These Are Not Normal Times
I have written this blog for over ten years. I have written about dogs, about seasons, about books and always with an eye towards lifting up, towards celebration and beauty, towards Love. If these were normal times, I would happily be writing about those things once a week at least, just as I have in the past, for they are just as important as ever. These are not, however, normal times.
Jamal Khashoggi was a journalist for the Washington Post, a permanent resident of the United States who fled Saudi Arabia in 2015. He criticized the Saudi government for many things, particularly the bombs they are dropping on the people of Yemen. On October 2nd he was seen on CCTV entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents related to his planned marriage. He was soon followed by a fifteen member Saudi hit squad who dismembered him with a bone saw while he was still alive. His Apple watch recorded the whole thing. This was his punishment for criticizing the government.
The night after this report came out our “president” held another one of his “rallies”, this time in the state of Montana. Before his cheering, red-hatted crowd he praised the Montana congressman who is running for re-election, for assaulting a reporter, calling the congressman “my kind of guy”. He now calls the Saudi government’s explanation of Mr. Khashoggi’s murder “credible”. That explanation? That the reporter died in a “fist fight” during an interrogation. (Who brings a bone saw to a fist fight?)
Evangelical leader, Pat Robertson, tells his followers (please note I say “his” followers, not followers of Christ) that he agrees with the president. “We can’t risk a 100 billion dollar arms deal”, he tells us. Because really, there’s nothing more Christian than selling billions of dollars worth of arms to a fundamentalist Islamic government, is there?
This is not the America I grew up in. When the president of the United States refuses to stand against totalitarian regimes, when he “loves” the North Korean dictator, and practically worships the Russian one, while all the while he denigrates and insults our allies, calls the press the "enemy of the people" and any news that does not flatter him "fake", we no longer have a leadership that respects American values or even knows what they are. When so-called Christian leaders stand shoulder to shoulder with this despicable man, we have lost any semblance of moral leadership. This man and his actions should be repudiated and condemned from every pulpit in the country tomorrow morning.
We have a chance, a chance, to stop the bleeding of our once respected country and that is on November 6th. I will be voting a straight Democratic ticket this year. I cannot respect any Republican candidate, or any Republican, who stands for what that party represents today. I refuse to relegate a great America to a memory. I refuse to lay my values at the feet of greed, mendacity and evil. If you feel the same, I ask you to please vote on November 6th. Please.
If this is not the sort of post you would normally expect to find here, so be it. As I said at the outset: These are not normal times.