The difference a year has made in America


The opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and not of The Davis Clipper.

Can’t say I’d ever burst into tears during an inaugural address before.

But it happened Jan. 20, 2017.

Around the time when the new president was talking about how we don’t care about anyone else anymore and we were just going to take care of ourselves.

I haven’t written much about this first heart-stopping year, though I shared my opposition to his candidacy during the election.

‘Been afraid the page might burn up or something.But let me just say something about the results.

Or let me let the Edelman Trust Barometer say something about the results:

“In a year marked by turbulence at home and abroad, trust in institutions in the United States crashed, posting the steepest

, most dramatic general population decline the Trust Barometer has ever measured,” reads its 2018 executive summary written by Lisa Ross, president, and Stephen Kehoe, global chairman, and available in its entirety at cms.edelman.com.

Institutions listed in their survey are governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations and the media.

“It is no exaggeration to state that the U.S. has reached a point of crisis that should provoke every leader, in government, business, or civil sector, into urgent action. Inertia is not an option, and neither is silence,” they stated. “The public’s confidence in the traditional structures of American leadership is now fully undermined and has been replaced with a strong sense of fear, uncertainty and disillusionment. Among the informed

 public, the trust crash is even steeper, with trust declining 23 points, dropping the U.S. from sixth to last place out of the 28 countries surveyed.”

That puts the trust ranking for the United States lower than the one for Russia. And Japan and South Africa. And China is a

t the top of the list.

So what does caring only about ourselves have to do with losing everyone’s trust?

It is wrong – fundamentally, morally, spiritually, intellectually wrong – to care only about yourself.

As a person it won’t win you any friends. As a country, the same.

To not care about those who are hungry or who are poor or who are sick or who are from countries with earthquakes or civil 

wars is wrong. To not care that some people don’t have homes, or to not help young people who dream of making a home in a country their parents brought them to, is wrong.

It is wrong to be unwilling to make trade deals that help both sides or support climate deals that could save the whole world.

And when you do wrong things, you lose.

You lose the respect you might have had, you lose yourself.

America once cared. We cared enough to engage in efforts that we hoped would bring our freedoms to others. We cared enough to engage in trade, to engage in diplomacy.

While the balance of powers established at our country’s founding has prevented or limited some of the damage this president is inflicting, it is nothing short of terrifying to see what he can do and has done. 

Putting ourselves first without consideration of others in fact makes us last.

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