I passed some American flags today when I was out doing errands, and it struck me just how taken aback I was by the sight of them. In less than four years, the flag has gone from what felt like a symbol of freedom and justice to a symbol of hate and violence. (I suspect those older than me have felt this way before, perhaps during Vietnam or the Civil Rights era...)
And I was thinking about what that means. I was thinking about how I have a lot more faith in Superman or Captain America than I do in the actual country I live in. They embody ideals and values that the country has abandoned and seemingly forgotten.
Sadly, Biden isn't Superman or Captain America. He can't just swoop in and save the world. I am very fearful that even if we are so lucky as to have Biden win the election, the country will remain deeply divided and the forces that put 45 in power will remain a strong and destructive force in the country. I am not sure what it will take to restore my faith in the United States. A blue wave would be a good start in November, but I'm not sure it will be enough.
We just had the 19th anniversary of 9/11. I remember how frightened I was on that day and in the weeks and months that followed. I remember feeling like we were at the beginning of a very dangerous period. But I didn't lose hope in the United States or its people. This time it's different. We are being attacked from within, the call is coming from inside the house.
The west coast is burning, the virus continues to devastate our society, actual nazis are coming out of the woodwork, children continue to be held in concentration camps, and black people are being killed by an increasingly militarized police force, LGBT people's rights are under attack. The list of atrocities committed in the name of our flag is far longer than that. Some of the damage predates 45, but he has exacerbated all of it. He and his henchmen have gone out of their way to leave a trail of destruction in their wake.
I realize that it is too much to ask of one fictional man, but I want Superman to come and rescue us. I want Captain America to get back to punching nazis here at home. I want to believe in my country again. In the meantime I will keep sending money to Biden and Harris in the hopes that there is still some sliver of good left in the American people.