I am proud to be an American.

At the close of the RNC tonight, a potent cocktail of emotions flooded my being: national pride, honor, joy, excitement, sadness, disappointment and fear.

As an independent voter and a 100% American woman, the overwhelming sense of feeling could not be denied. I watched the DNC – at the expense of losing supposed friends who were furious that I would have such an open mind. And I watched the RNC – at the expense of losing supposed friends who were again furious that I would have such an open mind.

Truth be told, I’ve leaned Republican for as far back as I can remember, but I am moderately liberal on social issues. However – I am an Independent. And a proud one.

I support gay rights. I support black lives. I support women. I support choice. I support law enforcement. I support religious freedom. I support our military. I support our history.

I will support you.

I see, weigh and feel for anyone and everyone who has been or is treated unjustly and unfairly.

But when I watch paralyzed Veterans who stand for the National Anthem – Veterans who have fought for the freedom that want to be socialists, communists and others are privileged to have – while our National sports teams are kneeling to appease propaganda activists – my heart breaks. My eyes fill. What does the future of our beautiful, free country hold? And why is this divide so strong?

Jack Brewer, former NFL player, expressed it so well tonight. His son said all lives matter. And they do. And they are of color – so why doesn’t their opinion count?

My colleague shared her views today about our never acknowledging what happened to slaves or our involvement. And she maybe right. I reflected upon that a lot after our call. Maybe we are now stepping up to acknowledge and shed light on this – stepping up to apologize for the sins of our ancestors. I’m in, in my own way.

But why are we being asked to erase our history? Why are we being asked to remove the past that paints a picture of where we are today – and fuels our decision about where we want to be?

I watched the DNC – and absorbed division, high school like retorts and a government driven nation. I didn’t hear a plan. I didn’t hear a strategy. I heard fluff, desperation and a wild reach for support.

Yes, Trump may react like a ten-year old at times. Have no idea what to do with that! And yes, there’s a lot I don’t agree with – on both sides.

But I do commend Trump for his honesty, passion and commitment. He loves our country. Of that I am sure. And I can state that with conviction.

Why is it when Biden and his team respond in such a childish way that we accept it? Praise it? Want it? Maybe I missed it, but where was the motivation to work hard, produce and commit to a prosperous future? It seems he, Pelosi and so many others want to handicap so many – you choose to take their handouts over rising up, finding opportunities to work and contributing to the tax paying nation.

I want us all to get along. I want us all to work together for our country. But I’m not feeling that after the DNC. I’m struggling to comprehend how we can get beyond propaganda, agendas and division. A lifeline please?!

But when I powered down my remote tonight, I cried for the future of our country. I cried for my family who served our country in every branch of the service. And I cried for us – please, please step back and examine what you’re looking to achieve.

I love America. I love our freedom. And I love each of you who are willing to work together to honor our history, continue to work toward peace and stop hating each other.

Keep us free. I beg you to pledge allegiance to the flag – and if you won’t, I ask you, why are you here?

And if a picture is worth a thousand words – Biden is a charmer. Love him. But please – vote with thought, intellect and care.

I am an American with a universal heart. Join me in supporting my cause.

Author: E.M. Murphy

A voracious writer, lifetime learner and eternal seeker who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

2 thoughts on “I am proud to be an American.”

  1. Hi Erin, I love our country too, but I saw both conventions and am awaiting the Presidents speech. I will not walk away with the same feelings that you did. I respect your opinion, and love you dearly but I could never in a million years cast my vote for Trump. Trump does love this country, because it has given him a free ride. He was born into money, which has given him a skewed view of what it is like to grow up poor. His opportunities were ten fold, and if you ask anyone that has worked for him…they will say that he cheated them out of their hard earned efforts. What has he done over the past 4 years? caused more damage to the democratic ideals that we believe in. As a father of daughters, if any man treated any one of my daughters the way he treats woman, or people with special needs, I would, lets says it would not be pretty. The news channels skew our views of what we see and try and manipulate the views of the people, but I have yet to see anything that he has done that would make me proud of what he has accomplished to make this country a better place for us all. I have worked hard for everything I have, and have seen some that would rather sit and do nothing but just collect a check from the government. But those individuals are few and far between. We are led to believe that those poor people could do better, be better, if they just worked harder. There opportunities are shrinking. Mr Trump has managed to play robin hood with the rich. Take from the poor and give to the rich. Ignore passing any legislation that would increase the minimum wage. He has offered nothing for health care other than trying to dismantle a program that at least is trying to help those who need it the most. My wife and I have always been in the trenches with troubled families. We have seen what drugs, alcohol and mental illness will do to families. What damage it does to children, and how that perpetuates through families over the years. Some escape it others don’t. If you look closely at what Trump/Senate is doing, you will see they are trying to just make the poor, poorer. If he cuts the employment tax, which he wants to do he will further cripple the social security program. That is how we fund the program. He has no clue how to manage money because he has never really had any of his own. His pyramid schemes have left many in ruins. Trump university, Atlantic city, and the list goes on. After that, no America bank would lend him money. So he has stiffed those who trusted him to make them rich. So the only way he could get future cash was to go over seas. They are closely looking into that now. Well I am sorry that I went off on a rant. Just one more bit of frustration for me has been immigration. This country was founded on immigration. We are all just visitors. Just because I was lucky to be born here does not give me some God given right or ownership. Notice how quickly the boarder issues have quieted down. It was never a big deal, and has never been a big deal. But it was Trumped up (no pun intended) to be bigger than it was. We had people willing to risk death fleeing from persecution. Gangs and drug lords that were allowed to do what ever they wanted. Parents who wanted to free their children from this, only to find the country that they believed was the home of the free and the brave, separated them from their children. Encamped them for weeks, and in many cases sent them back to their deaths. I still love America, but I am afraid of its future. But Trump is nothing more than a showman. I am willing to give Biden a chance. I always believed that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I believe he has a pretty good pool to pick from. John

    1. Thank you for making the time to read and share your views. Given the length of our comments, it’s evident that we share some passion here!

      Please read with an open-mind and know that what I say is with all due respect to you and your beautiful family. You’re examples of selfless, committed individuals who sacrifice to help others under any circumstances. That is admired, commended and most importantly, genuine.

      The piece was not intended to be pro-Trump or pro-Biden, pro-Republican or pro-Democrat, pro-conservative or pro-liberal. It was crafted in the hopes of opening the minds of fellow Americans, encouraging them to think critically and educate themselves on their options. You know where you stand, you’ve done your homework, but so many do not and I find many get caught up in the high school like rumor mill and bullying, jumping on band wagons just because everyone else is. There’s some good and some bad in all candidates, all parties – all human beings.

      Many of Trump’s actions mirror those of other politicians as well as people from all walks of life – and I don’t condone any of it. But I don’t see the deception. What we see is what we get, like it or not, while some present one face to the world and another in private and that, for me, is the biggest deception of all – in pretending to be who one is not and cheating the public who seem to be so easily led and swayed.

      Trump may have been born into money, but he chose to work hard when he probably could have lived off a trust fund. Others have been born into money then made poor choices and ended up with nothing. Given the alcoholic history of his family, he could have fallen prey to that but he chose a different path because he experienced firsthand the destruction of addiction – and made the wise decision to leave alcohol out of his life.

      None of us really know what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes, even if we’ve had like experiences.
      I admire the modest beginnings and the adversity Joe and Jill Biden had to overcome to grow their current net worth of more than $9 million (according to a Forbes estimate from July 2019). That required hard work, perseverance and toughness, all qualities that he credits his parents for instilling.

      I respect your opinion that Trump loves the USA because he got a free ride – but what about the numerous speakers and guests who shared their stories during the RNC? The former US Marine, a female of color, who earned her degree in finance to get ahead then ended up homeless. She sought help when that happened, finding and taking advantage of the opportunities made available to us. The immigrants who legally entered our country, worked hard and succeeded in their endeavors.

      And this is where my issue lies – people can hate, criticize and bash Trump, but many with assorted stories to share support his party. Stories filled with poverty, addiction, abuse, neglect and adversity which they overcame. Two children can be born into hell yet have very different life outcomes. One survives while the other thrives. Is it nature vs. nurture? Or is it an innate drive to rise above and seek opportunities to help them succeed? The question is too complex to answer and there are too many variables at play to truly know.

      As an Independent, I was compelled to watch both conventions – much to the dismay of some – and I was left uninspired after the DNC. There was a lack of diversity, a lack of substance. More time was spent blaming Trump for America’s woes and it lacked a true feel that they were confident in who they are – or what they will fight for.

      On the flip side, the RNC hosted guests of all colors, religions, nationalities, disabilities and genders. It was inclusive. The inspirational testimonies from those who struggled and overcame, reiterating that America afforded them support and opportunities – that was more impactful than any candidate speech. They were living testaments to what’s available to anyone in this land of the free, the home of the brave – for those who choose.

      Character is where I believe our citizens should focus – and none of us are perfect. We’ve all done something wrong. People are quick to bash Trump, boast Biden or bash Biden, boast Trump – when both have been accused of hideous acts to include cheating, lying, fraud and sexual assault. The fact that Trump made fun of a disabled person is disgusting, inexcusable and ignorant – there is no penance for such callous hurtfulness or a lack of tact. And the fact that Biden told a construction worker with whom he disagreed that he was ‘full of shit’ and ‘I don’t work for you’ is blasphemous. As a politician, you do indeed work for us, the American people – even those you don’t agree with or may not like.

      There is evil among us – liars, cheats, thieves, criminals, animal abusers, bad cops, bad priests, corrupt politicians, fraudulent business people, negligent doctors – and the list goes on. But they are the exception, not the norm. And it is my belief that because we subscribe to the media hype, the extremist propaganda and the repetitive promotion of publicizing these exceptions, we have lost sight of all the good that surrounds us. The majority of any group is good with only a small percentage that is not. We seem to have bought into an ‘us against them’ mentality vs. a let’s work together for the unity of our nation, our citizens, our future. It is the extremists that polarize our aim for equality, justice, unity and freedom.

      Immigration is the foundation of this country and two words come into play here: legal vs. illegal. Many immigrants, who went through the legal process to enter our country, are angry and hurt by the illegals who seem to be taking advantage of the system. Believe me I would save everyone in the world if I could, but when illegals take a higher priority than our own citizens, that’s an issue. Some Americans are starving. Some Americans are afflicted with addiction, suffering because funds are not being allocated for proper treatment. And some of our US Veterans are homeless. When we take care of everyone else before taking care of our own, there may be nothing left of us and therefore, we will have nothing left to give. Charity begins at home.

      It’s disconcerting to know how many people in leadership roles don’t deserve the honor. But it’s equally disconcerting to know how many people idolize and revere those in powerful positions, following so blindly with such willingness. A position of power is not equivalent to being superhuman or heroism. We still need to think for ourselves, lead by our own examples and be the best people we can be – no matter who is in charge.

      I strongly believe in our country and our people. A reader commented that because President Trump doesn’t wear a mask, ‘it’s led to an entire culture refusing to do the same because their President doesn’t.’ But that’s not accurate because there are many who wear masks, so it is not the entirety. President Trump may not wear a mask, but I do and so should those who care about the health and well-being of their fellow man. If an entire culture is refusing to wear a mask because of his leadership – or lack thereof – then shame on them.

      If we as a society are so easily manipulated by what we see and hear, then we need to rise up and support others in doing the same. Dealing with manipulation is all about reading between the lines and recognizing the lies for what they are. We cannot blindly follow and should develop a healthy skepticism to discern the messages delivered, in turn developing a strong sense of self and sound judgment. Life is full of fakes – trust is earned.

      In a country with a population of 331,293,410 people (as of August 25, 2020), we have so few options from which to choose in the Presidential election. And we may not want any of them, but our civic duty calls and we must make the decision to elect a person that we hope – because we have no way of knowing, it’s a coin toss at the end of the day – support our own beliefs, values, morals and what we want to achieve for our country and its future.

      I make every effort to stay out of political battles and propaganda promotions, but my passion on this one far outweighed my desire to appear neutral. I feared the reactions, the potential backlash from those who aren’t willing to openly discuss matters and the risk of being judged and criticized harshly. But my aim was not to boast one candidate, party or persuasion over the other – it was quite the opposite. It was written with the hope that those who take sides and unfairly jump to conclusions invest the time to do their research, learn the facts and make an educated decision when they cast their vote.

      As you know, writing is a wonderful yet frightening endeavor because you never know how your thoughts will be interpreted or perceived. But that is also where the beauty of it begins – in giving us the opportunity to partake in a respectful exchange of diverse opinions while having the maturity to still like each other at the end of the debate.

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