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It becomes who they are

When gangster rappers put out music pumping murder, gang-banging, and dope life, their message is received by legions of adoring fans. The labels claim it’s just entertainment. But many of these people are so easily influenced and have so little going on in their lives that their identity, reality, and worldview get swallowed up in a rap lyric. It becomes who they are. So they carjack and kidnap and murder… And they end up in the bunk next to me with a life sentence.

When Donald Trump hops on stage at campaign rallies spewing divisiveness, preaching fear, and demonizing his political opponents, his message is received by legions of adoring fans. The Republican establishment and FOX News claim it’s just political rhetoric. But many of these people are so easily influenced and have so little going on in their lives that their identity, reality, and worldview get swallowed up in the hate-speak. It becomes who they are. So they troll people on Twitter and drive cars into crowds of protesters and mail pipe bombs to former presidents… And they end up in the bunk next to me with a life sentence.

A matter of character

I hope people come out in force next month to stand up against this embarrassment of an administration. It’s difficult to pick just a few of the problems, but I’ll try…

The President of the United States of America has long been recognized as “The Leader of the Free World.” A justified and worthy title. But if “leaders lead by example” as the maxim says, then it’s important to examine the direction in which we’re being led, especially here at the halfway point.

Under this administration our long-standing allies are being humiliated and disrespected while dictators and oppressors are being patted on the back. Families seeking refuge from violent and impoverished conditions on our southern border are being labeled as murderers and rapists, third world nations are referred to as “shithole countries,” nonviolent social justice activists exercising their constitutional right to peacefully protest are called “sons of bitches,” decent and professional news correspondents like Cecilia Vega are bullied on national television, porn stars are paid hush money, cabinet members are indicted, political opponents are mocked and insulted: “Barack Obama is not an American citizen… John McCain was not a war hero… Ted Cruz’s father was the zodiac killer…” The refusal to condemn the Saudis after a Washington Post journalist was hacked to pieces inside their embassy, the constant media demonizing and delegitimizing, the Twitter wars, the Charlottesville response, the fear-mongering, the coded racism, the outright misogyny, the thin-skinnedness, the hard-heartedness, the overall lack of decorum… All this and more has become the norm over the last two years.

This has nothing to do with policy. This is a matter of character. And the only members of the Republican establishment with the balls to speak out against this assault on diplomacy and civility are the ones who are not seeking another term in congress. I know the economy is roaring. But turning a blind eye to the bossman’s rude and disrespectful behavior for a few extra dollars is not just spineless, it’s un-American.

Kathleen Parker once wrote that “the question of character isn’t always what did you do, but rather what were you willing to tolerate?” If you’re sick of the intolerance and you’ve had enough of the schoolyard bullying and you reject the pettiness that has been the hallmark of the Trump administration from Day 1, then I invite you to the rebellion…Vote Democrat this November.