One can be too cynical. Obviously, one can also be too trusting. Sometimes people do the right thing, not because it is right, but as a strategic move on their life chess board. Perhaps, they are doing this right thing for ignoble or self-promotional reasons rather than as a brave and idealistic stand. Nevertheless, right is right and whenever right is done regardless of the motivation, it is good and worth celebrating. Needless to say, it is even more praiseworthy when done as an act of courage and nobility.
Several very right things have been done recently. For the moment, I want to accept them at face value and pray that no matter the back story, they yield blessing.
New York Democrat, Rep. Kathleen Rice, walked out of a Democrat caucus meeting telling reporters, “I don’t have time for meetings that aren’t real.” By articulating that, she was actually announcing that, “The Emperor has no clothes.” She condemned the way that Congress winks at the sexual harassment of its own members. She ripped off a mask that will be difficult to don again. She deserves our thanks.
President Donald Trump acted upon a campaign promise and acknowledged the truth, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Politicians and presidents on both sides for decades have been promising to do the same thing knowing that their words were meaningless. President Trump set a new standard for politicians sticking to their words. He deserves our thanks.
Seventy-six years ago today, at Pearl Harbor, thousands of American men were called upon to pay the ultimate price for loyalty to a country they pledged to protect. Most of them were young. While most were good and decent human beings, it doesn’t actually matter if some of them were dishonorable scoundrels. It doesn’t matter if President Roosevelt knew what was about to happen or didn’t. What happened was greater than the troops’ individual lives and cemented them in history as American heroes. They deserve our thanks.
Could America actually be moving in a direction that will clean up the political Augean stables and usher in a new period of American greatness? If enough citizens reclaim our willingness to be discerning rather than swallowing whatever stories are temptingly placed in our paths, if we renew our commitment to study and understand the foundations of this country, and if we demand a higher level of integrity from those in office, it is possible that real change can come. For today, I’m opting for idealism over cynicism.