Watching the insidious riot at the Capitol Wednesday, I couldn't help but remember a scene of tremendous decency.
In October 2008 in Minnesota, at a John McCain campaign event, a woman with a microphone said she couldn't trust Barack Obama because he was an Arab.
McCain promptly took the microphone from her and said, “No, ma’am,” he said. “He’s a decent family man [and] citizen that just I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what the campaign’s all about. He’s not [an Arab].”
Sadly on the left, his comment was parsed to death. "Oh, so an Arab can't be a decent family man" fully missing the point of what happened.
Obama was not a bad man.
Too often now, we like to pretend those with whom we disagree aren't just wrong -- they're bad, dangerous, even evil. People we shop with, share sports stands with, even share a church with are now dangers to our democracy.
Of course that's all bullshit.
What we must now do is utterly individual and up to us as citizens to do better.
First, don't commit crime at the behest of your leaders. Use all the reasoning you want, but if you break a law, it's on you. Take person responsibility.
Second, find a way to attempt empathy for those with whom you disagree. They want the same things you do: safety, security, health, shelter, education and happiness.
Third, question you tacit leaders because some people -- I know this might be hard to believe -- they are full of crap. With the internet, it's easy to check out original source documents so you don't have to buy into someone else's interpretation. Our Founding Fathers had hoped for an informed citizenry. Part of that was considering all sides before coming to a conclusion.
Finally, be kind. Live like your momma raised you. And if your momma was unkind, then break the cycle.
The United States is a better country than what we saw Wednesday, both with the protests and more than 100 legislators feeding into lies about a stolen election.
And calm down. Have you met anyone still pissed about the 1876 election?
I flash peace signs to my friends as a greeting, not because I'm a hippie but because I truly believe in peace as a way of life. And I long ago took to ending my simple little blog with a wishing of peace unto complete strangers, because in fact you are my brothers and sisters.
So peace unto you my brothers and sisters. Let's work on being better.