15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
2:00 am November 9, 2016
Outside, feverishly chain smoking and pondering where this is all heading. Replaying a year in which distractions replaced issues, and trying to grasp a country deeply fractured by sound bites and red baseball caps. No longer an indivisible nation, but a nation of individuals all holding on to their own truths, no questions asked, no answers sought. Debate no longer an exchange of ideas in search of solutions, rather a contact sport with a winner and a loser. Void of the tenets that had united us, we now hold our fellow Americans in utter contempt.
As I sift through these thoughts, I notice a dumpster just down the block with the word LIBERTY boldly painted across it. While the irony is unmistakable, I begin to wonder if we no longer understand the meaning of these words so brilliantly crafted in the creation of our democracy. For years, politicians and businesses have co-opted these words, wrapping themselves in the American flag to market a sense of faith, trust and pride. Have these words become just like an overplayed pop song - a familiar melody that we all hum, yet the lyrics have escaped us?
© Jay Zukerkorn.
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||The American Experience
||Nov. 30, 2017, 5:54 p.m.