It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump was elected President. Trump signed 90 executive actions in his first 100 days. He has been radical in his exercise of authority and has brought our executive branch into scrutiny and conversations around the world like never heard before. We have traditionally been a two party nation that held a healthy dose of respect for the democratic process. While the Democratic and Republican parties may have different agendas they both have historically reflected a healthy respect for the democratic process. A process that has been the cornerstone of our nation and its operation as a democracy. Our current president born of wealth is not effected by such alliances. Generally speaking the Democrats are viewed as establishing governmental policies and programs for the people to address their needs. Republicans on the other hand believe in less government but increased support for businesses. This political model allows the prosperity of businesses to meet needs through employment and profits. Neither model is perfect or flawless but with efforts and political tactics we as a country have made it work to the benefit of our nation. We have done so with a healthy respect for the democratic process. The Donald Trump era is a huge departure from that ideological system. The parties have never been so partial and polarized. When that is coupled with a President who was born of wealth and a business acumen measuring the character of all actions, the mood and impact is like never before. As stated by James Clapper former National Intelligence Director on Capital Hill in his testimony on May 8th, the United States government is “under assault”. As good men sit and do nothing the future of our global and moral position is in a state of crisis. While cyberattacks may have been the number one threat envisioned; the unleashing of a moral virus that is compromising our value system and exposing us to a myriad of infectious and deadly doses of immorality breaches our integrity, causes a paralysis of our moral turpitude, and taints the mindset of the next generation as standards of conduct bow down to personal agendas such that good men sit in silence resulting in a slow but certain death of our value system.
With President Donald Trump over the past 100 days we have witnessed unprecedented conflict, chaos and disregard for the integrity of the Office of President. The mood and spirit of its impact exceeds political parties. Thus, as I look at our nation, state, and community of two prominent political parties, the current crisis begs leadership to step up. How do good men and women stand by as we see our nation crack, divided, and show a moral fiber inconsistent with the values that are the bench mark of our democracy. Despite NC voters having elected Donald Trump and identifying with his stated values he responds to our $900 million dollar storm request with $6 million dollars. Obviously President Trump regards North Carolina as irrelevant and powerless in his business plan for America. Despite being highly supported by soldiers and Ft Bragg being this nation’s first line of defense, housing one of the largest military installations in the world and their loved ones, we offer nothing in his value system that demands that President Trump consider our needs. While my heart pains for those who loss and need this aide, this demonstration by President Trump of the irrelevance of our poor misinformed voters who really thought President Trump understood them and was standing for them is priceless. Pres Trump did what successful business men do … he sold the concept. Mr. Trump is not racist, he is an elitist who lives by principles much like many and who regard ones failure to guard their turf and protect their interest as their own problem not that of anyone else.
President Trump’s style of leadership has given a political black eye to our executive branch and is cause to beg the question, “what happens when good men do nothing”. Martin Luther King said …” For evil to succeed all it needs is for good men to do nothing”, I often think about the Civil Rights Era and the number of good people who stood during the murder and abuse. Good people who didn’t participate in lynching but chose to silently separate themselves while worshipping and engaging in social fellowship with family and peers were forced to carry the blood of black men and women on their hands. It is still painful as we consider those who may have been silently supporting blacks during this era but could not act upon their beliefs. This inactivity is noted in current issues such as immigration, criminal law, enforcement of police misconduct and the growing fear and distrust that does not serve well the democracy established for us.
President Trump’s mean spirited implementation of the immigration policy is just another example of what happens when good men do nothing; families torn apart, terrified, imprisoned, and degraded. Good men sit silently offering no criticism or opposition to preserve the character of our nation that had historically been a democracy built by immigrants with a common vision and respect for the law. I heard many ask the question as the policy was administered like a rusty blade … “were they illegal? If so … what’s the problem”? The problem is all laws are not fair. The last person who asked me that question was African American and I reminded him that once upon a time … reckless eyeballing was also illegal. Now there can be no question as we evaluate it that it was morally wrong but at that time it was in fact a legally enforceable crime. Because good men did nothing; nameless black men and boys deaths came at the end of a rope as the police deputies and God fearing Christians had a “pic nic” as they tortured and killed them because it was the law of the land and the conduct …looking at a white woman was also in fact illegal and punishable by death.
There are numerous controversial decisions that good men have sat silently not questioning their appropriateness for our democracy. Good men sat silently as the Board of Education overlooked Carrie Sutton as its next Chair. As we approach our next election cycle we must be diligent in exercising our right to vote. President Trump recently established a commission to address then non-existent voter fraud. The impact however will serve to implement voter frustration practices aimed at keeping Blacks away from the pools. Thus, we must ignite our vote like never before. We see what happens when divisive Willie Lynch practices caused us to fall short in electing Val Applewhite as our first black female mayor. Our current mayor while charming and polite; hailed his EE Smith roots repeatedly during his campaign but has failed to take any controversial positions favorable to the Black community. Furthermore in the midst of the Market House discussions; to highlight his loyalties (which he has every right to protect) he chose to make the controversial (slave) Market House the center piece of his mayoral city hall office. These actions speak for themselves and are so much more powerful than ministerial photo opportunities. How can we attract votes or gain the respect of this Trump inspired populace when we show no signs of fight in our own personal matters of interest.
We as a nation and community are better than is being currently demonstrated. While we sit in private circles commenting on the numerous inconsistencies of our current President and other character concerns, partiality and polarization has caused our values to be compromised. Our character as a nation is at an all-time low. While it is discussed in private circles, we are satisfied to just ride it out. We must grow our Vote and Voice like never before to ensure this epidemic infused into our political process does not totally cause a collapse of our government. Your vote and serious commitment to voter education and recruitment are essential. We shall see greater obstacles aimed at discouraging our vote. We shall see more outward discriminatory practices to keep us away from the polls. However, we must step up as good men and women to ensure that all those silent leaders who refuse to speak against the moral decay caused by President Trump are opposed in every election as we seek to restore our credibility and character as a nation built on a democracy. Not defined by the size of our fortunes but by the power of our collective voice.