“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
This quote by President Roosevelt was a part of the 17 minute retirement speech delivered to his colleagues yesterday by Republican Senator, Jeff Flake of Arizona. He basically said he was retiring because of the coarseness of the leadership of our nation, and that he could no longer be complicit in the undermining of the core values that has made our country great.
I salute the Senator for his courage and applaud his public denouncement of the crude, boorish, and destructive methodology of #BLOTUS. More of our national leaders need to have the strength of character to be openly critical of the current President and his outrageous, infantile, and morally indefensible behavior. Silence in the face of the actions of this president is not only unpatriotic, but in the words of Roosevelt, “morally treasonable to the American public.”
Written from a prison cell while awaiting his execution, this short treatise, “On Stupidity,” rings far too clearly despite the passing years. For those with ears to hear, we need to recognize that the political climate within our country is being manipulate by those that appeal to the basest emotions and fears of the least educated among us.
Yes, we are living in a dangerous time. Yes, decisions are being made daily that seem senseless on the surface and even evil when more closely examined. But arguing with most of those supporting the present agenda isn’t the answer.
As Bonhoeffer concludes, trying to persuade the stupid person with reason and fact is both “senseless and dangerous.”
Not everyone likes the truth. And not everyone will admit that documented facts are real. And there are some among us who refuse to acknowledge reality, even as they are stepping in a big pile of it.
Having traveled to, and having worked in over 100 countries, many of them dictatorships, I know what dictators look like. I know how dictators act. I know how they speak. That is why I fear this new US administration.
This is not about Democrat vs. Republican or red vs. blue. This is about the future of our country. I am not calling #BLOTUS a dictator. But, I am begging everyone to open their eyes and look at reality.
If it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, there’s a better than average chance it’s not a kitten.
This admonition by a former President is well worth remembering as we draw ever closer to the BLOTUS being officially installed in the highest office of the land. The American public has a patriotic duty to hold every President to the highest standards. Not to do so goes beyond being unpatriotic, it is moral treason.
These moving words by Dr. King are timely as we approach a time of massive transition and change in our country. We are called to love one another and to seek justice for all. We cannot allow fear of any measure to keep us from speaking the truth and acting on behalf of those who need our help.
As people of faith we need to be a beacon of hope to all those around us that are being told and being shown that many in our society do not value them, and even hate them. We are also called to love those so fearful that they allow their anger and hatred to lead them to verbal abuse and violence against others.
Jesus calls us to be agents of reconciliation. That means we must care enough to get in the middle and show a more excellent way. We must have the courage to act. We have to demonstrate that peace is possible. The answer isn’t fear, but love.