We read lately quite a bit about the deplorables. The Arab-Israeli Conflict could have been resolved peacefully yesterday but we hear of the Hillary comments and Trump lies. Who decides what is worthy of print or broadcast remains a mystery to me. “All the news that is fit to print” doesn’t get printed and some that is not fit does.
I grew up Irish Catholic in the Northeast at a time when we had become acceptable in the neighborhood. There were not many African-Americans so they were a group that did not cause a concern but would with migration. The local country club screened the undesirables out through the fee and review process for membership but not to worry Jewish people were not allowed. This was the fifties and sixties. When my family moved to the South we had our first encounter with the “white only” and “colored only” signs in stores. Again still the sixties.
The community I lived in during that period accepted thousands of refugees fleeing communist oppression in their homeland. Many came believing that someday they would return to the world they knew and loved. Instead these people had to learn a language, fit into new cultural norms and in so doing contributed to the creation of the better place which would become their home.
When I visit Washington, DC I always visit the Vietnam Memorial among others memorials. As a Vietnam veteran this one is dear to me. I do have a couple of friends listed on the wall among the 58,000+ listed there. A couple of years ago I met a veteran at a city park. After talking to him he disclosed that he had not only served in Vietnam but had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. This meeting brought tears to my eyes. I looked him up on the internet and after reading what he had done, I realized how small my contribution was. When talking with him he said he was not a hero, those who died there were. I heard a similar comment from a Medal winner who was interviewed on television. Greatness surrounds itself in humility.
So much has happened in our country since then, some good and some not so good but overall as a society we did seek progress toward a better way of living. We have had some significant advances and also setbacks. Somehow as a people we have always maintained hope, not fear, until now.
In the current election process we have a Presidential candidate who says for spending five-years in a North Vietnamese prison Senator McCain is not a hero. I may not agree with his politics but believe he is a hero. Immigrants seeking both economic opportunity and safety are criminals. Refugees fleeing for their lives in war-torn areas this country unintentionally helped to start, these people are terrorists or religious fanatics, this same candidate tells us. The family of an American soldier killed in action is suspect because of their religion and their sacrifice is minimal compared to his. He even went after Pope Francis for suggesting that bridges are better than walls. He has criticized people’s appearance and those with disabilities. The list of his outrageous statements and outright lies is beyond belief.
Each and every one of these statements to me are deplorable. How anyone who ever wore a military uniform could support him knowing his opinion of people who did serve is absolutely deplorable. As the grandson of immigrants I find his attitude toward immigrants and refugees deplorable. As person of the Catholic faith his attitude towards Islam and its followers is deplorable. His business career is riddled with problems and failures which is deplorable. His ability to make a statement and then deny he said it even though it is recorded is deplorable. His attitude and personal attacks toward the media and various reporters is deplorable. His belief in the goodness of Vladimir Putin, a ruthless former KGB officer, is deplorable. The list could go on and on but I’ll stop here.
These items which I have listed as his attitudes and actions are deplorable to me, but if you consider them acceptable, then perhaps the deplorable shoe fits you. If not perhaps you need to buy a new pair of shoes. Such shoes can not be purchased at the Trump Tower.