Now’s your chance…

This is a rant. I make no apologies. If you don’t like political essays, personal opinions, and heavily personalized proclamations, you should probably stop right here. Go read your Readers Digest, or Breitbart, or National Geographic. But if you care at all about the parlous state of the United States just now, as I do, then perhaps you might keep reading, ponder this post, and gather your thoughts, whatever they may be. But this ain’t happy talk, or politically correct pabulum, just sayin.’

Here’s the thing. With what’s at stake in the upcoming U.S. national election, I feel it’s not just a right, nor a ‘good idea’, nor even an ‘opportunity’ to speak up about values, and attitudes, and viewpoints. It’s a sacred obligation to do so. With that in mind, here’s my contribution, my chance to speak out, as I feel I must.

The upcoming election will be your chance to show what your values really are, not just what you say they are when the pressure’s off, and the sun’s shining, and no one’s asking, and you’re safely surrounded by your tribe. In normal times we’re rarely called upon to speak up and to announce to the world who we truly are, and what we truly value. These are not normal times. These are times when our way of life, and our American democracy, as hypocritical, and feckless, and fragile, and duct-taped together as it often is, that system we claim to cherish is in grave danger from a man who some among us chose four years ago to lead the American people. And lead us he has: off a cliff. If we don’t rid ourselves of Donald Trump, American democracy may very well wither and die. And the only way to avoid that tragedy is via the voting booth, hence our chance to announce our values. Call us values voters. November 3rd will show what those values truly are. I should mention also that I believe there are no non-voters. It’s never been true that 40%, or 50% of Americans don’t vote. Staying home on election day is voting! And this year not voting is a vote for Trump. Also, this is not about party, or ideology, or voting history; this is about morality, and ethics, and values. This election will show the world who we truly are. Vote him out!

You say you ‘support our troops. Great. After wearing the uniform for 30 years of my life I appreciate your spoken support. If you truly mean it, you will not under any circumstances vote for Trump. From his avoidance of duty, his utter lack of values, his serial lies, his disregard for the gravitas of the office, and especially for his cozy attitude toward our sworn enemies and various dictators, every day of his miserable life Trump lifts his leg on my service. He welcomed assistance from Russia to win in 2016, and actively sought help from Ukraine to help him win this one. When the Saudis executed an American journalist in one of the world’s hot spots, Trump did nothing. He demanded the removal of faithful, loyal trans troops who are at least as committed to the U.S. as anyone else, likely more so given the obstacles thrown at them. Trump removed the American presence from the Paris climate accords, ultimately a national security issue.If you vote for Donald Trump, you no longer have the right to say you support our troops. Find another slogan. Meantime, Vote him out!

You claim to be a christian? Good for you, we need more people committed to love and compassion, social justice, care of our lesser served, and our more needful citizens. More Christ-like people, in other words. Here’s your chance to show—not just say—that those christian values you claim are real and meaningful. Supporting Trump tells the world you’re okay with kids in cages, and disrupted families, and overtures to white supremacy, and the molestation of women, and disregard for our black and brown and latino(a) and LGBTQ+ citizens. You’re okay with a man who mocks disabled people. You’re on board with serial lying, and a seeming affinity for every one of the seven so called deadly sins: Pride, Greed, Wrath, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, and Sloth. Trump wallows in them. And don’t you dare hide behind the ‘abortion is democrats killing babies‘ canard. How many abortions do you think Trump has arranged and demanded in his reckless sexual past? Also, how many Americans are dead from a virus largely because of Trump’s incompetence? Christian? Great. Ask yourself if Christ would vote for Trump. Show us your christian values. Here’s your chance. Vote him out!

Conservative? Good. Conservatism has been a counterpoint and an anchor during social upheaval throughout our history. I subscribe to many conservative principles myself. I believe in fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, observance of property rights, the rule of law, obeisance to our sacred documents, transparency in public office, a strong military, and firm alliances overseas. I believe in the observance and protection of open public discourse. I believe, as Thoreau said, ‘That government is best which governs least.’ If you support Trump, you support a man who has increased our national debt by trillions of dollars. A man who cares not a whit for our Constitution, and is instead nettled that it interferes with his greed and overreach. A man who tramples on others’ property rights in his blind ambition. A man who scoffs at the rule of law, while heading the most corrupt administration in American history. A man who would shred our sacred documents to get what he wants, and then want more. A man whose lies make a mockery of the term transparency. A man who has attempted, with some success, to dismantle the institutions that make our system of government the envy of the world. A man who has made us a laughing stock on the world stage. Conservative? Show us. We need more true conservatives. Here’s your chance. Vote him out!

Patriotic? Great, So am I. Here’s your chance to show just how patriotic you really are. Supporting Trump means affirming a man who used his wealth and position, his laughable ‘bone spurs’ deferment to avoid serving in uniform. Instead, he claimed that his ‘Vietnam’ was avoiding VD after screwing Manhattan socialites while guys like me were getting our asses shot at in South Asia. Supporting him means you’re okay with a president who hears reports of a bounty on U.S. soldiers, but brushes them off as fake news instead of demanding a thorough investigation. A man who unleashes private thugs to disrupt legal protests in a nation where citizens’ rights to protest are sacred. A man who wraps himself in the flag, and uses the bible and a church as props to stir his base to violence. A man who has literally stamped his brand on the WhiteHouse as if it’s one of his tacky commercial properties. A man who hawks products from the Oval Office! A man who refers to nazis as ‘fine people.’ Supporting Trump means you’re okay with efforts to demonize and disrupt lawful protests, and to label those citizens as enemies to be attacked. Patriotic? Here’s your chance to show us if that statement is true, or not. Vote him out!

Pro-American? Great. Me, too. Pro-American means support for the concept of America, the idea of liberty, and justice, and the rule of law, and that no one—not even the president, especially the president—is above the law. Pro-American does not mean fealty to a president or political party. Indeed, it means holding our leaders accountable for their actions, not giving them a pass, regardless of party or ideology. It means holding their feet to the fire, demanding truth, expecting a very high level of competence in our departments, not the placement of political hacks and cronies and flagrant nepotism. Supporting Trump means enabling his crude and tawdry behavior, his casual dismissal of our long time allies, and his reckless transactional approach to leadership, while ignoring experts, and facts, and hard science. Pro-American means recognizing that our diversity is what makes us strong, not the exploitation of differences to sow chaos. Supporting Trump means voting for a man who’s been endorsed by every white nationalist, white supremacy, anti-semitic, neo-nazi organization in the U.S. Here’s your chance to repudiate all that filth. Vote him out!

Law and order? Yep, me too. America was founded on the principles of equality, justice, and legal protection for everyone, regardless of position or power. If you support Trump, you’re dismissing those sacred tenets as so much useless blather. You’re affirming the right of the wealthy, and the positioned, and the influential to make the rules in order to further their own narrow interests, and to enrich themselves without accountability. If you vote for Trump you’re showing us you believe the president is above the law, and that regardless of his blatant corruption the U.S. Congress has no basis or ability of reining him in. You’re stating that you no longer subscribe to the balance of power theories that are in place in our government to keep abuses in check. If you support the rule of law, here’s your chance to show us. Vote him out!

Are you a parent/grandparent? So am I. Fun, isn’t it? And a great deal of responsibility as well. That’s why I’d never vote for a man I’d be ashamed to have as a role model for those kids. How could I justify supporting a man who says and does what Trump has done? How could I explain voting for an amoral man who brags about molesting women, cheats on everyone close to him including his three wives, and pays off porn stars? A man who steals creditors’ money and attacks them for trying to get it back? How to explain to your child supporting a man who believes anyone ‘different’ is bad, that apologizing is stupid, that being nice is for losers, that truth isn’t important, that what you can get away with is. How to tell your child that you support a man who says it’s okay to hurt others if it benefits you, that it’s alright to never take responsibility, and that people who are poor or indigent are ignorant and lack value? How do you tell your child it’s okay to cheat if it helps you win, that women are less important than men, and that money is all that’s important? Do you refuse to support a man like this? Or do you simply enable him and tell your child ‘it is what it is? Here’s your chance to live up to those high values and expectations we try to represent to our kids and grandkids. Vote him out!

Finally, if you believe in the American experiment, as I do with all my heart and soul, here’s your chance to show that. Vote! I would never for one second advise anyone how to vote. But I don’t hesitate to advise anyone how not to. If you still believe in American democracy and the promise it holds, you will not under any circumstances vote for a man who tramples on our sacred documents every day, who lies as necessary to enrich himself, who ‘takes no responsibility’ for nearly 200,000 dead Americans. A man who brandishes a bible he never reads while standing by a church he never visits as a prop to inflame the hatred of his already angry base. A man who uses the people’s house to enhance his own portfolio. A man who refers to our fourth estate as ‘the enemy of the people’, just as Hitler did. A man who dismisses revered experts when critical decisions are needed, and then when the devastating fallout from that dismissal inevitably happens he goes golfing! A man who brags about abusing women, and faces numerous charges of molestation. In short, this November 3rd, if you believe in America, you cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump for president.

These are not normal times, and this is not a decision taken lightly, or to delegate to standard political party affiliation. This has nothing to do with party, or ideology, or past voting practice. This has everything to do with morality, and ethics, and the values we claim to adhere to. Here’s your chance to publicly proclaim those values. Your kids, grandkids, and great grandkids are watching. The rest of the world is, too. Thank you for reading.

Vote him out!

8 thoughts on “Now’s your chance…

  1. Well I read the whole rant Byron, and according to you anyone who disagrees with you will be showing 1/ that they have no values. 2/Supporting our troop: a vote for Trump means we no longer have the right to say we support our troops. Really Byron? All of your brothers in arms do not have the right to say we support our troops if we don’t vote your way? 3/ Supporting Trump means we have no Cristian values? Supporting Biden and abortion are now Cristian values? 4/ If we don’t vote Trump out we are not conservatives? 5/We are not patriots if we don’t support
    your thoughts and candidate? 6/Of course we are un-american , white nationalist, white supremacy, anti-semetic neo-nazis if we don’t vote how you say. 7/ By not voting your way we are stating that we no longer subscribe to the balance of power and the rule of law. ALL YOUR WORDS, NOT MINE. My question is: Who made you God and the rest of us warriors dirt if we don’t agree with your politics. I think somewhere your rank must have gone to your head.
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    1. Mr. Brown, thanks very much for your response, I always appreciate feedback. Let me try to clarify a few issues if I may. #1, I never said that ‘you’ have no values, I said Trump doesn’t, and anyone who is even vaguely familiar with him & his egregious behavior must realize that. So what I said, essentially, is please show us your real values, or we must assume that you, like Trump, have none. Here’s your opportunity to demonstrate those values that I’m quite certain my fellow Americans have in abundance. #2, Yes, I believe this. If you truly profess to support our troops, you cannot support a man who doesn’t. And I’m sorry, but if a president ignores the possibility of bounties on American soldiers’ lives, pending a thorough investigation, which Trump failed to do, this veteran can no longer support him. #3, as for Christian values, again, what I claimed is that this election offers an amazing opportunity for you to demonstrate Christian values, by refusing to support a man who disdains such things. Any reasonable person can see that Donald Trump with his philandering, his molestation of women, his disregard for decent behaviors of all kinds, his constant lying, and his use of a bible in front of a church as a means to enhance his political standing, these all make good Christians suspect. If you are indeed a Christian, he’s using you and endangering your reputation as the good people and fine citizens that you are. If you sleep with fleas, you’ll wake up covered with them. #4, yes, I believe this too. Trump is not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination. If he were a true conservative then why are long time conservative leaders abandoning him in droves? The man is only interested in ‘conserving’ one thing: His own wealth and position. #5, Trump has cozied up with Putin. Where’s the patriotic part of that? Did I miss that briefing? He’s praised Kim Jong Un, and Duterte in the Philippines, and Erdogan in Turkey, all of them dictators, men my fellow soldiers are in place to battle. And he calls them friends? Patriots support the country, not the president, no matter which side they’re on. #6, no elaboration on this one, it’s self evident. Nazis are fine people? #7, again, I said you disregard all that sacred tradition of balance of power, and checks and balances as unimportant if Trump is your choice, because it’s clear those things don’t matter to him. Lastly, I never referred to my fellow warriors as ‘dirt,’ I would never do such a thing, of course. I’m asking everyone to come forward, show us the depth and commitment of your loyalty to America, and vote this national disgrace out of office. He’s made us a laughing stock across the globe. No one made me god, and I wouldn’t accept the position if it were offered, but at this time in our history I feel it’s imperative that we show the world exactly who we are, and we ain’t Trump and his shabby behavior my friend. This ain’t who we are. It has nothing to do with politics or party; it has everything to do with morals and ethics. This is not who we are. At least I hope to god it’s not. Again, thanks for reading.

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  2. Bertina Povenmire

    Breitbart?? If I don’t like political opinions? Ok, it’s a prettygoodblog. Have you read the Atlantic article about the scene after election? Although I wasn’t quite alive yet, America looks a lot like early ’30s Germany right now–with more guns. Hoping to win a million so I can emigrate to New Zealand. Short of that, stock up on food and water and put out a Trump sign. Hope you are well; understand Iowa is a hot spot, even though you have no beaches, do you?  Bertina

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  3. Tony Marconi

    Loved this blog, By. It’s well stated as was your response to Mr. Brown. As a vet, an ethical Christian, and a lover of this country, I’d like to state a couple of things to Mr. Brown as well. So, to you, sir, if you are following this: First, I thank you for your service, but if you think Mr. Trump does, then you are not hearing or watching, or following the way that man has made a mockery out of our service people. All the things By has chronicled are fact–not alternative facts or fake news. If your concept of Christianity is measured by trying to use the Supreme Court to shove a minority religious belief (anti-abortion) down the throats of people who can reason differently than the standard dogma of the pro-lifers who fail to understand the difference between a zygote (something scientifically defined) and a human being (something philosophically/theologically defined) then you can call yourself a Christian all you want, but in doing so, you devalue all other Christians who don’t buy into your self-righteous indignation. But beyond all this, Trump has spent years spouting racism and division because it works on people who display a narrow concept of what this nation is all about. He has a history of stoking racist fires, he has a history of bending and breaking laws, he has a history of criminal behaviors, and he has a history of whoring, money laundering for the Russians, and lying more times a day than most of us can keep up with. I don’t think all people who voted for him the first time were necessarily racists or gullible dupes. But I often hear his supporters say that they don’t like being called ignorant, mindless racists. Then, wake up! If you vote for a racist because you think it benefits you, if you vote for a con man because he continues to feed you lies and you still believe him, if you vote for a man who puts autocrats above his own country and calls our dead and wounded heroes loosers and suckers, then that puts you in the camp of racist, willfully ignorant, anti-Americans. And that ain’t Christian or conservative, or even decent in my book.
    By is a decent man–thoughtful, caring, and much the type of person who embodies the values of faith, justice, and patriotism. He has posted reasoned responses to your concerns.
    I’m just an average guy who is not that nice, and who is sick and tired of the mindless support people like you are giving to a pustule like Trump.

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    1. Amigo, thanks for taking the time with this, it’s a slog. I appreciate the response to Mr. Brown as well. The mystery to me is why it’s such a mystery to them. I simply cannot process in my teeny tiny brain how anyone could possibly look at trump and see ‘presidential.’ It boggles the mind. Sadly, it tells much more about them than it does about him.
      Anyway, thanks for the editorial comments, very cogent, and very true. It’s good to know there are smart, committed people still fighting the good fight. Hola to Martha, and stay well.

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