Love Thy Neighbor
This is the 1002nd story I’ve written since Trump was elected President of the United States. So I’ve already said a lot. At the same time, it wasn’t hard to find the words to say today. And I’ll be brief. But I’ll say it again:
Love thy neighbor.
This country isn’t perfect, but at its best it’s about supporting each other and lifting each other up in ways that are truly heartfelt and profound. Whether you know your neighbor well, or don’t really know them at all. And even if the gestures are small.
The very same electorate that elected President Trump, picked President Obama. Twice. Running against opponents who were both solid for the job, and not at all lunatics.
I don’t want to talk too much today about the President we’ve got now. Except to say his message is the exact opposite of what most of us were brought up to believe. He asks us to turn against our neighbor. He even tells us that people who attack their neighbors are “very fine people” as long as they support him. And that we hate America if we don’t. No matter what you may think of him, this can’t be right. Period.
That doesn’t sound like the United States of America to me. The America I love.
My brother recently sent me a link to a clip Bruce Springsteen shared on Twitter. The words I heard when I listened helped me find something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on over the last 4 years, no matter how much I wrote about all the crazy. And yeah, I know Bruce Springsteen is not a politician, and a lot of people are telling him to keep his mouth shut or run for office. He’s an artist and a poet. And artists and poets have always provided profound perspective to history.
So the last words I write before Election Day will be some of his, as transcribed by me (if you prefer to hear him say them, you can listen to the full clip here):
“There’s no art in this White House. There’s no literature. No poetry. No music. There are no pets in this White House. No loyal ‘man’s best friend’. No Socks, the family cat. No kids’ science fairs. No time when the President takes off his blue suit, red tie uniform. And becomes human. Except when he puts on his white shirt and khaki pants uniform. And hides from the American people to play golf. There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation. No Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments. Or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport. No Reagans on horseback. No Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape.
Where’d that country go?
Where did all the fun, the joy, and the expression of love and happiness go?”
Please, take a moment and consider that. That’s all I ask.
If you applied for a mail-in ballot, but then changed your mind and decided to vote in person today, please bring that mail-in ballot with you when you go to vote. The whole thing. All the envelopes. That way you can show the poll worker you haven’t used it. And that way you get your in-person vote counted right away.
Anyway, if you haven’t yet, don’t forget your mask, and please go vote.