Well, apparently Choosing was right when she said she thought I could only go two days without writing about Trump. While this post is not about him, per se, it does refer to him, and I find that there is almost no way to write about the reality of the day without invoking his ugly name. In addition, one reader reminded me, quite rightly, that those of us with minds and conscience have an obligation to keep speaking out. And finally, as I posted not so long ago, the words of the late Elie Wiesel: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” And this … “We cannot indefinitely avoid depressing subject matter, particularly if it is true …” So, my moratorium on all things Trump was a failed experiment. I figured it would be, but I rather thought I could do it for a week or two. Oh well … moving on …
Yesterday I wrote a post about KKK member and former leader David Duke running for U.S. Senate. A person whom I considered a friend wrote the following comment on my Facebook page:
“gee are they still arround?????? dont hear anything that they have done in years. It seems that other groups are taking over and causing all the problems now. And I did not read your blog so dont know what you said in it or do I want to know. Cant wait to see how many lies Hillary tells the people, bet she has more tales then a damn story teller.”
I share this here, not to make the point that my friend wouldn’t know a punctuation mark if it hit her in the patootie, but because this exemplifies an attitude that seems to be sweeping this nation today. First, read only the headline and take offense without reading the entire article. Second, do not bother to keep abreast of the news (the KKK was in the news in February for a violent rally in California, and twice in the past week for a number of less serious issues). Third, use any political commentary to turn the topic to Hillary and criticize her without actually using any facts.
I have known and been friends with this particular commenter for more than twenty years, and it is only in the past year that I discovered her to be: a) a bigot, and b) a shallow, narrow-minded person. I wonder … how did I miss seeing these things before and how did I end up with friends whose views are so very far apart from my own? I always thought of her as a good person, somewhat crass at times, but nonetheless kind of heart. I was wrong.
A reader of this blog recently commented that what Donald Trump has done is turn over the rocks under which all the hate and ignorance was hiding. That seems to be quite the case. In my mind, I picture thousands of slugs slithering out leaving trails of poisonous slime in their wake. Is this what we have to look forward to? Is this what the next generation looks like?
Those who would blindly follow Trump not only fail to ask questions and demand answers of him, but they have also closed their ears to those of us who would present facts, who would refute his false claims. In the words of one writer, “It’s not from an inability to hear and understand. It’s an unwillingness to look into any details behind Trump’s history, methodology, and policy stances. They don’t want to hear the truth so they cover their ears and chant Trumpisms loudly like infants.” My commenter would seem to fit into this category.
In the weeks ahead, our best hope is that the Clinton/Kaine team refuse to be drawn into the filth and garbage that is being thrown down by the opposition, that they put forth sound policies and do so in a calm, responsible manner. More name-calling and toxic slime are not what this campaign needs, and will not raise Clinton in the eyes of the voting public. Those who have already made up their minds to vote for Trump will not be swayed no matter what is said, as they will not hear it. It is those who are, as yet, uncertain, those who do not particularly love either candidate, who Clinton must reach, and the way to do so is to show herself to be above Trump’s loud fear-mongering and hate-inducing speech.
And as for me, I guess I am back in the saddle, and meanwhile I will be taking a close look at my friends list on Facebook to see if I can make it smaller.