4th of July is the "All American Holiday." A great day to celebrate our great nation and all we have accomplished over hundreds of years. And as we celebrate, it is appropriate to take stock. Where are we and where are we heading?

I think we are at an important crossroads. Much that is essential hangs in the balance; perhaps the very nature of our American enterprise. Russia is attacking to weaken us to increase its power over us and our allies. It has succeeded beyond its wildest imaginings. President Trump has a coterie of advisors who have worked for and with Russia. Some have registered retroactively as foreign agents. It hacked into the computers of the DNC and of its head, John Podesta. Evidence is being produced of attempts to hack into the voting systems of many states. And coincidentally or not, President Trump has denigrated NATO several times, refused to affirm its mutual defense agreement and refuses even to acknowledge that Russia hacked into our systems to pervert our election. Trump refuses to try to prevent it for the next election. Do you think it is because he knows they were helping him and will again? The Russian threat is every bit as much a threat as a military threat. Our election process is the very foundation of our democracy. Time will tell whether there is more than circumstantial evidence of collusion. But the threat and fact remain that Trump could do to us what Gorbachev did to the USSR, but for opposite reasons.

We are also under attack by the “America First” movement. Like the related Russian efforts, it threatens our core national values. What has it done since January? Pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accord, threatening our leadership and our planet. Pulled us out of the Trans Pacific Partnership which cedes economic leadership in Asia to China which is on the move to dominate the region with its military buildup and island building in the South China Sea. North Korea is its pawn and China will deftly exploit its nuclear threat. For example, Trump has made deals with China in exchange for its willingness to help contain North Korea. If it does, we will be indebted to China. We have already ceded more aggressive positions on currency and trade in exchange for cooperation on North Korea which resulted in an ICBM being launched on July 4th.

Here at home, America First is battling to take health care insurance from 23 million people and make it impossibly expensive for others, to save people making $1,000,000 2 percent of the taxes. On day one, Trump cancelled the regulation that was about to give overtime pay to managers making over $27,000 but less than $47,000. So much for the idea that Trump was for the little guy! Trump still plans to erect a wall with Mexico, a great discriminatory affront to our next door neighbor and one of our most important trading partners. He loves clean coal and is doing his best to reverse the laws that cleaned our skies and lungs. It threatens the agreements made under NAFTA, the good ones as well as the bad ones. It threatens women’s health by threatening funding to Planned Parenthood. It threatens the laws against discrimination under the pretext of religious freedom. It has encouraged violence and has relentlessly attacked the free press upon which democracy's existence depends. It promotes the idea the guns should not be regulated in the face of an unending torrent of mass murders. And Trump has cast the idea of honesty to the woodshed, making lying an acceptable tactic. How is that even possible in the land that we so love?

America First was coined in the 30's an isolationist movement infatuated with Hitler. It wanted to turn our backs on our allies who were under mortal attack and return to Fortress America and a world that existed only in the minds of imperial Americans who believed that white America had a God given right to take everything from everyone else and dominate the planet, especially blacks and native Americans as well as Mexicans and the Spanish.

And we are at a very real crossroads in our international standing. Instead of leading the Free World and being the beacon of hope that the Statute of Liberty represents, we have drenched the lamp in the Statute's Torch, shutting our doors on refugees and Muslims. And we have alienated almost every one of our natural allies and been humiliated by our Presidents' conduct in so many ways. They are seeking leadership elsewhere and making agreements without us. At first they were scratching their heads in disbelief, hoping Trump would become Presidential, assume responsible Free World leadership only to be confronted at every turn and made to clearly understand that it was the America First way, or the highway. Which will hurt us so much with the looming crisis in North Korea and in the Middle East, not to mention with the Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. Instead of strengthening alliances, he is undermining even our most important relationships. They wonder will we be there for them when needed? As a result, we have to wonder, will they be there for us?

So we are at a crossroads. We have to decide whether we are a nation of diverse people committed to real freedom and opportunity in all respects, as promised by our founding documents, or a nation of, by and for wealthy white Americans. (How many people of color did you ever see in a Trump rally or at the Inauguration or among Trump's advisors or appointees?) That may be the most important crossroads as it is commonly known that the non-white Americans are closing in on equal portions of our population, although they possess a tiny fraction of our wealth and power. I suspect that this perception is energizing the America First movement of Trump’s base. After all, the Birther movement, which Trump started and promoted for years, brought him to the fore in American politics. Trump and Bannon have tapped into the dark side of this fearful human emotion.

As these crossroads converge, we are at one of the most pivotal times in our Nation’s history. We must decide whether we are committed to the common enterprise of working for the good of all Americans through discussion, compromise, fair elections, transparency and a full and vibrant free press to assure for each of us that the values of our founding documents are maintained and defended against all affronts, domestic and foreign.

Are those guarantees going to be honored or cast aside?

Are we going to go forward in common decency or are we going to wage war on each other?

I say it's time to put down the swords, calm down, patiently untangle the snarled up twine, and start solving our problems ourselves, one at a time — as Americans all.

Robert Feingold lives in Dartmouth.