America Deserves Better Than This President

I love this country.

I don’t love it blindly, though.

I don’t love it unconditionally.

I don’t love it unreservedly.

I love it with my eyes fully open.

I see well its every deep disfigurement and garish blemish, every grotesque part of its past and every ugly bit of its present.

I see the crucible of colonialism it was formed in, the genocide and white supremacy it has been built upon and sustained by, and the insidious anti-Semitism and perverted Christian theology that has been leveraged to protect it all.

I see the systemic privilege and the toxic nationalism and the embedded misogyny that it is currently afflicted with.

And yet I love it still.

I love the country it aspires to be; the personal liberties and protections its Constitution declares as its heart, even if  those have never been fully accessed by all its people.

I love the promise of a place of willing refuge for tired, poor, huddled masses desiring to breathe deeply from the unfettered freedom it offers, though such air is still rarefied for so many.

I love it because despite its numerous, grievous flaws, it is still one of the greatest attempts at equality that humanity has made.

And it is because of this fierce and abiding affection for this place, that I grieve: because America—even with its cancerous ills and collective sins—deserves better than this President.

It deserves better than nonsensical all-caps tweets in the middle of the night.
It deserves better than unprepared, uninformed, rambling, and incoherent press events.

It deserves better than abject lies and anti-immigrant propaganda and token religion.
It deserves better than lazy shithole country insults and demeaning nicknames of political adversaries.
It deserves better than vilification of the Press and undermining of Intelligence and pandering to murderous dictators.
It deserves better than the molotov cocktail of fear and lies and violence it has daily tossed into its citizenry.
It deserves better than an unapologetic kleptocracy formed of career white-collar criminals, known supremacists, and serial grifters.
It deserves better than incendiary rhetoric and gaslighting lies and manufactured crises and phony emergencies.

The millions of men and women who have given lives and limbs in defense of this country deserve better.
Service people and police officers and first responders and teachers and caregivers deserve better.

Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr and Harvey Milk and John F. Kennedy and Angela Davis deserve better.
The abolitionists and the Suffragettes and the gay activists at Stonewall deserve it.

The Little Rock Nine and the students of Parkland deserve better.
My children and your children, and the children who will inherit the planet we leave them, deserve better.

America deserves unvarnished, objective truth.
It deserves creative, imaginative solutions to complex problems.

It deserves a yielding to science and to reason and to wisdom.
It deserves measured, rational discourse on issues of difference.
It deserves a steadfast insistence on the inherent value of all human beings.
It deserves an unflinching look at our ugly history and our current cancers.
It deserves leaders whose deepest burden is to decency and country, not to party and profit.

It deserves public servants whose most pressing need is to do the will of its disparate people.

America deserves these things—but they are simply not possible at this moment, not on this President’s watch. He has no interest in unity or diversity or collaboration, or to the best parts of what America aspires to be. He is an opportunistic bottom feeder; seeking the lowest of ourselves, the worst of our tendencies, the depths of our prejudices—and this is where he will reside until he is no longer present.

The America that could be, deserves a leader of intelligence and decency and morality and integrity, and it instead must do with a man, who the entire world can testify to and that History will record—was ill equipped for, morally incapable of, and abhorrent toward such things.

The nation we aspire to become, deserves to confront its systemic illnesses, its theocratic leanings, and its nationalistic addictions, but it will never do so with a President whose entire platform is composed of such things.

I love this country and I love who we are intended to be—but I do not love who we are becoming in these days.

We the People, all the people; black, Republican, refugee, gay, Christian, Latino, Atheist, Independent, pagan, bisexual, immigrant, Buddhist, white, Democrat, indigenous, transgender, Hindu, female, Jewish, undocumented, male, Humanist—deserve better.


Get John’s book, ‘Hope and Other Superpowers’ HERE.


20 thoughts on “America Deserves Better Than This President

  1. America deserves exactly this president. This is where centuries of torture, rape, and disenfranchisement without self-reflection or apology end up–right in the craw of a self-involved, racist, rapist. After an initial period of disbelief and struggle, I for one have come to see that congratulations are actually in order for America on its choice – it is perfectly fitting.

  2. I loved your ‘Cult of Trump’, hit the nail on the head! However, sad to say, in a weird sort of a way at this moment, I feel America has the perfect president.

  3. It’s a different kind of turnaround that we need. Normally,it’s a terrible economy or an unwinnable war like what Barack Obama inherited. We need to restore normalcy and handle crises better and not shoot from the hip.

  4. The words and sentiments of this easy echo the deep felt feelings of my heart at present. I am exhausted giving a damn!

    Thank you for speaking out!

  5. Great column, Pastor!

    But I’m torn about what we “deserve.” I mean, in a larger sense, certainly, any group or any country deserves better than Trump.

    But on another level, I am reminded of the famous quote of Joseph de Maistre (often misattributed to Alexis de Tocqueville or Abraham Lincoln): “In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.”

    As Americans, we have been far to willing to believe uncritically in our own mythology about ourselves. National pride is one thing, but the widespread belief in American Exceptionalism crosses the line from mere patriotism to nationalism. We have become so impressed with ourselves that we are largely blind to our faults, or at least, blind to the full scope of those faults. Americans celebrate the prosperity of capitalism while remaining mostly utterly blind to the fact that such prosperity often comes at great expense to people in other parts of the world. And many of us, because we have already told ourselves we’re the best of all possible worlds (apologies to Voltaire), don’t even see the need to consider the world through the eyes of anyone different from ourselves.

    As ugly as it is, Trumpism didn’t come from nowhere. And Trumpism is very much a product of American culture.

  6. Pingback: America Deserves Better Than This President –

  7. Still can’t find that Jussie Smollett post, pastor. You should talk to WordPress, or whoever you use, about that. It has to be a technical glitch on their part, right? Cause the only other alternative is that you aren’t willing to stand by the things you say. Surely you have more intellectual honesty than to just delete that post and try to pretend it never happened. You’re better than that, aren’t you, pastor?

    You should talk to Twitter, too. All your tweets linking to that post are also gone. Weird coincidence…

  8. Unfortunately, the proof of your statements will come in the next election cycle. From outside your country, our perception is that Trump was elected by one of the lowest voter turnouts ever; in other words, he was swept into the White House on a massive tide of apathy and self-disenfranchisement. Democracy is NOT a right, but a duty, and it dies because it’s killed by the people at the bottom rather than the people at the top. Lech Walesa, Nelson Mandela and others have shown us that if the PEOPLE want a fair, just, democratic process, the LEADERS often can’t do anything to stop it; but if those same people don’t want it badly enough, it won’t happen. Sad to say, if the USA hasn’t woken up to that, if Trump or someone like him is still in office after the next election, then sadly, it will be exactly what you collectively deserve.

  9. I’m not a Trump supporter, but I find people like you, who use half truths and outright lies, who actively engage in the dehumanization of conservatives, to be utterly reprehensible. People like you inspire prejudice, hatred, and violence against people, simply for believing differently from you…. not racist people …. not bigoted people ….. not evil people ….. just people ….. who happen to be conservative.


  10. One point is : YOU cannot Please Everyone, YOU must take the Bad with the Good, And Nothing is a Free Ride or Entitlement
    YOU have grace only and I mean only because of a loving God who Patiently waiting for his people , those who are called by His name and Know his voice .
    All Don’t know or Want the Truth , and All don’t Care , They are just narciscistic , selfish people who were lied to and told , they can be Happy having it their own way , ONE God, One Truth, ONLY one way to heaven , NOT by Works so no person can Boast
    Get A Clue , YOU will never please everyone
    Trump may not always , do , say, act like he should , but that s Human and one thing is for sure , He’s not the Democrap who lies, cheats and steals and creates creative ways to HIDE it .
    Just another person , who God has intervened to try to use to stay the Judgement of mankind
    Since we all seam to believe in our own way , that s the Problem , we , you all , others all think they are right , and everyone else is wrong , GET A Clue , there is a Consequence to loving sin, and rejecting God , Consequence or Reward , YOU Choose
    Ten Commandments , One Payment for Sin
    Instead of the Trip of liking all , And Accepting All Sin , and letting them continue to believe the lie , TELL The Truth
    There is a Consequence for Rebellion and God is Holy , not another Good Prophet who calls attention the Himself and has no authority to save anyone , and False Prophet who leads millions to the pits of hell with a great feeling

  11. I love some of the things you say but not this one. I believe our President is working hard to make our country better and you are not supporting or respecting our President when you write things like this. I supported, respected and cared about past President Obama, even though I didn’t vote for him, because I love our country and wanted to see it and him succeed. Why don’t you run for president? See if you can do it better. I wouldn’t talk badly about you…

  12. Mr Pavlovitz, your liberal railing against our present sounds like the cries of many liberals who cannot accept the fact that Obama’s gone, the wicked witch of the east lost, and Donald Trump is now President Trump. Get over it.
    I can’t speak for the whole of the American people, but those that I know are happy that the President can tweet his thoughts to us and bypass the liberal filters that spin his actions or just plain ignore any good he does in the lame stream media.
    The mantra from the liberal left seems to be “do something about President Trump quickly, before he actually manages to make America great again.”
    There is more I would like to say, but I have wasted to much time here already. Now I have to go so I can unsubscribe from your messages.

  13. 2Thess2:3 predicted the Apostasy that is before our eyes. America Babylon will fall for lifting up the abomination Trump.

  14. I greatly appreciate this human being’s love enough for this country and its’ inhabitants to speak the truth and to encourage the rest of us to look more clearly at who and where we are.

  15. An interesting piece … but neglects to mention that Hillary was about 10x worse. A woman who favors every known type of abortion, thinks rape is okay (so long as her husband does it), and who dismissed half of America as a bucket of deplorables.

    The Democrat party today are either a bunch of elitist snobs who sneer at regular Americans or else a pack of raging lunatics who want to turn America into East Germany. In fact, if Democrats had any brains at all, they’d do some serious soul searching and, instead of bashing Trump, ask themselves why he became president in the first place. What are their own faults and moral flaws that made this possible? To trash Trump is to implicitly admit that their own candidate and political ideology is even worse.

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