The High Cost of Change

You’ve read enough of my humble blog by now to know I’m far from perfect.  I’m opinionated and perhaps too direct too often, but I do believe at my core my ethics and morals are solid.  I’ve never needed to be bailed out and I try to do the right thing, as opposed to doing things right.  That last sentiment lead to the end of employment more than once.  That being said, I would take the same actions again in similar situations.  I want to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with who and what I am.

I sit here, troubled, as I am sure many of you are.  I think back on how I was raised.

I was taught to compromise, it is not my way or no way; it is not all about me and my desires.

I was taught it was wrong to lie.  Too many lies and you won’t be believed.

I was taught that honor meant something.  My word was important.  I’ve tried to keep it.

I was taught that people deserved respect, regardless of color or religion.  This included tolerance for other religions.  Just because I didn’t share their beliefs didn’t mean those beliefs were invalid.  We share a world.

I was taught that women were to be respected.  The words “equality” and “consent” weren’t used, it was a different time.  But I was not brought up to think I could paw (that was the word used) women just because I wanted to.  I wouldn’t be using pressure to extract consent.  I’d like to think I lived up to that standard.

I was raised to help.  I’d like to think I work to help others before thinking of my needs in many situations.  Again, I’m not perfect, but that thought is there.

I was taught that we don’t know everything.  Sometimes you have to wait to see the truth or facts that are beyond your knowing.  You aren’t always given all the information to process at once.

I was taught not be a bully.  I was bullied a bit at young age.  More than once I’ve stood up for those that were under some sort of attack.  Sometimes, the defense was ill timed or unwarranted, but I’d rather be wrong trying to help someone than stand by and let a bully take advantage of another.

I was taught it was important to try and leave the world a better place than you found it.  If I’m cleaning up my trash, I’ll clean up some of yours.

I was shown what prejudice and hate do to the world.  Being Jewish the Nazis, their values and their genocide was taught yearly and passionately.  Never again.  Never again.  I didn’t think it only applied to Jews.  It applied to all people.

Somewhere along the way, I learned it was important to stand up for what I believed in.  It is not always easy making a stand, but it is part of having integrity.  I’d like to think I have some.

It was hard for me to realize the people that raised me, provided me values and moral compass have disavowed each and every one these of things.  In one 90 second exchange, my father’s disgust for my views illuminated his position.  We’ll ignore the unsubtle racism he lead with.

“You are probably one of those people who says ‘not my president’,” He barked, each word dripping with revulsion and bile.  It was clear. His president.  HIS.

The one who lies.

The one who knows everything and makes sure he tells you he is smarter than you.

The one who is a bully and uses his position to embarrass others and manipulate the stock market, creating fear in any business he attacks.

The one who assaulted women and bragged about it.

The one who has used his wealth to intimidate others by being overly litigious.

The one who routinely doesn’t pay his bills, forcing others to endure endless lawsuits and  potential bankruptcy to attempt to gain the payment promised.

The one who had to pay $25million dollars to settle a fraud claim after raking in $175 million or more via a “university” that was more of a seminar selling the veneer of success, targeting those that could least afford to pay.

The one who’s integrity is void, showing conflicts of interest and corruption each and every day.

The one who claimed Mexicans were rapists and Muslims needed to be banned, showcasing his racism.

The one fined more than once for discriminatory business practices.

The one that was fined for on-going money laundering.

The one that wants to eliminate the EPA and ruin our water, air and climate.

The one that sold our government to Goldman Sachs and Russia.

The one that sold your children’s education to the highest donor, crippling public education so that that rich can get a discount on private school.

The one that sold women’s health and the right to choose to the religious right.

The one that will inevitably take away LGBTQ rights to appease his religious donors.

The one that insults our allies and embraces other bullies and dictators, ruining our reputation in the world.

The one that slanders the previous president regularly.

One that dog whistles hate.

The one that made common cause with Nazis and White Supremacists.

While this laundry list is overwhelming, it is far from complete.  For those of you that didn’t believe this last election was for the soul of our country and for the definition of who and what we are – read it again, slowly.  Each and every item takes away more of our freedom and future.  Each item on this list makes us less as of a productive, peaceful society and reduces our influence and leadership in the world.  Each item tears away some of my soul. But the last item is the final straw.  It is the final saw stroke on the frayed foundation of my being.

You might not know this, but growing up I was not allowed to watch Hogan’s Heroes.  It presented the Nazis as buffoons. It was impressed upon me that the threat and danger was real and should not be allowed to return.  Yet today, the man that said that embraces the administration that give life to the views and policies of Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller.  And their hate is not subtle.  It is about being white and Christian.  Nothing else.

So, in this abyss that I find myself, trying to decide what to do.  There is no discussion to be had.  Those that have fully embraced Fox News as their one and only source for news are lost to rationality.  I see no need to bang my head against that wall. I’ve tried and failed. After all, Obama was the devil. He gave us death panels and took away your guns.  You know, the guns you never bought.

We aren’t discussing taxes or foreign policy. This is not business as usual. Hell, we aren’t even discussing why withholding hearings on a Supreme Court nominee until “the right candidate” won was a major brick through the window of our government.  No.  This was everything.  It is everything.

I alternate between sadness and anger; it haunts my dreams and limits my slumber.  It’s my problem, but I don’t want to pretend that selling away the soul of our country and reducing our civil rights for the potential tax break isn’t evil.  It is to me.  I won’t visit and pretend that all is well.  I won’t call and act like I haven’t been betrayed.  I have.  Others have also been betrayed.

For now, I’ll remove myself.  Every action has a cost.  Sometimes you gain in karma or experience.  Other times you lose something precious.  No one said life was easy.  Neither is believing in and acting on your principles.

 

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