Daily Archives: November 9, 2016

I’m Back: Realism and Responsibility after the Election of Donald Trump 


Friends of Padre Steve’s World, 

Winston Churchill wrote: “Courage is is what it is to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” 

Last night I was in a state of shock regarding the election of Donald Trump to the office of President. I was despairing and I said that I was going to immediately put in my retirement papers and move to Europe. I did really mean it, and that may yet happen. But my wife Judy helped put things in perspective this morning and told me not to make any hasty moves. That allowed me to take a deep breath. I spent this morning alone in my office with the door closed. I pretty much stayed off social media and apart from checking my work e-mail and reading the comics I just sat back reflecting on what happened before taking the afternoon off and going to lunch. I needed to sit down and listen, and one of my older bar buddies showed up and he too helped me put things in perspective. 

During that time I saw a good number of comments posted to the blog and my Facebook account encouraging me to stay engaged and not to give up. Those were also helpful and while I have not answered any of them yet but I appreciate all of the kind words and thoughts. 

Now I am not happy with the results of the election and I am frightened at what Trump and his congressional majorities have promised to do. That being said now that the election is over I am committed to doing what neither he or congressional Republicans did for President Obama, I will give him a chance and treat him with the respect his office is due. I remember how badly President Obama was treated by Mitch McConnell, and if I thought it was wrong for him to be treated in such a manner, how could I be a part in doing that to anyone? even Donald Trump. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and if you are a Democrat, being obstructionists will only worsen the party’s situation. We have to be mature and show that we can endure defeat with dignity and grace. 

The fact is, that whether or not progressives like me like it, he has been elected with majorities in both the House and Senate, and we cannot change that. That being said, if we want to be taken seriously we must work for the common good and then figure out what we really believe as progressives and how to win elections. It is not good enough to simply oppose Trump and the GOP; we have to enunciate a positive vision and then go back to basics and that includes being the party of decency and civility. 

As for now I will not be retiring or leaving the country, even though an old German friend is now begging me to move there and promising to help me. That still might happen, but not yet. 

So anyway, it’s time to take a deep breath and do the right thing for the country. We cannot afford for Trump to fail, if he fails it hurts all of us and we can’t afford for him to screw up. If he does, let it be his doing, not ours, and let his supporters take the blame for electing him. As Abraham Lincoln correctly observed: “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they chose to turn their backs on the fire and burn their behinds, then they’ll have to sit on the blisters.” That may seem unpalatable, but it is reality, and I am the ultimate realist. I guess that’s why I’m still here. 

Until tomorrow. 

Peace,

Padre Steve+ 

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Filed under News and current events, Political Commentary

Trump Wins and I Say Goodbye for Now 

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

The unimaginable has happened. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. Since I have already received death threats for his White Supremacist supports going back to 2010 I realize that there is no place left for me in this country. 

Beginning today I will be preparing to retire from the Navy as I can no longer in good conscience say that I can obey the orders of a man who has said that he would order American military personnel to commit war crimes, nor could I obey a Commander in Chief who has already promised to roll back the civil rights of anyone who disagrees with him. As such I will not allow myself to become a willing conspirator to crush the civil rights of millions of people just to keep my job. As a historian as well as someone who has committed himself for 35 years of military service, I cannot do that. I know that there are many people in the military who disagree with me, but I have to be true to my understanding of the Constitution. 

It will probably take me longer than when Trump takes his oath as President to get ready to leave the country, but beginning today that is what I have to look forward to, to be exiled under the threat of death, or to be jailed or killed for my beliefs. As a historian I know what happened to the German military officers who opposed Hitler before he took power and if I can help it I’m not going to let that happen to me. 

As far as what I write here on this site, I most likely will not be posting that much until I have retired from the military and gotten out of the country. I hate having to do that, but I have little choice in the matter now. 

So until whenever, I wish you all the best.

Peace,

Padre Steve+ 

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Filed under Loose thoughts and musings