Representing Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax

Thanksgiving thoughts

In just a few hours, the vast majority of us will sit down
with extended family, friends, and acquaintances to enjoy Thanksgiving.
We all will be surrounded by good food and great cheer in this uniquely American tradition.
And probably, if your family is anything like mine, y'all won't agree on all things political.

There will be a tendency by many not to want to talk about the state of our nation in these troubled times.
Some will just want to be festive.
And that's an understandable thing to do.
But most of us have an uncle or a cousin, an acquaintance, or a friend...
That is enthralled by the personality cult that is Trumpism.
I've been thinking about whether there is an antidote to Trump-Talk.
In only eight or nine words.
Here's what I came up with:

Don't Be On the Wrong Side of History

In the nuclear age,
Scared Americans
Trusted Joe McCarthy
Turned in their neighbors
And blacklisted art.

Sixty five years later
They can't remember
Whether McCarthy
Found any Communists at all.
They were on the wrong side of history.

In segregated America
Angry white faces
Lashed out
At little black kids
Going to school.

A half century later
These same anguished faces
Shudder at what they did.
They were on the wrong side of history.

The War in Vietnam
Seemed so necessary at the time.
But what did all those brave Americans
Suffer and die for?

Did the Reagan era of greed
Really make our country better off?
Did it stop recessions?

Was it wise to allow
The United States Supreme Court
To hijack an election,
Stop vote counting,
And choose a President?
Were they on the wrong side of history?

Did Saddam Hussein pose a threat to our nation?
As he wasn't involved in 911
And didn't have weapons of mass destruction,
why did we go to war again?

Don't be on the wrong side of history.

Don't separate children from their parents
And lock them up in cages.
Don't prevent black people and young people from voting.
It's un-American.

Don't trust petty grifters,
Promising you the moon (or a wall)
While their hands are in your pockets.

If someone lies to you
Time and time and time again
Week after week
Day after day
Hour after hour
And minute upon minute,
Don't believe them.

If a fearful leader insists they are never wrong,
But all the institutions of government are wrong
And everyone in the military is wrong
And all our heroes are wrong,
And all our media is wrong
(Except those that agree with Fearful Leader),
Think to yourself:
Is everything I ever believed in wrong?
Or is he?

You don't have to love Big Brother.
He's not going to make it all ok.

Don't trust someone who says
He has nothing to hide,
While he hides everything.

Maya Angelou told us,
"When someone shows you
Who they are,
Believe them
The first time."

Ten years from now,
When it's all over,
Will you regret what you believed in?
What you did?
Who you were?

Don't be on the wrong side of history.

I hope this little phrase will help all of us a bit with our difficult family members and friends.
I think many Trumpists unconsciously realize they are worshipping a dangerous cult leader.
They are upset by the trouble in their own lives and need someone to help them lash out.
Trump is their angry id.
He is not their wise, quiet thinking rational self.

And because I'm no poet,
Just a guy trying to make sense of the world around me,
I wanted to share the words of a true poet,
Saying the same thing I just did.
Only better.

Attic, by Jill Sobule

Would you have hidden me in your attic
That's the question, I'd like to know
Would you have climbed up to serve me dinner
Well I hope so
When the jack-booted men
Wore those great uniforms
Would you have wanted the blackest
Would you have hidden me in your attic
If let's say in some café
We saw the tanks roll by
Would you take my hand and lead me
Cross the border line
Would you have hidden me in your attic
If the neighbors accused me of casting spells
And bowing down to the gods in hell
You would leave me there alone
Or would you cast the very first stone
You'd be there to ease my pain
Or pack me on that awful train
Would you have hidden me in your attic
That's the question I'll never know
Would you have climbed up to serve me dinner
Well I hope so

I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful Thanksgiving and really enjoys their time with family and friends.

And hey, if you do tell some Trumpist you love, 

"I don't want to be on the wrong side of history. You shouldn't either." ,

Will you let me know how it went?

-- Mark