Back when there was an Iron Curtain across Europe separating the free nations from those that were communist dictatorships, we had Radio Free Europe. It would provide hope for those imprisoned under Russian rule and talk about America. Our country has had many programs like that spreading the vision of a free America where good things happened.
So for 50 years, people had an image in their mind of what America was like, and many of them longed to start life anew over here. We were a nation of immigrants, a bunch of fair people who wanted others to get ahead.
We have blown those views out of the water with the candidacy of Donald Trump. 20% of the Trump voters in South Carolina believe that slavery should still exist. He called out to those filled with hatred and prejudice and brought them on board. The more we knew about those who followed him, the more we were frightened by what they told the people doing the exit polls. If there was one thing that United them all, it was their belief in authoritarian principles.
We could no longer look at the Germans and wag our fingers at them for producing Hitler and the Nazi party. We can no longer look down at Japan, whose schoolbooks deny that Nanjing massacre, deny the existence of "comfort women," enslaved by Japanese troops as prostitutes, or the Bataan death March.
The world can see plainly that for all the good people we have who always give money to help with an international tragedy, there are disgusting, bitter Americans who blame immigrants for their problems. The sick side of America is on full view for everyone, from the Mexicans to the French, to shock a world that hoped we were a better place.
I'm a Mayflower descendent who will always love this country, but I am reminded of walking into the "colored" bathroom in Columbus, Georgia. I remember wondering if this was my country? It truly was, and now Trump has shown all nations just how bigoted, evil and nasty some of my fellow countrymen can be.
The next time an embassy holds a Fourth of July party, I wonder what the guests will be thinking about their hosts.