America is not a machine.

It’s not a cold assembly line filled with widgets and driven by gears and grease. It is not intended to provide ROI for a board of directors.

America is a bubbling ocean of human emotion and experience containing billions of conflicting ideas. The only concepts that ALL Americans align with are liberty and justice.

That’s it. That’s all. And that’s everything.

Back in the 90s, I was coming out of a dogmatic stupor as a southern republican and ended up voting for a businessman to run the country.

In fact, I voted for Ross Perot two elections in a row. I liked his ideas and he wasn’t a damn politician. He was a very successful businessman. My thinking was that if he could run a business well, he could run a country.

Of course now you have to Google Ross Perot to know who I’m talking about.

In retrospect, I stand behind my decisions. Perot was a great businessman. Only now, I’m not so sure that a great businessperson is what this country needs to lead it.

Since the election I’ve heard people say, “Well Trump is a businessman. And America is like a business, so …” Basically what I said in the 90s with Perot. I’ve since grown to realize that –

America is not a company.

Businesses are comprised of various departments which are all designed to help advance the brand. And, most importantly, the goal of every person in all these departments is to drive revenue. That’s it. ROI. No revenue, no company.

America exists for more than making money.

Shocking, I know. Especially considering how since Reagan, the collective idea of the American Dream is to make as much money as possible. At any cost. Even when that means stepping on the backs of others to do it. A bigger house. A fancier car. The best college for our offspring so that they can get on the same treadmill and make even more money with bigger houses and better cars.

It’s an unsustainable concept that exploits human beings and natural resources across the planet.

We have the wrong person in place to lead us. He is a businessman. And a bad one at that. I challenge you to provide an example of benevolence or goodwill that Donald Trump has ever championed. No, to him the bottom line is money. At any cost. And while that might be a great way to become rich in America running a business, it’s a tragic way to run nation of free people.

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,

All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,

Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,

Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,

A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,

Chair’d in the adamant of Time.

– Walt Whitman, America

A Note to Old Friends
Because We Are Swimmers

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.