The America I know is emboldened in the idealism that what unites us is more than what divides us.
The America I know realizes there is respect and an opportunity to learn when differences of opinions arise. The America I know is diverse, civil, decent, always striving to be best, always living in democracy. The America I know is not perfect. The America I know realizes that a perfect democracy is not the goal; the goal is a civil democracy.
The America I know realizes that hateful rhetoric that seeks to amplify our differences and minimize our commonalities is not the America for which our forefathers marched, fought, protested, and died. It was not the vision of a divisive nation our ancestors dreamed for us. They dreamed of an America of equality, decency, rationality, civility; our forefathers and our ancestors dreamed of a healthy democracy.
America in this moment stands at a critical impasse. Do we choose to stay silent when civil injustice and blatant disregard of our democracy runs rampant, when fear mongering and harmful rhetoric prevent us from trying to understand and respect the differences of our neighbors? Do we complain and rant while sitting in front of a screen instead of actually standing for something in our words and actions?
Or, do we choose to take the baton of our forefathers and continue the race forward to a better nation for our children, even if we are not able to see the fruits of our labor in our lifetime? Do we do our own part, small or large, in adding to the legacy that we would like to leave to our children? Do we choose to embrace that America is the greatest democracy in this world, and take individual ownership of making it so?
The America I know would choose the latter. The America I know will continue to proudly carry the baton forward, even without knowing what the end will be. The race that we as Americans run is a race to a civil, fair, decent, and equal democracy. The Americans I know are proud to be Americans, as they know the sacrifices that paved the way for their individual freedoms. These freedoms include the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom of the press, the freedom and the right to vote, and the freedom to peacefully protest. We are even offered the freedom to disagree.
The America I know acknowledges that healthy debates often pave the way to new ideas. The America I know puts principles, morals, and equalities before political parties.
The America I know may sound like soliloquies of hope. That is because the America I know is forever hopeful.