Voices: Family values, RIP


Editor’s note: I once had a couple of million regular readers, but I sense those numbers are down by a few hundred thousand, thanks in part to my recent stream of politically charged material. I just can’t seem to help myself, so I’ve decided to seek some outside assistance. Voices is a new occasional series in which Americans express their feelings in the wake of the presidential election and what many perceive to be a drastic change in course for America, and not for the better.


My father-in-law has a saying about the disappointment inherent in daily life: “People are no damn good.”

And so the statement was proved true once again this week as voters chose a racist, homophobic, bigoted, cowardly “billionaire” over a woman (and that’s important) who has been married to a less-than-perfect husband for more than 40 years, and whose only crimes are in the fevered brains of people whose hatred has festered since the 1970s, and whose next indictment (should it ever come) will be her first.

What a country. We’re a nation of liars and hypocrites, and even the President-elect must know that the only thing he has in common with the people who voted for him are his racist, homophobic, misogynistic and xenophobic qualities.

The pollsters have been beating their heads against the wall since Tuesday, trying to figure out how their polls were so off. The answer is as simple as the informal rule computer scientists know to be true: GIGO. Garbage in garbage out.

People lied to the pollsters because they hadn’t the courage to admit that they were voting for Trump. As a Christian, I am most disappointed in my fellow followers of Christ. They turned out to be the biggest liars of all.

Christianity Today reports that 81 percent of white Evangelical Christians voted for the guy with the moral baggage rather than the woman who stayed with her marriage through thick and thin. I also saw a story that indicated Trump carried women (see what I did there?) by a 55-45 count.

So let’s be honest here. The biggest loser in this election is the Family Values issue.

I remember that Republicans coined “family values” as a wink-wink assertion of their own moral superiority over Democrats. I’ll save you the list of people who impeached Bill Clinton who were later found to have been in flagrante delicto at the very time they were prosecuting Clinton.

Family Values, RIP.

But that’s about all the succor I take from November 8.

I served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam era, but I was never in-country. That came up as I was talking to a group of high school students during a Veterans Day event at the neighborhood high school.

They had loads of questions.

The best: Do you regret that you didn’t go to Vietnam?

The answer: Certainly. But it would be a lie to say that in the last year of my enlistment I wanted to go. Instead, I wound up in Japan for seven months. It was pleasant, and compared to Vietnam it was like Paradise.

Still, I told the kids, I’ll always wonder how I would have done under that kind of stress. I wasn’t even a grunt who would have necessarily been in the boonies, so there is that. (I do often remind my wife that I saved her from a life of speaking Vietnamese. She reminds me: “You were in Public Affairs”).

That long-winded lead-in simply allows me to say I know that at this late date, no Vietnam veteran will ever be President of the United States.

John Kerry had a chance, until he was brought down by a sneak attack.

John McCain wasn’t as good a candidate, in my opinion, but he had an edge in my mind for standing up to years of torture in a POW camp.

And when he came back in 2008 to run for president again, I watched, knowing that I disagree with him on too many things to ever vote for him. But you can’t easily dismiss a hero.

Or, at least you can’t unless you’re Donald Trump.

Let’s just lay this out there: Trump relied on deferments to keep himself out of military service. Then he said of McCain, “I prefer heroes who don’t get captured.” He also besmirched the service and death under fire of an American soldier in Afghanistan, but that was just Donald being Donald.

And people still voted for this guy. Hillary Clinton was just not honest enough, you see?

I can’t wait to see this picture next Memorial Day, or next Veterans Day: Donald Trump appearing at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

I’m being sarcastic. The idea of that guy showing up in that sacred place makes me throw up in my mouth. But even that would be too good for us, in my opinion. We will send to Arlington National Cemetery a man who’s not fit to dig the graves.

Would you like to add your voice to the Voices series? My contact information is listed under the About Me link at the top of this page.

One Comment

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  1. Jennifer in Texas November 15, 2016 — 5:48 am

    Wow, you are right. Most likely no Vietnam War veteran will ever serve as President. That is an important and profound point that no one has made, at least as far as I can tell (but then, I don’t have cable and don’t watch network news too often). Will there ever be another veteran President, who understands what it means to serve?

    Liked by 1 person

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