I’ve never been big on labeling other people, I don’t care to be labeled. I have progressive ideas and conservative ideas, I do not hate people who disagree with me, I am not comfortable around people who hate, either sincerely or as a political strategy.
I will not ever knowingly become one of them.
I do not believe in a black and white, or left and right world, our system is about listening, and compromise and the greater good. There are far more than two ways to look at the world.
Democracies are not about a single point of view, or cults or mobs chanting for the blood of their political opponents. To use power in that way is an awful thing to me, not gray or fuzzy or ambivalent in any way.
As Hannah Arendt wrote so eloquently, the enables and apologizers are complicit. There is no escaping the right thing.
Anyone who knows or loves history knows what bloodthirsty mobs can mean.
On my blog, I have worked hard – and successfully – to make sure that people who don’t agree with me feel comfortable here, they have always been and are still welcome.
And I am proud to say many have stayed with me.
For me, the great conflict is not about left versus right or conservative versus progressive, it is about humanity and compassion over greed and power.
But there are times in life when you have to just show up and speak up, and this is one of those times. I can’t say whether the President is a racist or not, I have not met him and don’t know what is in his soul.
The terminology doesn’t really matter to me, what he said was hateful and awful and destructive, and certainly racist to me, no matter how people can and will rationalize it. No one need answer to me, only to their own conscience.
There are untold millions of my fellow citizens – and me – who know just what it means when someone says we should go back where we came from. We came from here. There is no one powerful enough in America or entitled enough to tell us where we should be.
Speaking out is about my dignity and self-respect, not about what others do and think. I speak for myself.
Living in the country, I understand and see every day the many good reasons honest people voted for our President and support him still. So many people have been left behind, so many communities ravaged and abandoned. Politics and government and economists utterly failed the people we call rural Americans, generation after generation.
Demagogues arise when governments lie to people, many Americans were lied to for a very long time.
But hatred and bigotry solve nothing, resolve nothing, accomplish nothing but pain and hurt.
For me, there are just some lines I can’t and won’t cross. Wednesday night was one of them.
I now believe our President to be someone who would enthusiastically and callously tear our country apart in order to gain political power. He has chosen to not be my leader or to care what I think.
My heart sinks to see all those robotic people shouting hateful things at those rallies. It evokes the worst images in our history or the history of the world. I pray they know not what they do.
This was Thomas Jefferson’s recurring nightmare, the angry mob, full of hatred, free from reason or restraint. His whole system of government was built around protecting us from that very thing.
Nothing good or productive or aspiring comes from hate like that, especially from a person of great power to weaker people.
The most powerful man in the world ought to be careful about how he wields his power, and to what end. There is a difference between bullying and debate, and I expect the leader of the Free World to know what it is.
On a personal level, the image of an angry old politician telling four young, strong and idealistic women where they should go was stunning. I wish one of those women had told him that those days are gone, and they are not coming back. In some ways, I suppose they did.
It is the task of the young to challenge and rebel and provoke, that’s how our country was born. I don’t need to agree with them to admire them and salute them.
I will leave the political arguments to other people and go on doing my work for the elderly, for the refugees. The people who support this work have a right to know where I stand, to hear from me today.
I believe good triumphs over evil, love over hate, compromise over conflict. Nothing about this week has shaken my belief in the ultimate outcome of the never-ending struggle between good and evil, in our nation and beyond.
But I do believe what Edmund Burke is believed to have said: the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (and women) do nothing. There are so many people in our world who know from horrific personal experience that this is true.
So I just need to speak up.
I don’t want to do nothing and say nothing. When my granddaughter asks where her grandfather was in all this, I want her to know. My blog is my living memoir and testament.
She is alive because someone risked their life to be free.
Good always triumphs in the end, that is, to me, the real lesson of history.
Doing good is my faith, my religion now, and I will not be knocked off that path. I’m uplifted and inspired every day by the good people who call themselves the Army Of Good, and by the brave people at the Mansion facing death, and the wonderful refugee children fighting to get their lives back.
I would ask people to keep faith with me, I pray and work for better times, for empathy, compassion, and the best, not the worst, of the human spirit.
I am not a Christian, but in my life I embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ, who calls us to help the vulnerable and the needy, to practice empathy and compassion. I’ve never heard a better call to humanity.
I see good every day, I hear from people every day.
I know good is there, it is powerful, and I believe it will prevail. I honestly do, I could not do what I do without faith in that idea.
I am proud to stand with you, and I hope you will stand with me. I don’t do despair and doom. A wise man once told me that hateful people eat themselves up.
We are doing good every day, small acts of great kindness. Good is the most powerful ideology on the earth, the truest affirmation, and glory of the human spirit, no matter what you see on their news.
We are making our own news.