Order For This Week: Lighten Up, Francis.

This week will be a tough one for the sensitive snowflakes out there. Thankfully, I’m anything but sensitive. I have already put in my supply of popcorn and fizzy water. The DVR stands ready to record the hilarity that will be the next seven days.

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For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, I’m not a fan of the current administration. It pretty much peaked last week when Joe “But I didn’t mean to copy his stump speech and lie about my college education” Biden got a participation trophy in the form of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (with Distinction.)

While I cannot say that every person who ever got the award deserved it, Joe Biden is pretty much at the bottom of the list. I’d quote the Vice President, but it would offend my audience. Yes, Joe, it is a big ****** deal to get that medal. You, sir, are not really what President Kennedy had in mind when it was initiated. John Franklin Enders you ain’t.

So, on we go to the next four years. I just wonder if the press will question/slander the critics of Donald Trump as being racists if they aren’t 70 year old white guys from New York. Because that, sadly, has become the criteria for defaming your opponents: the race card.

I’d like to make a suggestion here: give the guy enough rope to hang himself before you build the scaffold. Strange, if I said that eight years ago I’d be a racist because of the tragic history of lynching in the deep south (and Duluth.) But, I digress.

I know that some have genuine concerns in their minds about what Donald Trump and his government hold in store for their group. I’ve talked to a few of you about it, privately, and I listened. Now, I beg you, listen to me for just a few minutes on my view of this impending change in our culture.

Sometimes the only way to get someone to quit shouting foul things at you is to shout back much louder than the other person. That is what the voters did last November 8th: the people who had been shouted at for being racist, misogynist, homophobic, and isolationist had hit the end of the tether. They are not, for the most part, any of the above. But they saw their core values being blown away for almost a decade, and much longer if you were to take popular culture into the account. Consequently they selected an imperfect man (which is true of all of us) to represent them for the next four years in the White House.

Trump, if you actually listen to him, is none of the above. He is, however, an example of a guy with a big pile of money and a low tolerance for nonsense – unless it’s his own. Is he/has he been a pig with some women? I’d say the odds are good as it’s currently defined by society. Then again, most men (not all) that I know have failed to meet the bar for every moment of their lives. Me included.

The other thing that is out of control is the “Trump did ….” Uh, nope. He didn’t do whatever it was. Did some loudmouth, drunken imbecile invoke his name in furtherance of their own quest for stupidity? Yes. Most of the incidents I’ve heard of about Trump’s supporters being evil/hateful are actually people who were evil/hateful before Trump was famous. Some go back centuries: the stupid among us who will use anything as their excuse for bad behavior. If you ignored them when their fathers invoked Ronald Reagan, and their grandfathers invoked Jack Kennedy, you can probably just figure they’re young/ignorant/drunk/jealous in some fashion of what others have. Again, usually related to being stupid.

Before you post it to your Twitter feed, or slam it up on your Facebook wall, do a little thinking. Wait an hour. See if reality sets in. If you’re honest with yourself, most of what you see that involves exclamation points and shouting is nonsense in the final analysis.

Here’s my final thought: Give him a chance to do the right things. So far, it seems that all the hate is based on supposition. I promise I’ll be yelling loudly if he breaks any laws. Probably more loudly than I did the last eight years, because I’m done being intimidated by the race card.

Yes, the race card. For eight years I’ve been too polite to go there, because it was a hair-trigger for some people. Instead of it going away with benign neglect, it became a weapon unlike any other I’ve seen in my time.

Most people in the United States, no matter the hue of their skin, are not haters. Troubled, afraid, nervous, but not likely to purposely hurt someone else based on race. I may be naive, but that’s what almost six decades have told me. Until eight years ago, you might have had a point about race being the core issue for some voters. Then a bunch of white people elected a black president.

A few months ago, a bunch of white people, and a substantial number of black people, who elected the first black president elected the next white president. If I continue to frame this based on race, I’ll be as obsessive and stupid as most of the press.

Brothers and sisters, we have to quit it. Quit seeing skin color as the deciding factor that other people use to make decisions. It’s no longer relevant. Besides, you aren’t a mind reader, and short of a Nazi salute, it’s kind of an iffy argument.

I despise a great number of people on political and ethical points, most of them white. I don’t think I could like Nancy Pelosi any less if she was bright blue and sucked salt out of your body.

Before you invoke the race card, make sure it’s the card you see being played. I disliked the last eight years for political, not racial, reasons. If you know me, you know that’s the truth. I’m with the guy, whom we celebrate today, on judging a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

You see, it is entirely possible to be a white, Christian, heterosexual, veteran without giving up your ability to love your fellow man. We all lose sight of that on occasion when looking at “the other.” I don’t assume it because of your skin color, sexual orientation, or nationality. Please accord me, and Donald Trump, the same courtesy.

Now, go about your business. Go to work. Go to church. Go fishing. Get on with your life and quit fretting about what the idiot in the Oval Office is up to this day. Trust me, it’s not productive in the least.

Do your best. Pray. Be blessed. See you next week. The world will still be there, probably none the worse for the events of the coming seven days.

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Order For This Week: Lighten Up, Francis. — 1 Comment