1.7.2023 – America is

America is
a disappointment only
because it is hope

In his best book, “American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony,” published in 1981, the political scientist Samuel Huntington distills the tension in his final lines:

“Critics say that America is a lie because its reality falls so short of its ideals.

They are wrong.

America is not a lie; it is a disappointment.

But it can be a disappointment only because it is also a hope.”

So writes Carlos Lozada in his New York Times Opinion Piece review, I Looked Behind the Curtain of American History, and This Is What I Found, of the book, Myth America, on January 7, 2022.

Cards and letters may be coming on this one and boy, howdy, do I wish I would stick to the my avowed purpose of this blog and stay away from political comment.

But how can I not?

Maybe a way to get the point of today’s haiku across is to quote Amerigo Bonasera when he said, “I believe in America. America has made my fortune.

Those are the opening lines of the defining American film, The Godfather.

For Amerigo Bonasera, because he had hope, America was a disappointment.

Sad to say that Mr. Bonasera also said, “Then I said to my wife, ‘for justice, we must go to Don Corleone.'”

Don Corleone succeeded when hope failed and disappointment took over.

Disappointment because there IS a hope.

And that hope, bless it’s heart, continues.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible,

who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time,

who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

So said Barack Obama in Chicago’s Grant Park in 2008 on the night he won the presidency.

Not sure how that can be so long ago.

Hope sure has been kicked around a lot since that night.

I still have hope.

I still have hope that America is the city on the hill where all are welcome.

The problem is, I am not so sure that is what America wants anymore.

Maybe it was all just a hypocrisy.

But it was a useful hypocrisy one.

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