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What? Why are y’all looking at me like that? Oh, ha ha ha! I get it! You thought I was talking about Donald Trump! Silly you, you ought to know me better than that by now! Well, yes, you’re kind of right. After all, yesterday I did say that today I was going to post my personal statement about Trump. But don’t be misled by this post’s title. Trump may be the current, duly elected (by our Electoral College, anyway, which I have no doubt is made up largely of over-40 white members. I didn’t take the time to do the research, so if any of you out there feel like doing so, please
enlighten correct me) President of the United States so the titular leader of my country, but he is most assuredly NOT my leader.
Before I expound upon that claim, I need to say a little bit about patriotism. One of the Bloggers I’ve been following for a while, a fellow Southerner and over-40 white male, who writes some pretty entertaining short stories from time to time and I’m sure is a lovely human being, posted an eloquent and heartfelt statement of his own beliefs about what it means to be a patriot the other day. I intentionally did not ‘like’ his post because our beliefs about patriotism are antithetical. I’m not going to call him out by name here or link to his post because: 1) He’s entitled to his opinion, and I don’t want to be offensive; and 2) I don’t want to advertise that particular point of view, which, to my great chagrin, seems to be wildly prevalent amongst my demographic. I believe that a key component of patriotism, which if nothing else is love and support of country, is to be willing and unafraid to stand up and shout out complaints when our leaders are wrong or when we believe our country is moving in the wrong direction. Sadly, many people here in America seem to believe that patriotism means to support our elected leaders without question, to follow them blindly no matter what. But when we follow blindly, we too often find ourselves walking off the edge of a cliff.
Donald Trump is not my leader in any meaningful way. I tend to disagree with him on almost every level: intellectually, emotionally, politically, spiritually, economically, and nationally. That’s not to say that I won’t support him if and when he proposes policies I agree with. For instance infrastructure: I fully agree America’s infrastructure is crumbling and in dire need of repair and upgrade. But how to fund repairs and upgrades when we recently passed the “biggest tax cut ever”?
I digress. My original intent for this post was to present a side-by-side comparison of what I consider to be Trump’s most offensive statements along with quotes from the man who on many levels I consider to be my actual leader. But as I researched “most offensive Donald Trump statements”, I had an epiphany. Trump’s corrosive rhetoric is already out there for everyone to see and hear. I don’t want to share his poison here on my blog. Instead, I’m going to paste a big, beautiful picture of MY leader below followed by my favorite, his most inspirational but in no particular order, quotes. I hope you enjoy and are inspired.
“We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family, God’s family.”
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
“To remain neutral in situations of injustice is to be complicit in that injustice.”
“Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.”
“You are either on the side of the oppressed or on the side of the oppressor. You can’t be neutral.”
“My father always used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.”
“True peace must be anchored in justice and an unwavering commitment to universal rights for all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin or any other identity attribute.”
“If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God.”
“A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.”
“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”
So there you go. Oh, did I mention Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize? Can any of you imagine Trump saying anything remotely as inspiring or loving as the 10 quotes above? Or winning the Nobel Peace Prize?
Take care, be well, and only, always, Love.