Saturday, January 25, 2020

Honoring Resisters: Dishonoring The Silent

My spouse is off to another fabulous strategy meeting of her ReSisters group formed from the Women's March three years back.  They are still at it, strong, resolute, strategic and most importantly, patriotic. I honor them and millions of others across our land doing everything they can to return us to democracy, regardless of the outcome of the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump.

There are tens of thousands of non-resisters who, by definition, are complicit with Trump's fascism and destruction of our democracy.  Some are in my family.  Some are people I once respected and called friends.  Many are silent.  Excuses?  undeclared Trump supporters de facto in my life who face the challenge of marriage to one or connected by family to one.  Difficult, but i if their value system mattered to them, they'd at minimum condemn the behavior of support for immorality, predatory behavior, racism, miscegeny and authoritarian fascism.  My choice is to not tolerate association with these morally degenerate people and to reject, resist and shun them to show the unacceptability of their chosen, willful acceptance of the unacceptable.  This current crisis is way beyond politics, liberalism v. conservatism, Republican v. Democrat.  This is an existential crisis threatening and already eroding our great democratic experiment.  It is fragile and breaking.

Why do I choose this path?  First, because my own upbringing, which I thought I was mirroring with my life partner for our children, taught me that we were fortunate to be born in a society that declared an historic commitment to democracy.  A democracy which enabled family members to pursue their life's dreams in freedom.  But a democracy which valued helping fellow citizens in similar pursuit of their dreams.  A democracy which offered an opportunity to serve in times of conflict with other nations threatening the very idea of democracy.  Three generations of my family heard the call and served as officers in our nation's Army, including me.  And whose spouses served in public causes to support their country and fellow citizens.  

Second, because I was given the opportunity to work with fellow idealists in causes benefiting not only their families but the society around them; civil rights movements, school integration work, anti-war projects, elections of fellow idealists to serve us in government dedicated to uplifting all of us.  I learned from these caring, dedicated people who put their family responsibility first but who saw as one of those responsibilities inculcating these values of civic service in their offspring.

And,  third, because my life partners, whose values I shared and deeply respect inspire me to be a public citizen, to do the work with them  of trying to foster uplifting of my fellow citizens and to speak out in support of projects and programs of uplift.

But also, to speak out when destructive, selfish and inhumane behavior is exhibited by fellow citizens.  Using the very free speech many of these destructive forces attempt to suppress and stifle.
History has shown us that silence, even when risking alienation from others, is complicity in a tangible and very real sense.

Thank you fellow Resisters for doing this selfless work with real risks.  We can and will prevail, even if the positive result rewards those who were silent.  That is what democracy is about. All are served, even those who don't act in behalf of the greater good.