Ryan Alexander-Tanner

Imagine having your entire existence as an American dictated by fear. Not real fear, either. Boogie Man fear. "I need a night light" fear. Fear of gay people receiving equal standing in the eyes of the government. Fear of women getting to make their own healthcare decisions. Fear of trans people having a place to use the fucking bathroom.

Imagine living in this beautiful country and still hating black people—even though they spent their first 250 years here as slaves, followed by 200 years of giving us some of the greatest cultural and scientific breakthroughs in the history of our country. Imagine being a church-going man, and hating Muslims for loving the same god differently. Imagine hating Mexicans for fleeing poverty for a better life, when you're only in this country because of a potato famine. Imagine respecting the right to bear arms more than you respect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We're rarely at our best as a country—which is the case for every country—but when we're at our best, we're standing up for the least of us. We're standing up for the trampled, even if we're the ones who just did the trampling. That's what's beautiful about being an American. Too often, too many people draw their pride from the momentum of the radical nature of our founding. That's not enough.

America is far from perfect, but I cherish it, and I'm tired of so-called "patriots" owning the very idea of loving this country. I'm tired of looking at the problems plaguing our country and shrugging. I'm tired of "AMERICAN" meaning a person who acts only out of fear. Fuck you and fuck your sad, scared, cowardly life. You aren't the America that went to the moon, you aren't the America that liberated my people from the Nazi's concentration camps, you aren't the America that withstood the Civil War. You're babies, and cowards, paralyzed out of progression by unreasonable immature fears.

You want to make America great again? Grow the fuck up.