America, You Need Therapy

And it needs to start today.

American flag Justin Cron / Unsplash

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

The age-old saying is a problem in and of itself, suggesting that because someone or something is set in their ways, their learned behavior, their daily routine — then that’s it. That's endgame.

There’s nothing you can do about it, and there’s no turning back.

On the day of the riots, Joe Biden tweeted, “America is so much better than what we’re seeing today.”


Barack Obama called it “a moment of great dishonor and shame for our country.”

Even Mitt Romney, a prominent Reublican who once supported Donald Trump, condemned the former reality television host and his followers, saying, “They [Trump’s supporters] will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history.”

Thousands of Americans also took to social media to state their opinions, writing, “This isn’t the America I know,” or, “This isn’t who America is.”

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Here’s the thing, though. This is America. This has been America. 

Many Americans have just been too privileged to see it, and now, the rose-colored glasses that people once used to view what was called the greatest country in the world have been smashed to smithereens, and people are finally starting to see America for what it is.

After scrolling through social media days after the attack on U.S. democracy, I came across a poignant Facebook post that read:

“America, you need therapy..instead of saying, ‘This is not who I am,’ maybe try saying, ‘This is not who I want to be ANYMORE.’"

And the author of that post is dead-on.


Americans can say these things all they want — “This isn’t MY America,” “What happened to our great country?” — but the fact of the matter is, this is what America has been for hundreds of years. Much of the population is just now realizing the severity of the consequential seeds we’ve sown for centuries. 

The damage has been done.

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Saying things like, “This isn’t who we are,” or, “This isn’t the America I know,” then doing nothing to change that is the equivalent of a grown man or woman acknowledging that they’re the most toxic person in their life, then expecting others to change while they sit back and wreak havoc on the lives around them. 

This is exactly who America is, but those who have been privileged enough to turn a blind eye to what actually goes on in this country are now tuned into the high-pitched frequency of the America Black, Brown, LGBTQ+, and other oppressed communities have been experiencing for centuries.   

The rioters who stormed the Capitol in the name of Donald Trump — most of whom are white — committed one of the most shameful attacks on democracy in this country’s history. 

And while some rioters have since been identified and arrested for their participation in the riots, it’s a stark cry from the mass amounts of protestors who were arrested for peacefully protesting police brutality against Black and Brown folks this past summer in the wake of the George Floyd murder.


The superiority complex of the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol is astounding, and echoes the toxic ideologies that America was built on hundreds of years ago.

Many social media users, prominent politicians, public figures, and more have said that America needs to heal. 

Let’s get one thing straight: Our country does not need to heal. America needs to change, and more importantly, the people in this country need to WANT to change. 


We can no longer sit back and count on others to do the work. Every citizen of this country needs to put in effort to help change this country. 

If we don’t, we’ll be trapped in the same toxic cycle we’ve been in for hundreds of years. Wishing for change won’t do any good — we’re past that point. 

We need to take action now: for the sake of ourselves, our country, and our democracy. 

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter