I’m writing you today because I have something important to say. Thank you. Thank you for holding me accountable for my behavior as I grew, and for instilling in me a moral compass , sound sense of virtue, morals and conduct. If you had not I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
When I was a child and I fibbed to you, either to stay home from school sick, or to get out of a chore, you would ground me and scrutinize anything I had to say afterwards. Rightly so, because I had proved untrustworthy. If I lied about a sibling or classmate you were even angrier. Each time I did such a thing I had to earn that trust back. The more I lied the less of your trust I merited. Once broken I had to earn that trust back with consistent honesty over an extended period. It was the system that taught me the value of honesty and how to develop good character. It is a good system that I use in raising my own children now.
When I was older and I started hanging out with “the wrong crowd” you judged that crowd by their behavior. If they were rude, vulgar, dishonest and disrespectful I was not allowed to hang out with them. Conversely if I spent time with a crowd that was kind, polite, studious and thoughtful you would wholeheartedly endorse them, telling me I should spend more time with them and less with those whose influence was bad. You wanted me to understand the value of good character in not only myself but in those I associated with. You told me that character wasn’t based upon their means but their actions. The way they treated other people and what they asked of me. You taught me there was a difference between making a mistake and lying in unrepentant excess. You taught me that anyone who would ask me to defend lies and bad behavior wasn’t really a friend. Friends were people who were loving, honest and didn’t ask you to compromise your good character to cover for their bad behavior. It was a great lesson and one I teach my own children now.
Now I’m grown. You brag to your friends about my success and sterling character. You beam as my anniversaries roll by and beautiful marriage to a loving partner continues to bloom. You preen as you congratulate yourself on the kind, moral, responsible person you raised.
Through all that there’s been a change though. That praise has become hollow.
Somewhere along the line you stopped trusting me for no reason. You stopped seeing the good I’ve accomplished and the life I’ve built. You’ve stopped respecting me and have begun approaching me as an enemy. It’s offensive, insulting, heartbreaking and most of all undeserved.
Partisan politics has turned you into someone I don’t recognize. You outright refuse verifiable information I present to you as you spout off blatant falsehoods you’ve picked up from random acquaintances, social media, and clickbait sites. When I show you hard unbiased facts proving you’ve been lied to, you get angry at me, not those who deceived you. You accuse me of trying to brain wash you and of being a pawn in any number of ambiguous, unnamed and unreasonably fantastical government plots perpetrated by democrats and humanitarians.
You refuse to hear any criticism of a single republican. Indeed there isn’t a discussion to be had where you don’t paint them as the white knights of the legislative round table fending off the vile democratic dragon.
When I confront you with vulgar and inexcusable behavior by your white knights you readily excuse it, behavior you would have spanked me silly over, while bearing false witness against mine. Then you tell me all my sources are no good because they’re run by George Soros and the evil liberal dragon. They aren’t though. Just another lie you’ve given a free pass while scrutinizing me. Just another double standard you’re perpetrating by calling all my sources biased because they don’t match up with the hyper partisan information you’re getting from click for profit blogs. I am not the Stockholm syndrome affected captor of the dragon and your white knights aren’t wearing white because they’re pure of heart.
It saddens me because we used to be on the same side. The only thing that has changed for me is the label. The values I have are the same ones I’ve always had, but the Republican Party left me. I think you don’t realize some of my greatest heroes are paragons of the Republican party, a party from a bygone era of honesty , anti-corruption, equality, progressiveness, and civilization building. It was taken over by people whose behavior I cannot condone. Whose behavior I refuse to support because doing so would mean holding big shots in the highest offices to a lower standard than I hold small children. People whose selfish and corrupt idea of governance has wounded our nation multiple times over its life through influence on both sides of the aisle.
It is not lost on me that you have been willing to spread falsity and hate for people who behave in a manner you never would have accepted from me. That is a wedge that is between us dividing us further and further as this administration takes power and continues to use its platform to outright lie. To lie about the most simple things. To lie openly and then tell you that you’re not really seeing a lie.
When I was a kid you were prone to saying “if you’ll lie about this, what else are you lying to me about?”
So I have to ask, if you will forsake me, who has never broken your trust and always lived up to your ideals, to protect and defend liars, what else will you do to toe your party’s line? If you won’t call your party out when they lie about what we can plainly see, how will you call them out on what they’re hiding?
How can I not be offended that you expected so much out of me growing up, but now only take the word of exposed, vulgar liars who would do you harm, over that of your own flesh and blood there to protect you until you depart from this world?
You’re hanging out with the wrong crowd, you think they’re your friends but they’re not. I know they seem cool now but you’ll see soon enough they’re just going to get you into trouble. I want you to know that you can always call me, at any time, no matter how late it is and I will be there to help you get to the facts. I just hope you have enough good sense to ask for help before you get in too deep.