Jason: We all know the drill: President Trump says or does something that a substantial portion of the population finds deeply offensive, but toes the line just close enough so his supporters can find some slightly rational argument to defend or ignore his actions. For the sake of argument, let’s be generous to the lingering supporters of the president and assume they have no malicious or prejudiced motivations in continuing their devotion to him. Assuming even the best of intentions, it’s hard to see exactly what is in it for them by steadfastly maintaining their position. Trump’s entire legislative agenda has stalled. His cabinet is in free fall with the use of private emails and investigations. He loses diplomatic capital with other world leaders every time he comments on geopolitics. He’s put forward no actual economic policy other than some sort of half-baked protectionist rhetoric. The Russian investigation still dogs his legitimacy, and he’s still the most unpopular incoming president in modern history. Instead of dealing with these unpleasant realities, the president seems resolved to simply lambast his ideological enemies on Twitter and hope his bluster will distract the country, or at least his base, from realizing the magnitude of what are often viewed by the opposition as his failures.
As political polarization intensifies, the question of what it means to be an American continues to tear our communities apart as we battle to provide a better answer. America used to stand for freedom, or at least that is what we’re told, yet now we ban the very immigrants our monuments claim we pride ourselves in accepting into our communities. America used to be a safe haven from persecution, yet now it appears that we need a new haven to escape the persecutions of today’s America.