Warning: This post quotes crude and vulgar language and discusses possibly triggering subjects such as assault.
This post is a little late because, after scrambling all Monday to get the garden ready for a seventy-degree drop in temperature, from dry nineties to snowy twenties (that’s Fahrenheit), by deep-watering trees and re-potting plants that need to be indoors and turning our patio table into a make-shift greenhouse, and then getting to go to the dentist the day after, I had a serious PEM (Post-Exertion Malaise) episode and staring at the computer was more than I could do. But here it is now.
Please take a moment to think about what it means to be “decent.” It’s a word, a concept that has been demoted in such a way that we tend to hear it as “barely acceptable.” It has become, at best, the faintest of praise. But it’s a word we need to restore to its former power. We need to remember how essential decency is. On that quality we found trust, faith in each other, confidence in our neighbours, reliance on the larger society, and conviction that our government, most of the time, looks out for the interests of our states and country.
Decency asks not just that we are able to trust others around us; it also asks us to look beyond ourselves. Perhaps we don’t feel threatened by a man who talks about grabbing women by the pussy,¹ who publicly mocks the disabled and is working to cut disability benefits,² but think about the people who have been and continue to subjected to the damage these attitudes inflict. And now we know that Trump was aware of how lethal and contagious the novel coronavirus was back in February and chose to let thousands and thousands die.³ COVID-19 is too virulent for any effort to have saved everyone; no one is claiming that Trump could have prevented every death that we have suffered. But the deaths — and the economic impact — would have been far, far fewer if the man in the Oval Office were a decent human being and had been honest about the dangers we were facing, and if others in the Senate and many Gubernatorial offices had not chosen to remain indecently silent.
Vote — not for perfection, not for saintliness, but for decency.
- YouTube. Access Hollywood Tape. “Grab ’em by the pussy Donald Trump.” January 21, 2017.
TIME Magazine. “Our President Has Always Degraded Women — And We’ve Always Let Him.” December 5, 2017.
- YouTube. CNN. “Trump Mocks Reporter With Disability.” November 25, 2015.
USA Today. “Trump Administration cuts to Social Security disability benefits among the cruelest.” January 29, 2020.
- Maggie Haberman. New York Times. “Trump Admits Downplaying the Virus Knowing It Was ‘Deadly Stuff’.” September 9, 2020.
Susan Glasser. The New Yorker. “Bob Woodward Finally Got Trump To Tell The Truth About COVID-19.” September 11, 2020.