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Viewpoint: When we see un-American behavior, let's push back


Those of us who regarded Donald Trump's election as an unmitigated disaster could only hope that his campaign histrionics would give way to a reality in which he did as he stated he would: surrounded himself with the best and brightest advisers he could.

After almost a month we see an anti-abortion zealot, an Islamophobic security adviser, an alt-right sociopath, a clearly racist attorney general, a Central Intelligence Agency director who favors expansion of surveillance programs, nepotism, and a son-in-law apparently seeking revenge for his father's imprisonment on fraud and tax evasion.

This does not bode well for the future of our country.

Bernie Sanders, whom I supported, and Trump, whom I won't, both appealed to individuals concerned about the same crisis in this country: the inability of legislative bodies at both the federal and state levels to carry out their constitutionally mandated responsibilities. Partisan political gridlock halts legislative discussion and shuts down government functions. Legislature members readily admit that they spend much of their time begging for money, and thereby gaining obligations, instead of governing. Legislators leave office as millionaires and sign on as lobbyists for those special interests that kept them in office. It probably isn't the government that doesn't work as much as it is the governing officials.

I don't see this malfeasance coming to an end under this incoming leadership.

But, probably the most disturbing outcome of the election, in my opinion, is the rise of the deplorable behavior incited by the Trump campaign. His election has given license to those who wish to harass, victimize, bully and otherwise degrade individuals with every right to live in this country and to enjoy its promise of the pursuit of happiness. We have already seen a wave of increase in these antisocial behaviors.

Racism does not make America great; it never has and never will.

Sexism does not make America great; it never has and never will.

Religious persecution does not make America great; indeed, it is the opposite that made America, America.

Xenophobia, homophobia, and all those beliefs that intend to deprive others of their rights or their dignity instead deprive America of its greatness and of its potential.

We can probably work through the political divide, as we have for over 200 years. But that will come to no avail if we cannot work through those ideologies of fear and hatred and those who look to suppress the freedoms that we have worked so hard to retain. We have fought to do so. I fought to do so.

I have jokingly joined others who talk about leaving the country when Trump becomes president. But a popular nationalistic slogan is "These colors don't run," and I realized they don't run for progressive Americans either.

I truly believe that most decent people do not support this behavior, no matter what their party affiliation, and it is the decent people of this country that make it a great county, and they cannot sit back and watch hate overrun it.

Act. If you see behavior that victimizes someone, push back. If you see racist or white supremacist behavior, push back. If you see homophobic or sexist or xenophoibic behavior, push back. You probably have the support of most people witnessing the behavior and hopefully they will push back with you.

There have been reports of individual, and groups of individuals, doing just that, pushing back. Let's have that silent majority become less silent and push back against fear and hatred. We have a government to reclaim.