I was taught that it’s best to avoid talking or acting in a manner that 's bad, ugly, demeaning or accusatory. Those behaviors are the result of self-centered conduct. They also result in immorality. But what if the conversations were conducted differently?
What would happen, for example, if congressional and governmental representatives refused to be cowed by threats from military and armament marketers to cut financial campaign support if they don’t receive more funding? Perhaps we would have enough money to better care for the poor, the children, and the aged in our midst.
What would happen, for example, if the president appointed a cabinet whose members were composed of something besides old rich white men and women who insist on dismantling the very agencies they head? Perhaps we would have a viable State Department, or Department of Education, or Department of the Interior that would truly serve the citizenry.
What would happen, for example, if employees of ICE affirmed that breaking up the families of illegal immigrants is immoral, and refused to continue doing it? It would be impossible to fire all of them at once for disobedience, and some ethical and decent actions could be initiated. And perhaps those immigrants could become good citizens by attending English and Civics classes, and paying a minimal fine for crossing the border illegally.
What would happen, for example, if the White House staff stopped making excuses for chaotic presidential decisions and demeaning accusations? Perhaps they could arrive at a consensus that our elected officials are obliged to serve the entire population of the country, and not just the minority that put them in office.
What would happen, for example, if we could have some truly open discussions about the way our government has acted in the past at the expense of whole groups of people: Native Americans, African Americans, Vietnamese, Cubans … and consider what could have been done differently? Perhaps it would head off that kind of behavior in the future.
Conversations and actions can proceed in ways that foster what is good and desirable. Not just for a select few, but for the majority of our citizens, for the common good. The challenge is for us to put aside self-interest, show some courage, and speak and act responsibly.
Learn to do right; seek . Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. - Isaiah 1:17