Can Americans keep hold of 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?'

    Wednesday, July 4, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- Fireworks are exploding in America to mark our Independence, but every day, fury launches spiritual bombing across our nation.

    For a century, Americans worked together to create greatness for this nation. Now, Americans are bitterly divided. The fight between our people is weakening our nation's greatness and destroys our leadership of the world.

    The greatness of the American people is found in their ingenuity and productivity, and an innate fairness and decency. A shared national mission makes boundless America's future.

    But as we watch fireworks, we must ask if Americans lost our sense of mission? Or, has simply one rich man stolen united for our imperfect Union?

    We won wars, built roads, laid track, defeated communism, pushed technology, fed the world, and even landed humans on the Moon.

    Our government is broken. Politics is a small part of life to most Americans, but it still is seen as important. Americans endure yelling and tweets from those who hold absolute power. Politicians won’t even shake hands, let alone fix the roads and keep the lights on.

    Indeed, on our nation’s Independence Day, as fireworks explode, the Constitution itself is treated as little more than an obsolete toy, with some calling for postponing the next presidential election.

    What do we have to show for the first year of action by the newly-elected regime that controls all three branches of government?

    The Republican party is owned by one rich man who has pushed through the biggest Fat Cat tax cut in a century. Meanwhile, the Democratic party is a broken machine, willing to jam through a nomination out of touch with ordinary voters known as Progressives.

    It is simply the super rich who own the Grand Old Party begun by Abraham Lincoln.

    Greed feeds the President and his family, as getting richer is reason enough to spew hatred so as to divide ordinary Americans. Indeed, as the President’s daughter pulls in $100,000,000 from Saudi Arabia, he slaps Harley-Davidson like a bully.

    Fat Cats walk the red carpet across the West Wing, while ordinary Americans face stinging costs for a “reversal Robin Hood.”

    The President borrows nearly $1 trillion this year, an 84 percent jump from last year. As taxes are chopped for the rich, the President’s plan for massive debt is push his own party to give everything he demands -- including cutting Social Security and Medicare -- by threatening to shut down government.

    Even the rich might suffer, as the biggest tax cut in a century and its massive debt could result in another economic collapse.

    So how does the President distract attention? By dividing the nation with raw hatred.

    When he first ran, the candidate said “our wages are too high.” Now that the rich know who to love, the President now simply smacks football players and Harley-Davidson.

    Whether to cut families in half may strengthen the President’s support, it may doom the Republican party itself. Taking kids from the parents is just a “bargaining chip,” says the rich man, the consequence for Republican lawmakers could give the GOP an election collapse not seen since Richard Nixon’s resignation and pardon.


    Even when the President abandons policy so as to avoid his biggest challenge, reversing direction is just a tactic. Even his order to change direction appears meaningless.

    Lawyers argue for family separations, while Administration officials pretend “zero tolerance” is just a myth.

    Like a ball of mercury, when answering questions about government policy, the White House leaves no trail. Republicans cannot rely on the President’s own words.

    On things big and small, details seem to not matter, and the President ditches Republicans, to pound his chest.

    Even something that most can agree is a good thing to do -- like helping Americans addicted to opioids -- seems to mean little beyond a highly-personal speech that carried no money.

    Truth seems unimportant when everything is about winning, even when the President abandons a promise to support something “1,000-percent.”

    When the Majority Party that controls all three branches of government cannot trust the President’s own words, Republicans bristle. Some Republicans are willing to change sides. Others reach across the aisle, by ignoring the President.


    -- China is the second largest economy on earth, but America if fighting a trade war that will result in economic risk. As America slaps China, 16 nations in Asia consider creating the biggest economic bloc in response.

    -- Canada -- our biggest trading partner -- gets accused of stealing shoes, by a President who admits that he makes up the reasons to attack.

    -- The President tells the leader of France they should leave the European Union, while America is considering pulling military forces out of German.

    -- While slapping long-term allies, the President wants to tear apart the global trade organization, and is leaving the United Nations Human Rights commission.

    -- Even direct invasion of another country is not beyond what the President pushes.

    -- The simplest risk of American national security over the division of Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America is that Russia will get everything they want. The President claims “absolute right” to kiss Vladimir Putin’s ring. A bipartisan US Senate committee sees reason to fear Russian tinkering of our election, but the top legal hack barks that the President can pardon his lackies, like a crybaby who throws a game onto the floor.


    When the President left early in a global meeting with leaders of the seven biggest economies, he did a “working lunch” with the insane leader of North Korea, a rogue nuclear power.

    After what appears to have been little more than a photo opportunity, the President’s backers bragged about his dream of winning a Nobel Peace Prize.

    Lunch in Singapore left a sour taste, as nuclear war remains a risk.

    Says the President, “it’s possible” that North Korea’s promise to end its nuclear weapon program may collapse. U.S. intelligence believes North Korea is making more nuclear bomb fuel despite an agreement reached during a great lunch.

    What is the definition of insane? The leader of North Korea -- who our President bargains with -- used an “anti-aircraft” gun to execute politicians who fall asleep at a meeting.

    The war started in 1950 between North and South Korea is officially over, but the tools to build a growing nuclear stockpile remains.


    Hatred is a snowball rolling down to Hell, because few survive the Fire.

    -- MAGA hats made in China aren’t the only hate products being sold.

    -- Love in the White House is denied due to hate, which seems almost just a joke.

    -- Even those in uniform suffer the pain of hate and division.

    -- The broken machine of the Democratic party offers a swelling list of ugly faces. Democratic party leaders are deaf, refusing to hear from the rank-and-file. Candidates jump onto issues with nearly the same arrogance as the President, saying whatever is needed. And the possible rise of a Progressive party leaves deep questions over how to oust the President.

    -- The spewing hatred of the President is selfishness and arrogance so profound that Americans would be be truly surprised if a bipartisan proposal to battle lynchings prevails.

    When the most conservative Democrat reaches across the aisle, saying, “This isn’t Nazi Germany,” the risks are not simply the fire of North Korea, but the brimstone of the Devil’s hatred.

    Like Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, glass is shattered and long knives end lives, and the Gestapo pounds on doors.

    When the Hater-in-Chief orders the Gestapo into national action, drivers are pulled over randomly to “show us your papers.” Indeed, drivers in New England and fistermen in boats off the coast of Maine are pulled over by the Border Patrol.

    If the Gestapo of Nazi Germany seems like ancient history, visiting the Queen Mary in Long Beach CA shows how fragile is humanity itself.

-- Billy Orton

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Billy Orton is a novelist and historian living in Long Beach, California.