Friday, June 05, 2020

Dan Schmidt - Great piece

Thinking about my long career in public media where I was obligated to remain neutral and silent about politics.  Where I forbade my wife from putting political signs on our lawn in Wilmette, Illinois.  Where I also refrained from making political contributions, or in any way being anything but politically independent and respecting all views.  Where my guiding principle for FaceBook posts was to put nothing up that I wouldn't display on my office credenza.

My job was to provide an unbiased platform for the expression of all responsible views.  And too avoid all and any hint of bias while promoting civil discourse and allow the intelligence of our viewers and listeners to make up their own minds.

I still believe and celebrate this principle of journalistic neutrality and don't agree with cable news channels that pander to the right or the left.  Public media is a last bastion of these independent values.  I still have great respect for my Republican friends and family that are struggling with what is happening to their political identity.  Civility.  The rule of law.  Respect for the Constitution.  Civil Rights.  Abraham Lincoln!!

But, being retired is a liberating thing.  I no longer have any influence (and never sought any partisan bias) on the journalistic analysis of my public media colleagues.  However, I now have the freedom to speak my mind.

In doing so, I am reminded by the words and wisdom of Elie Wiesel:

"We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.  The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference."

Donald Trump is a disaster.  General Mattis has FINALLY spoken the truth that most of my Republican friends have said to me privately.  It is time for those of us who can to join General Mattis in speaking out in defense of our Constitution and our Democracy.

Speak your minds, my friends!  This moment is bigger than your careers and your political correctness and sensibilities.  This is the time to speak for America, for our Democracy, for our Values, for our United States.  For our children and grandchildren.  For our future...

Ronald Reagan talked about America as "the shining city on the hill."   The place the world admired and aspired to emulate.  The place where the best and the brightest of the world who had the courage to come here -- like Syrian Steve Jobs -- can become Americans and make America Great.

What happened to that vision in the Republican Party?

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