Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Basic Lesson in Civility

This is what makes America great!!! Former President George W. Bush sharing an affectionate moment with former First Lady Michelle Obama. Despite coming from vastly different social and racial backgrounds, and from two widely divergent political and ideological beliefs, two Americans find common ground in the exercise of basic civility. "When I saw her, it was a genuine expression of affection." Mr. Bush credits the former First Lady's appreciation for his sense of humor as the main reason for their affection. "She kind of likes my sense of humor. Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like." I suspect it is much more than just this. They are both Americans. What more reason does one need to justify civil discourse in our country? We are all Americans.

This photograph speaks volumes about what this country is all about. Despite our differences . . . and the most recent election has underscored these in spades . . . we are still all Americans whether we were born here or came here to seek a better life by becoming naturalized American citizens. And there are those who came here and have yet to become citizens regardless of the reason. They are still protected by the Constitution and the laws of the land. We are a land of immigrants . . . we have always been one . . . and yet one whose current leadership has found it necessary to declare war on immigrants . . . and on the very process of immigration itself. We as Americans have, for the most part, been instilled with many of the same basic values. And as such, we need to work together to insure they remain values by which we chose to live. Despite our many differences and disagreements we need to find common ground. It’s out there. We just need to make the effort to find and exploit it. We must put aside these differences and disagreements when it comes to dealing with those issues that affect us all. Issues that will determine the ultimate survival of this country.

Don't get me wrong. I have never been a big fan of George W. Bush. In fact, I disagree with almost ever thing he did as President of the United States. That said, however, he came to the office with skills and a realization that true governing is dictated by compromise and an informed bipartisanship. He did not always practice this, but he understood the concept. He is thick skinned and handled criticism of himself and his policies . . . and there was plenty of it and rightfully so . . . with grace. If you can't do that, you have no legitimate claim to the highest office in the land. It takes a thick skin. The president should be a leader . . . not some insecure and narcissistic bully who degrades and insults rather than leads. Despite my faults with Mr. Bush, the current president can’t hold a candle to him on the best of days. A jellyfish has thicker skin than the current president whose enemy list . . . which includes millions of Americans, indeed the very American way of life . . . is long and distinguished and getting longer by the day. That my friends is what scares the shit out of me!

So take a good look at this photograph. We don’t need walls and immigration bans to make this country great again. Despite our faults and shortcomings we were great long before DJT arrived on the scene. And we will remain so when he is footnote (and hopefully a short one) in the history of this great country. All we really need to do is to practice some basic, common civility. Look at the photograph! This is what it looks like. It works if given half a chance. So DJT . . . get with it or get the hell out of the way! We Americans . . . all of us whether we were born here or came here from a distant land and a different culture . . . have serious work to do and we must learn to do it together. It’s the only way it will work.

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