Donald Trump and the Republican Party have been quite successful in using disinformation and lies to stay in power and further their anti-human agenda. This is not news.
One of the factors that made it easier for them to do this is the disinformation and inaccuracies that have been at the core of our cultural/social programming for decades. The messaging is that as Americans we are somehow better than the rest of the world. That we are tougher or smarter, that God favors us above all others.
The ridiculous and bigoted fundamentalist Christian belief that all those who do not accept Jesus as savior are bound for “hell” is an example of this.
These false assumptions of superiority implicit in our cultural narrative are damaging to how we view issues within our own country, and how we view and relate with the rest of the world. As Americans we are no better than any other human beings on the planet. We are not smarter. We are not stronger. We are no more favored by any divine entity over any other peoples.
Our past triumphs and successes have more to do with random circumstance and variables beyond our control than any presumed superiority. The post-World War II economic prosperity for the middle and working-class was due to the success of progressive labor and social movements and the fact the industrial output and infrastructure of the rest of the world was damaged from the war. This is not to say that hard work and innovation were not factors here, but people innovate and work just as hard all over the world.
And much of that hard work was done (as it has been since the beginning of this country) by immigrants and people of color. Remember, this country was built with stolen people on stolen land. All of us living in this country owe a debt to the African-Americans who built the base of the industry and infrastructure that we enjoy today. It’s worth remembering they performed this work under the horrifying conditions of rape, torture and enslavement for almost four hundred years.
We also are indebted to the waves of immigrants who endured unsafe working conditions and discrimination experienced by immigrants to this day. We are potentially a great country. But that greatness lies in truth, equality, diversity and democracy.