- The men who brought Africans to these shores and enslaved them, who raped them, murdered them with impunity, and kept them in chains for 250 years, they were Americans.
- The men who committed genocide against the native population, while Spanish conquistadors only married with them after conquering them, those were Americans.
- The whole idea of “lebensraum,” or living room, came from the American West.
- The concepts of eugenics, a “science” based on the claimed “racial purity” of white folk, these too were American inventions.
Bull Connor was an American. Dick Cheney is an American. Americans created the A-bomb, and Americans dropped it on two cities. Lynching is as American as apple pie. So is Jim Crow. So are chain gangs, and so were the blacklists.
Donald Trump took advantage of these lesser angels to create his Presidential candidacy. There is nothing un-American, or even anti-American, about him. He is one of us.
The question is, why haven’t these ideas, and these evil men, ever triumphed in the end? Even when given political power, failure has been the inevitable outcome. The direction of America still points upward, forward, toward greater freedom, toward more democracy, toward more wealth and positive change. A child born in America today will live more than twice as long as her grandmother did, and enjoy luxuries unimagined in grandma’s time.