There are eras in history that seem irredeemable. Periods of time that the grounds for hope and gratitude have disappeared in a quagmire of uncertainty and hate so that it makes it easy to believe those two ideas will not come again.
Reasonable men and women are living in such times in America. I suspect elsewhere in the world as well, but I am an American, and can only speak from my own experience.
I try to put these times into the perspective that we are merely living through a temporary period of hate, intolerance, ignorance, and bigotry. I hold to the belief that reason and decency win in the long-term and that America will remember that equality, fairness, empathy, and a steadfast belief in freedom are consecrating ideals of our Nation.
My comfort is that America has experienced dark times before; the Civil War, The Great Depression, and Watergate to name three. The United States found the correct path to rise above those periods of time by looking at the broader picture seeing beyond the complexity and temporal obstacles we faced. I pray this solace is not illusory and that with each passing day we gain a new perspective.
This national nightmare will not be forever, I hope.
In just a few short days we will be half-way through 2018. Donald Trump has been in office for 518 days. We have 951 days until January 20, 2021, when I pray a new President, free of the shackles of racial intolerance, greed, and ignorance becomes our new leader and begins the task of undoing the harm inflicted on the country and the world by the squatter in the White House.
Six months ago as people wished me Happy New year, I was remaining silent; I wondered if any year had a better capacity to be unhappy? I mused that we must be going through some species inversion, walking backward on the evolutionary trail picking up things from our ugly past we had shed, as though they are valuable treasures to cherish.
It has been over half a century since white supremacists have had an honored place in the halls of power. They do hold power and have the ear of the leader of the nation. They are also helping to set our national agenda. Are their plans something we want to pursue?
What are our goals for our nation?
Maybe our nation does want to return to a bigoted and ignorant past? That seems to be the case since their champion bested ours in the electoral vote and continues to enjoy the support of the political party in power.
It is as though the country has learned nothing from the experiences of the Civil War, the rise of the KKK in America, lynchings in the South, and the Civil Rights struggle. We are turning back to acceptance of racism and anti-Semitism, and throwing in Latinos, women, and LGBTQ in for good measure, and it is accepted as “that is their opinion and right.” They can privately hate all they like, but when their hate becomes The Laws of the Land, then we give sanction to injustice.
I hope the road I described above is not the road our nation is on. I know it is unpopular to say, but our side ran a candidate who ran a lousy campaign, made bad strategic decisions, and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Hindsight is always 20/20 and looking at the future is a myopic event. Bernie Sanders should have been our Vice Presidential Candidate, and we should have gone to the working men and women of this nation in the rust belt and listened to their concerns.
What we should have done is meaningless in 2018, but let us remember our missteps, so we cease making the same mistakes.
Our laws are our freedom, and this period will prove that.
It is in these times we must cling to our current laws, and firmly resist the efforts by our adversaries to change the code that protects the marginal people in our society. We must not allow the Government to sanctify discrimination against minorities and those who are different. If we do not change the definition of what is moral and just via our laws, then the movement that divides our nation will be suicidal and perish by its own hand.
I am not going to condemn Donald Trump and his base for their deeds. Doing so is useless. They believe they are right, and further think they have the Blessings of God. They are wrong on both counts.
Our freedom and way of life depend on us standing firm.
We must stand firm against hate for minorities, Jews, Muslims, women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ. In doing so, we are part of a just cause. Freedom is for all, not just the white, straight, Christian, Anglo-Saxon majority. It is not about a party, or conservatism, or liberalism, or socialism; this stand is about common decency.
We have another responsibility as those citizens of this Great Nation who resist the demagoguery of today. We must not go down the same treacherous path our opposition tread before us. We must also resist our urge to hate our fellow Americans. Two groups hating one another does not lead to a national consensus, nor does it shield our rights, freedoms, and protections for all that we hold so dear.
We can hate the attitude of the opposition; we can despise the belief system that would call evil good and good evil, but the minute we hate the other side then we become them only with different rhetoric. That makes us lost too.
What frightens me as much as the hate and injustice of our opposition is the division in the land. I once thought that America could not be more divided than I recall we were at the end of the Vietnam War and during Watergate.
Maybe the passage of time has played tricks with my memory, but it seems that we are more divided today and are content in being divided. This despair has become the American status quo, and it is more dangerous to us than all our foreign enemies.
Americans always seek the elusive, quick fix.
At this point in the article, I am supposed to offer up a simple solution that if followed, will make us a happier people. I would do that except I have no answer. Donald Trump and our national angst are the symptoms of something far more significant, and much darker than a person winning an election. It is an attitude and an idea we combat, and rants about the morality of our opposition fall on deaf ears.
America is at a crossroad, and the only help I can offer is for us to remember from where we came, and not to forget the ugliness that preceded our time. Do we want to repeat our past mistakes?
I live with the hope the answer is no, and good men and women regardless of their party, regardless of political ideology will assert their will and not allow hate, bigotry, ignorance, and intolerance continue to win the day.
[A NOTE TO MY READERS ON FACEBOOK, a Facebook bot hit me with a 30 day ban for writing the word “pig” in a post. It was a humorous post, but the automatic bot called it hate speech. If you ever write the American idiom ‘a pig in a poke.’ I would not advise doing it on Facebook. I will be back on Facebook, either on July 14, 2018, or when Facebook gets it worked out as they say they are doing. I have yet to see Facebook do anything they say they will do, so to my Facebook Friends, see you July 14th, which is Bastille Day. You know I will have a lot to say about that! Until then, you may reach me on SKYPE firstname.lastname@example.org LinkedIn or on Twitter @Bobndc ]
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