Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan’s daughter, recently penned an essay for The Daily Beast in which she discusses patriotism and her father’s vision for America, questioning if, under President Trump, it’s dead.
In the essay titled Is Ronald Reagan’s Vision For America Dead? Davis discusses her father’s love for America, which she says she initially found embarrassing at a young age, but eventually grew to respect his deep sense of patriotism with age. She notes that although she disagreed with her father’s political views, she always respected his feelings.
‘I never teared up at any of America’s well known anthems, or at the sight of the flag. That changed on 9/11. By then, my father was deep into Alzheimer’s and mostly bedridden. On that somber, unwieldy morning, I drove to my parents’ house and saw, on the corner of a busy intersection, a homeless man waving a tattered American flag.’
Recalling her emotions on that day, Davis explains:
‘The tears that overtook me made it impossible to drive; I had to pull over until they let up. They came from a place so deep in me, I thought they might have been waiting for me all my life. I wept for the country that I knew I’d taken for granted. I wept for the people who had gone to work on that clear blue day, or boarded a plane, never thinking that such horror could visit us here in the land of the free.’
Davis goes on, comparing how she felt following the tragedy of 9/11 to how she felt after Donald Trump was inaugurated, writing: “Since January 20th, that same place inside me has brought me to tears on more than one occasion. It’s filled me with a dread of what is to come, and what we might lose.”
Davis notes her fear of America losing its core values under the control of Trump:
‘I’ve re-read the Constitution, because that is what we might lose – that exquisite document that is the construct of this land we call America. Because of it, we have a government balanced between three branches and rooted in freedom, openness and fairness. We have a free press that is not censored or controlled by the government.’
Speaking of Trump’s strategist, Steve Bannon, Davis goes on to note that he’s spoken of “deconstructing the administrative state,” writing, “there is no love of country in wanting to tear apart its fabric and rip up its foundation. Deconstruction is not patriotism, it’s the underpinnings of tyranny,” before going on to assert that Bannon is “well-schooled in the dark art of tyranny.”
She notes that tyranny isn’t something that surfaces immediately, but rather, “creeps in slowly, methodically” by instilling fear, pitting people against each other, and restricting freedoms, “particularly freedom of the press.”
‘By creating and declaring enemies, you are governing by a doctrine of fear.’
Davis’ words serve as a poignant reminder of the values upon which our country was built; values that in no way, shape, or form are held by our commander-in-chief.
The essay comes to a close by predicting that America will either succumb to bigotry, hated, and fear, or rise up and unite in love.
‘America, for all its strength and resilience, is not indestructible. No nation is. We will either splinter in fear and rage or we will rise up united in our love of the principles that built this country.’
You can read the full essay at this link.
Feature Image via Getty Images.