I am hopeful for America because she has finally hit rock bottom.
I believe this because America is an addict searching for peace and acceptance. I can relate to her selflessness, self-indulgence and recklessness. I am an addict in recovery; I don’t describe myself as a recovered addict because I am just one drink away from going back to being a horrid, unconscionable person.
America has been careless with many issues in recent history: human rights, environmental wellness and animal welfare to name a few. She takes advantage of others to fill her empty heart, uses her beautiful facade to entice the less fortunate and exhibits grandiose demeanor to disguise her insecurity.
In a rare moment of sobriety, America became outraged by the pain and suffering she has inflicted on others. She had enough of her ugliness and vowed to clean up her act. She chose Barack Obama to represent her aspirations — be thoughtful, compassionate, articulate, honest and, most important, graceful. She worked on herself every day for eight years and distanced herself from her toxic friends and family. She surrounded herself with caring, generous people so that she can learn from them. She was invested in becoming the best version of herself.
Then she relapsed like most addicts with the best intentions. America had relapsed a few times, but she managed to hold on to hope after each relapse and fight for her sanity. But this time, her relapse was devastating and demoralizing. Addicts will tell you that each relapse is always worse than the previous one, and when we start drinking again, we don't go back to where we first started drinking; we go back to where we were when we last stopped and continue the downward spiral. We need more of our drug of choice to achieve the same high, and we behave without thinking or caring about the consequences of our actions. We become apathetic, unapologetic and self-righteous.
Feeling defeated and full of self-loathing, America doubled down and drank the Donald Trump cocktail at the Trump-r-Us Club. She hit rock bottom. She lost hope in herself and threw in the towel. She thinks to herself maybe I am that selfish, insufferable person, but who cares? If I continue to drink the cocktail and never leave the club, I will not have to deal with reality — a reality in which my normal, decent friends and family can no longer tolerate my outbursts and antics. But I have my like-minded friends; we support each other, and it is us against them now. We will intimidate, harass and punish “the others” who dare to disagree with our choices and belief systems.
But rock bottom is an opportunity to be reborn and reinvent oneself.
All addicts have to experience their darkest hours to find the incentives to fight their demons. America is there now. She has destroyed her relationship with those who care for her by bullying them, treating others with disdain and cozying up with despicable characters. While her respectable friends still care for her, they can no longer stand by her.
Do not despair.
At her core, America is a good apple; she just lost her way for now. Similar to addicts who succumb to the lure of drugs and alcohol, America is being seduced by instant gratification and false camaraderie. In time, she will self-reflect and gather all the good in her to fight to be the best that she can be. America is strong, resourceful and loving. She will wake up and realize the Trump cocktail is the vilest poison of them all. And like all addicts who no longer live under the grip of self-destruction, America will blossom and thrive in a strong, moral, peaceful and compassionate relationship with those who truly love her.Unite and stand by her, America will recover and show us once again that she is worthy of our care and devotion.
Cathy Chung Lefkowits (email@example.com) is a school community health nurse for Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.