My interest in the political came alive during my senior year in high school. Our “Problems of Democracy” class, aptly led by Frank Lupashunski our teacher, fueled my enthusiasm. Being fully aware of my militant opposition to communism, the Soviet Union and “red” China, Mr. Lupashunski knew exactly how to set my patriotic fires ablaze. Discussions and debates ensued. That was the genesis of my pursuit of the political.
My “fire” for the political grew during my service with the United States Air Force. During my tour of duty at a remote site in Pakistan, I followed American and international politics with a fervor; at least as much as it was possible to do in that setting. The Air Force unleashed my Warrior aspect, allowing me to hone in on those aspects of life that attracted and inspired me the most.
I have been called a quick study; described as one who misses little and captures more than the average naked eye. I have never relinquished my sense of what is fair and just. I abhor liars, deceivers, betrayers and enemies of our country. Some will fault me for being too direct, too “on point” and “brutally honest”. I hear my mother’s voice saying to friends in high school, “Don’t ask him for his opinion unless that is what you really want. Because, that is all you will get.” Truth has no compromise. My passion fuels my pursuit of the ultimate good and just; and, truth.
I am not intentionally brash despite having been described as such. I am too matter-of-fact for some. It is just easier and more efficient to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ without a lot of fluff along the way. (A straight line after all is a straight line.) Too many people are life wasters, oblivious to how others simply want them to make their point and move on. Cut to the chase; then get on with the rest of your life.
My country means everything to me. “God, Country and Force” during Military duty formed the mantra that placed everything else with less priority except, of course, for family.
As I have meandered through life’s troubled waters, I have done my best to stay on a steady course. Yet, that course has often been disrupted by the least expected and most volatile of moments. But, I am a survivor. To be a survivor does not require cunning; it requires determination; tenacious determination and a will to drive it. One must remain centered and focused, a very “Eastern” teaching.
As I give witness to our current-day political landscape, I appeal to my inner strengths expressed in the foregoing. I feel rage, outrage and anger: a lot. This current moment in our nation’s history should be raising red flags across the land. The fact there is an effort to upend our nation and our U.S. Constitution by the likes of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and Richard Spencer (to name only three) along with cabinet members in the current White House should be generating a level of outrage not seen since the Vietnam War. Our nation is at peril. Unlike the Vietnam War, too many sit by in silence.
The current resident of the White House and those with whom he has surrounded himself are the antithesis of everything I believe in and hold dear for our Republic. Those who persist in following him are delusional, having drunk the Trumpian Kool Aid loaded with charlatanism, hubris and deception; and, yes, anarchy. The anarchy being set upon our nation has one purpose and one purpose only: to destroy the basic fundamentals, the fabric and the rule of law that have been at the core of our governance since the country’s beginning.
It is often stated that when a lie is told often enough as “truth” it can become truth. Well, that is terribly naïve. It suggests one’s inner moral compass can be manipulated to believe that which is not is belief-worthy. This continues to be the goal of the Trump administration and many in Congress. President George H. W. Bush, a man for whom I continue to have great respect, often remarked about “fuzzy math” and “smoke and mirrors”. The methodology of divert and distract works for some, but not for all. “You can fool some of the people all of the time; all of the people some of the time; but not all of the people all of the time.”
The United States of America is at a dangerous crossroad. When a president gives a pass to neo-Nazis marching Hitler-style with torches through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia and that same president says many of those neo-Nazi and KKK members are “good people”, it becomes obvious that president is ill-suited for the position. The ethnocentric mindset of the Richard Spencers (alt-right) gives great cause to worry and to be concerned. The Steve Bannons of this world (Breitbart) are the enemies of our nation state. Their whites-only heterosexist monochromatic view of the world defies what our Republic stands for. They do not embrace the idea that we are a “melting pot”. Their narrow view of the wider world seeks to imprison all of us within walls of intolerance; hate and violence and racial stereotypes. Intelligence and intellect are not to be trusted, regarded the enemy of human pursuit. Our wider population must see the tyranny that is being set upon us. We must resist it, push it back into its dark and dreary den of anarchy and assure their narrative does not become our universal narrative. If they win, our Republic has lost – forever.