BY SHARON MARTIN
He bars journalists from covering the people’s business, trampling on the Bill of Rights as though it were a contract to be negotiated. He incites violence against those with whom he disagrees. Because he doesn’t respect the laws of the country, he gives dangerous people permission to disregard both written laws and the laws of humanity.
These are dangerous times, made more dangerous by the lack of civility coming from both sides.
We must respond to attacks on our civil rights, our freedoms, and our safety. But we don’t have to resort to name-calling, lying, or deceit. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Never has. Never will.
Let’s start with language. Does it make us safer to be hateful? Does it accomplish anything to call people names? OK, a clever tag makes us laugh and relieves tension. But respect must be mutual, and we can’t wait for the other side to start.
This administration’s malpractice must be making some members of the president’s own party sick to their stomachs, but they let it slide because they don’t want to lose the votes of their baser base or the blessings of their donors. Letting it slide is evil.
Being respectful doesn’t mean we don’t stand up and speak up. We can be firm and brave without being disrespectful. And no, Mr. President, respect isn’t the same thing as blind loyalty. You don’t deserve loyalty when you trample on the rights of the citizens you serve. You don’t earn admiration for enriching yourself and your family at the taxpayers’ expense.
It is our job, Mr. President, to hold you to the principles embodied in our Constitution. It is the duty of every patriot to point out your misdeeds and the task of journalists to ask hard questions.
You are gifted at stirring the emotional pot. That makes it even more necessary for citizens to educate themselves on the facts and recognize your manipulations.
We will stand up to you. We will defend our country against the likes of you. And we will do so respectfully, not because you have earned it but because it is the right thing to do.
Courtesy and civility will make us stronger as we stand our ground against the tyrants.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer