…The larger culture itself has become morally empty….
David Brooks, NY Times June 7, 2016
New York Times Columnist Tom Friedman described the Republican Party as morally bankrupt.
Washington Post Columnist Richard Cohen wrote that Donald Trump is “without principles.”
People roundly condemned Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for putting his policy ambitions ahead of his values in supporting Trump despite Trump’s racist comments.
And on and on I could go about the lack of values and morality in Donald Trump and much of the Republican Party.
Some call for a moral revolution in America.
We don’t need new values, a new morality or a moral revolution.
We already have national and personal values worthy of our allegiance and commitment. Many of us simply lack the awareness and audacity to live true to our values. For many our courage has become lazy. Too many of us succumb to the worst elements in the workplace, the neighborhood, the statehouse and the congress. We gladly join with the mediocre to avoid conflict. We dumb our brains and our hearts down to fit in and give up part of our selves and lives when we do so. We stay silent and look the other way. I don’t know about you but, unlike Paul Ryan, I would say no to the team, the organization and the political party before I would sacrifice my values to be accepted by disgusting people, hollow presidential candidates or a political party on a path to irrelevance.
Had Republican primary voters been more mature, aware and value-driven and had they voted from wise discernment instead of their anger, Donald Trump wouldn’t be the Republican nominee for president of the United States. But they weren’t grownups and now the rest of us are called to be the adults in our political system.
If we are to solve the problems that engulf us, we won’t do it with the version of human being that created the problems. We need a new kind of ourselves: more awake and aware, more thoughtful, more value-driven and more loving and compassionate towards our planet, other people and ourselves. To consciously evolve ourselves takes courage. We become courageous one small brave act at a time.
Each of us can do what we can to live more true to our values in our day-to-day lives. We can stand up, speak up and put the moral implications of life front and center and do what we can to be the change in morality we want to see in others and in our leaders. In doing so, we do our part to bring forth a more mature version of ourselves.
The recent mass murders in Orlando, FL call us to do something about guns in our society. Our attitudes and behaviors towards mass violence is a form of insanity. Climate change, immigration, and income inequality continue to call for change each in their own ways. We must heed these calls to action or suffer the consequences of continued avoidance of serious issues that threaten our democracy and our way of life. We cannot stay as we are. Either we go backwards in our human evolution or we move to the future and a better people, nation and world. We are responsible. Our deepest values guide us.
Has our national character deteriorated so much, have so many abandoned their values so completely that Donald Trump, brought forth from the dark side of a small group of Americans, could actually be elected president? Will we turn our future and our nation over to this twisted and deluded man? Maybe, if masses of people stay indifferent. People need to vote on November 8, 2016.
America especially needs the young, the minorities and the immigrants—who so often don’t vote–to cast ballots for those who represent their values. You see, if we want change in this country (immigration, gun laws, income disparity, climate change and more) we can’t have 51% to 49% election results that only maintain gridlock. We need Democrats—from the top to the bottom of the ballot–to win a blow-out election that evolves our acceptance of diversity, which makes us a more alive and resilient nation, our partnership and cooperation with one another that allows every person to contribute to our success and our dependence on each other: we are all in this together.
Clear thinking and our value-driven actions must decide our destiny—not passive silence or by putting political agendas before honor.
A vote against Donald Trump who offers us “xenophobia, bigotry, misogyny and a crypto-fascist approach to government [Paul Waldman, Washington Post, June 13, 2016], may be the most moral thing each of us can do in the months ahead.