I Will Bear True Faith and Allegiance To The Same

Recently I had a delightful evening conversation (and I do mean that in the sincerest way) with my neighbor’s whose political ideologies significantly different to mine. We didn’t exchange heated debates or blame assessments with one another. We talked casually about how the government shutdown was affecting ordinary people, children, and the flow of our economy. We collectively agreed that the government shutdown seemed to be used as political weapons once U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was immediately sworn into office. I was stunned to hear from various Trump loving supporters that they had no confidence in his ability to lead or be reasoned with. To hear this coming straight from all an all staunch conservative room was almost surreal-like.

In the conversation, I heard my neighbor say something that stuck with me. She said the oath of office for the Presidency says, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” Her interpretation of “true faith and allegiance to the same” means citizens are utterly loyal to the Constitution and believe in its laws to protect them – not to ever hurt them for legislative purposes or personal agendas. Although her political leanings are far-right, she voiced her concerns that the President has lost touch with preserving the constitution but creating a personalized agenda to tear it apart. She ended with a greater concern that the president may intend to create a divisive moment in history that leads to the start of a civil war between liberals and conservatives. She went on to say that the President doesn’t listen to his advisors, press, or people unless they make him look good in a photo session or on television. But the Trump rhetoric and personal insults are pitting American against American. The mood almost felt like how most Democrats felt during the presidential election cycle. However, it had caught up with the most conservative and evangelical Christian voters.

Another highly conservative male that lives down the block chimed in and quickly presented a biblical scripture to use against Trump’s constant anger filled rhetoric. He said, James 1:19 says, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” He went on to explain that the President isn’t listening to those hurting and using his Twitter to vent his anger which seems something the devil would do.

The room filled with frustrations about how to remedy a situation but not to the point of anger, only great disappointment. Yes, there were some emotional moments that seemed to be misinformative news opinion, but the overall tone was bonded by the unity that we were all voters with differing viewpoints but at least willing to compromise and become respectful of one another. The lesson learned from that moment was we could accept defeat or deadlock but were willing to put a critical issue aside for the sake of others. Esentially we all agreed now is not the time to introduce an expensive border wall. It was that ah-ha moment that made me wish the President was sitting in that room to hear from the people that voted for him exclaiming they won’t support or vote for him in future. To that group of ultra-conservatives, the president went against Christian ideals by putting children, families, and our nation at risk over a politically divisive issue. A woman in the group mentions 1 Timothy 3:5 “For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” as to infer that Trump is hurting families no matter what the cost.

As the conversation entered into nearly its second hour of discussion, we quickly began to realize that our disappointment, disgust, and perhaps energy was expended to waste time but give insights that we should be people with an ability to respect one another. We did say that our strength is best spent by turning off the television, Facebook and involving or volunteering ourselves in issues that are dear to our hearts. Perhaps turning off the “Trump reality show” where ratings and statistic, not God or humanity, seem to be the vanity he craves and relishes upon and we incidentally are becming adicted to.

Upon reflection, I was glad to be in a room with adults that respected differing viewpoints and exchanges. It is a continual lesson with regards to “do unto others”readings. Additionally, it allows people to either be heard or listened to in an exchange of values over politics. Sometimes we are quick to create our personal safe space in avoidance of sensitive or trigger subjects where we may feel outnumbered or marginalized. It is not to assume or duplicate our personal Via Dolorosa but to discover astonishing and sometimes unexpected outcomes on the opposite spectrum of us that finds a moment of unity and accidental allegiance.

Stop Dividing Families and Ideals

North Korea has a long-standing law called “three generations of punishment.”  If one person is found guilty of a crime and sent to a prison camp, so too will their entire family, and the subsequent two generations born at the camp must remain there for life. Perhaps President Trump sought to infuse a bit of that energy altering it by dividing parents from children housed at immigration camps. The President has a personal agenda that went a step further by hinting during his campaign suggesting Hispanics are rapists, criminals and responsible for gang warfare with sad commentary that some are good. Perhaps this is where the far-right embraces its unscholarly rhetoric because enforcement and creation of our policies seem somewhat North Korean, East German, and Soviet.

Before we begin slinging the hammer and sickle of change, we may want to reflect on how our perception and approach has significantly changed. Many may recount the days of Jane Fonda controversial visit to North Vietnam which branded her the name of “Hanoi Jane.” Another similar instance is when basketball star Dennis Rodman visited North Korea during the Obama administration. These individuals were hounded and scorned by media, the general public, and naturally politicians. Because high profile individuals attempt to try to mediate truce or other politicized means, there is a level of contempt that they are doing more harm than good. Today we are witnessing a dramatic shift in how sworn enemies or those where a majority of citizens are wary of relations, this President wants to stride in to assert that “these are good people.”  The implication is that tough and ruthless leaders are good and democratically elected individuals are not so good? At least that is the takeaway points I am witnessing. The punishment that Trump is conveying is the media is unfair to him, liberals are dividing this nation, the FBI is not to be trusted, anyone that disagrees with the President is not loyal and deserves public admonishment. Does this sound like a nation built upon free principles?

If you want to understand the platform of the traditional Republican Party, then reflect on a time where Nancy Reagan once touted, “say no to drugs” campaign. Shift forward to modern day platforms where heroin and drugs from Mexico is the biggest threat to American society. Attorney General Jeff Sessions guidances from former President Barack Obama’s administration that allowed states to legalize marijuana with minimal federal interference. Now Trump says he is likely to support ending a federal ban on pot. Perhaps that recent United States/North Korea summit had an ah-ha moment? Marijuana is legal in North Korea. It’s perfectly legal to buy and smoke cannabis in public and private. Cannabis grows wildly in North Korea and has been sold abroad by government agencies as a way to earn foreign currency.   Maybe Trump took a whiff and passed and saw a potential job creation moment? (after all, we didn’t see Dennis Rodman, but he was at the summit somewhere?)

What I do not understand is how our neighbors to the south are considered rapists, gangs, and drug dealers but the North Korean people are suddenly, in the eyes of the President, worthy of a sit-down? Ironic that North and South Korea are in negotiations to tear down its demilitarized zone in exchange for peace and prosperity. However, Trump continues to hammer at legislation to build a wall. North Korea has political prisoner camps that lock up families, and now we witness our administration locking up families but dividing them. I personally find it interesting that President Trump executive order 13767 to deploy all lawful means to secure our Nation’s border but then signs Executive Order 13841 to stop his initial order? Trump’s order legislation is becoming somewhat similar to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935.

Folks, the United States is critically divided because our President is not committed to stability instead it policy or diplomacy. In fact, the Presidential behavior of Trump has become someone similar to his Twitter feeds. It changes like the wind as to stir and generate so much buzz that we forget about the previous issue. The conversation that should bring us together to work out our policial differences sounds like a moment with Pope Francis. This is where positive LGBT experiences of inclusiveness are met with rug pulled moments. It usually begins where traditional Catholics are not so welcoming followed by a slew of sad commentary and misrepresentations of LGBT people become labeled and divided from membership with their families. At least that is where Americans learned how to become prejudice, in my opinion.

Might I suggest that we leave our political preference at the door when discussing how to repair the nation? For a brief moment, can we forget about our identities and the skin color, religion, or other distinguishable features at the door? Let’s have an open session involving how to fix things rather than what our political platform or religious doctrine says. When I build a table or chair, I don’t need my local politician or priest to discuss or influence how to make it better. It is people that get things done, no different than Dennis Rodman or Jane Fonda. They weren’t elected but at least facilitate to some form of reasonable change. Could we attempt the same path?

Who is Milo Yiannopoulos?

In all honesty, I have never read or looked at the conservative Breitbart website. Another blog follower recently sent me a YouTube clip from a Breitbart Editor named Milo Yiannopoulos. At first, my fine-tuned gaydar went off, but I was thinking to myself “a gay conservative?” I kept listening and actually couldn’t believe my ears. But then I stopped myself short of becoming somewhat like sheep and falling into the trap of listening to sound bites to sought out more of a full speech site to make my final determination.

 

Folks, it is no hidden fact that I am very liberal. But in certain situations, I cannot follow the party line all of the time. I remember my time as a college student senator where I vehemently voted against an expensively overpriced Talley Student Center. I was the liberal that was trying to save students money and stop a student government organization and faculty from continually practicing campus cronyism (which continues to practice). My lone ‘no’ student senate vote was squashed because the “sheep” of student government wanted to impress school leadership and its compeer relationships disregarding a popular vote against funding a new Talley Center. I remember distinctly hearing other student senators and campus faculty advisors that wanted to control, accuse, intimidate, or impeach me because I didn’t follow the majority in student government and campus administration. An apparent blow to democracy and similar to those that protest Yiannopoulos at his campus events. Back to Yiannopoulos.

images.jpg

When I heard this guy speak I couldn’t help but think he is lecturing in an unfiltered manner. Of course, he is popular because he is voicing and rallying against the very institutions that have created safe spaces or the practice of becoming sheep before the slaughter. Do I support everything Yiannopoulos says? No. However, I do subscribe that he brings an excellent and compelling argument that both sides should have an opportunity to be heard. Do I think Yiannopoulos is a member of the Alt-Right or supports white supremacy? Emphatically no! What I do think he does, and efficiently but perhaps not academically, trigger what we have hidden as our inner voice and begin to reassess if that voice is not being challenged effectively. Naturally, Yiannopoulos has a trolling way of inciting a discussion and keeping his cool. What seems to occur on nearly a frequent basis is opposing audience members fall prey to appearing self-centered in hopes they are viewed as social justice warriors with poor to sad results. One thing I will say positive about Yiannopoulos is that his assessment of the Republican and Democratic U.S. parties are spot on. He has plausible arguments about Title IX laws (as I previously blogged about). I can see where he has an active following. But let me be clear, Yiannopoulous doesn’t represent either major political party in the United States. Instead, he focuses on the whitewash of policies that may have strayed from the original design that favor particular groups or interests. The design of system policies should avoid fluctuating for protected classes. Rather policy should be designed to equally and adequately safeguard and preserve all matters with the same level of scrutiny.

 

A problem for liberals like myself is that a majority of those that represent the left fail to properly listen to the opposing side and try to learn from its perspective. I, on the other hand, seek to follow my conscience and levels of compromise to look for a middle ground. This is the art of diplomacy and something we should learn to re-engage with. Sure it’s heated. Sure it’s divisive. Yes, sometimes it becomes personal. But hopefully, we walk away after the debate that we can build a bridge towards compromise or understanding. Yiannopoulous said something rather interesting in one of his videos. He mentioned that two of the top billed comedians wouldn’t appear on college campuses because “college kids are too politically correct.” He is right that we have become a society of censorship and liberalism with its importance of equality and creativity is being redefined as an a la carte safe space where laughter is punishable. This concerns me and should concern you. I am still a liberal and human with good intended qualities. My hope is that you will be human too and allow speech to continue regardless of our differences.

%d bloggers like this: