O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
I have been lied to and manipulated by every president in my lifetime, starting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Our current president, Donald Trump, holds the indoor and outdoor lying record. He has a lie on top of a lie on top of another lie, and in the end he has the whole country spinning trying to keep up with his lies.
This is a great country. We will survive Donald Trump.
Contrary to the stilted, slanted news you have been reading in The New York Times and watching on CNN and other media outlets, Trump has done some things that appear to be working, but he should never be forgiven for committing the worst crime of any president in our history — his ripping young children (some as young as two years old) from the arms of their parents and putting them alone in detention centers. The crime these small children committed? They were with their parents who tried to get into this country illegally. This was a Nazi-like, Hitler-like move by Trump.
The fact is the people who elected him don’t care about his lies. They believe he is as great as he tells them he is. These, for the most part, are good, but sadly gullible, people. If watching hundreds of children being thrown into cages on Trump’s whim doesn’t wake them up, nothing will.
Now, as usual, with the public outraged, Trump has changed his tune and is desperately trying, and lying, to blame everyone but himself. If you’re tempted to forgive him, just remember the sounds of terrified, confused children crying for their mothers and fathers.
I’m a staunch Republican, but when it comes to Donald Trump I’m crossing party lines. And not for the first time: I believe a Democrat, Harry Truman, was one of the three great presidents of my lifetime (Eisenhower and Reagan being the other two). I’m a renegade Republican who believes you cannot have too conservative a president, nor too liberal a Supreme Court.
This stance makes me no friends on either side of the political spectrum. Frankly, I don’t care.
This is a long way of telling you how much I’m affected by the Independence Day holiday and the words of the song printed above. The music, the words and the sentiment never fail to bring me to tears. It started when I was almost too young to understand it. I’m the child of immigrants who bought the dream of those words for me and for my children and for my children’s children. They picked the only country in the world where, until Donald Trump, dreams truly did come true.
For many of the early years when I lived in East Hampton, I threw a party at my house for my friends on the Fourth of July so we could watch the gorgeous fireworks display from Main Beach. Every year I would play music that worked with the fireworks.
I would spend days working on my fireworks playlist.
Every year my music and the sparkling light show would sync perfectly and I would watch my friends looking up to the sky with the colors of fireworks reflected on their faces.
Every year I would see tears streaming down some of the faces.
The year after 9/11 there were more memories and more tears.
Sadly, the East Hampton fireworks were stopped a few years ago, and thousands of people are missing out on a patriotic rite that we need now more than ever.
If you put this music together in a playlist, you too can make this year’s fireworks, in any town, a moving experience.
Here’s the playlist:
“Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin
“Amazing Grace” by Tramaine Hawkins
“God Bless America” by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
“America the Beautiful” by Charlie Rich
“America the Beautiful” by Elvis Presley
And close to the finale, when the sky is booming and the earth is trembling — with the sound at its loudest and the sky filled with stars – listen to “God Bless America” by Kate Smith.
Just wait until you hear that fat, old, anti-Semitic, fascist Kate Smith singing “God Bless America.” She was a pig but could she sing.
She sang the words of this wonderful song with great verve and great feeling, and you could celebrate that, up until Donald Trump, Kate Smith never got the ugly, intolerant America she wanted.
And finally, saving the best for last, listen as the great Ray Charles sends chills down your spine as you hear him singing the greatest version of “America the Beautiful” ever recorded.
Then do as I do and whisper to yourself, “America is the best place in the world. It will outlive Donald Trump and any politician who doesn’t think so.” Then we can go back to calling this the land of the free and the home of the brave.
If you wish to comment on “Jerry’s Ink” please send your message to email@example.com.