It’s the morning after the presidential election when I write this commentary. I don’t know yet who won. Hopefully, by the time you read this, you’ll know what I do not.

Is our four-year foray into isolationism and divisiveness over? Do I have to listen to the smarmy kids of an unhinged billionaire for another four years?

The bigger question is where are we as a nation? For over 200 years, we strove for certain ideals. We rarely achieved them but we had a national shared concept.

We strived for decency, honesty, and fairness. We asked the world to send us their huddled masses and they became part of our melting pot.

We tried to lead the world toward democracy and human rights. We took pride in the slow improvement in the way we treated each other.

Was it all just a mirage? Were we always just as transactional and derelict of morality as the corrupt governments that we reviled?

The last four years have been an acid trip into the world selfishness, hate, and irresponsibility. We’ve gone backward on human rights, personal freedom, the environment, and government responsibility. Some of us have sold our morality for trinkets — a meaningless treaty, lower taxes …

Nations don’t last forever. Democracies are incredibly fragile. Another four years like the last would certainly make one consider if it was time to reconfigure this nation.

Without great dreams and ideals, why be a nation? Without a greater calling, why be at all?

Scott Rifkin, MD

Scott Rifkin, MD, Publisher