Immigration and American Political Discord

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Immigration is at the core of our political antagonism but we’re not confronting the issue in a way that aims to resolve the matter.

There are several key themes to which we have not fully applied our ingenuity and thus linger partly unresolved. These themes are inequality, racism and immigration. Address those in a comprehensive manner and we will move up to be at the vanguard of nations.

Hard to believe, isn’t, that we are not there now.

And it is not for lack of talent, but for lack of leadership willing to commit to the task.

It has been hard for the white majority in this country, to accept that immigration has become essential for the nation to move forward. Hard for the white majority of this country to recognize that they cannot – cannot – move forward this country without immigrants.

Self serving politicians will tell you that they can make America great without the input of immigrants.

But it cannot be done.

Demography speaks loudly.

Without immigrants we would not have the numbers of people or the depth of talent to combine into the productive capacity required to move the nation forward.

Immigrants from all over the world have come to our shores and begun to make their contributions. We need to keep those doors open.

Their children, those born here – the second generation immigrants – soak up all that is part of being an American. And they do so eagerly, competing with all they have to be the best they can be because it is in their nature to do so. Like their parents, they know, deep in their hearts, what it is to get a second chance.

Immigrants are grateful to this land. And once here they connect with the essence of what is being an American.

And that essence is the right to be free.

And with being free you have the right to bow to no one.

But immigrants will say ‘thank you’ to whomever, no matter what their color, if those people have put effort into adding value to this great land that has opened the doors for them. To those, gratitude is owed. Always.

The not bowing to anyone is a fundamental American right.

Have you ever seen in the Olympic games when the delegations of every country parade and come in front of the grandstands where the big wigs sit? Have you seen how nearly all countries tip their flag in deference to them?

Well, the American delegation does not.

And that same spirit is embodied in those who become American. We do not bow. We don’t do that.

It has been hard for a section of the white majority in this country to accept that our land is changing. And change will continue for it is inevitable.

Nature, in its infinite wisdom, spreads its gifts widely, across all ethnic groups of this earth.

By keeping our borders open, in compliance with our laws, we allow all kinds of talent to come to this land and because of it we have the richness that we have.

The new immigrants challenge us all, challenge us to be the best we can be. They bring new energies, new ways of doing things, fresh perspectives.

Today, a good number of major corporations are headed by first or second generation immigrants. Microsoft, Google, Adobe, Tesla are in that category.

Lamentably, there are politicians in our midst who stir up animosity against the new arrivals. Instead of helping the native, who has fallen behind, to better understand the importance of immigration, they stir up antiimmigrant sentiment because it is easy to do so.

‘Look, they’re different than you, what are they doing here? They are taking what is yours.’

Rather than to help them understand the many reasons why they’re so angry.

‘Look – the responsible leader could say as they address the resentful American – your life’s task, like it is for all of us, is to be the best you can be, but the immigrant coming in may be more creative, more daring, more imaginative than you are. So why get angry at them when they may be making contributions to your land?’

‘I was here before,’ may be an American’s reply.

But is that enough? Think about it.

The nation, your country, owes it to you, to have opportunities to develop. And you may have had such opportunities and not taken advantage of them, or maybe you didn’t have the opportunities, in which case you have grounds to complain and demand you’re given such chances.

But the nation cannot wait. The nation’s productive capacity has to keep pace with the rest of the world for otherwise we fall behind. Any reforms required have to be made as we continue to move forward, and as of this time, part of the precious energy helping propel us forward comes from the immigrant engine.

Someone with antiimmigrant views may ask, ‘look at the Chinese, look at how fast they’ve risen, and they don’t have any immigrants. Why can’t we do the same?’

First – the Chinese, at 1.4 billion people – roughly three times our population, have a vaster genetic pool than we do. Thus, greater variety of talents. But they, too, have had migrations from neighboring countries over the centuries.

Second – the Chinese are enjoying the benefits of a significant transfer of knowledge from the West, since emerging from their isolation during the leadership of Deng Xiaoping.  

This new strength of the Chinese, who now have become a formidable rival to the West, should be reason enough for America to further open its doors to immigrants the world over.

To erect barriers to immigration at this juncture, would be to deny ourselves the huge possibilities of enriching our genetic pool.

What is required of American leaders at this time, is a commitment to confront the nativist sentiment. Confront to enlighten. This moment calls for leaders willing to engage and willing to work through whatever the resistances, so truth is accepted.

If we have such leaders, then we will move further on our path to bridge our differences.

If not, we will lose valuable time and set the stage for making mistakes that will dim the nation’s possibilities.

Oscar valdes.     Oscarvaldes.net

Transferring Power. Good Governance. Grandiosity.

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Mr Biden’s aplomb in addressing the pandemic differs markedly with that of his predecessor. And so it reflects his willingness to transfer power.

Pointing to the scientific evidence that the incidence of Covid infections is higher amongst the unvaccinated, he has taken charge and mandated that federal and other workers take the vaccine.

It was his duty, he said in a televised address, to protect all Americans and so he was issuing the edict. Right away, though, his detractors started to complain that their freedoms were being infringed. But what freedoms? The freedom to increase the likelihood that you transmit an infection that could be fatal? Is that a freedom? When there are means to prevent it?

The president countered his critics by saying that they were taking a cavalier attitude toward the infection and he is correct.

What stands out in the president’s firmness is his willingness to do what is right. This is what the science is saying and I stand with the science.

By doing so he is showing his willingness to transfer power to science. And to whomever speaks the truth.

The previous president was incapable of doing so. When Mr Trump held his televised appearances at the height of the pandemic, with his scientific advisors standing beside him, he couldn’t wait to get his hands on the mike to put his twist on the facts.

Had the previous president been a man willing to transfer power to the scientists and to let them do what they know how to do, then we would long ago been all vaccinated in this country and the economy would have been much farther along than it is now, let alone the lives that would have been spared.

But the previous president could not do it. The height of this incapacity showed when, after being soundly defeated at the polls, he insisted that it was not so. How could it be?

Deep in his mind a voice kept resounding, ‘why should I transfer power?’

And there were enough gullible people to buy into it that they marched on one of our highest symbols of democracy, Capitol Hill, just as the electoral ballots were being counted.

Their aim was clear. Disrupt the process.

They did not do it. Barely. But their intention was clear.

Notice how when Mr Biden speaks to us he is not surrounded by other officials. He stands alone when he addresses us. It is symbolic of his wish to convey that the final responsibility is his and he will exercise it fully. He will not run from it. But he is also willing to acknowledge his limits.

And because of it he can transfer power.

People who are able to do so are freer people. They think better. More clearly. For they are not burdened by grandiosity.

They are people who know themselves to be flawed but are willing to carry the burden of full responsibility for their decisions. Mr Biden will seek the opinion of experts in matters which are not of his competence but he will make the final choices, painful as they may be, as he did in Afghanistan.

Because, as all men, he is flawed, Mr Biden will make his mistakes, but it won’t be because he was careless or didn’t seek the best expert advice. A myriad other factors may intervene to make what appears to be a good choice go bad. But he will have tried his best.

And so he will stand alone behind that lectern and say as he did when announcing the vaccine mandates, ‘this is what I believe is the right thing to do for all Americans.’

And you can say what you want about him, but he gives you the sense he is doing the best he knows how to do.

The impulse to grandiosity lives in all of us. And all of us have to wrestle with it and try as hard as we can to pin it down so it won’t let us run in the wrong direction.

Some world leaders succumb to its allure.

Name any world leader who is diligently working to extend his hold on power beyond the legal limits that brought him to it, and we’re seeing an example of grandiosity not being confronted and restrained. And it belongs to all of us to not let it happen.

Unlike Mr Trump, Mr Biden is fully aware of his mortality. Because of it he is the competent leader that he is.

And so I thank him for being forthright, full of candor and decisiveness.

Keep it up, Mr President.

A final note: My take is that Jerome Powell is doing a great job as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank and you ought to reappoint him. He’s a most talented man and it will help maintain economic stability.

And on the matter of Latin America, should you choose to lift the embargo on Cuba, the spirit of that decision will put a smile in the hearts of all Latin Americans.

You’d be saying, ‘I’m transferring power to you. Now see what you can do with it. I’m getting out of the way.’

Good night, Mr President.

Oscar Valdes.     Oscarvaldes.net.

We All Have to Own Our Pain. Nations Do Too

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All of us have to own the pain that comes from living. 

The pain that comes from not having what we want, even though we have worked hard for it.

The pain of living that comes from realizing that nature gave us so much and that is it. 

The pain of living that comes from recognizing others have more than we do. 

The pain that comes from not having behaved as we would have liked to.

The pain of living that will not go away and yet we must learn to manage.

To manage it we have to look at it. Squarely. In detail.

And if we at first flinch or turn away, we then must take a deep breath and look again.

Look again till we understand it. 

And then accept it.

Accepting it does not mean the pain will go away. 

We accept so we can learn from it.

Every single one of us has to look at their own pain. No one can spare us from it. 

If they offer to, say ‘thank you but no, thanks’.

Facing our pain is at the core of the journey for existence each of us embarks in when we come to this world.

Yes, it has moment of beauty. Even happiness. Moments.

And like individuals, so with nations.

Nations are more than a collection of individuals, just like the liver is more than a collection of liver cells. To make up the liver they have organized themselves according to various functions for the sake of a purpose.

And that sum total of individuals that come together to form a nation bring their individual pain with them, which adds up to the total pain of the nation.

And the pain has to be looked at. Squarely. In detail.

The pain has to be looked at again and again until we get it. We as in the people and We as in the nation.

Sharing our individual pain with another human being offers comfort, soothing and perspective. But it is our individual pain. 

No one can suffer for you. 

We need our pain so we can improve ourselves. Push harder. Try and be the best we can be. 

Our pain is a catalyst for action. It spurs us to growth. To take chances. And when accomplishment comes then we realize what great soother it is. 

But it won’t erase the pain. 

It helps manage it.

Nations that don’t look at their pain cannot reach their potential. 

Leaders who don’t help us look at our pain are not leaders.

They are in it for personal gain or for the gain of a special group.

There is no forward movement without owning our pain, which if allowed to grow becomes rage. 

We cannot own our rage unless we understand it.

When pain or rage owns us we cannot direct it properly, and so pain not owned may lead us to blame others for our distress. And so pile additional pain upon their pain. 

A nation that does not dialogue with itself is a nation that has preferred to blame others instead.

In America, the dialogue about race has been forever postponed, and it is only now moving up to the top of the list where it belongs because of circumstances.

If a young man had not videotaped the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, we would not have known the fullness of our anger and the officer who pinned him down until he died would have been back on the beat, searching for someone else to pin down.

Even with that, if it had not been for the coronavirus, we would have reelected the previous president.

Think about it.

If we would have reelected our previous president we would have continued to be distracted by tweets and temper tantrums, and we would have postponed, again, talking to ourselves and to others about our pain. 

Pain that is not looked at and understood becomes rage.

Think about it.

Oscar Valdes

Oscarvaldes.net

The President’s Regrets

Alone in the Oval Office, the TV off because the count in Georgia and Pennsylvania now has Biden in the lead, while both Arizona and Nevada continue to lean democratic, the President sits and lowers his head. The long dreaded defeat has finally arrived.

‘I tweeted too much. Which meant I didn’t take time to reflect. Presidents shouldn’t tweet so much. Joe doesn’t tweet like I do but I’ll pass it along anyway, just before the transfer of power.’

‘I should have let the scientists lead the effort on the coronavirus from the very beginning. This is a big one. If I had done that, then if the virus would have spread, I could’ve blamed them. But no, I chose to be the man in charge, even though I didn’t know a thing about the virus.’

‘I identified too much with the Right, as if this country was not a huge place filled with people who have lots of different points of view.’

‘I should have worked more with my supporters, to tell them that to make America Great Again it will take the work of all Americans. I cringe when I hear Joe Biden talk about how he’s going to be a president for everyone, and that during his term there will be no red and blue states. Damn. That should’ve been my line.’

‘I should’ve danced more with Melania, sang her a song, just be with her. Relax with her. And spent more time with my son Barron, too, see what he had to say. The young can always teach us something if we care to listen. I didn’t.’

‘That’s a problem I have, listening. A huge problem. If I had listened, I wouldn’t have fired good generals like Mattis and Kelly.’

‘If I had listened, I would’ve kept some of my early economic advisers who told me to go easy on the tariffs on China. Sure, there is an issue with their theft of intellectual property and their push to world dominance, but I ought to have been more gradual.’

‘I should have brought more women into the cabinet, lots of them. My cabinet should’ve been at least half women. And I could’ve even appointed a woman to be secretary of state. Hell, I would’ve been reelected if I had done that. But I didn’t.’

‘And why did I go bananas on overturning environmental regulations? The climate issue is real. Everybody thinks that. How come I was so blind and deaf about it?’

‘And the George Floyd incident, that was a missed opportunity. I could’ve jumped in and said, “This is horrible. Ghastly. There are great cops in our nation, but this is not permissible. This is murder, and I will make sure that justice is done” But I didn’t do it.’

‘I pissed off a lot of European allies. There was no need for that. There were other ways I could’ve got them to pay more for the costs of defense.’

‘I am feeling depressed. And have no one to blame but me.’

Good luck, Mr President.

Oscar Valdes wrote extensively in an effort to get the President to reflect. And sent him his books.

Oscarvaldes.net   oscarvaldes@widehumr

Tips to Manage the Loss of the Presidency

Accept your limitations. You are not God, even if your supporters sometimes treat you as one.

The pain of the loss will be great at first but gradually will ease.

Talk to yourself. ‘I made mistakes, tried the best I could given what I have.’

‘I forgive myself for all my imperfections and promise to do better.’

Seek the company of your loved ones. Thank them for all their help.

Remind yourself that you are one of a very select group of people.

As soon as you learn that the vote favored your opponent, concede. This is very important. To be graceful in loss. Call the winner, wish them the best and offer your assistance. The nation will remember you fondly for it.

If you begin to think hostile thoughts, seek the advice of psychiatrists/psychologists from Walter Reed Hospital. You are human. Human beings get angry in loss.

Do not make any rash decisions. For the sake of the nation, consult and consult again before making choices.

Exercise. Go for long walks. Dance with your partner. Sing your favorite song.

You will laugh again. At yourself and at the world.

There is life after the presidency.

Watch comfort foods. They can pack the pounds very quickly.

When or if foreign leaders call to express sympathy, ask them to support the new President.

Consider an executive order establishing the office of the psychiatrist/psychologist to the President. A part time job. A few hours a week. So the incumbent can drop by to chat about whatever is on their mind. Records of such sessions to be kept confidential for 100 years.

Good luck.

Oscar Valdes    oscarvaldes.net    oscar valdes@widehumr

Try For A Graceful Exit, Mr Trump

I hope that it is becoming clearer to you that the end is near. And it isn’t Joe and Kamala that are defeating you. It is you, defeating yourself.

You took a hammer to yourself and beat up your presidency. With the whole world watching.

On the surface you were gloating in the adoration of your followers at your rallies, but you knew you were hammering down that chisel to deepen the divisions between us.

And you couldn’t stop yourself. Or chose not to.

You could have said, ‘there are so many talented people in this country, all of whom could make an important contribution to my own view, why am I thinking that it is only the side I’m comfortable with that I should be seeking counsel from?’

It was such a basic question.

Simply to ask it would have been an act of moral and intellectual courage.

Did you ever ask it? Ever?

The problems we’ve been facing have been thorny ones. Dealing with them has been deferred by earlier Presidents, but when your turn came and the going got tough, you decided to file for bankruptcy. Which is what you’re familiar with. Debits going up faster that credits?

File for bankruptcy.

You’re not comfortable dealing with people who have dissenting views.

They upset you too easily. And rather than process that dissent in the effort to find common ground, you get angry.

Processing dissent with others calls for a willingness to consider that it is you who may be wrong. That maybe it is you not having the balanced take on the given matter. Which is okay because none of us are perfect. And simply posing the question will move us along on the road to reaching the greater truth.

You can’t file for bankruptcy when dealing with national matters. There is no such option.

People who voted for you thought, ‘well, he’s been a businessman – made and lost millions – he will know how to lead us.’ As if it was all about debits and credits. All about accounting ledgers. In their despair to find solutions, your supporters settled for the easy choice.

And you became President.

But leadership in its enlightened view is not about debits and credits but about guiding human beings, stirring up their energies and directing them to work with their brothers and sisters toward common goals.

Leadership, in its enlightened view, is not about ‘I am better than you’. Rather, it is about finding the best in each other.

To do that you have to know who you are. To do that you have to have struggled to find the best in you.

You started on that road a long time ago but then stopped. But a leader for a complex nation as ours cannot stop the process of self discovery. Stopping is filing for bankruptcy.

The leading of this nation does not allow for bankruptcy filing when facing difficult problems.

Take the matter of race. You could have said to your followers, ‘folks… there’s all of us in here, White, Black, Native Americans, Indian, Asian, Hispanics and shadings in between, and like the great variety of races there’s a great variety of opinions, and during my administration there will be an open debate on everything… and I will be listening, so I can grow wiser and my judgment becomes more balanced. I ask you, please join me in this journey of self discovery.’

But you couldn’t do it. Or you refused to.

Now time has passed and history has been written.

All of us will be learning from your mistakes as we learn from ours. We have to if we want to be the better nation we’ve always wanted to be.

As you come to the end of your term, please try to find in yourself to be graceful in defeat.

Look at it this way. Being graceful in defeat is a way of being kind to yourself. As if you were saying, ‘I tried my best, now let others try their best.’

We know you like to fight. That has been clear. But you have yet to fight the greater fight, the one that will let the better you, shine through.

Good luck, Mr Trump.

Oscar Valdes    

oscarvaldes.net    oscar valdes@widehumr

You’re a Tribal Leader, Mr Trump. Give it Up!

Accept it. You don’t have the capacity to be a President to all of us.

It’s not in you.

You tried.

You can be a leader to a segment of the nation, and even then, only a temporary leader, because the really transformational leaders are able to connect with their followers so they can learn what it is that has held them back and then do something about it. Truly transformational leaders empower people.

But you can’t do that. It’s beyond you.

So let someone else do it.

You gave it a try. You have left your imprint in the nation’s history books. An imprint that we have to pay close attention to so we won’t repeat the same mistake.

You’re a gifted man in many ways, but not to be our President.

Stay with what you’re good at. Television, for instance.

You made money on ‘The Apprentice.’ Why not try a new show and call it ‘The President.’? (first proposed on blog of 10/6/20)

You would get a chance to rewrite history to suit your purposes and make a buck as you do.

You could do several episodes on your version of what led to your impeachment. And you could have Putin, Xi, Erdogan, Duterte, the Saudi prince come in to make guest appearances and tell us about their own version of history.

(Poor history, it gets beat up and twisted around every day)

Now, if you really wanted to run for office again, then you have to be willing to do some learning.

Try a run for governor somewhere. How about Texas? They may want you. They are Red enough. And the present governor may not mind becoming your second in command.

See, you took too big a leap running for President, got lucky but ended up burdening us with your poor choices.

Now that you’ve shown all your cards, whoever chooses you next will know exactly what they’re getting into.

If you go with Texas, then you’ll have Ted Cruz as one of your senators. The both of you can have breakfast together every Sunday. Pretty cool, right? And you’d have miles and miles of border where you can go and put up all kind of walls to keep people from coming in. Maybe you’ll even find a way to make money at that, too.

Since you’re a vigorous man, you could be governor until you’re tired of it.

So, to sum up, yes, you’re a leader, but a tribal one. And that’s okay. For a while. Because even a tribe gets tired of not learning something that will empower them.

One request. Please do us a favor: be mature and restrained when you’re asked to vacate the White House so Biden can move in. We will remember you more fondly.

Good luck. Wishing you the best in your next adventure.

Oscar Valdes. Oscarvaldes.net. Follow in Twitter – oscar valdes@widehumr

China’s Impact on US

Looking at China, we should be asking ourselves, ‘look how far they’ve got, how brazen they’ve been, how daring? And in such a short time. Why, just after WWII they didn’t amount to much, did they?’  

Theirs had been a land which had been dominated by foreign nations, then became ruled by a communist party. And look where they are now.

A world power.

We can also look at them and say, ‘sure, but they are not free. They are a censored country. Cameras everywhere.’

True, but their economy is strong and getting stronger. Which means that there’s more to spread around and their standard of living has been rising steadily.

China seems very clear about something.

They need the world. They want the world. And they will do what they must to get it. Even if it means stealing technology or spying on other countries.

They will do anything at all.

Ruthless.

But they are creative, too. Very talented. Gifted. Otherwise they would not have become the factory of the world during globalization.

The job was offered by the nations of the West and they jumped on it and did something with it. And they grew up.

And they will keep growing, even if they are barred from stealing or spying. That’s right. Stealing and spying accelerates the process of growth but the absence of it does not prevent it.

China, fellow Americans, has arrived.

And we have got to accept it.

The sooner we do, the sooner we will begin to learn from them.

Learn from them?

Absolutely. They have much to teach us, if we pay attention. If we are not too proud to look at the facts.

What stands out clearly about China? Their sense of purpose.

They are filled with it. They have agreed on the need to improve their material existence. For now, the leadership of the communist party will do. Later on, it will constrain them. But it works for now.

The Chinese have taking the long view. They say something like this to themselves, ‘These rules imposed on us are irritating but they are forcing a discipline on us that is helping our material growth.’

Did we, here in the USA, lose our sense of purpose as a nation?

I believe we did.

World War II was a great example of when we did have it. And the nation shined.

So there’s no doubt that the country has got what it takes.

Here’s another example. October 4th 1957. The Soviets launch the Sputnik satellite. It shot up over the earth’s atmosphere and began going around the planet every 90 minutes. Our nation was shocked. Russia had done it.

Did we lament our situation and cry about it? No, we got to work on it.

And soon enough we launched Explorer 1 on 1/31/1958. The Soviets would get another victory on 4/12/58 when Yuri Gagarin became the first man to travel around the earth in outer space but then we followed with the historic landing on the moon on July 20th 1969.

Both in war time and peace time we answered the challenge.

That last challenge was only 50 years ago.

Now comes China.

They are saying to us, ‘We will soon become the largest economy in the world. Period. You will be the second. Second, as in number 2. Don’t like the sound of it? Get used to it. We are 1.4 billion people with a sense of purpose that you lack, so we will beat you.’

And they are saying it looking us straight in the eye, with complete confidence in their abilities. And we’re thinking, ‘no they can’t… or… can they? How did they get up there so fast?’

With hard work. Stealth. Cunning.

Don’t think they can do it? Then we’re in la la land. Deep into it.

What is amazing is how we’re handling their challenge. We’re using denial. Yes, Denial.

Denial as in, thinking that tariffs will deter the Chinese. Denial as in believing that leaving social injustice unaddressed in our land will not undermine our collective strength and resolve. Denial as in insisting that the cry Make America Great Again carries a true spark of creativity and determination.

In the process, China has become the biblical David to our Goliath.

Don’t like the comparison?

Then let us look at leadership.

Across the Pacific, whether you and I agree with him or not, a leader has risen that unites a country and marshals it into action.  

Here, in this vast land of ours, with an abundance of good people, of riches and inventiveness, we end up praising leaders that divide rather than unite.

There’s something very wrong.

Think about it.

Anyway, as you do, today, September 11th, our death count from the coronavirus has gone up to over 191,800 versus 4634 for China. And they’re much farther along reopening their economy than we are.

Hello?

Anyone out there?

Hello?

Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation and other books. Available on Amazon.

Oscarvaldes.net

Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse. Racial Protests.

The state of Wisconsin is an open carry state. You do not need a license to carry a gun in public, but you do need to be at least 18 years old. Rittenhouse is 17.

He’s been quoted as saying that he went out on that fateful day to protect public property.

He has a right to do so. He doesn’t, however, have a right to carry the rifle he carried.

The video I saw has him shooting two men, one fatally and another in the arm.

Preceding the video, he acknowledged having shot a man who died later. Reportedly, a trash bag had been thrown at him and he shot in response. That is not captured on video.

In the video mentioned above, taken moments after the first shooting, Rittenhouse falls to the ground and is attacked by a man with a skateboard. Rittenhouse shoots and kills him. Then another man approaches while pointing a gun. Rittenhouse shoots him in the arm. Then he gets up and walks off toward police vehicles entering the area and the video stops. Apparently, he was arrested later that day at his home.

Rittenhouse shouldn’t have been at the protest site while armed.

He showed poor judgment, and so did all others who, knowing he was planning to do so, did not make an effort to dissuade him.

He is 17 years old. He is not authorized to carry a weapon in the open.

When tensions are inflamed, anything can happen. Whoever had any supervisory influence over Rittenhouse failed to exercise it, and so did a huge disservice to the young man and the victims.

No one has a right to destroy property. Anyone’s property. No matter how angry they might be.

We all have a right to protest, as vigorously as we see fit. But the moment we choose to damage property we are in violation of the law and likely to trigger retaliation.

Law enforcement must act to stop the destructive acts.

We have agreed on that as a people.

No matter how horrible the act that leads to a protest, damage to life and property should not be condoned.

In the course of our ongoing racial protests there has been a profound lack of firm leadership, from all sides, Republicans, Democrats and in between, who have failed to say to the rest of us, ‘you are entitled to protest, yes you are, we need to hear your complaints so we can better act to prevent these injustices from happening again, but as you protest, do not hurt others or damage what they have worked so hard to build. There are injustices in our system and protest plays an essential part in finding remedies, but there is no place for the injuring of others as we protest or for the damaging of what is theirs.’ These messages should be going out to the public every day.

As the protests continue throughout our land, it is this lack of political and moral guidance calling for restraint that is sorely absent. Our leaders must answer us.

Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation and other books. Available on Amazon.

Oscarvaldes.net

The Race to unRace. Virtue in the Browning of America

Our nation created conditions that vigorously stimulated global growth since the end of World War II.

The many advantages implicit in our system of governance made possible the peaceful resolution of the Cold War. Our push for trade liberalization led to China’s rise and yes, while they rose we profited too. Now China is no longer the sleeping giant of yesterday. It is a giant with aspirations to surpass us.

So what do we do?

Is there a parallel between the Soviet bloc that challenged us but crumbled in the 1980’s and the China of today?

There is. And it is their autocracy.

With autocracy comes inefficiency and the stifling of possibilities.

Will the newly affluent Chinese put up for long with the current restrictions?

I say no. Slowly, their suffocated spirits will join forces to demand greater freedom. When will it happen is hard to predict.

As it now stands China is challenging us. In the face of it, do we examine ourselves or do we pound our chests and shout that we are great?

We have a clear advantage over China, if we care to reflect. It is the undeniable fact that our openness to the world has made us rich. People want to come to America. People from all over the world are pulled by an attraction to be part of this process.

That is the big American advantage.

How do we enlarge such advantage?

We unRace.

That’s right. Racial differences hold us back.

Confronting and resolving them will further the Browning of America, and with that, a new dawn will arrive. Efforts to suppress the development of other human beings results in the blocking of their possibilities. But when we do so we also block our own.

The challenge that China presents to us, is the challenge to reform our way of relating to one another. Race has been holding us back from being the best we can be since the very beginning. It is time to reflect and do the hard work of resolving the differences.

We have known all along what the answer is. Now is the time to square with it.  

It was openness to the markets of the world that built up China. We gave them openness and they ran with it. But they didn’t go far enough. You cannot do so with an autocratic regime that hinders the political freedom of individuals.

If we gave China openness, why can’t we give it to our own?

China’s challenge is a call to reassess who we are.  

Our land has had freedoms, yes, but in allowing profound racial disparities to fester we have blocked ourselves. The challenge of China forces us to ponder and discover where those repressed energies may lie.

It is not hard to find out.

They lie in the relationships that have not been fostered. They lie, trapped, in the prejudices that we have held so dear.

But understand them, work through them, and we will be on our way to enlarging our minds and souls and increasing our creativity. We will be on our way to freeing the giant in us.

Virtue lies in the Browning of America. Which is the unRacing of America.

Move confidently in that direction and we will confront our fears, and as we do we will grow stronger and richer, kinder and gentler.

The Browning of America will do that for us.

Then, as China and other countries witness our gradual transformation, they, too, will act again to emulate us. And the Uighurs will be grateful. And the Hong Kongers and the Taiwanese, and all the peoples of this earth on whose necks the crushing boot of repressive authority has come to rest.

Leadership carries great responsibilities but also great benefits.

Do we want to lead? Do we want to breathe the lofty air that comes to those who strive to become the best they can be?

Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation. Available on Amazon.

Oscarvaldes.net