Speaking Out

Tattered but Salvageable

“You must always be willing to truly consider evidence that contradicts your beliefs, and admit the possibility that you may be wrong. Intelligence isn’t knowing everything. It’s the ability to challenge everything you know.” ~ Meme shared on Facebook by Deb Sprague.

Propaganda: “information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.” ~ Dictionary.com

“Only love is real.” ~ A Course in Miracles

I’m going to do something I should have done long ago and break my own rule to be careful with what I write, because the energies are coming to a head and I can’t keep quiet any longer. I know some of you following me are not from the U.S. The politicians I write about today might not mean anything to you, but I hope my internal process will make sense.

And, trigger alert, I’m not going to sugar coat my views as I usually do. You don’t have to read or even follow me if you’re offended. The time has come for me to be brutally honest.

I’m voting for Joe Biden for President of the United States. He wasn’t my first choice. And I’m not voting for him so I can “Vote Blue, No Matter Who,” either. Nor is my decision to vote for Biden a choice between the lesser of two evils. I’m voting for a man of integrity, decency, and deep caring for his fellow citizens. Biden wasn’t my first choice. I didn’t think he was a great person to lead our country until recently. Let me tell you my process.

As you might have guessed by many of my previous posts, I’m a proud liberal. I was taught to be open to new ideas and to examine my own thought processes. I was taught to have an open mind and heart and accept and love people as they were and not try to change them. That’s the definition of a liberal. Since some conservatives have used propaganda to demonize that word, we liberals have turned to the word “progressive” to describe ourselves. That’s my starting point.

After being a lifelong Democrat, I changed my party affiliation to Independent during the 2016 election because I felt that the DNC was pushing Hillary Clinton on us, even though Bernie Sanders had tremendous support from the young, people of color and even people like me, old Baby Boomers. Polls can be manipulated, but many of them showed that Bernie was the one to defeat Donald Trump. When Hillary was nominated, I was angry and saw conspiracy theories. Well, there were conspiracies to interfere in our elections, but perhaps not among the Democratic Party leadership.

Morph to earlier this year. I’m still registered as an Independent, but the only options among progressives were Democratic candidates. There were four I liked, candidates I thought could possibly get the nomination and defeat Trump. Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren were my favorites. But there were so many candidates running, I knew I had to wait to see which ones would be left standing by summer.

It finally came down to Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. I didn’t want Joe Biden! I thought he was a weak candidate. My mind filled with conspiracy theories again. Were the Russians interfering with the Democrats? But as I talked with my sister, Celeste, about the situation, we said to each other, “We have to consider what Divine Spirit wants.” And so we started to listen to Biden. We listened to the people who knew him and we changed our minds.

The Democratic and Republican conventions are over now. And it’s clear to me that, as Nicholle Wallace of MSNBC said on the August 26th evening broadcast of the Republican convention, “We can’t keep up with the propaganda. They are not telling lies. They are serving and producing propaganda. And we are still four years into this presidency ill equipped to respond to it.” That got me thinking, how do we combat propaganda? And what I believe is that we expose it for what it is. That’s what honest journalists, people who worked with Trump, and even his family members have been doing. They’re tearing off his mask so we can see his true motives, his true character.

I’ve talked so often over the last three years with people about the fact that we as a nation had to have Donald Trump become our president, because we’ve ignored all our opportunities to heal old wounds of racism, financial inequity, and so much more, going back since the beginning of our country. At the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, it felt like the darkness had descended and we’d never see the light again. The daily news bore out my feelings. But as Gary Zukav wrote in his book Seat of the Soul, humans learn through crisis. And I felt that not only our country, but the world was at a confluence of historical crises with great changes on the horizon.

I’m so glad I took a step back to examine why I didn’t like Biden, because I started to notice that he has been consulting many of the people who had been running against him. The Democrats are forming a coalition. They are taking a serious look at the problems we’re facing, and planning how to solve them. And they aren’t letting Trump have all the air time. They are challenging his assertions, pointing out his lies, and blocking his policies that are trying to erode our Democracy.

As I paid closer attention to Biden I heard him comfort people who had suffered the loss of loved ones from gun violence or the pandemic. He shared the pain of the loss of his own loved ones. He exhibited empathy and compassion with those suffering people. And that’s what we need right now, someone who is softer, sympathetic, compassionate, but tough enough to work for all of us.

Another thing I liked about him was that he owned the mistakes he made in the past, like when he didn’t believe Anita Hill when she related what happened between her and Clarence Thomas and then he voted to confirm Thomas as a Supreme Court Justice. He apologized to Anita Hill for that. Owning up to your mistakes takes courage.

The clincher for me was the deep contrast between the Democratic and Republican conventions. These are words I heard speakers use at the Democratic convention: Compassion, empathy, decency, honor, hope for the future, equity, healing racial wounds, ending divisions by listening to each other, sharing love, and light to every person in this country.

At the Republican convention, the RNC decided not to have any platform other than to bow to Trump’s wishes, which are all about spreading fear, hate, division, and using words like “law and order” to mean making the populace do what he wants them to do. He punishes people, businesses, and states that challenge his xenophobic racism and his orders to harm the environment. When asked about how he feels about the huge number of deaths from the virus, he said, “It is what it is.” He’s shut down journalists who ask him the tough questions that he doesn’t want to answer because they make him look bad. I could write a book about all the things he’s done that are unethical, uncaring, or even violations of the law, but you probably already know what they are.

So many prominent Republicans, honorable conservatives, have walked away from their party because their leaders kowtowed to Trump. That tells me that we are waking up. Old paradigms that no longer serve our country or humanity are breaking down. The words, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business,” aren’t acceptable any more. Profit, the bottom line, and hoarding wealth and disrespecting human dignity are on their way out.

I learned two words this week that describe Trump perfectly. The first was spoken by Michael Steele, former head of the RNC, and a former Republican. He used the word “sycophantic”, to describe Trump. It means “a self-seeking, servile flatterer’ fawning parasite’ (Dictionary.com). As you might have guessed, I had to look that one up.

The second word popped up on Dictionary.com when I was looking up another word I wanted to use in this post. It’s the word of the day for August 27, “vituperate: to use or address with harsh or abusive language; revile …” That word also describes Trump.

You know the times they are changin’ when the players and teams of the NBA, and many other sports teams refuse to play games until the violence against blacks and other people of color stops. I know Trump won’t stop it. He ripped the scab off of racism, he has fueled and condoned it because it serves his purposes to do so. But, thank heaven he has, because now we whites are being forced to take a good look at ourselves and all we or our ancestors have done to suppress, cheat, enslave, and kill people of color.

I’ve asked myself, what attitudes do I have that are racist? What do I assume I know, but am completely ignorant about? It’s an uncomfortable task to undertake. But it’s necessary and I’m doing it because I believe that each individual person is important and should be treated with dignity and respect.

No political party or politician is perfect. To think that we’re going to be able to elect the perfect leader, is wrong. No one person can shoulder all of the burden. But it’s our responsibility to do our research and choose the best people running for offices that we can. And we have to find ways large and small to make this world a better place in which to live.

I may not vote for the same people you will. But if we stop following the crowd and let go of our prejudices and actually listen with open minds and hearts to the candidates, that’s the best thing we can do. What words does the candidate use? Are they loving and compassionate? Do they have clear plans for how to begin the work of solving problems? Or do they point the finger and blame other people? Do they ignore their mistakes? How do you feel when you listen to them? Examine those feelings. Do you like or dislike them because their message is dark and hateful, or is it because you have a set idea in your head about what you want to hear and you’re not willing to be open to this particular candidate?

If you’re on the fence about what kind of person should be in the White House come January 2021, I suggest you watch The American President (1995). In a speech to the press near the end of the movie, Andrew Shepard, played by Michael Douglas, says, “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ‘cause it’s gonna put up a fight.” I wish I could quote the entire speech, but I want you to watch the movie because it’s main theme is about character. In that same speech, Shepard says, “Being president of this country is *entirely* about character.” I’d say being any kind of leader is about character. So the question is, which candidate, Joe Biden, or Donald Trump has an upstanding character? Which of the people of either party up and down the ballot are people of honor? I’m going to do my research, and those are the people I’m going to vote for.

My aim is to spread love and light with this blog, which means pointing out darkness and hatred that we need to deal with as well. We can’t build a better world if we hide from the nastiness of life. So, if you’re going to leave comments, make sure they are respectful and thoughtful. I’m not going to allow any attacking of myself, or other commenters on this site. Nasty comments will be removed or not approved, because remember, only love is real. All the other stuff is just our egos getting in the way.

Thanks for following, reading and liking. I hope we can build a better world together.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

Published by lucindasagemidgorden

I grew up in the West, the descendant of people traveling by wagon train to a new life. Some of their determination and wanderlust became a part of me. I imagine them sitting around the campfire telling stories, which is why I became first a theatre artist, then a teacher and now a writer. They are all ways of telling stories.

3 thoughts on “Speaking Out

    1. It’s a bit scary for me to say exactly how I feel and what I think because of past controversies I’ve started. But I can’t hide forever. Thanks so much.

      Like

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