Enough Being Quiet

Posted by on Oct 28, 2018 in Blog, Featured | 6 comments

Enough Being Quiet

I’ve always been reluctant to share my political views. I tend to keep quiet. But right now I’m about to burst. I think my reluctance came out of childhood. I grew up with extremely liberal parents. I heard stories at home about Norman Thomas, the Socialist, Bayard Rustin, who organized the March on Washington where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, Eleanor Roosevelt, and other well known people my parents knew. It became a part of my life.

But I was quiet about it. While we lived on college campuses that were liberal and progressive, it’s as though there was an invisible wall around the campuses. The Midwestern towns were conservative as were most of my friends. So, I learned to keep my political views to myself, not argue or debate, and focus, instead, on topics that we had in common—sports, girls, etc.

That still tends to be my style. And it has worked for me. Up until now. I just can’t be quiet any longer. Trump absolutely drives me crazy and I simply can’t believe what is going on in our country. Have I ever been moved and had tears in my eyes when Trump gave a talk like I did when Obama spoke? Never. Not once. He doesn’t inspire….he stirs up. And it makes me sad. When I found out that someone I was close to supported Trump, I was stunned and remember saying to him, “I could never support Trump. It’s not his politics that bother me. I can live with his politics. It’s his inability to ever say, ‘ Oops, I made a mistake. I’m sorry.’ Instead, he blames others and points fingers. It’s always someone else’s problem. As far as I’m concerned, this is inexcusable behavior from our leaders.”

And it’s not only Trump. I’m angry with Congress for colluding with this behavior—Democrats and Republicans. Everyone is protecting his or her own turf and is reluctant to speak up. It’s shameful and it lacks courage.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this. I’m certainly more comfortable sharing a story about my family, courageous leaders, or quirky experiences that I’ve had. But not this time. Maybe it’s just to hear myself go public. Maybe this one-pager is more for me than anyone else. I’ve never learned how to debate or argue and have always chosen the quiet route. My introversion always wins out. But, nonetheless, I have strong feelings. Enough is enough. I hope this country can find its way back. It starts on November 6th in the voting booth.

6 Comments

  1. Hey John, you’re not alone! Although I too have a very close friend who supports Trump, and even gave the campaign money! He and I have an agreement now to never talk politics, although it truly confounds me!
    Let’s hope the midterms come our way!
    Love, Ron
    PS all this compounds my passion for scuba diving!

  2. John,

    I share your angst regarding the virulent discourse and divisiveness in our citizenry. I need to keep reminding myself that Trump is a symptom of a much deeper problem. We are a deeply divided nation.

    Trump supporters are predominately older white men with a high school education. One (of many) causes for our situation can be traced back to Viet Nam. I grew up in a blue collar family in a blue collar neighborhood and went to a blue collar high school. Only a small percentage of my high school friends went on to college. Many of my old high school buddies are Trump supporters. I have been able to engage with them in heartfelt conversations about our concerns, fears and angers. Viet Nam comes up quite often. In simple terms, our country by its policies said college students (graduates) were better than non-college people. Non-college men went off to die in Viet Nam while college students had deferments, partied, went to classes and protested the war. Then the veterans of that war returned to derision and shame. This group has had their resentment smoldering for years and it is now being released…Trump is the means to express their anger.

    There is a need to let these people know that we are sorry for (a) skipping out on our duty to serve, and (2) not supporting them when they returned.

    We need to heal as a nation before we can return to being a positive force in the world.

    • Cliff,

      Great to come across your name again. Let’s talk. Call me. 419 349 6924. Be well, Bob Anderson

  3. I don’t engage in political or religious debates or arguments. In college I was liberal, pro-choice, and biblically illiterate. Now I am the total opposite. When Trump came along I was not for him (I was for Ted Cruz) but now support most of his policies. He is not my spiritual mentor but I do feel that he has a big heart for people and for his country and I pray for him every day (even as I prayed for Obama, though I disagreed with nearly all his policies). It’s unfortunate that we can rarely have civil, kind discussions with those who disagree with us, but the far left has become unhinged and violent. Conservatives did not behave like that during the eight years of Obama. But in the end, politics will end and Jesus will reign in a perfect government. That is what matters to me: Jesus and a glorious eternity.

  4. John, Thank you for going against your usual reluctance to engage in political discourse by speaking out now about the current situation. I believe that the situation calls for each one of us to speak out about the things that need to change. As disturbing as I find Trump’s whole manner, including his bullying and disrespectful behavior, which has only fueled the divisions and lack of civil discourse, I am even more disturbed by the support and agreement which he apparently gets from millions of people in this country for his approach and his policies. This support is hard for me to understand as it is so much in conflict with what I (and millions of other Americans) believe and understand about what we need to be doing to make things better for our country and our planet. I think as a nation we need to find ways to bridge this divide by finding ways to come together around our shared values and common needs and wants, which I truly think do exist no matter how much it looks otherwise. As daunting a challenge as that looks like right now, I think that the only way that we can begin to heal our society is by talking and listening to each other, and finding and building on common ground. After all, we are all human with very similar needs and wants, and we have much more in common with each other than with the forces within our country whose greed and vested interests are to keep us divided and distracted in order to prevent us from coming together to demand change and a better way of life.
    Thanks again for speaking up, and for providing this opportunity for me and others to do the same. Eric

  5. Thank you John for speaking up.
    As a foreign born and raised, I was forewarned before coming to America not to discuss religion, politics and money.
    Had we been honest and comfortable with expressing disagreements with others, more ready to discuss our differences, we would have had a society that respected and embraced most people and consequently less isolated and lonely.
    It has become unbearable to tolerate the new public discourse modeled by President Trump.

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