also left me mystified and angry.
However, I still have a fundamental faith that America will correct its path before more destruction is done to our nation and our allies.
In today’s Washington Post, Dana Milbank, a daily columnist I admire, has listed what we have lost in a brief time under the Trump administration. He suggests we all rededicate ourselves to the following freedoms:
- Freedom from Trump’s constant attacks on women, immigrants, people of color, gay people and Muslims.
- Freedom to work and live without discrimination, harassment and violence because of your gender, race or religion.
- Freedom to get medical care when you or your children are sick.
- Freedom to earn a living wage, to attend college or get job training, and to retire in security.
- Freedom from a rigged economy in which the top 1 percent own more than the bottom 90 percent combined.
- Freedom to marry whom you choose.
- Freedom to make decisions about your own body.
- Freedom to send your kids to school without fear for their safety.
- Freedom to breath clean air, to drink clean water, to live on a habitable planet.
- Freedom to elect your leaders without the rich, or foreign governments, choosing them for you.
- And freedom to speak, to protest and to publish without the fear of violence.
President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God.”
This faith sustained America through many dark times. It will not fail us in our 243rd year.
Don, Glen & Deanna North
July 4th, 2018