No. I am not going to reduce Trump’s latest foul-mouth insult to other countries to just “the S word,” as many television commentators are doing.
The editor of this newspaper may have to do that for me; I will understand and leave that to him. I think no one should cover for Trump’s latest disgraceful profanity. (Think of the Holy Bible, Matthew 7:15-20: “By their fruits ye shall know them.”)
Don’t remind me. His outburst should have been expected. It was not as dangerous as his threats of nuclear war, nor as callous as his treatment of “dreamers,” nor as ignorant as his foolish plans for a massive “wall” along the US-Mexican border. But such insults continue to chip away at America’s contacts with the rest of the world. Those insulted countries and others judge us by our President.
I don’t want to dwell on Trump and his potty mouth, or on his followers—in and out of Congress – who ignore his increasing descent into madness. I want to shout instead “Thank God for Foreigners.” Thank God for immigrants (whom most Americans, including Trump, descended from). My celebration of diversity applies to the entire country but is also intensely personal for me.
I am reminded of my Mexican spouse and Mexican American children. I am reminded of all the fine physicians and other health workers in the south Texas Valley from Mexico and Latin America. I am reminded of my very life, today held in the hands of recent descendants of foreigners. Namely, Dr. Vineet Mishra and Dr. Anand Shah, UT Health System, San Antonio, physicians who are caring for me, saving me from cancer.
This article is, therefore, in a way, a blog about my recent past and near future health adventures – removal and recovery from basil cell carcinoma (back) and squamous skin cancer (ear). Thanks to Dr. Mishra I now have entered my artistic/Van Gogh period, missing part of my ear. And soon, thanks to Dr. Shah, that ear will be repaired. Thanks too, to my neck or other body part, from whence will come the graft. TMI?
Sorry to be so graphic. Just trying to write a realistic semi-blog. I know many readers have gone through such procedures—and worse. (One of my best friend’s spouse recently had the need of double mastectomy.) I don’t feel sorry for myself. Indeed, I feel so very lucky. Was it the anesthesia? I don’t know but in the doctor’s office, to the staff, after Dr. Mishra had left the room, I shouted, spontaneously, “thank God for foreigners!”
The staff, Mexican Americans, were amused. Startled, they lost normal inhibitions and began talking—quite favorably—of all the enjoyable colleagues they worked with, so many from foreign lands. They spoke openly (but cautiously, until they fully realized my own politics), revealing their disgust with Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-foreign attitudes.
Of course, in the matter of Mishra and Shah, they are also home-grown Americans, but of Indian ancestry. Shah, studied at Northwestern and Wayne State, Mishra, at Vanderbilt and Emory; he is now Director of Mohs Surgery, UT Health, San Antonio. Very young, cool guys. I am in good hands. I only wish the country were in better hands.
Meanwhile, let us give thanks for the (previously) open arms of the United States, for the Statue of Liberty, welcoming immigrants from the rest of the world. Granted, there have been ups and downs, openings and closings of immigrant policy. Let us give thanks for (previously) pro-education national administrations, receptive to science and medicine, trusting in educated people—recent and distant citizens – who focus on improving our minds and our health.
Let us do what we can to keep those very American, very sane traditions. Let us not sink into despair as we vainly try to push back against Trump’s manners and motley mouth, so aptly described by Mexico’s former President, Vicente Fox. Google it; I didn’t want to repeat the groserias here, but he refers to Trump’s mouth in the same way Trump referred to the billions he defamed. But we can and must push back against Trump’s insane policies and replace them with the best of America’s ethical and practical traditions.