Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

How … just how?

Prairie dog

A sentry stands guard at a prairie dog town at The Ranch Store, located near the northeast entrance to Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Guarding our rights as citizens is one reason we should vote in elections. Photo by Steve Martaindale

 

It is 98 days until the general election. Fourteen weeks. Just over three months.

And, the third day on my planned countdown, I’m already regretting it. Maybe. I don’t know.

Anyone who spends time in journalism, particularly writing opinion pieces, learns to not be too concerned about what others think. “Hey, that’s my opinion and you have yours.” Besides, it doesn’t normally get too personal.

Even four years ago, when I could not for the life of me understand how enough people trusted and believed in Donald Trump to nominate him as the Republican candidate … even when he managed to win the Electoral College … even then, I was able to pass it off with various excuses. Some voters wanted an outsider, a businessperson, someone to shake things up. Some simply despised Hillary Clinton. Some latched onto his message of hate directed at non-white people, a desperate attempt to hold onto dominance as long as possible.

But now, 42 months into his failed presidency … just how? How can anyone justify supporting Trump? Indeed, how can anyone justify supporting Republican senators and congresspeople who have refused to make any attempt to cease and correct the damage he’s done? Too many of them, in fact, actually support his destructive programs.

Excuses

Still, I can understand some people. Maybe they’re extremely wealthy and benefit financially from things such as the Republican plan that slashed their taxes. Maybe they own private prisons. Maybe they make money off people who cannot afford to go to the doctor until they’re expensively sick. Maybe they still think Trump will make them rich.

Maybe they think white people are better than people of color and deserve all the breaks. Maybe they feel it’s OK for police to be more abusive and deadlier with black men or those who say black lives need to matter a whole lot more before they’re equal enough to be lumped in with “all lives.”

Maybe they do not see in current times the Jesus story of seeking refuge in another country in order to escape persecution back home. Maybe they really believe being desperate enough to walk a thousand miles with one’s family to request asylum as being excuse enough to separate toddlers from their parents, chill prisoners in detention, ignore offers to sponsor and help, even seem to purposely keep them confined in such a manner that would make a coronavirus contagion more likely before summarily shipping them to a hostile home country.

Maybe they really do believe COVID-19 is a hoax, a fraud perpetuated by 650,000 people around the world – including 147,000 in the United States – who did their part by dying. (No, Trump and various Republican governors are not responsible for the contagion, simply for not listening to experts and responding in such a way as to minimize disease and death … for that, they must answer.)

Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe it’s not that many, just that their positions grate on my soul so severely that their number seems larger. Maybe it would help if more people against Trump’s abuses would speak up.

Therein …

However, Americans have a right to believe a lying politician. They’re allowed to lust after the idea of having more money than others. It’s even legal for them to harbor hate of minorities as long as certain lines are not crossed. There’s no law against them sitting in their living room all day wishing to make America white again. Many millions apparently do.

Therein lies my personal struggle.

I have, for more than four years now, been continually tortured by the realization that people near and dear to me, people who have been friends for decades, people I’ve celebrated life events with, that some of them fit one or more of those descriptions of belief.

So, the temptation is to keep my mouth shut, continue shouting in my echo chamber on Twitter and commiserating with family and friends who believe people should actually have equal rights and opportunities, not just some grandstanding on a fake stage.

Instead of sharing my thoughts – as I’ve done thousands of times before on topics large and small – I could post photos such as the prairie dog above.

Do it

A preacher friend and I had a long talk about it. You know he has to deal with things like this all the time, probably more so these days. Still, he has to take to the pulpit – or his home office in front of a camera right now – and tell the people what they need to hear, whether or not they want to receive the message.

The reality of his situation and mine (though mine isn’t a bill-paying job) is that we both feel we owe it to – whomever, God, family, the disenfranchised, ourselves, fill in the blank – to stand up and say what is on our hearts.

That is my intent between now and Nov. 3. We’ll see.

What does this mean to you? That depends on your political leanings.

If you are an inconvertible, diehard Trump and GOP supporter, you probably shouldn’t even bother reading these posts until November. If you’re following me on Facebook, you might want to quit for a while. In the meantime, follow our Dream Chasing 101 page, which is not likely to have much politics. Don’t bother trying to convert me; this is not a discussion. I probably won’t finish reading it, will not allow it to diminish my message and might block you.

If you’re already in line to support Joe Biden and the Democratic candidates, by all means feel free to tag along. Comment and share with friends when you think it’s appropriate.

But, if you’re on the fence, if you’re not sure how you should vote, if you’re not registered … you’re the greatest reason for me being here. As we go along, I hope to soothe some fears you might have picked up about the supposed evils of social programs, illustrate just how inadequately wealth is distributed in this country, and give you hope for our country and reasons to fight to save it from a ruler such as Trump.

Make sure you vote this fall.

6 responses to “How … just how?

  1. Sherry Hockersmith August 2, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    You hit the nail on the head, I’m a supported of yours! Keep it going, I feel the same way.

    Like

  2. Michelle J Domangue July 29, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    You express my thoughts so well! Thanks. …

    Like

  3. Phyllis Finnemore July 29, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Your post hits the target in the bullseye. Keep it up.

    Like

  4. Judy July 29, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Thank you. I don’t know how many high level people need to speak against 45 before it will make a difference. He has been censured by generals, current and former national security officials, clergy, DOJ officials. This not normal is a phrase used almost daily when describing this administration.
    Vote. Support your favorite candidates.

    Like

  5. Constance Brown July 28, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    I’ll be sharing, Steve!

    Like

  6. Mike Perdue July 28, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Write on Steve!!! Some people might hear you. Thanks.

    Like

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