The America you once knew no longer exists
Life Was Good

I grew up in a small village called Kenmore, located in Western New York, north of, and adjacent to, the city of Buffalo. As with any place in America, things were not perfect, but when I was a child, it certainly seemed as close to perfect as you could get. I lived in the same house for my entire childhood, played with the same friends, and went to the same places on a regular basis.

Sure there was discrimination, especially for a Jewish kid like me growing up in a predominately Christian neighborhood. The usual comments of kike, and dirty Jew would come up from time to time, usually from a pissed off friend who temporary was at a loss for words and simply reached out for the first derogatory term which came to mind, no doubt learned from his parents at the dinner table one night. Anyway, you got called names, you fought, and then the next day you were friends again and out playing touch football in the street beneath the rows of majestic maple trees which lined the streets of my small, quiet, little village. Life was good and seemed like it would never change.
This Guy Was Okay

Eventually I moved to sunny California in order to finish my college education, and to be with my parents, who had moved there during my first year of college at S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo. After the move I pretty much lost touch with most of my childhood friends and began my new life in California. Again, life was good.

Every four years, there was a presidential election which led to the same old bullshit being spewed by politicians trying to get the top job in the U.S., and after being elected, nothing much really changed. All the campaign promises went by the wayside and were soon forgotten, and again, not much really changed.

Things were not so stable though in other places around the world. I can remember stories of people in other countries back in the day, who were forced to move because of persecution or political unrest, with the knowledge they would never return home. In fact, my grandparents emigrated to Canada many years ago to escape deteriorating conditions in Russia. I thought how sad it must be to lose the home you always knew and loved, and be forced to relocate in a foreign land, and establish yourself and your family in a new place. I can also remember thinking, thank goodness I am an American, because that could never happen in my country.

Now fast forward a few years. I moved to Japan originally for a change. I was always fascinated by foreign cultures, especially Asian, and decided to move to Japan. I eventually met my wife Akiko, we got married, became the parents of two wonderful boys, and moved to a very conservative, countryside area known as Nara, Japan. We eventually found our way to the island of Tanegashima, a subtropical island located off the mainland of Japan. During these years, the president of the United States was Barack Obama. Maybe not the most dynamic of presidents, but a man with poise, good demeanor, and a level of eloquence not seen in the last few presidents. Again life was good.
Both Were Not Okay

Then came the run for the presidency of 2016, and along with it, a woman and a man, both vying for the top spot in the country. The woman, Hillary Clinton, a seemingly untrustworthy woman and the wife of an equally dishonest former president. The man, Donald Trump, a reputedly unscrupulous, and ruthless businessman, who did anything to achieve his goals.

Being in Japan, I had the option of submitting an absentee ballot, and chose to give up that right, as in my opinion, both Clinton and Trump were unacceptable choices to lead the country. That said, I was sure Clinton would be victorious and America would coast along for another four years, complete with the usual lack of enthusiasm and adversity to change, as with administrations of the past. America seemed stable and we began talking about returning to my home in San Diego, California until the unthinkable happened....Trump won the election. In the couple of months that followed, it became all too evident that things were taking a turn for the worse. Then again, surely the nasty rhetoric Trump exhibited on the campaign trail would end once this egomaniac knew he won the election. It turned out not to be the case.
Donald Trump Creates Chaos

As president elect, Trump was unreasonable, stumbling through ill thought out decisions, and making incessant rants from his Twitter account. Okay, this was simply post triumph pretentiousness which would go away once the weight of the presidency set in….or so I thought. During his first couple of weeks in office, Trump managed to scare a country, and a world, into virtual submission, with his subordinates, along with world leaders, catering to his every whim.

His first executive orders, which were intended to create chaos, included: plans to build a border wall to keep out illegal immigrants, censoring the Environmental Protection Agency along with preparations to delete all climate change data from their website, giving the go ahead to build a couple of controversial pipelines, and the infamous immigration ban which created unprecedented chaos in America, and threw the international community into turmoil. I watched as whites clashed with minorities in protest rallies, years of scientific research by dedicated scientists getting deleted, regard for the environment being reduced to nonexistence, and immigrants with legal status to be in this country, torn away from their families. Trump has cut into the very fabric of what made America great. It was then I realized that the America I knew no longer exists, and possibly for good.
Where is home now?

I talked with my daughter who predicted things would get much worse, close friends in America who were in tears over the recent changes, advising us to stay on our small island, and other friends also residing in Japan who were now calling the Land of the Rising Sun their permanent home. I began to remember those stories of people in other countries back in the day, who were forced to move because of persecution or political unrest, and realized I was now one of them. The America I knew no longer exists and I may never want to return home again.
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