Let it be said, by me, by all of us, that we will not sit silently by and watch our country be shredded by ignorance and cowardice, by hate and violence, by meanness and cruelty, or by discrimination, sexism, ageism, barbarity and intimidation.
The election of Donald Trump is not now an invitation for all of us to be punks and jackasses and beasts. For those who think they will have in the White House someone who will defend indecency, bigotry, and lawlessness, be warned: you will be confronted and opposed.
For those who think Trump as president is now your right to mock and piss on and shame, him and those who support him, get hold of yourselves. This is not a time for juvenile rants and petty retaliation.
Respect for the Office of President, reverence for the Constitutional framework of our government, must be honored. If we play this game of seeing who can beat up the other, whether in words, photos, memes, or actual deeds of violence and cruelty, then we do not have a country any longer. All we have is a wasteland of indifference and hate.
This is America, and though our history records times of human blight and the debris of our stubborn selfishness and the fears that turned us against one another, it also records periods of unity, of compassion, of high achievement when we worked together to build our nation into a paradise of invention, brilliance, freedom and hope.
Over the decades, people all across the world have not come here to be oppressed or scorned or fought. They came here to escape torture and evil, to create a new life, to raise their children in an environment of justice and safety, in a society of acceptance, welcome and promise. We have been that for them, time and time again. Of course there have always been the detractors, the ignorant, those who thought they owned the country because of their color or their status or their religion. They were wrong. They are wrong. They will always be wrong. And we must keep reminding them that they are. Not by bullying and tit for tat and outright chaos and riot. But by living strong lives of decency, fairness, equality and yes, love.
19th Century playwright and poet, Henrik Ibsen, has his famous character Nora Helmer say in a moment of intense frustration, “I have the most extraordinary longing to say ‘Bloody Hell!’”
I do, too, as I see what is happening to our country. What are we doing? It is time to stop this incessant fighting and scolding and evening the score and getting an eye for an eye.
Ibsen also wrote, “Those who possess liberty other than as an aspiration, possess it as soulless and dead.”
What do we truly aspire to be as a nation? Once we answer that truthfully, intelligently, decently, with heartfelt sincerity, we can then get on with being America.
© 2016 Timothy Moody