Yesterday, as usual, we talked now and again about President Trump and politics. As much as we try to avoid the topic, it sharply intrudes into our daily lives.
We voted against Trump, and are upset about the direction that the country is taking. Living in Washington, D.C., we know what it can mean that the Republicans control the presidency, the Congress, and the judiciary.
They can make major, long-term changes in laws, programs and policies that will affect not only many Americans but the entire world.
The Republicans are presently fighting among themselves about Obamacare, and are immobilized. But, having lived in Washington for a long time, we know that can change quickly.
Yesterday afternoon was one of those occasions when we were going about our lives and politics again intruded.
In front of our house we planted two months ago two small pines. Then, we went on vacation and they were not watered as we had arranged beforehand. So, they died and had to be replaced.
A gardener we had used before did the re-planting. While talking to him, we made some comments about Trump and his party. It seemed that we could not stop ourselves. The laments were the usual ones.
How could so many Americans have voted for him? How can he say such awful things and not get an overwhelming backlash?
How can so many people still support him when the Republicans are passing bills in Congress that will deny medical care to 20 million people? How can his most avid supporters stick with him when the Republicans are hurting them the most?
There is something seriously wrong about this country. We don’t understand our fellow Americans.
We are going to the dogs.
The gardener went about his work saying nothing. At the end of his planting, and at a pause in our diatribes, he said: “This is the greatest country in the world. If I had stayed in El Salvador, I would be dead.”
What can you say to that? He spoke the truth, and that should be a reminder to us. We want to change the politics in this country, but let us keep some perspective.
Despite all its faults, our country is still a beacon of hope in the world. Let’s pause for a moment in our fights with one another and remember that truth.
This article written by Jack Jennings first appeared on June 28, 2017 in the Huffington Post.