June 16, 2020

The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,... it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."

Written 140 years ago, Charles Dickens could be summarizing how we feel at the moment. There is a sense we are starting to come out of the worst of the initial impact the virus has had on our lives, our economy, even our feeling of hopelessness.

Many argue that being too aggressive in attempting to return to the way it was will only allow Covid-19 to mount a fresh assault on all of us. Several states, including mine, are showing noticeable upticks in infections and deaths. Cooler weather this fall might reignite the spread of the disease, too. But, positive signs are what we cling to. Some of the normal pieces of life are beginning to fit together. 

At the same moment, just when we have hope that one type of terror is receeding, we are experiencing another: an explosion of anger and rage at something that has never gone away, but just kept bubbling beneath the surface. Riots, marches, and protests that surpass anything I remember from the the 1960s are happening in cities and towns all over the country.

Charges of police brutality and excessive violence are gaining strength, enough to prompt some calls for the defunding or reigning in the power of those who are charged with keeping us safe. This will not be an easy task. Police protection is an esential part of maintaining a civilized society. There are laws that must be enforced. No police is an unworkable option. But, how to balance enforcement with an even hand is the crux of the issue.

Images that are impossible to unsee of black men killed before our eyes, of citizens of all races, ages, and genders being tear-gassed, beaten to the ground, forced to clear a path for a disgusting  photo op, of the White House being surrounded by high fences and battle ready troops.....sights in my 71 years that I never expected to see in my country.

All of this while a political season that promises to be more vitriolic, divisive, and monumental for the fate of the nation's course begins to generate its own heat, fear, and uncertainty.

Truly, the best of times and the worst of times.

But, I have a strangely optimistic take on all this. Not just the the slow movement back toward a functioning economy. Millions will struggle to find meaningful work in a permanently changed environment and that is heartbreaking. But, we couldn't continue with virtually everything on hold.

More meaningful is the spotlight that is shining on problems that have remained in the shadows for too long. Racism, inequality in so many areas, policing powers that must be controlled while re-establishing trust in local neighborhoods, a better use of economic resources to strengthen education, medical and mental health care are having a bright light shone on them.

This reality has been with us since the country was founded with slavery as part of the economy and way of life. Over time, as a society, we have addressed them with various levels of engagement and varying degrees of success. But, for some reason, this time things feel different. 

Maybe it is the fact that the protests are country-wide. Or, that they weren't just a one or two day expression of anger and frustration; the demand for real reform isn't going away this time nor fading back into the shadow. A just completed poll by ABC news shows that more than 70% of Americans see George Floyd's death as part of a much larger problem..  

With the virus debacle, the resulting economic shutdown, terrifying level of unemployment, even rent strikes and increased homelessness, there would seem to be enough reasons keep us occupied.

Yet, the very public killing of yet another black man was the final straw for so many. His death at the hands of men charged with protecting us wasn't a isolated occurrence. In fact, in the week since I wrote this posts, two more black men have died at the hands of the police. The death of many African-Americans has become so frequent that we had become numb to it. An incidence makes its way into the news and then disappears to be replaced by something else.

White supremacists, a lone mad man consumed with irrational hate, or people who are given power that can sometimes go unchecked and without consequences, pull the figurative, or literal, trigger. Collectively, however, by allowing this to occur with little more than a shake of our head, it makes us complicit in this deadly stain.

I may be naive, or just overly hopeful. But, this time, this focus on inequality and racism seems to have real staying power. There seems to be an awakening that says it isn't going away quietly. There is not only a possibility, but I would argue, an absolute necessity that there will be lasting change. The core issue of the way we treat our fellow citizens, who enforces the law and how, and the belief that every one one of us must be treated equally is one that must be fully faced and dealt with.

I wouldn't have said this even three weeks ago, but I am predicting that George Floyd's death will become the spark that lights the fire that helps define the upcoming election. Past efforts to change this type of egregious behavior seemed to peter out after a few weeks. Today, the determination to see it result in measurable change feels real. This time, there are too many people pushing for change to watch the effort fade away.

If I am right, then we will have moved from the worst of times, to the best of times. It will usher in a season of light and a time of hope.

40 comments:

  1. You're right about George Floyd's death becoming the spark that lights the fire that will help define the upcoming election. I just hope it defines us in a more positive and enlighten way. I just had a man (who was hired to clean my rain gutters) tell me that Trump was sent by God to clean up corruption and we needed to do whatever we can to keep him in office so he can finish the job. The following day a lady I've known for a long time also spoke up to say that Trump is doing a good job as president. Both of these people spoke up spontaneously with no political talk going on around us and both went on to paint the protesters in the most negative light possible. The racists in our world are mobilizing and just as determined as those us who want to see a change in the White House. We can't take anything for granted in this next election.

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    1. So, you take a comment made about support for Trump and comments you perceived as painting protesters in a negative lights as racist? Isn't that where a lot of the issues come from? Developing an impression and opinion of someone and their beliefs because they may differ from yours? I feel that not having the ability to respect other people's viewpoints that may differ from yours as being a major part of the issues ongoing in this country today. We are constantly being bombarded by forces trying to divide us versus pull us together, whether it be our elected leaders regardless of political party, the media for ratings, or even worse foreign actors. I prefer to believe that **most** people want peace and harmony among us, and I feel the path to that harmony is to not only listen but also feel free to express our opinions and beliefs without the threat of being prosecuted by people who disagree with what we believe in. How are we ever to grow as a society without an open dialog of the topics that abound? Something to ponder. I only wish good things, peace, and good health for you and your family.

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    2. Dan, I understand your point and agree that painting others in broad brush strokes is not always accurate or helpful. But, in Mr. Trump's case, I don't know how anyone cannot see a racist in his personal history, behavior, beliefs, and performance. If he is not a racist then he is totally lacking in any empathy, human compassion, or understanding. His need for ego gratification has blinded him to normal human needs.

      But, I will return to your initial point. The two Trump supporters are not, by definition, racist just because they think he is doing a good job. I would suggest they are willfully blind to many of his shortcomings, but that does not automatically make them hateful of other races.

      To further our discussion, like you, I believe most people do want peace and harmony, but at what cost? If peace and harmony is another way of saying don't rock the boat, leave sleeping dogs lie, and ignore our racial and sexual blind spots, then that is not real harmony.

      America began as a slave-holding nation. We can't deny our history; we must work to change the vestiges of that shameful past.

      I was hoping this post would encourage meaningful exchanges. So far, so good. Thanks.

      Jean, personally I would have had to bite my tongue to not question the two people you reference. And, yes, November will define the future of this country.

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    3. Wow, Widowhood, you leaped from Trump supporters to racists in one breath. Hmmm... To broad stroke the senseless death of yet another black man at the hands of police as the catalyst that will "define the upcoming election" is to say that those in power are racists and those seeking it are not. I don't pretend to know what this country needs to be able to heal, but I know it isn't more division among its citizens. Division that is largely fueled by media, seeking ratings and 'hot button' stories that stir people up. Where were the protesters when Daniel Shaver died in Meza AZ at the hands of police. I'll bet you never heard his name. I won't post the disturbing video here out of respect for Bob and his readers, but I urge you to Google his name and then decide if you believe that police shootings are all racially motivated. Making every unjust killing about race is unfounded. The divide in our country is so much deeper than that. The solution for me has been to tune out sensationalist news and read facts that will guide my opinion and my vote. Name calling is not the answer.

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    4. Bob, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I feel that focusing on what some call the USA's "original sin" is too narrow in scope. If we are to focus on the horrible things of our collective human past, then we must also recognize the hatred shown towards people of Jewish decent and faith, slavery that occurred historically across the globe since the beginning of time, etc etc etc. We have not practiced any slavery in this country since the end of the Civil War which occurred way before our time, our parent's time, and even our great grandparents time on this planet. Continuing to go back and relive and blame an era of time that long ago was stopped (slavery) is an excuse code in my opinion for not taking responsibility for one's own actions today. I am in no way supporting racism and it is important to understand that racism continues to exist across the globe today and it is not only against one race, belief, religion, etc. Society is too quick to label different opinions and beliefs as "racist" just because that opinion differs from their own. For as many cases one can name about discrimination against one group, another group can show the same thing occurring against them as well just with different parameters. Trying to paint this social issue as one sided to me shows lack of understanding and knowledge of the different perspectives out there. I fully support peaceful protest and agree that we all must take our ideas for change to the ballot box. It will definitely be an interesting election regardless of who ends up in power come early November. I suggest that all of you out there who feel that there is no way the POTUS can win re-election is to prepare emotionally that he could win again as there are many many people who do not partake in social media, protests, or political polls who will be the ones who decide the election one way or the other. Assuming a certain outcome based on current poll numbers and 4 months of other news cycles occurring may be premature.

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    5. Suzanne, nowhere have I read that police shootings are 'all racially motivated' per your reply above. Rather, what I have read over many, many years, from the Rodney King trial forward (my coming of age moment), and from multiple, multiple sources that I feel to be credible, is that they are disproportionate. They are disproportionately occurring to the black community vs. the white community. And therein lies the difference.

      It's like saying 'My house is burning, please help!' only to have someone respond that all homes matter, not just yours. The critical difference is that those other homes are NOT currently on fire, so they don't need our attention. The house currently ON fire needs our attention.

      I located this recent article from The Washington Post that makes this precise comparison, and includes a very specific reference to Daniel Shaver. I'm not sure whether you consider the Post to be a sensationalized or factual source of news, but regardless, I share it here - https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/29/heres-why-we-dont-see-protests-when-police-unjustly-kill-white-people/

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    6. There is no argument that the media sometimes gets it wrong. There are outlets that pander to a particular political mindset (Fox and MSNBC, for example). But, to say the bulk of the problems we are seeing are media-caused is gas lighting.

      Without media reports we would never have known the true level of devastation after Katrina or the real death toll from the hurricane in Puerto Rico. Watergate would never have been uncovered or the Vietnam War lies and exaggerations exposed. The Russian infiltration of the 2016 election would have never come to light. The list goes on.

      A free society needs a free press to hold every side of every argument accountable. To call anything you disagree with "Fake News" is to cheapen and destroy the concept of truth and reality. The media didn't invent racism: this country began its life with enslaved humans. That historical reality has yet to be fully faced and dealt with.

      Do media outlets too often follow the sensationalism side of something..sure. But, to assign blame to the media for exposing systemic racism, unjustified police actions, or falsehoods about the serious of Covid-19 is to try to shift blame to the messenger rather that the factors that initiated the problem.

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    7. I didn't repeat the entire conversation here and yes, the guy said several things that were totally, without a doubt racist. I wasn't painting him 'racist' is was a racist no question about it.

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    8. Tamara is correct. More importantly than any statistic is the constant fear that African Americans feel when it comes to the police or of having the police called on them for simply doing something because that you ot I could do without though. Suzanne, even if you put those specific thoughts of graphic police violence aside.. ...The other exists in the extreme. As surprisingly verbalized by Senator Graham the other day. Who said that he has never been pulled over for a routine stop and yet one of his equals of a different race had it happen multiple times in a year. I am the mother of blonde hair blue eyed children who were raised in nice middle glass suburbs that were also diverse. I actuslly should write a long blog post about this. My son especially could write you a book about his experiences vs those of his friends of color who were of the same socio economic class. He has seen them challenged, while he was not, in stores when they were together. He has seen them stopped for driving black when he was not the driver. He has seen them stopped walking home in their own neighborhoods while wearing a Hoodie while he has not. And unlike all those close, well educated friends. His parent have never had the " if driving while black discusdion" or the fear of violence or shame for performing normal actions. With no offense to anyone, People who think there is no institutional racism generally live in a fairly white bubble. I won't go into the police percentage issue as Tamaras article says it all. I have,through no specialness of my own (you go where the government sends ya), not done that as an adult before moving to a Denver. And I am certainly no more enlightened than the next guy or gal, although my kids blessedly are. But I have lived in a multicultural upper middle class environment for the long haul, and anyone who thinks discrimination doesn't exist either isn't paying attention or doesn't want to pay attention. As for Trump, my issues with him are as much about age and health as they are politics,as well as the fact that like Nixon he enjoys divisiveness. But he lost me when he blamed an old man for his own brutal attack. Personally I plan to make my first non isolation outing doing a racial justice walk this week..

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    9. Well said, Barb. I was raised in 99% white suburbs. The first time I experienced being with, living with, and reacting to Blacks was during Army basic training. I don't remember any specific instances or examples of grand insight. But, I know it took me awhile to adapt to a mixed race world.

      In that environment we were all equal: poor excuses for human beings and fighting men as we were reminded constantly by very big and very loud DIs. Blacks, Whites, Hispanic....we all had to bond together to survive those 8 weeks.

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    10. Bob,

      I think that this is a story that illustrates both the fear that blacks have and the potential solution: Dialogue.

      https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Living/black-man-calls-police-alert-job-happened/story?id=71218058

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  2. I have tried VERY hard to always be respectful of the viewpoints of others, but in the case of someone who supports a misogynist,racist,immoral, unfeeling, ignorant and inexperienced candidate who is tearing down my country and alienating all our allies, who promotes vioence, is trampling on our Constitution, and who regularly insults servicemen and women,their famillies, the disabled, overweight people, people of color, and more, well,I can no longer offer my respect. I see our country to be in the darkest of times. In order to get to the positivity and change that Bob speaks of,I feel we must mobilize every single voter, to vote for change. I did not respect Hilter or anyone who supported him.I do not respect dictators . Their "point of view" is inhumane, and I support humanity. America needs Her Democracy back!! With an experienced and humane leader, I believe we will see the changes that this time demand, and then we can begin to move forward as a healthy nation.

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    1. You are free to voice your opinions just like I am. Isn't it wonderful to live in a country where personal freedoms and free speech by its citizens are protected by our constitution? Again though this is yet another example in my opinion of the intolerance of diversity of opinion if it differs from your own. It would seem that half the country may feel differently than you do about our POTUS and attacking them for their beliefs and thoughts is no different to me than attacking minority populations for their beliefs about the struggles they feel and experience. We all have different experiences in life based on numerous factors that influence and affect how we all perceive the world around us. I wish you well and hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing your ideas and thoughts.

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    2. Much like my response above, I understand people have different reactions to virtually everything. Support for Mr. Trump is roughly 4 out of 10 Americans.

      But, in this case I have to question their decision. The evidence of his failures, his overwhelming desire to divide us into those who worship him and those who disagree with his direction for the country, and his pathological need to lie, mean, for me, he has lost any legitimacy.

      I don't hate those who are Trump supporters. I truly wish I could understand their position, but I can't. So, that leaves the ballot box to decide what happens next.

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    3. I also do not allow hatred to poison my own Soul.I simply don’t understand how some people came to their decisions. Praying for a huge voter turnout in November!!

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  3. The marches and riots of the 1960s that you recall Bob did indeed usher in real change. Not enough change but there was measurable change. It was the Boomers that lead the movement for change back then and it's our children that are leading the call for change now. For all the grousing about disengaged millennials perhaps the apple doesn't fall that far from the tree after all.

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    1. I agree. The real force driving societal change are the younger generations, not only in racial matters, but climate change and sexism. The 1960s marches, protests, and passage of the Civil Rights Act were major steps forward. But, in the 50 years since, there has been an acceptance (both willing and unwilling) of the status quo. It takes those who will inherit this world to say, "not enough."

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  4. I totally agree with Madeline! Anyone who believes this ignorant, racist, immoral buffoon in our White House is helping anyone but himself and his family does not understand democracy. I do not understand why anyone would have voted for him in the first place but, certainly can't imagine anyone believing he's worthy of a 2nd term! His polling #'s are dwindling a bit, and he's losing much of the Republican party, as well. That makes me somewhat hopeful. He's his own worst enemy, so let him keep digging!
    b

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    1. Joe Biden's most powerful weapon is Donald Trump's own mouth, tweets, and actions.

      Aside from that, I am feeling positive about the long overdue focus on racial injustice, police overreach, and the right of peaceful protesters to exercise their First Amendment rights without smoke bombs or troops. Those who are using these protests as cover for violence, looting, and such, are criminals and deserve to be forcefully stopped. But, it is not acceptable to brand those protesting discrimination as members of some shadow group or members of a "deep state conspiracy."

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  5. I too agree that the circumstances of 2020 are going to play a huge role in the election and hopefully the progress of our country. I am so relieved to see that only 27% of the population thinks the current president is doing a good job and I'm convinced that won't probably change much. There is LITTLE you can do to change the minds of people stuck in a mindset that refuses to even acknowledge the cruelty, hate and lack of morality in Trump--and I'm grateful there is only 27% of them!

    he good news is that the rest of us can take back our country and make it one that we can be proud of again! I am especially encouraged by the fact that younger people are getting so involved. And certainly the overwhelming number of blacks in our country will get out the vote in November. BUT...we must be mindful that Trump and the GOP will be doing everything they can to block the election--like removing our ability to Vote by mail--so there is still plenty of work to be done.

    However, I'm an optimist too so I too am hopeful that the shifts happening now will be a benefit to us all in the long run.

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    1. I'm not sure if there has been any scientific study on this, but we seem to go through a sea change of opinion and direction once every decade or two in this country. We of a certain age lived through the Civil Rights and Vietnam era, the dot.com economic bust of the late 90's, the election of a black president, and now the protests and Covid-19. We have seen the #MeToo government grow to attack systemic sexism.

      There is every reason to hope that the early 2020's will be the time when racism is called out for what it is and finally pushed into our past.

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  6. It is interesting that these two massive global issues you mention have come to the spotlight at the same time. It would be wonderful if long term good could come out of it.

    It’s upsetting to see tribal levels of hate, which may be exacerbated through social media. I wonder if reinforcing respect and positive stories of values that we hold dear, by people of influence from primary school teachers to politicians to newspaper editors, would help.
    We are all guilty of being drawn to gossip and lambasting others from a distance. If we could somehow shine a spotlight on leaders or individuals, wherever they may be, who empower others with respectful debate and inclusion, that may help.

    Another thought: trying to fix wider society can seem impossible. Maybe starting with ourselves and our immediate circle is another possible way forward.

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    1. I am reminded of the "every journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step." We absolutely can affect change, one person at a time. And, we can mind our own behavior to make sure not to contribute to the problems we face.

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  7. Every President in my lifetime has had positives and negatives concerning their policies and personalities. What I have never seen before is a President that has an abundance of every single negative human quality all in one package. Listing them is redundant.
    If the Republicans keep the Senate and Trump wins we have not seen anything yet. Forget C19 this Novemeber. Vote like your life depends on it.

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    1. I agree with you. I have serious doubts about the viability of our democracy moving forward in a way that we would recognize.

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  8. "If I am right, then we will have moved from the worst of times, to the best of times. It will usher in a season of light and a time of hope."

    May it be so.

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  9. Setting policy differences aside, we have a horrible human being in the White House. What saddens me most is the number of otherwise good people who are willing to overlook that fact because he pretends to support their beliefs. Most of my friends who support the president say, "well, yes he is not a very good person, but he is doing what I want done."

    “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?" -Mark 8:36

    I may be a dinosaur, but truth, integrity, and empathy for the oppressed and less fortunate still matter to me. And if we are, or will soon get to a place where such things no longer matter to most people, we will be in a very bad place indeed.

    Rick in Oregon

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    1. If Donald Trump was a Democrat he would be every bit the same horrible human being he is as a Republican and deserve our outrage and disgust. A political party tends to support its titular head with too few questions asked. But, I doubt there was anyone less deserving of deference than Trump.

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  10. I find i hard to imagine that anyone could support Trump at this point but, as Kathy mentioned in her comment, it appears that about 27% are still those who would vote for him even if he shot someone on 5th Avenue as he claimed once. I saw an interesting quote: "It's not that all Trump supporters are racists, it's that him being a racist isn't a deal breaker." I think that can be said about many of his beliefs and policies, including trashing the environment, deteriorating relations with our allies, doing Putin's bidding, etc.

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    1. Humans overlook those parts of someone's character or personality that may not match their own if other things about that person are attractive and useful. No person, or president, will be flawless.

      But, those elected in the past have at least attempted to give the impression they are trying to unite us. This person makes no bones about his driving force: chaos whenever possible, divide and conquer, feed his base what they think they want, and stoke his ego at all costs.

      Being on the wrong side of history in virtually every single one of Trump's decisions is a uniqueness that I hope we never experience again.

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  11. One point I want to reemphasize: this post is presented as an opening to discuss inequality and racism and how we move forward with acceptance of the reality of life in this country for too many minorities.

    Donald Trump was not meant to be the focus. Yes, he is a big part of the problem because of the position he holds and what he says and does. But he didn't invent racism or is he the first example of racism in the White House. Our problems predate him by hundreds of years and exists in every level of government, business, in our own neighborhoods, and in our hearts.

    What I want to discuss is the place of protests, police issues, inequity in society, and where we are headed. Does this time feel different? Are we addressing the underlying issues?

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  12. Protests will only be effective if repeated over and over for a long period of time.
    Police have always had a reputation of being heavy handed. Most of it lands on the minorities and low income. Police almost always stick together against the rest of the world and it can be next to impossible to get rid of a bad one.
    Inequity in society is driven by education and income. If we could fix education it would go a long way towards addressing income. I do not support allowing education to be privatized. The poor of all races will not be able to attend the private schools, either due to lack of income or transportation. Look how well it worked for the poor in the south after desegregation.
    Right now a segment of this country is hell bent on turning the clock backwards and making matters worse than they are. I hope this is an aberration in history and not the new trajectory.
    General Mattis said he would need more bullets if the State department funding was cut. I believe the same will be true if we do not fix the inequality in education.

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    1. Education improvement is essential. How many people who found themselves acting as at-home teacher for the last few months of the school year have a new appreciation for how hard it is be a quality teacher.

      Some of the moves by this administration to benefit private schools at the expense of public ones will have long term serious consequences for both the students affected and the pool of talented citizens that must carry us forward.

      Thank you, Fred, for your well expressed thoughts.

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  13. Change begins one family, one person at a time. It does not start in the White House. Today I spent the day at Gettysburg with my socially distanced grandson. We drove/walked the battlefield. We kept circling around two topics. "Why would you put up statues for losers?" We talked about common man, and how few actually had a reason to be in the fight to keep wealthy(the ones with the huge statues) people in slaves. The other was about slavery and why, mostly new immigrants, would die to set another person free. Why too, would people who never own a slave, or want one, fight for rich people to keep theirs? Which circled back to wars in general being about keeping people in power and wealth. Who "owns" that?
    It was a fascinating day, one different then I would have ever imagined. One I was very delighted to have. Questions from the heart and mind. As a teacher, I said very little, let him wrestle it all out in his context. We just researched the facts. Isn't the Internet amazing?
    You keep circling all evil to Trump. As a libertarian, it drives me crazy.
    I feel that the Democrats need to do the right thing. "They" put most of those statues up. "They" were the slave owners at that time in history. "They" continued the policies of rounding poor people up and jailing them for small drugs while they played with the big ones. "They" supported police unions that keep bad guys on the force. "They" placated people by putting up housing and then let them languish in sub par education. In turn, they need to clean it all up. Quite with the figure pointing that someone else owns it.
    Isn't that what a good therapist tells most people- clean your house first.
    As normal, I will be called out as a Trumpist. In reality, I have no idea who I am going to vote for. Narcissist or Dementia. Why can't there be a real choice just once? The parties just "own" us.

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    1. I enjoy your comments because they always make me think and you represent your viewpoint without rancor. The experience with your grandson sounds fascinating.

      I do want to challenge one sentence about me putting all evil on Trump. This post talks about how slavery began 400 years ago in this country and racism has never been openly dealt with. Women were denied most rights until early in the 20th century. Overly aggressive police actions have been going on since they were used by employers to bust up worker strikes in the 1800s.

      Yes, the Democratic party was the primary driver through much of this. But, as I am sure you know, the two parties reversed what they stood for starting in the 1860s and ending with the new Deal period. After FDR, the two parties had completely flipped positions. To say the Democratic Party was supportive of what you state was true. But, that is being disingenuous since that party (and the GOP) no longer exist in the same way they did in the early years of this country. They are polar opposites in belief today.

      The problems that are feeding the protests have been generations, even centuries in the making. Trump isn't helping any but the inequality, racial issues and mistreatment of minorities, and that includes women, have been part of our nation's history since day one. This time, I sense that real change will occur, that the underlying issues will not be swept under the rug again.

      BTW, I do not envy the next president, if Trump is replaced. That person will have to face enormous problems that are coming to a head. There will divisions, anger, strife, and no easy answers regardless of the election outcome. Oh, and in all likelihood the virus will be back every bit as deadly as it was this spring and the economy will be limping along. It sounds like a no-win situation for whoever sits in the Oval Office.

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    2. Good morning Bob, you misread my statement. The key words are "circle around". I know you addressed many things. You tend to circle around to your normal premise that it is all Trump the ____ (filling in a slur) fault. Elitist on both sides hate the outsider, don't they?

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    3. The reason we focus on trump is because.. he happens to be in the WHite House,making irrational statements and decisions day after day.We can clean our own house,sure.But we need to get out there and vote for at least a DECENT human being in November.

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  14. Bob, I was devastated at the horrible murder of George Floyd. Again, and again, and again. Will nothing ever change? And so, like you, I felt hopeful when people’s rage bubbled over and people marched to protest police brutality and assert that Black Lives Matter. But it is depressing reading the responses to your post. I fear that most people are so mired in a partisan rut that they can’t or won’t see the systemic racism that is right in front of their faces. And from the virtue signalling that is going on, it seems that many are buying into a mob mentality, aligning with the issue of the day without committing to real or sustained change.

    Jude

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    1. If you study any amount of history there is one lesson that is quite clear: the side that feels it is losing fights well past the time a logical decision would be to accept and adjust.

      I believe that is what we are seeing: the death throes of an old way of perceiving the world. That position will not go gently into the night, rather kicking and screaming. In 1860 the result was a civil war. Is that possible 160 years later? No, because the issue isn't as much economic as loss of power and privilege.

      I pray I am right.

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