Back to Blog
Category: Monticello College Comments: 3

Dialog of A House Divided

I consider Julie to be a friend. We have sparred in a friendly manner over the years, and have found plenty to disagree on, but she is a professional, intelligent, and truly caring person.

She commented on my Jan. 6 blog post and I thought that we could all gain something from examining our exchange:

Julie from Oregon: (in reply to “A House Divided”) What exactly is the grievance here? A police officer put his knee on George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, resulting in his death, even as he, and onlookers, begged for help. Here? Donald Trump lost the election. A free and fair election in the tradition of American elections. The fact that he will not accept that doesn’t change the facts. The courts have spoken, the regulatory bodies have spoken, journalists and fact finders who are subject to journalistic standards have spoken. There is no grievance here.

What we have is a culture of grievance that has supplanted the values that once lay at the heart of our conservative tradition, fed by conspiracy theories, exploiting and poisoning the minds of many well-meaning people. What we have now, in the place of conservatism, is populism with fascist overtones, a cult of an individual who is patently and profoundly unwell. That has been demonstrated time and again, and never more clearly than when Donald Trump violated the most sacred of our norms — after a norm shattering presidency — the peaceful transfer of power.

And yet you seek to dignify this, to lay the blame elsewhere, to normalize it — enabling the very culture that has led to this travesty. You consider yourself a patriot, dedicated to citizen self-rule, which can only exist in an environment of honesty and accountability. So please, call a spade a spade.

My Response:

JAN 7, 2021 

Ok Julie, if this is a serious question, I will give a serious answer:

the manner of treatment that led to George Floyd’s death was wrong, a million times wrong—and rightly so, Derek Chauvin was arrested, disgraced, charged with second degree murder, and is going thru the legal process.I don’t know anyone who agreed with Derek’s actions, why are you still bringing this up?  

The Floyd scenario is no more an isolated event than this election. I am still processing the Trump rally and the subsequent events that followed, but those few rioters who actually broke into the Capitol building were not acting for the masses assembled lawfully there. They did not and do not represent the vast majority of Americans who are sitting in their homes feeling serious discontent.    

What I don’t understand is the months and months of riots around the country using Floyd as their poster child. Months and months of destruction of property, months and months of violation of human rights of people of all races. I am strongly disturbed by the actions of a few rioters at the Capitol, but they clearly do not represent the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters that were there at the same time. While those actions were disgusting and 100% wrong, it was a tiny minority with only 50 people being arrested, and I hope they are held accountable for 4 deaths related to this event.

But the remaining hundreds of thousands of protestors were there because they feel divided from their representatives and government, they feel disenfranchised and they believe themselves to be victims of fraud.Let me remind you of a document that is often quoted by such citizens of all colors, who are feeling unrepresented in a supposed representative Republic:   

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” 

This is the real issue and will be the end of the Republic if not seriously addressed and changes made.

The primary reason I share this exchange is to highlight the fact that this happens much too infrequently. Informed dialog, debate, and reasoned discourse are the hallmarks of a Democratic Republic. When the dialog stops, the violence begins. Sometimes the violence is used in the beginning to create class division, this too can be minimized with honest and open discourse.

Please engage in informed discussion with all parties to find solutions (by the way, Facebook is not a valid source of truth, just say’in). Sitting at home being disgruntled and angry will only lead to misunderstanding, prejudice, “us versus them” feelings, and eventually violence in its many morbid forms.

Share this post

Comments (3)

  • Devirl Barfuss

    Honest and informed dialog is crucial. My experience with “woke”, college educated grandchildren is I am too old to understand today’s issues and they are too young (inexperienced) to be able to put today’s issues into perspective. For some, emotion is more important than facts. For the first, all you have to do is check how you feel. Facts require thought. To sum up, “Facts are to the left like sun light is to a vampire.” I distinguish left from liberal by the way.

    January 7, 2021 at 1:45 pm
  • Shirley M DeLosie

    Amen! Some of my dearest friends and some of my closest relatives think I’m old-fashioned, and do not understand why I feel so strongly about these issues. Thank you for publishing this, and sending it to my email address.

    January 7, 2021 at 4:34 pm
  • Heidi Burnard

    I’m appreciative of this article, it gives me impetus to push beyond my fear of contention and being left alone, and taking a stand somehow. I don’t know if that will be in conversation or writing or perhaps sharing articles such as this. In my scripture study this morning, which I am trying to do in German, I came across the word sanftmuetig. Its simple translation is meek, but breaking the word apart becomes gentle/peaceful courage. That resonates with my way of being, and with that in mind, I think there is a place for me in the dialogue!
    I hope it’s alright to share another article here, which gives some concrete ideas as to actions we can take, no matter the political climate:

    January 21, 2021 at 12:48 pm

Comments are closed.

Back to Blog