Our history is replete with ugliness. Progress has been made in fits and starts. But we are going backwards at warp speed at the moment. People with the worst impulses of the America psyche are in power and they are out of control.
We are quickly becoming a global pariah. And for good reason. Just one example:
A German-Iranian father who wanted to travel to the United States to attend his son's funeral was denied a three-day visa because the US said he was using "fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact" to obtain it.
Dr. Seyed Shahram Iranbomy's 20-year-old son Irman (pictured above) died in a car accident in the capital Washington on June 10. He had been studying at a university in the US where his mother also lives.
Iranbomy, a human rights and discrimination lawyer who runs his own law firm in Frankfurt, told DW that the US consulate said he was taking advantage of his son's death to immigrate to the US.
'Using the death of your son'
DW has received photographs of official US consulate documents from Iranbomy that state he was denied a non-immigrant visa because he "sought to procure a visa, other documentation, admission to the US, or immigration benefit by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact."
"You're using the death of your son to immigrate to America, you're not telling the truth," Iranbomy quoted the US consulate as saying. He said he was also told that he "did not have roots in Germany."
Iranbomy was born in Iran but has German citizenship and has lived in the country for more than 40 years. "I am more German than Iranian," he told DW. He said he was not interested in moving to the US.
The US consulate in Frankfurt declined to comment on the outcome of his visa application to DW, saying that all such cases are confidential and can only be discussed with the applicant. Iranbomy said he had appealed the decision but was yet to receive a response.
Iranbomy was denied the US visa he needed to attend his son's funeral
During Barack Obama's presidency, he had received a 10-year visa for both business and leisure travel, but this was revoked in May 2017 after current US President Donald Trump took office.
Iranbomy's story has been picked up by local German media outlets, including daily newspapers Frankfurter Rundschau and Frankfurter Neue Presse.
Iranbomy told DW his son was an active young man. He had attended a youth parliament session at the German Bundestag in Berlin just a few days before his death, and was also a commander in the youth fire brigade.
Frankfurt Mayor Peter Feldmann wrote a letter of support to Patricia Lacina, the current consul general at the US consulate in Frankfurt, to advocate for Iranbomy and asked her to review his visa application.
Iranbomy described himself to DW as "an American friend." He is listed on the website of the US Consulate in Frankfurt as a lawyer for US citizens who need legal services in Germany. He said he has represented numerous Americans.
Meanwhile, we are putting little children in cages and leaving them in dirty diapers without enough to eat.
The president says they should decide not to come to America and then this wouldn't happen to them. Basically, he's punishing babies and children for the actions of their parents.
And his followers --- tens of millions of our fellow Americans --- are applauding that sadistic policy.
Yet the leaders of the opposition appear to be completely impotent. I've barely seen a congressional Democrat on TV this week-end. And it's not even an election year so they don't have to be door knocking or phone banking right now.
They're coasting --- while the country hurtles backwards.