Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared on the author’s other blog, Roamin’ Gnomials.
My real name is attached to this commentary, but it wasn’t always that way. When I started my first blog, I tried to adhere to sensible precautions that my words would be seen by thousands of people, some of them quite possibly dangerous.
Little by little I relaxed my guard. I made it so my name might be discovered, but only if you really worked at it, an assignment, I hoped, that might prove too difficult for the casual lunatic.
But with the election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States, I’ve stood up, not hiding behind my keyboard as some have suggested. With the creation of The Shinbone Star, I decided to drop my safeguards. That decision might strike you as unwise since one of the most dangerous lunatics of this (or any other) age now inhabits the Oval Office, and at his beck and call, a cadre of equally dangerous goose-steppers bent on quelling dissent.
Make no mistake, Trump’s election has rattled existing fault lines that run through all segments of society, and as tragic as that is, given the extraordinary weight of what is happening, the widening of those fractures seems inevitable, even necessary.
Now is the time to stand up and put your name behind those truths that may not be quite so self-evident as we once believed!
- If the election of a racist president of the United States is NOT a time to stand up, then WHEN?
- If the election of a president endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan is NOT a time to stand up, then WHEN?
- If the election of a president with manifest conflicts of interest all over the globe is NOT a time to stand up, then WHEN?
- If the election of a president who would utter the vilest words about your mother, wife, sisters and daughters is NOT a time to stand up, then WHEN?
It has been suggested in some quarters that I apologize for my decision to part ways with friends and relatives who either directly supported Trump or abandoned their civic responsibility by not voting at all, or voting for a third-party candidate with no chance of winning.
I WILL NOT!
After working for most of my adult life to defend the rights of a free press, and after sacrificing my own right of free expression for three decades so that no hint of bias would ever taint the news reports that I edited, it has been suggested that I apologize for parting ways with people who rail against the “crooked media,” while at the same time openly sharing so-called “fake news” generated by disciples of Stephen K. Bannon, that present-day Joseph Goebbels who sits at the right hand of the president.
I WILL NOT!
It is painful when current events divide friends and families, but certainly there is sad historical precedent. I’ve actually pondered the unthinkable, that I’m one of the lucky ones whose parents are dead, and I don’t have to face the possibility that they might have voted for Trump. But there are people I know who have made painful decisions along those very lines.
Perhaps it has always been so. There come times when men and women of conscience must stand and jump to the other side of the divide, with no attempt to straddle it, and be damned to the consequences. I implore you, do not stand with people who by their actions have handed the nuclear codes to a dangerous demagogue.
These people, these Trump supporters, have directly threatened my family, my friends, my country, my world and with a vain and ill-considered hope fostered by their iniquitous leader, think to improve their own lot by placing the yoke of burden across the backs of people with shoulders of a different color than their own. Those of us with some knowledge of history know what that sounds like.
- I will never apologize for standing against racism.
- I will never apologize for standing against misogyny.
- I will never apologize for standing against religious persecution.
- I will never apologize for my support of freedom of the press.
- I will never apologize for standing against Donald J. Trump.
And I’ll gladly put my name to that.