The Worst Person, Leading the Greatest Country

Last week I hopped into a cab in Toronto, heading to the airport after a weekend speaking engagement.

My driver’s name was Mohammed; a middle-aged man born in Afghanistan, who earned his PhD, and moved here in his twenties.

We talked about the weather, about my work; about our children, about family car trips to Disney World. 

Then we got to talking about America.

As we got closer to the airport, I joked with him, that given my open critiques of the current Administration, I was unsure whether they’d let me back in, and with my feelings about the current state of thing—I wasn’t all that excited to go back anyway.

Mohammed quickly grew animated.

“I just don’t understand this!” he said, his voice booming, his arms forming a shrug,  and his face reflecting incredulity.

“How can the worst person in the world, be given the greatest country in the world to lead?” he remarked. “It’s disgusting.”

Before I could respond, he went on.

“The whole world is laughing at America. It’s a global joke, what he’s doing. It makes me so angry.”

As Mohammed shared his heart with me, I was simultaneously encouraged, ashamed, and pissed off.

It was a comfort to hear a voice outside of my country express solidarity with me and the millions in America who feel like prisoners of this predatory, fraudulent Administration.
It was embarrassing to realize that for the first time in my life, I have trepidation to claim America as my own, because of all it now represents.
It angered me, that a middle-aged man from Afghanistan could be more perceptive and wise than 62 million of my countrymen—and women who’ve spent their lives here and have much more at stake.

It was a cab ride that I was sorry to see end. 

I’m sure this President isn’t technically the worst person in the world—but let’s just say he’s making a really strong showing in the competition. 

But their was sad truth beneath his hyperbole. My new friend, Mohammed gets it all: the bigotry he’s unleashed here, the hypocrisy of religious people who support him, the ineptitude that the entire world is talking about, the fractures to our national image.

He sees that the differences and the fear and the isolation that this President brokers in, are dangerous things.

Most of all he sees that this nation is being led by someone far beneath it, not at all worthy of it, and irreparably detrimental to it.

I’m hopeful enough people in America see such things; that regardless of political affiliation, religious worldview, or nation of origin, a vast majority is as stupefied and outraged as Mohammed is these days—and ready to vote and rescue themselves.

I hope that more people in this country can see what so much of the world sees about us:

That we are a great nation.
That we are a place filled with beautiful diversity.
That we do deserve far better than this.

I said goodbye to my new friend and headed into the terminal, but the whole way home his words bounced around repeatedly in my head:

“How can the worst person in the world, be given the greatest country in the world to lead? It’s disgusting.”

It really is, Mohammed.

It really is.

Order John’s forthcoming book ‘HOPE AND OTHER SUPERPOWERS” here!

73 thoughts on “The Worst Person, Leading the Greatest Country

  1. 17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

    20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

    25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

    29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
    Eph 4:4–6

    Trump is fulfilling Gods Plan , The Battle is God and Evil
    God is , and will fulfill his promises, prophecies, and word
    no matter who is in charge for the moment
    If you trust , believe , follow Jesus Christ , YOU have nothing to worry about , because God is in Charge and the rest are just pupits to fulfill his mission. That all shall have a chance to hear, see, accept the Truth and believe on His name , the one and only name and the one and only who can save mankind from him or her self .
    The sinking ship
    The Savior for all who want the life raft from death and destruction
    Grace is NOW
    Salvation is NOW

  2. I wouldn’t say the U.S. is the greatest country in the world; not if it allowed its election system to be hacked by Russia and have someone like Donald Trump placed into the White House. I felt embarrassed and ashamed to call myself an American when George W. Bush was in office. But now I’m really ashamed and embarrassed to call myself an American! I’ve never been more disgusted with this country and its electoral system, as well as so many of its residents, as I am now.

  3. As I read this from a post on a friend’s wall, I was seriously thinking you were writing this about Obama!

    Obama did nothing but widen the racial divide in our culture, he gave away leverage for a traitor that got good men killed-then Obama pardoned him so he could now run for a government office-that’s disgusting, then he unlawfully entered into agreements that in no way benefit our country.

    We now have a President who is undoing a lot of the damage done for 8 years.

    Yet, those of us who support the work he IS doing, you call us names. What makes you better for that???

    Sounds more like you’re whining because you’re not getting your entitled ways.

  4. Our problems go back a lot farther than our current regime. One of my native American Christian brothers recently made me aware of a thing called the Christian Doctrine of Discovery, which is still active and was enforced as recently as 2005. He told me of his two brothers living in Colorado. Did you know that if the three of them got in a canoe and went into the river to go fishing, they could be legally shot and killed, because three native Americans together consist of a tribal war council?

  5. Sorry John, but America can no longer lay claim to the title ‘Greatest Country in the World’. It has been eclipsed by many other countries in many ways. Truth is, no one country can lay claim to that title. Just as well, I think.

  6. America believes the lies it tells to itself. Always has always will. You are not the best country in the world. You never have been. Its the lie you tell yourselves that has been used to push consumerism and greed. The ugliness of your culture has now manifested in the election of Donald Trump. You are imploding.

  7. I would hate to burst your bubble, but for the last number of years according to research and comparative analysis, the US fails to come into the top 10 countries in which to live. If Mohammed thinks the US is such a great place to be why then did he come to Canada?
    I have taught students from all over the world, I live in a diverse country, neighbours of mine, for example, are Syrian refugees who are making their way here very well as are other refugees from war-torn countries.
    Agreed, the current administration has made a laughing stock of the US in the eyes of the international community. Trump cosies up to Putin and other dictators/autocratic rulers while treating your allies as though we are the enemy. Someday the mess in the US will clear up but in the meantime, your allies are getting on with trade deals with other nations. Trump can’t expect to bully countries as he has done in his criminal past business dealings. International trade does not work that way. He is a stupid and cretinous being.
    We will rejoice when Trump et al are tossed out of power and into prison as will other allied countries. The US will have years of damage to untangle and then perhaps the US will be a friendly ally once again. My American friends are horrified by the current political situation and ask me if they could move in with me. Some of whom are vets who served in the middle of battles such as in Somalia as did Canada.
    So, back to Mohammed, I would expect he is here because we are a far more accepting nation, especially at present. We are far from perfect but and I am a very happy and proud Canadian. I do love to visit the US but I do not cross the border as much as I once did. I live in a border town now that I am retired from teaching in the Toronto area and it’s tempting to drive over the bridge.
    My heart and prayers are with you. We are not angry with the American people, it’s the menace in the White House. It’s no wonder Mohammed and others have chosen to live in Canada.

  8. Stunning. The “greatest nation” that only exists because of wholesale rape, pillaging, enslavement, and murder of millions of Natives and Africans? Really? We stole the continent from Natives and used an explictly Christian justification for doing so. That Christian faith makes you this obtuse is not a good advertisement for it. We know you desperately want to pretend that your faith is somehow different from the politics of Donald Trump, but that is a fantasy and a cop out of the first order. The Border where Trump orders the separation of children from their families who seek asylum from the horror we visited on their home countries only exists *because of* the Christian invasion. No such border existed before European Christians sliced “the Americas” up among themselves. Jefferson Sessions offered a bible verse to justify that policy, the same verse slave owners used to explain to their slaves that the Christian god wanted them to be docile, obedient slaves. Give it up.

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