I spent some time on the phone the other day with the offices of our U.S. senators in Washington D.C. and came away feeling worse.
The president of the United States saw fit to tell women of color who are duly elected to serve in the government that they would be better to go “back to the broken and crime infested place from which they came.” Of course they actually came from New York, Minnesota and Massachusetts; only one was born outside this country, in Somalia.
How far off the path of decency do we allow this president and our senators to go?
No, I do not agree with much of what the ladies of the Congress may say, but their constituents voted for them to be there and there they should be.
Disagreement with the president is not “hating America.” It is called opposition to the party in power. One can disagree with an idea, indeed with a person, without hating the other in the equation.
Many will laugh and say it is “just a joke,” but Trump does not really joke. He seems to be singularly without wit or real humor. Rather he pokes fun at both men and women, although women fair the worse in his lexicon of “jokes.”
Instead of clarity in policy, he tends to lash out with “my way or the highway,” which is not really the construct of our government.
We have always disagreed since that hot Philadelphia summer when slavery was tearing the Continental Congress apart…so we had a compromise. That compromise got the country started though it sadly took nearly a century to address it anew.
Voices are raised constantly in the workings of the government, sometimes for show, sometimes to a purpose. But freedom of speech allows for a lot of space between ideas and miles and miles of speech before you “hate America.” Hating America is not on a parallel with disagreeing or evening hating the style, policies and direction of any one administration.
Mr. Trump is not standing tall in a moment of great assault on the institution of the presidency. He is merely name-calling as he has so often done. But assailing the rights of women, duly elected, to speak and act in their capacity as governmental instruments needs to stop.
I called Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis’ offices today because I have heard not one peep out of them all day…my call was made just before 5 p.m. so they had what most folks would call “all day” to say something, anything.
Silence betokens agreement. Silence in such a case is equal to weakness and cowardice. Mr. Trump is wrong to tweet or speak such sentiments. Oh, of course, he too has freedom of speech as well as the next guy, but when you take on the mantle of president of all citizens, some other restraints come into play.
He should listen more and speak/tweet less. He should be studying how all of the government is meant to work, what the checks and balances mean. I don’t get the feeling that those ideals mean a lot to him.
Every statement anyone says is either “yes you are on my team and therefore good” or “you are not and therefore to be humiliated, hated, discounted and bullied.”
He said in his acceptance speech: “ I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.” Apparently that does not include members of the Congress nor anyone who stands to disagree, be they a member of government, press or judge. All too often this man has chosen to say something like “go back to your country” or “he is from Mexico” or “fake news.”
I do not agree with these women on policy. But if I am to give Trump the respect of his office — while disagreeing with much of his policies, personal actions and speech — then surely that respect should flow toward the House and Senate.
If we sent someone “home” every time they disagreed, I am sure the Native American nations would be very happy to take up where they left off.