Was America ever really that great?

Breaking my list silence. Needed to get my thoughts out somewhere. This is long I'm sorry.
  1. I couldn't even get out of my bed yesterday. I skipped class. I felt mentally and physically exhausted. I was hungover because, the night before, I drank too much in reaction to the results, and because I didn't know what else to do.
    I haven't felt like that since the height of my depression a couple years ago.
  2. As a straight white male, I know there is a real possibility I am unaffected by this. So my feelings are only a fraction of what others are feeling. I can't even fathom. I cried a lot thinking about my friends, as well as the millions of strangers, who don't look like me.
  3. Reading about all the incidents that hispanics, African Americans, muslims, women, etc. have had to deal with after just ONE DAY, makes me sick to my stomach.
  4. I apologize because I don't have a positive, uplifting message for you. I'm having difficulty thinking. I apologize for the cynicism.
  5. It's hard to organize and articulate, but here are my thoughts as of right now:
  6. This election was a resounding confirmation. At our nation's core, we are still deeply flawed.
  7. So many different factors were at play, and so many of us to blame.
    Voter suppression. The Media biased circus act. Corruption and interference, both domestic and foreign. The Electoral college. The Two-party system. People claiming racism and sexism aren't still a thing. Etc. etc.
  8. Not only do racism and sexism still exist, but they are still key underpinnings of our society.
  9. For 200+ years, we've been sold the notion that this is the greatest country in the world, that we are at the forefront of political and societal advancement, and we are progressive and forward thinking.
  10. That's just not the case. For our entire nation's history, we've dealt with deep rooted conservatism, and it's what has always run this country.
  11. It's 2016. We are no where near as far as we should be for a country that has historically asserted itself as a beacon of progression.
  12. African-Americans earned the right to vote nearly 150 years ago. But we have found a way to suppress that vote still to this day.
  13. Large scale segregation only ended 50 years ago, and we still to this day have "legal" segregation.
    We just don't label it segregation. It's usually the byproduct of restrictive legislation.
  14. Women earned the right to vote LESS THAN 100 years ago. And even after it was earned, for decades they were expected (and virtually required) to vote the same way as their husbands.
  15. Members of the LGBTQ community earned the right to marriage equality fucking LAST YEAR.
  16. Other members of the LGBTQ community are only barely starting to receive rights now.
  17. Women still do not have pay equity, and their health rights are marginalized.
  18. Immigrants are still widely despised, and oppressed at every turn.
  19. We still turn our backs on the poor.
  20. We still praise corporate America and Wall Street, and grant them human rights as "people."
    Corporations are not people.
  21. We still let capitalism run rampant, unfettered and unchecked.
  22. We still bastardize the middle class.
  23. We still have not accepted the fact that global warming is real.
  24. We criminalize and imprison disproportionately and exorbitantly, and our justice system fails to uphold its pledge.
  25. We pump billions and billions into fighting both literal and figurative wars. And we justify them as "protecting American values" when really we just destabilize and destroy other parts of the world, as well as our own economy.
  26. We spew propaganda about global anti-Americanism and foreign terror, while fostering an environment conducive to wide scale domestic terrorism.
  27. We treat healthcare and education as backseat, afterthought issues.
    Education wasn't even mentioned once in this election. Think about that.
  28. Our history is marked by oppression, suppression, fear-mongering scare tactics, and the glorification/justification of war.
  29. Our two-party system doesn't work. Never has. It's what allows the conservatism to keep hold. The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are just two sides of the same corrupt coin, that historically really only represent the center, the right of center and the left of center.
  30. Fuck the Republican Party and its fear mongering, religious zealousy and dogmatic hate rhetoric.
  31. Fuck the Democratic Party and its white limousine liberalism and pigeonholing complacency.
  32. I've felt this way and expressed these ideas for years; skepticism and critical hesitation towards the reputation of this country and its governing body.
  33. But recently, I had started to feel a little hopeful for our future though, thanks to Obama's presidency.
  34. I adore Obama and the path that he had set us on. And after fervently supporting both Bernie in the primary, and then Hillary in the general, I thought that hope would sustain.
  35. But the results were a huge wake up call, and a reminder and confirmation of our systemic issues.
  36. Hillary's own party is as much to blame as the party that has spent 30 years attacking her.
  37. Trump is honestly not much different than a Reagan or a Nixon. He is just WAY more overt about his transgressions.
    Reagan and Nixon and company knew how to legislate oppression without saying it out loud.
  38. Under presidents like Nixon and Reagan and the Bushes etc., we kept that societal homophobia, sexism, racism, islamaphobia, xenophobia and bigotry alive. And it lives on with Trump and Pence. And our conservative majority congress. And, most scary of all, our Supreme Court.
  39. Unfortunately, those kinds of ideals are not just tucked away in the corner of the internet, but have actually informed so much policy and legislation throughout our nation's history.
  40. So I ask: was America ever really *that* great? I don't know that it was, at least not to the extent that we've been lead to believe it is.
  41. In my opinion, it was only starting to become great.
    Thanks, Obama.
  42. Now? It's just back to business, and history, as usual.
  43. "Neutrality helps the oppressor…Silence encourages the tormentor…" Elie Wiesel.
    Fifty percent of the population didn't vote. FIFTY.
  44. We blew our opportunity to speak up. Let's not repeat that mistake again.