This evening I moderated a session hosted by the Democracy Matters chapter on Gettysburg's campus. The session was under the blanket of their 'Democracy and Donuts' (two of my favorite things) and was dedicated to the NFL Anthem Protests, and to the question of the role of protest in democracy more generally. I had an interesting conversation with a student after the session. The student thanked me for the way I handled the discussion. He was on the conservative end of the political spectrum, and about three quarters of the way through the session, I (in developing a larger point) revealed that I am on the left end of the political spectrum. The student told me that he was stunned by this revelation, because the way in which I had handled the questions suggested that I was firmly in the middle; and he thought that it was cool that though I disagreed with him, I respected his opinions and made him feel as though they were valuable contributions to the discussion. It reminded me (A) just how much work we educators have to do in openly practicing the art of respectful disagreement and setting that positive example for our students, and (B) that there are still civil avenues of communication between persons of differing persuasions. It was a very human, beautiful moment.
This from Politico: 'Trump Spars With Widow of Slain Soldier About Condolence Call.'
I suppose I should not be surprised anymore. But is there really absolutely no limit to what this bottom-feeding, petulant, narcissistic child will do or say? (Honestly, to call him a 'child' is an insult to children everywhere, because nearly all of the children I know or have ever known demonstrate far more self-control, empathy, integrity, and simple decency than this shameful, shameless, divisive mouth-breather). For as long as I live, I will never understand what it is that his adoring fans see in him. Have we really become such a nation of malcontents that a solid and unwavering 37% of us can admire someone whose only demonstrated 'virtue' is a complete and utter lack of decency, whose only demonstrated capacity for sympathy lies with white nationalists and neo-Nazis? If an NFL player kneels in protest against the objectively verifiable fact of race-based police brutality, it is somehow disrespectful to the military. But this, publicly quibbling with the widow of a dead soldier over how your phone call with her went... surreptitiously accusing her of lying, this is respectful? Every day that this man occupies this office is a blight upon the moral fabric of this nation. But hey, at least he says 'Merry Christmas,' right?