Be Better …

I did not plan nor want to write a post about the Red Hen.  Or about Kirstjen Nielsen or Sarah Huckabee Sanders and their restaurant choices.  It is ridiculous and a waste of my time and yours.  BUT … there is a bigger issue here and it is an important one:  R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

I do not dislike Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for I do not know her.  Never met her, never had a conversation with her.  I do not like the fact that she perpetuates Donald Trump’s lies, I do not like her denigration of certain members of the press, and I think as far as the job she does as White House Press Secretary, she is without values.  That said, if I saw her eating in my favourite restaurant I would not harass her, would not so much as give her a sidelong glance.  I would either ignore her and leave her to eat in peace, or if I felt I could not do that, I would quietly leave and go elsewhere.  The same applies to Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller and any of the rest of Trump’s entourage.

U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California who is, like myself, passionate about causes and often outspoken, added fuel to the fire:

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents.”

My baser instincts, the part of me that is sick and tired of this circus that surrounds Donald Trump, applauds Ms. Waters, but my head, my intellect, is screaming, “NO NO NO NO NO!!!”  This is not the path to bringing an end to the Trump regime, but only fans the flames that feed the frenzy of his supporters.  Not to mention Trump, whose ignominious response via Twitter was …

“Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!”

Never mind that Ms. Waters’ IQ is almost certainly far above Trump’s and never mind that she did not call for harm to anybody and did not even mention his supporters. And never mind, even, that no other president in the history of this nation has ever spoken in this manner in public. What his supporters and others will hear is what Trump said, even though it is not true.  This is not a time when people who slavishly follow Trump are seeking facts, but a time when they believe what comes from his mouth.  Period.

There are just over four months until the mid-term elections and if Democrats have any hope of taking a majority in either or both chambers of Congress, we … all of us … are going to have to act better.  The Republican Party, such as it is today, has very low standards of behaviour, but if Democrats lower themselves to those standards, I can guarantee you that all is lost.

Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant who asked Ms. Sanders and her party of 7 others to leave, was wrong.  She did so in a respectful manner, and she did so with just cause, however she was still wrong.  I am appalled that the Supreme Court recently affirmed the rights of the baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.  If you have a business, you serve your customers … all your customers.  I would hold Ms. Wilkinson, though I understand her reasons, to the same standard.

Maxine Waters is also wrong, though again, there is a part of me that would love to applaud her words, but I cannot.  Nearly every day I sit with this baby Dell on my knee, writing about values, about humanitarianism, criticizing ‘the other side’ for their lack of values, for their vulgar speech & actions, for their intolerance of those who may be different than them or have different ideas.  So how can I condone or praise the actions of Maxine Waters or Stephanie Wilkinson when they are acting in the very manner I am railing against?

I have a confession of my own.  This morning, one of the people who mow and trim the lawns in my apartment complex chopped down our sunflowers with a weed whacker.  Every year since Miss Goose was about knee-high, she and I have taken joy in planting sunflowers in our tiny postage-stamp front yard.  We lovingly tend them and watch them grow, squeal with excitement when the first one shows its beautiful yellow face.  And in less than 10 seconds, they were gone.  My confession?  I flew out the door in a rage and forced myself to stop a few feet short of the worker, else I would have strangled him.  Through tears and with fury I called him every name that came to mind, and acted, in general, like a 2-year-old.  Then I came inside, sat down on the stairway and cried for 30 minutes.  I had every right to be angry, to be hurt, but I did not have the right to launch a venomous attack on the man who was only doing what he thought was his job.  It was not one of my prouder moments.

This is what the past two years have done to us all, but … we are better than this.  We must be better than this, else Donald Trump and his supporters will have the last laugh.  Hate the behaviours, the ideology, the attitudes if you will, but for the sake of this nation, for all of our sake’s, do not emulate them.  Rise above what you see on the news and in the streets every day.  Be better.

30 thoughts on “Be Better …

  1. Pingback: When They Go Low … | Filosofa's Word

  2. You cannot outshout a demagogue like Trump so look for similar situations from history that might offer solutions. Gandhi’s idea of mass passive resistance and Martin Luther King’s Freedom Riders come to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is a time and a place for everything, there is a time to speak and a time to remain silent. While Sarah Huckabee Sanders is indeed worthy of scorn, the Red Hen was neither the time or place to show it. Wallowing in the mud with Trump and friends can only make us equally dirty. “Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.” – Laurence Sterne. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very well said, my friend. I had a thought the other night … I pictured entering a restaurant and the hostess, instead of asking “how many in your party?” asks “democrat or republican?” 😦

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  4. Dear Jill,

    I blogged a similar post but I got a lot more push-back. I side with your thinking on this subject. We as democrats need to be an effective alternative. We need to promote a return to decency, civility, etc. We can’t do that if we act like President Trump and his sycophants.

    That doesn’t mean that we don’t fight back .But we are smarter where we don’t have to stoop to his level to argue for a whole host of issues.

    .I liked an idea by Kim of “By Hook or by Book:”

    She wrote, “And as far as the Red Hen owner, another previous Democratic politician suggested that it may have been better for her to say that Sanders was welcome, and the payment for her meal would be donated to one of the organizations that are helping immigrant families. There are other ways to protest and make our voices heard.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

  5. no other president in the history of this nation has ever spoken in this manner in public.

    Out of everything you wrote, this is the line that stood out to me … because is it SO TRUE! And it’s sickening. IMO, his “freedom of speech” is far worse that what happened at the restaurant … or even Ms. Water’s comments. This man has used his position … and TWITTER … to say the meanest, nastiest, and cruelest things anyone could come up with about people and … he gets away with it!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, it IS true. And … I think it is all the more galling when we compare it to the last president who spoke with calm and dignity, whose actions and speech were above reproach. Sigh. Will we ever return to “normal”? I wonder.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent post! I don’t care for Sarah’s attitude and her attempts to prop up her boss, but I don’t think she should have been asked to leave. Where does it stop? Will it be ok to turn away anyone who disagrees with us? Will be be taken back to days where Blacks, Hispanics and Gays will be refused service? Democrats do have to be better or our democracy will break down. It seems President Trump has set the pace for rudeness. We do not have to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!!! Those are exactly my fears. I can envision restaurants and bars that cater only to white republicans, and others that will only serve democrats. Separate drinking fountains and restrooms? It happened once … who says it cannot happen again? We are becoming far too polarized … politics is driving social conscience. I have had close to 100 ‘friends and family’ decide they no longer wish to know me because of my politics. Sometime, somewhere, somebody has to say, “Enough!!!” Trump basically gave permission, said it was okay to be a racist, a bigot. But what disturbs me is that apparently many people were bigots to begin with, else they wouldn’t have been so eager to jump on this bandwagon. Sigh. Either way, we must remain above the fray, else all is lost.

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  7. What you say Jill, is entirely founded in common sense.

    I thing the mud slinging does not help anyone to make rational decisions on politics or anything else.

    But, …. Yeah that word always gets in the way of rationality…
    We do have gut feelings that go beyond the story fed to us.

    I agree, we should all be sensible, fair and level headed.

    Sometimes I wonder though, if we rationalise ourselves right into a corner full of contrition for something we did not instigate. We are all susceptible to the spin doctors. We take at face value, all that we hear and see, but what is the back story on it all?

    I watched a TV program last night (unusually) on the US Embassy in London, UK.
    Trump appointed Johnson&Johnson business tycoon Robert Wood Johnson.
    His bio reads like a man if great morals and great principles.

    https://uk.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/our-ambassador/

    Yet, as the program progressed, I found myself disliking the Ambassador. Not because he was Trump’s man. Not because he was he was encouraging business with Britain. Not because he was a bit too effusive about the massively expensive new Embassy building with his own personal view of the Thames and Houses of Parliament from his own personal garden patio.
    The reason I disliked him is because he was so sure that his vision, Trumps vision of America and its place in the world, was so good for the little guy out there. He was talking out of two sides of his mouth. The public one benevolent, the private one something much more sinister and self serving looking for profit margins to rise and investors to get rich. It was decidedly clear to me that humanity does not mean much to him despite his charitable posturing.

    I think politics is getting much more polarised and dangerous.
    Occasionally, the sunflowers are going to get cut down, and that’s when the real anger shows up. Everything else is the act of contrition known as ‘smoke and mirrors.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • The ‘common sense’ approach is the only way we, those who oppose Trump, will be taken seriously, for we cannot lower ourselves to their level. BUT … you are right in that we have gut feelings. We must just express them with grace & dignity rather than bombast. No, I don’t think it means we take what we are told at face value, but rather we assess, do our own research and fact-checking, then state our opinions/rebuttals in a reasonable, civil manner.

      Mr. Johnson sounds like another of Trump’s charlatans, but as it is after 3:00 a.m, I will have to finish reading the bio tomorrow … er, rather later today after a few hours of what passes for sleep these days. 😉

      Politics is definitely becoming dangerously polarized, and not only here in the U.S. — you guys have Brexit, after all. What is particularly disturbing is that it has spread into society as a whole, and become a battle pitting friend against friend, family against other family members. I wonder, some days, what will be identifiable in the ashes when this era finally ends.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, my friend, for this re-blog and so much support you always give me. I wish I had thought to include that quote by Michelle Obama in this post … I don’t know how I didn’t, since it is one I remind myself of almost daily.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jill, this is well said. I had planned to post something similar, but could not say it better. If people want their arguments heard, they need to listen first and pose them in a rational matter. Name calling, incivility and/ or violence are not the answers.

    What is lost on the louder strident voices like that of the President’s is the only way to solve problems is to look at the data and issues. We have an immigration problem in the US, but fanning the flames and demonizing people will not solve it. There are legitimate issues to be discussed, but there are some that are magnified far beyond the problem they are causing. A key factoid is immigration is accretive to the economy, eg. This point is often overlooked.

    Thanks, Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for such high praise, Keith! I seem to do best when I just speak from the heart. Loud voices and inciting the masses is not going to win the democrats anything. Funny that it seems to work fine for the republicans, but when the democrats do it, they are demonized. I wonder why that is?

      We really don’t have a huge immigration problem in this nation, but Trump and his rhetoric have made it seem so. He seems able to convince his base of almost anything, and then suddenly it becomes fact. Why, if he were to say that all apples produced in the U.S. are poisoned, I bet grocery stores would have apples rotting in their bins, as nobody would buy them. Not only that, but apple growers would be scorned and likely deported! Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I hate to say this but your are correct … you’ve made me think. THEY don’t deserve better but … ‘when they go low, we go high’!!
    ‘We must be better than this, else Donald Trump and his supporters will have the last laugh. Hate the behaviours, the ideology, the attitudes if you will, but for the sake of this nation, for all of our sake’s, do not emulate them. Rise above what you see on the news and in the streets every day. Be better.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, dearest! Yes, I wish I had thought to include that quote from Michelle Obama, for it is most apropos. We simply must curb our baser instincts and keep our eye on the ball. I really, really, really do NOT want another 2 years or more of this circus! Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Most welcome!! I know in my heart that we need to be better than them … but boy, how I love it when they get their comeuppance!! … Am I being bad? If I am, I know it gives me a brief moment of gratification and I think we deserve those moments!! Hugs … ❤ …

        Liked by 1 person

        • I do too, my friend, but we must keep our eye on the end goal, which is to get these demagogues out of office, and playing tit-for-tat won’t win the long game. Sigh. It is fun, though, isn’t it? Hugs!!! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m with you on this one:
    “My baser instincts, the part of me that is sick and tired of this circus that surrounds Donald Trump, applauds Ms. Waters, but my head, my intellect, is screaming, “NO NO NO NO NO!!!” This is not the path to bringing an end to the Trump regime, but only fans the flames that feed the frenzy of his supporters. Not to mention Trump, whose ignominious response via Twitter was …”
    We must not applaud those who lower themselves to his level. Not a good thing at all. The lead in the article about Ms Waters was about the loss of “civil discourse.” That ship sailed long ago!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hugh! Yes, the ship sailed long ago for many, but I am still in that little lifeboat trying to bring the ship back. Funny, but when I look around at how people act, how they speak these days, the person I most want to emulate is Keith, for he is always civil, always respectful, yet he gets his point across without yelling or cussing. I try to think of him when I write, but sometimes I just can’t keep the rant from escaping! Still, to publicly lower ourselves to the likes of Trump, his minions and followers would be a disaster.

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