(This article is written by Tom Baker)
Hello Readers of RedBluePurple. Most of you won’t know me. Some very small few of you may remember me as the Cranky Liberal. Ken and I worked on a blog many years ago called Bring It On! We wrote that blog with the help of several talented and passionate people for a number of years. I loved writing about politics back then, but it began to take a toll on me. I was angry all the time, I was bitter all the time. Even after President Obama was elected, a time we should have been able to celebrate as a nation, the anger and hostility from those who were against him left such a bad taste in my mouth I quit writing. In over 8 years I haven’t written anything political longer than a Facebook post. That ended last night. That ended because to stay silent right now is to be complicit with the moral wrong-doings of this administration. That ended because to stay silent felt worse than all the anger ever felt.
I believe America is a good place. I believe America, flawed though she may be at times, has always tried to be an example to the world. I believe in America the ideal and America the people. I do not always agree with the views of people I know, or the policies of the leader we have – but I have always felt at its core the IDEA of America was strong enough to bridge the gap of any failures we may have. We may not always be do the right thing, but most of us want to. I believe today however, America is facing a fight for its very soul.
I’m not going to list all the reprehensible things that have been done in the last week by our new, duly elected leader. That list is too long to recount. The damage to “brand America” has been extensive. Every day our fearful leader finds a way to outdo his last unthinkable action. From climate change to free trade to Mexico the week was surreal. Then on Friday it became scary. The ban on refugees entering the country was something different. This was evil. Evil dressed in the poorly worn and greatly stretched guise of security. This was the evil of being able to help and actively refusing to. This wasn’t politics, it was accessory to murder.
This week should have been soul crushing. It wasn’t. This week was amazing.
Every day brings more people together to help fight for what’s right and just. Millions of women and men, including my wife and I, marched in unity last Saturday for Women’s Rights. Yesterday taxi drivers in NYC organized quickly protest the refugee ban. Then last night people began pouring to the airports to show support for immigrants and refugees. They gathered across the country to show their anger at the way our country has been high jacked and to say we will not be ignored. Regular people gave up their Saturday night spontaneously to show support for people they may never meet and disgust in a man the majority did not vote for.
That’s why I think America is still a good place. That’s why I believe America, flawed as she is, will fight to restore its moral well being. That’s why I believe America will come out of this dark, dark time a better, more compassionate place. I believe we have no choice but to make that happen.
I’m not hiding behind a pseudonym today. I’m putting my name on everything I say because I want people to know how I feel. If I lose friends over it, so be it. If I suffer consequences at work for it, I can live with that too. It’s time every American with a conscience face their fears and speak out. The alternative is unthinkable.
Today I’m standing with all of those who are no longer afraid to speak out. I want to be part of a better America not just for my family, but for all families.
That’s why I write.
That’s why we fight.
It feels good to be back.