What is America going to do?
We are a country without a leader.
When the greatest country on earth is leaderless, the people have to fill the void of the leader.
As a basis, this post is inspired by Trump’s recent pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Let’s start off with a few facts. The withdrawal of the agreement has no positive economic growth effects on our country and will not create any new jobs. It is a decision that was solely based on our president’s incompetence, ignorance, ego, greed, and the pure hatred of his predecessor and primary goal of undoing his legacy.
“Trump has wreaked havoc and abdicated U.S. leadership in the world” said by Susan Rice.
We have a president who is without a heart, soul, and brain. We have a president that is driven by his greed, his ego, and by spreading fear. Whose agenda is based on three principles:
1) Undo everything Obama has done
2) Rule like an authoritarian (No policy and all executive orders)
3) Feed the base
Trump’s name will no longer be mentioned throughout this article, as he isn’t the topic focus. We are the topic, the citizens of the United States of America.
The removal of America from the Paris Climate Accord can also be a representation of the duality of life. Life is about perspective and depending on your perception, there is a good and bad consequence to every action.
Yes, it is a major step back as global leaders, but as I’ll explain in a few paragraphs, it has enabled leadership at the local level to fill that void.
“This withdrawal only perpetrates America’s increasingly weakened position on the international state…our leading economic rivals will quickly and efficiently cover the lapse in leadership that will inevitably form”.
What is an isolationist decision, is only another example of a government who wishes to benefit their own interests and not that of its people.
We have given our allies and developing countries a big middle finger. When beforehand, we were known as the gold standard and could be looked at as the country to model after.
America is now an image of its leader. The global world sees us as selfish, isolated, brutish, and only driven by immediate satisfaction.
The ideal of restoring our “American Greatness” has come at a consequence of destroying the confidence in our American leadership.
Let’s look at the definition of “leader”.
Leader (noun): The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.
I have heard many Republican pundits say that the move was an act of leadership because it shows other countries that America will no longer take “bad deals”. The republican’s alternative definition of leadership isn’t exactly leadership at all. It is nowhere close.
As we withdraw ourselves from the table and take an isolationist position, there will be another world power that fills our void (see China). They will “lead” the world forward when it comes to innovation & progress, something that America once took pride in. Innovation and progress were once the hallmarks of our democracy.
We have now ceased to be the leader that the world once respected. We have voluntarily given up our leadership by simply quitting and taking ourselves out of the field.
Now as a country without a leader, innovation and progress will have to start from the bottom up….with us.
We have fumbled an opportunity to be the leader in renewable energy, which is predicted to reach a value of $6 trillion dollars in the next few decades.
Although, on a national and federal level we no longer have a primary interest in leading the world in order to fight climate change, there has been positive reactions or actions taken by states, governors, and mayors.
So far, there have been 9 states, including New York, Washington, and California, along with over 100 mayors that have denounced Trump’s decision and will take the matter into their own hands by forming the United States Climate Alliance.
A prime example of action starting from the bottom up and a signal to our leaderless White House, that America will move forward with or without federal involvement.
You have to go two steps backward to go forward.
As individuals, it is up to us to take on leadership positions and to use that leadership to dictate the world around us. As Americans, it is time to step it up, to get rid of hate, and start making changes from the ground up.
We have to show the world that even though our leader is incompetent, we are still the country that sets the standard when it comes to morality, governance, and world issues.
“We must make clear to our foreign partners that this present policy is a aberration, not the new normal”.
We must, as civilians, demonstrate that the U.S. is still committed to our democratic principles and integration into the global economy.
A nation is made up of individuals. There is no country without its people. I’m an optimist and I’ve had this thought that it may even be easier to make individual progress with an incompetent president who only knows how to reverse and not implement beneficial policy.
With the absence of leadership coming from the White House, we the American people must act as informal ambassadors.
“Across the country, there has been an increase in hate crimes and hate speech targeting ethnic and minority communities. The increase can be directly contributed to the xenophobic rhetoric that has encompassed the political climate”
But let’s be real.
America is and always has been a racist country. This is not a new issue but it has been more present as we have a president who is also a racist (well probably most of them were, see slavery.)
A country that is bigoted in its beliefs will never progress in a global world that depends on cooperation and unity.
When we have a president that won’t denounce hate and ignorance, it is our responsibility to do so. We must take matters into our own hands.
What are we going to do as a nation, as communities, and as individuals?
“Any movement that is worth while, any action which has any deep significance, must begin with each one of us”.
The structure of racism built this country. It’s hard to let go, especially of power, when the walls and safe nets around you start to disintegrate.
How do you change something that doesn’t want to change?
I’ll never understand hate. It takes up too much energy. But I understand how it can influence people who succumb to it. It’s contagious, it feels good and makes you feel powerful. Kind of like heroin (writers note: I’ve never done heroin).
Just like there is a heroin epidemic in the US, there is also a hate and racism epidemic.
Our society is ever increasingly threatened by bigotry and hate, which is a constant threat to human rights.
How do we break the code and become better? That’s the only way our society will advance. We need a revolution lead by love. A far to reach age of enlightenment, a utopian ideal.
A global and modern country relies on science, technology, and rationality. To a simple-minded bigot, those things go against his predisposition, as they are a threat to his or her sense of being and superiority. So they have a hate filled envy and resentment towards progress, intellectuals, and scientists.
A consequence of which is the discreditation of all things science. Which has grave consequences, but the bigot doesn’t understand that, as they only view it as a threat to their power and perceived notions.
Science and education grow out of a liberal culture and open society that allows for the questioning of authority.
We must use education, legislation, and most importantly interaction to combat hate. As individuals, we must engage in educational and humanitarian efforts to restore the world’s hope that America is the leading country of human rights for all cultures.
It is up to us to provide ‘cultural training’ to break down bridges and open dialogue.
Our world needs a new generation of leaders. We can be the America that aspires for a country based on empathy. We can transform our country with an open heart. But, it must begin with each individual one of us.
I can hope that we will all come together in an age of uncertainty. We must get rid of our blinded self-pride and embrace one another. Being patriotic should be a representation of fighting for what you believe is right, by defending the freedom of all people, no matter race, religion, or ethnicity.
Being patriotic is also fighting for science. Fighting for education. Fighting for health care. Fighting for the people of our nation and the people of the world.
As our president has ignored injustices around the globe and at home, what are we going to do as Americans?
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
How these words are still true today.
American is already great but we have to do better.
As Americans, we have to get better every day. Work hard. Eat healthy. Love. Educate. Inspire. Be compassionate. Don’t let the skeptic win. Go the extra mile. Give a hand. Help your neighbor. Fight for progress. Limit your waste. Help the environment.
This is what we must do. As Americans. As individuals. As humans.
We have to be our own president. We are the creators of our reality.
We are America.
What is America going to do?