Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Trump and 'Roughing People Up'

I suppose I was as "shocked" as anyone when Donald Trump's comment about someone deserving to be roughed up aired. But then I thought about it and even apart from the fact that I know one cannot trust the reports to be accurate as to what was done and by whom, another thought came to mind: That we as a society have come to accept the rudeness such as seen at the Dartmouth library as "acceptable." No, not meaning just polite (few would think, much less say, that), but "acceptable" in the sense that we simply accept it going on and do nothing.
"Roughing up" could mean -- as some have suggested -- a modern Kristallnacht where Nazi brown shirts attacked Jews and Jewish businesses. But the silencing of the these rude, in your face "protesters" hardly means that.
I asked myself how I'd react if I were in a university library and such went on? Or eating brunch at a nice restaurant? Not, I trust (and hope!) violently. But oh boy would I favor someone shutting such people up and evicting them. Yet no one does. Indeed they get apologies, cover ups -- whatever will make them appear to be the innocents they most surely are not.
Trump is not that sort. And although I am anything but a supporter, am I not at least on some level glad?
Vigilantes happen when proper authority does not enforce the law. That is where we are today. And more, the powers that be on every level seem to reinforce such lawless conduct. Apologizing university heads. Pols who turn their eyes away. Media twisting accounts of what is happening. Gutless. Lawless.
That is what got us here. Trump is simply reading the market and doing what he knows will 'clinch the deal.'
No, I do not "support" him in this. But I can see it for what it is. And know where the real blame lies.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Why I Have Come To Support Dr. Ben Carson for the Presidency

From the first time I heard Dr. Carson speak (at President Obama's "National Prayer Breakfast") I, like so many others, took note.  Not that his name was unfamiliar to me. No. A career spent working with some of the nation's top pediatric physicians at Boston Children's Hospital had assured that. But still, to have heard him speak on the occasion of the Prayer Breakfast with such honesty and clarity -- to his then and there being willing to take up themes that some, he knew, would likely find offensive -- of that I just had to take note.

Despite this, when others mentioned with excitement the idea of Dr. Carson running for the Presidency I have to say that I did not quickly join them. Only slowly have I come around -- turned around really -- and only now has he come to fully have my support.  Why?

I believe the United States is in crisis. Indeed I am of the view that the whole Western World is in crisis. That human progress over hate and ignorance and poverty -- including the poverty of fresh ideas -- is in crisis. That we have lost faith in so much! In freedom. In equality. In the liberal ideals -- the very way of thinking -- that led to emancipation from so much of the evil that makes up human history

We need things to change radically. We need to rebuild trust, not only in those ideals, but also in the institutions our forefathers built to support them.

What is needed to accomplish this is not, IMO, so much a "strong leader," but an inspiring and capable one. Not a man or woman who will vanquish everything and everyone that stands before them, but one who will stand with We The People in supporting the ideals upon which continuing human progress depends.

Light, throughout history, has conquered darkness. Knowledge, throughout history, has conquered ignorance. Good, throughout history,  has conquered evil.  If, and only if, it has been expressed and acted upon with boldness and consistency. Without fear. Without compromise.

Those are the very qualities Dr. Ben Carson has brought to this debate. Not just with words, but with deeds. With a lifetime of experience. Of thoughtfulness. Of hard work. Of clarity. And of no less importance, of goodness.

Dr. Carson is, I truly think, what America needs. For our own sake. And for the sake of our children.