I am in a pensive mood tonight, rather saddened and disgusted by what I see people doing. Y’know … Donald Trump is to blame for a lot … I could spend this entire post pointing out the things for which he should be held to account, but he isn’t responsible for our own behaviour … only we can be held to account for what we say and do, for how we treat others. It is true that Trump has encouraged much of what is happening, has praised white supremacists, denigrated democrats, Muslims, Jews, women and a whole laundry list of others. But, at the end of the day, I am responsible for the things I have done … nobody else.
I read an article this evening in The Week …
A municipal worker in Michigan required 13 stitches after moving a Trump lawn sign rigged with razor blades. The sign was closer to the roadway than permitted by local ordinance, town Supervisor Dave Scott said, and when the worker put his hands on it, he initially “thought it was electrified,” and then “realized he was bleeding aggressively.” The homeowner has denied doing the boobytrapping.
And this isn’t the first time. The same thing happened in Texas in November 2016, just a few days before the election. Who does such a thing? What if a small child or animal had been the one to discover the treachery? Does the person who did this even have a conscience?
I read John Pavolitz’ post from a few days ago titled Good People Aren’t Voting For Him A Second Time, and I found the following particularly relevant …
I often hear people say, “I’m a good person and I’m proudly voting for Donald Trump again.”
I now consider that an oxymoron.
I don’t believe any good people are voting for this president a second time—or they are in complete rebellion against goodness as they do.
I believe that act is fundamentally antithetical to anything good.
There are things good people simply don’t do:
Good people don’t ignore the assassinations of unarmed black men.
Good people don’t vilify and attack the peaceful protestors of those murders.
Good people don’t create phony ANTIFA conspiracies, just to avoid saying that Black Lives Matter.
Good people don’t incite armed crowds to “liberate” state capitols over protections designed to save lives.
Good people don’t make fun of mask wearers, when life is in the balance.
Good people don’t tear gas citizens for a transparent church door Bible photo op.
Good people don’t defend murderous white vigilantes.
Good people don’t discard people while protecting property.
Good people don’t justify kneeling on a black man’s neck for eight minutes until he expires.
Good people don’t demonize a black woman for being executed in her bedroom in the middle of the night.
Good people don’t repeatedly deny the severity of a murderous virus, knowing people will die while he does.
Good people don’t call veterans losers and suckers.
Good people don’t stammer and deflect when asked to denounce white supremacist organizations live in front of the nation.
Good people don’t take away healthcare from hundreds of millions in the throes of a pandemic.
Good people don’t pounce on the corpse of a Supreme Court Justice after an election has already begun, just to take away a woman’s right to autonomy over her own body and appease religious zealots.
Good people don’t hold unmasked rallies while cases flare wildly, after themselves having a virus they were saved from.
Good people don’t lie as easily as breathing, or make a mockery of a religion they have no interest in, or treat people of color and women as property, or disregard the systems and laws of this land because power and complicit enablers allow it.
And good people, regardless of how good they claim to be—don’t encourage or embrace or support or elevate such people.
They simply don’t.
And yet, pick up a newspaper or look at an online news source and you will find example after example of people who seem intent on putting down or harming others. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE???
I have long said that Donald Trump is merely a symptom of a larger, underlying problem, and this is being proven on a daily basis. When a town’s sheriff says it was okay for a group of people to plot the kidnapping of the state’s governor simply because she implemented safeguards to protect those very people, we’ve got a far bigger problem than we first thought. And we all know, I think, that the problem will not simply disappear on January 20th when Joe Biden is inaugurated into office.
Every Wednesday, I write about good people who are doing things large and small to help others in some way. I haven’t run out of those ‘good people’ yet, so we know they’re here, but they are overshadowed by those who commit heinous acts like putting razor blades on yard signs or applaud the killing of Black people or condone putting children in cages simply because they were not born in this country.
Today, I am not proud to be a citizen of this country, I am not proud of the people who, rather than make their voices heard in a peaceful manner, use violence to get their point across. I am not proud that we have a government that condones what is happening in our society today. I, like many of you, have tried to use my blog to make changes, to be the voice of reason (most of the time, anyway), to show people why certain things are wrong, even unacceptable in a civil society. But it seems that the people who most need our message simply aren’t getting it.
We are becoming … or perhaps have become … a nation of selfish, greedy people who put their own interests ahead of the greater good without a thought, without a pang of conscience. Those who engage in violence or acts of cruelty and claim they are acting as their religion tells them to are the worst of the lot, for their religion is Hypocrisy.
I think we will have a new president in just over three months, and new leadership in the Senate, and all of that is good. Joe Biden will do his level best to unite the people of this country. But, if people continue to hate for little or no reason, he will not be successful. We the People must look inside ourselves and ask some tough questions. We the People are the only ones who can change what we have become, and if we don’t do it, then we cannot work together to make this a good place for our children and grandchildren.
I end with more words from John Pavlovitz’ post that reflect my own thoughts …
Goodness is not a matter how good you imagine you are.
It is not a matter of what you claim to believe.
It is not something you possess simply because you desire to possess it.
Goodness is determined by the way you move through this world: a world that is either more or less loving and compassionate and equitable and kind because of your presence and your decisions.