Tuesday, February 07, 2017

7 At Risk

I think of what I love, like our backyard, and scrub jays, like the rain that's filling our state's reservoirs, the fresh air in the wide, open sky, education for all people, access to affordable healthcare, and the survival of our republic, the United States of America. I value and respect science, reason, freedom of all religions, and speech, and assembly.

"I've noticed people objecting to "politicizing" issues in recent days... and I have struggled to find the words to express my concern about recent events, including politics, because I don't want to debate, defend, shame, or condemn, and I do not pretend to have ideal solutions... but it seems to me, more and more urgently, that the matters of this election, of gun control, of human rights and respect... these "political" issues are becoming pressing humanitarian issues, on the verge of slipping into a desperate crisis. It feels cowardly to sit quietly by, and not take a stand against hate, lies, greed, and a calculated call for violence and tyranny. I don't know if I can effect change, but I am one more voice, one more light... and I will vote against Hate. And I will vote for human rights, for gun regulations, for representatives that answer to the people and not corporations, or the NRA. Our government is not perfect, but our ideals have been good, and I hope to see them preserved, honored, and guided by love, respect, intelligence, compassion, and truth.
This isn't a political stand... it's civic duty."
June 6, 2016

Those were my thoughts, that I shared last June. One regret is that I did not just come out and indelicately, but truthfully state, "Donald John Trump is a tyrannical @ss, and we are doomed if we allow him one step closer to the White House," but I was trying to play nice, so I held back.... but now, with the appointment of Betsy DeVos to head our department of education, I am evermore aghast and dismayed. Aghast to see the deliberate, systematic fracturing and dismantling of our democracy, and by what right? By the "right" of money, and the means of coercion, by the manipulation of truth, which is to say lies, by the devaluation of journalism, science, education, the environment, diplomacy, and our constitution. I am dismayed at the prospect of a future in which our air and water are polluted, and our nation's children have been robbed of equitable, sound, reasoned, opportunities for education. There is too much at risk to play nice, to be tactful.

I am dismayed that there are still people wondering if it's right to politicize, issues, who question the loyalty and patriotism of people criticizing the POTUS, the legislature, the talking heads surrounding the White House. I am dismayed that lies, misinformation, misdirection, and ignorance are rolled up into one big pill that some seem to be perfectly willing to swallow whole... and let's be clear: blanket "skepticism" is not the same as rationally, intelligently reasoning with facts and evidence. Calling "all" of "them," corrupt, liars, terrorists, rapists, fake, evil," does not protect us, and it does not make us smart. It is ignorant, lazy, and paranoid, and no sides should be exempt from criticism for making these judgements, placing these labels, relying on this kind of narrative.

It's simple... where I stand. I stand with love, not hate. I stand with the republic of the United States of America and our constitution. I stand with a representative democracy. I stand with freedom of the press. I stand with the freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and the freedom of fear. And it's not too soon to state that I stand against some things, too: I stand against tyranny, and treason, and anyone who has stated, and sits in a place of authority in our White House, that they "want to destroy the state" is an enemy of the state. I stand against domestic violence, here or there, or anywhere. I stand against repealing the "federal rule restricting mining companies from dumping waste in nearby streams." And I certainly stand against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, who bought her seat, as our nation's education secretary.

I am apolitical, honestly... or, at least, that is what I want to be. To be at liberty to pursue happiness. I love buttercups, snowflakes, republicans, democrats, Sunday dinners, fireside chats, and the constitution. I love art, camping, and making, chickens, mentoring in STEAM, traveling, reading. I want to enjoy the benefits of living in a free society, with representative democracy. I value the benefit, to all, of living among healthy, educated neighbors, and I want a peace agreement between people who have opposing views, because we have, and we can, get along, but we have really got to stand up for the essence of what has made our country worth living in, so that we can get back to our run-of-the-mill differences and opinions, and happier pursuits, under the protection of a government with checks and balances, that stands for truth, and justice.

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