Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Honestly, We Weren't Thinking About Who Wasn't There

I marched in San Diego on January 21.  It was an amazing, positive experience.  I was surrounded by happy, kind, thoughtful, activated people.  It felt good.  On the bus ride home, I was excited to get home and watch the news...for the first time in a very long time.

What made it thoughtful?  We all asked and answered:  "Why I March."  It wasn't just a mindless following along, and it wasn't totally based on fear or emotion (though of course these last two played a part).  And, no, to all those who voted for Trump, it wasn't because I was disappointed my candidate didn't win.  When you answer this question, you have to access the higher part of your brain, the reasoning part of your brain...in order to explain your reason....your "why."

My "why" is hugely personal...based on my values, but I'm learning that I need to make the personal political, or the fix we're all in isn't going to be fixed.

I believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and all of the federal laws that have been enacted to ensure equality for all.  He embodies and advocates (based upon his own words and actions), misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, white nationalism, racial and ethnic profiling, restriction of voting rights, government regulation of women's bodies, discrimination based on religion, and aggression.

I like to have all the facts before I form an opinion.  It's about personal integrity for me.  I need to know that the information is real, true, and from a reliable source.  He is a brand, and has defined reality for himself and those around him for decades. He is preoccupied with his image to protect his brand. His misrepresentations and puffing* may have a place in business dealings, but they have no place in the White House.  He serves us! But it doesn't appear that he can conceptualize this, much less act accordingly.  At a minimum, he's still serving his brand, not us.  More sinister is the possibility that he has a bigger agenda which he is pursuing in complete disregard, even defiance, of the rule of law.

I believe in the ethical performance of my duties.  I believe the President, of all of us should avoid conflicts of interest, and act ethically and transparently.  This cannot be said of Mr. Trump.  He treats important conflicts of interest, and weighty ethical issues as mere technicalities.  They may seem unimportant (to some) on their own.  But here's the problem:  It starts with hiring "extras" to stand in support of him when he announces his candidacy, continues when he refuses to disclose his tax returns, compounds when he does not divest himself from his business holdings, is amplified when he appoints family members to his cabinet, expands when his appointment for Secretary of Defense is ineligible to serve lawfully (but gets appointed anyway), increases when he denies the Russians interfered with the election, gets even worse when he lies about election fraud, and becomes appalling when he attacks the free press and the First Amendment.  Some new conflict is added on every day.

If I stand for these things, I need to stand up when they are in jeopardy.  And that's why I marched.

Maybe there are some women who think they don't need to march.  It's a lot easier to post a rant than put yourself out there for what you believe in.  It's even easier to cut and paste that rant onto your own Facebook page.  I don't know who (or even if anyone) accused non-marchers of being a "disgrace to women."  No one at the march I attended (almost 30,000 people) accused anyone of this. Honestly, we weren't thinking about who wasn't there!

Here's another thing I stand for:  Personal responsibility.  If you're fine with not marching, if you stand for everything he stands for, and you are happy with the way things are, take responsibility for that, and stand by your own beliefs. Tell me your "why" - your reason, using that higher part of your brain.  I'm willing to listen to reason.  Don't avoid questioning your own actions by attacking us, and don't call someone who is marching for her beliefs a "whiner."

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.  -Gordon A. Eadie

*Puffing  -  n. the exaggeration of the good points of a product, a business, real property, and the prospects for future rise in value, profits, growth.  Since a certain amount of "puffing" can be expected of any salesman, it cannot be the basis of a lawsuit for fraud or breach of contract unless the exaggeration exceeds the reality. However, if the puffery includes outright lies, a legal action for rescission of the contract or for fraud against the seller is possible.

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