How Fast Liberty Dies

Right now I am in shock at just how quickly Trump’s war on liberty is advancing. I feared it would happen, but I foolishly thought it would advance over a period of months. I did not imagine it would be this bad a week out. The assaults on liberty are numerous that before I can write on one, another happens.

Two things today speak to me more than others. The freedom of the press is under attack. Trump is doing everything he can to undermine the legitimacy of the press. Yet if we lose the press, our democracy dies. So today I subscribed to the Washington Post, a news outlet that has done good reporting on Trump and has done a good job of standing up to him. We need to keep the press alive at all costs.

I also want to tell you about one of my friends from high school. She was born in Iraq in a world very different from mine. So different that she doesn’t even know what day she was born, only that she was born the same month as me. I don’t think she ever had a photograph of her taken until she and her family had fled to Turkey when she was a child. You see she’s Kurdish, and Saddam Hussein tried to kill her family.

She came here legally before the first Gulf War. I met her in high school. She was smart, took advanced placement courses, and spoke good English without an accent. She’s Muslim, and she didn’t wear a hijab, though she always wore long sleeves under her t-shirt in the summer. She was the type of kid who didn’t cause trouble. Our sense of humor meshed well and we were always joking with each other.

Sometimes she would talk about the horrors she experienced before coming to America and about living in a refugee camp.

She’s now a naturalized citizen and is gainfully employed. She enriches the United States by being here.

Look, I didn’t do anything to deserve being born in the US, and she didn’t do anything to deserve to be born in Iraq. What was my good luck was her back luck. And I believe that when we are fortunate we should extend a hand to those who aren’t. It’s easy to sit on our pampered ass and judge people experiencing horrors the likes of which we haven’t and state what we would or wouldn’t do. Bottom line, if bombs were going off around you or you were watching your children starve, I think most people would do whatever they could to go some place better.

My liberal heart may be bleeding, but at least I have a heart.

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