An Ode to America

By Clara Pressey.

I’ve harbored a deep hatred for the American flag for a while now. Each flag I’ve seen since November 8, 2016, has caused bile to rise in my throat. The fifty stars became constellations of cruelty. The red stripes became the blood that would surely be spilled with himas commander in chief. The blue became the sea that would rise as people to ignore its condition. My disgust is sad, and has proven itself hard to shake.

All I felt after the election was defeat. I was alive to see Obama elected twice. Apart from the first three years of my life, I lived in a world where my “team” (the Democratic party) was winning. Even as I’ve come to grasp the flaws within the Democratic party itself, I’d still rather have a Democrat in office than Donald Trump. After watching Hillary put up a solid fight, I never imagined that man could really win. But he did. And I lost any sense of patriotism that I had before. Every part of this country disgusted me. I ignored the parts of which I should be proud.

Recently, I made a trip to our nation’s capital. There I saw laid out before me the past and future of a beautiful country.

I saw parts of our history that were beautiful. I saw people with revolutionary ideas fighting tooth and claw for what is right. I saw natural beauty and new ideas. I also saw parts of our history that disgust me. I saw atrocities and some of the vilest crimes against humanity known to man. All of those parts- good and bad- make up the history of the United States of America.

I also saw a future. A future in which the light must beat out the darkness because this is an ever-evolving country. Revolutionaries will not stop until the ideals on which this nation was built have been achieved. And this time, those ideals will include everyone- not just the wealthy, the white, and the male. The good fight will end with the end of hypocrisy, and not a moment before.

The American experiment has been a profoundly human one. Our nation has been responsible for new ideas and home to new inspirations. That can’t be ignored. Our nation has also been responsible for cruelty, dehumanization, and oppression. That can’t be excused. We must acknowledge both, and work to atone for the evils, and add to the beauties. It is our job as the next generation to create a new face for our country.

The man that currently sits in the Oval Office is the poorest representation of our country we could have possibly chosen. He defies everything for which we stand. So now is the time to move on. Leave him to the past. Let the history books disparage him and posterity look at him with abhorrence. Let us leave him to be devoured by hope and determination as we continue to fight for a better future with love in our hearts.


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