Ashamed to Be an American

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Mordecai Schreiber

The United States is my adoptive country. The United States gave me everything. I came here by myself at age twenty with ten dollars in my pocket. I worked hard, I studied hard, I got a graduate degree, I became a rabbi and a scholar, I built a highly successful business, I authored over sixty books (check on amazon under my name and under my pen name, Morry Sofer). I am happily retired in south Florida. America has been very good to me.

Politically, I am an independent, although I vote Democrat much more often than Republican. Politically, I am more interested in helping others than myself, because, as should be clear, I have done quite well for myself but there are many who need help. Having lived in the U.S. for over fifty years, I have always believed that what this country is all about is helping others.

I no longer do.

Politically, this year has been a political nightmare. I am ashamed of the sitting President, but I am even more ashamed of the ruling party. I agree with those who maintain that the President is incompetent. He cannot help making one mistake after another, because nothing qualifies him to be president. But many Republican leaders arecompetent, and yet—unless I am missing something—they seem to work against rather than for the American people.

Examples:

• The U.S. is the only industrial country in the developed world which allows universal possession of all types of weapons and has record numbers of Americans killing Americans, yet denies universal healthcare to its citizens, and lets the pharmaceutical companies rob the public blind.

• The U.S. back in the days of President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty,” yet today the gap between the haves and have nots keep growing by the day.

• The U.S. has a long history of tragic political blunders in foreign policy, from the tragic Vietnam War to the recent Iraq War. Yet, there seems to be no learning curve, and the present handling of foreign policy is not only “business as usual,” but verging on inviting a nuclear holocaust.

I could go on and on.

The reason I am politically an independent is because I don’t feel that either party has stepped up to the plate to help those who need help. But things have never been nearly so bad as they are under the present ruling party, which controls the entire political system, yet in every possible way seems to do everything possible to rob America of its moral and social greatness.

As an immigrant, I have always been telling people here and abroad that the United States is “humankind’s second chance.” People from all over the world come here and can reach the top. A poor boy from Jamaica named Colin Powell became the chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A Jewish girl from Europe named Madeleine Albright became secretary of state. There is no other country in the world, past or present that can make the same claim. This is what made America great.

As an optimist by nature, I still believe in the America I love. But right now I am ashamed to be an American.

The author is a rabbi and author of sixty books

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