I don’t know who’s smart and who’s dumb in this country. I thought I knew and got judgmental about it. I thought that I was one of the smart crowd among the electorate. Seems like I wasn’t.
But then it seems that the “smart crowd” among the electorate is a myth.
We’re all not so smart … we were all duped … we all seem to have bought and taken long drinks of the snake oil that spin doctors in both parties, in the media and in not-so-likely places like churches and other pot-luck gatherings where snake oil was dumped in the punch.
A citizen’s knowledge of civics matters.
Civic duty matters.
Honest questioning and honest disagreeing with anyone of influence matter. Now is the time to be willing to dissent if you don’t go along with where the drivers of the bus seem to want to take us. Don’t tell yourself you are a good civic-minded American if you disagree and are afraid to speak up … to muzzle your own voice out of fear of shame or rejection is a coward’s way out.
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” -Teddy Roosevelt
Now is not the time to stop keeping score. Now is not the time for the pollyanna notion about getting behind the new president in some sort of patriotic show of respect. Regarding the idea of “giving him a chance,” he will get that chance. He was hired for a four-year term and barring something doofus that leads to resignation or impeachment, he will have four years to justify all the votes he received.
He has the means, the congressional majorities, a future supreme court majority. None of us have control over that. He and they will try to do what they will to do. There is no reason for me or any of us to cut him slack – not for even a moment; right from the get-go; not for a day, not for 100 days, not at all.
Our civic and patriotic duty is to defend and advocate for what we believe is right. That never goes away. Do not listen to the newly self-appointed victorious peacemakers who tell us to “get over it.”
And to those pseudo-patriots demanding we give him a chance I quote my friend David Neiwert:
“Yes, we will extend to President-elect Trump exactly the same respect and opportunity to prove himself that Republicans gave to President-elect Obama.”
Seems to me that most who voted for the candidate voted for the snake oil promises he made.
The Pew Research Center made a preliminary analysis of the 2016 election and how the faithful voted.
Apparently 61% of my fellow Mormons voted for Mr. Trump. I have to assume that having been taught civic duty and participation in the Church (as I was for most of my life), that these active Mormons searched, pondered and prayed about the best person for the job. I have to assume that they took into account the incredibly foolish behavior, the acknowledgements and admissions on his part as to his highly inappropriate and immoral behavior towards other human beings, particularly mothers, wives and daughters.
Furthermore, Trump was accurately portrayed and repudiated by a Mormon of my own generation, Mitt Romney, to his credit – and this before most of the revelations that followed. In my book that makes Mitt Romney a genuine moral Mormon.
As for the voters from my culture, to vote for the promise at the expense of morality is nothing less than religious hypocrisy; 61 per cent worth.
Recommended reading this week:
What Now? – Sean Patrick Hughes
This is a long excerpt from a longer thoughtful, inciteful and well-written article.
On Tuesday, we took one giant leap backward on the arc of our journey to one people. And over the last four days, I’ve been bombarded by explanations of why Donald J. Trump was just elected president. I don’t need any more. I didn’t need them in the first place. I know why he was elected. He was elected because the only message that matters for the American government in 2016 is a need for change. And when the alternative to that change was someone who moved into the White House when I was fifteen, (I’m 40 now) that choice was clear for some. But it was a choice. And the ultimate choice that was made, the one people will remember a hundred years from now, was a willingness to ignore personal decency and fair treatment towards people who are different in service to that change. That was the choice that the minority of the American electorate made. That was the choice that about a quarter of eligible American voters made.
I’m not here to argue the legitimacy of the results. And I don’t get to pick and choose whether I support democracy because of the outcomes. I won’t tell you that you are a racist or a bigot if you voted for Donald Trump. I won’t even tell you that you personally are indecent. But I will tell you what you just bought with your choice. You bought a very vigilant, sensitive and loud American majority who will cry foul at the drop of a hat for anything that resembles attacks on those we have fought so hard for these last fifty years. Because what you showed us with his nomination and your vote in the election, is that you can’t be trusted to do it without us.
Many of my devout conservative friends were remarkably quiet when their candidate trashed their personal values. And they were remarkably quiet when their candidate made inexcusable first hand remarks about minorities, women and disabled Americans. And they were remarkably quiet when the dark forces of white supremacists aligned themselves in support of their candidate. I understand why. You couldn’t live with the alternative. So you rationalized out of fear that speaking up would enable it. Well, that risk is gone now. You avoided the end you couldn’t live with. That excuse is gone. And now it’s fair to say that tolerance of that behavior from here on can only be seen as an endorsement of it. So when there’s a KKK rally in North Carolina to celebrate the election of the candidate you support, you no longer have any excuse not to condemn it with the same uncompromising vigor that you condemned Hillary. Let’s see the memes. Let’s see the Facebook posts. Let’s see the outrage.
Perhaps the rest of America can trust you to hold the leader of our government to the change you so uncompromisingly sought. But we won’t trust you to look out for our fellow Americans who are different. So get ready for four years of vocal, loud, peaceful I pray, dissent. If you thought the core Trump supporters would be loud if Hillary Clinton won, what do you think is going to happen now that you’ve marginalized a group that has much more to lose than freedom from background checks for guns and a ten percent lag in wage growth? At stake for them, is participation in our society. And if their vocal insistence on it is something you aren’t willing to tolerate, then perhaps you might consider a different path in thirty months when you get to choose your next leader without the looming evil of Hillary excusing your choice. You can’t point to her any more as cause.
If insistence on decent treatment of all Americans makes me a liberal in the eyes of conservatives, then maybe we should take some time to reflect on who our modern conservatives actually are. The world is watching.
Sean Patrick Hughes is a writer, veteran and special needs parent. As a veteran of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, he served ten years on active duty and completed three deployments, receiving the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. Sean lives in Southern California with his wife and three sons. He’s a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and The University of San Diego School of Business. Today he leads high performing teams in the consumer technology industry in California. He’s a veterans advocate and Co-founder of the non-profit corporation, Care For Us which specializes in providing support, education and advocacy for special needs parents.