I was only 17, when I matriculated to UC Berkeley in the Fall of 1964. The Free Speech Movement took over our campus, creating protests, sit ins, faculty strikes, and lots of tear gas. I knew I could only observe from a distance, since my parents were back home watching on TV. A guy next door to me in the dorms was arrested during the big Sproul Hall sit in. I made sure that I was always a safe distance away.
Fast forward to 1969, and the anti-war protests of the Vietnam War. Walking to the UC campus with my girlfriend, we were tear gassed, and had to flee. We saw legions of National Guard running towards us! The killings at Kent State had mobilized just about every red blooded American. Even at placid University of the Pacific, a small group of my fraternity brothers and I enlisted a professor to help us lead a strike of the Pharmacy School!
Over the ensuing years, I have managed to limit my protests to emails and letters when I disagree. This is a rather silent type of protest, though it does resonant primarily with retailers, and nonprofit organizations.
But Wednesday was not a protest, it was anarchy. It was a mob, hell-bent on destruction, endorsed by donald trump and his magas. It was my most embarrassing day as an American. The entire world saw how much we have been divided, by a man who is in total denial. But more bothersome to me are the people who believe his BS! And they promise more to come.
My hope is that you realize there is a big difference between peaceful protest or dissent, and the hell-bent destruction of the magas in DC on Wednesday.
I proudly protested twice in my life, and I am proud of both of those protests. But the latest one is sedition, insurrection, anarchy, and criminal activity. I say send them to jail and teach them a lesson. Meanwhile, the rest of us must find a way to heal and get this country moving in the right direction again.
Yet, I do not feel sad for Lindsay Graham being jeered as he walked through Reagan Airport to fly home to South Carolina. He has been a trump enabler for the last four years. Sure, he turned on trump on Wednesday for the first time, but it was too late.
The next two years will be a challenge. Can we undo the damage of trump and the magas? Can we get our country moving in the right direction in global warming, human decency, and assistance for the needy? We need a healthy Republican party for balance in this country. But not the trumpian variety! We need to go back to the days when Ted Kennedy and Barry Goldwater could fight like hell, and still reach a compromise.
Where is the next Martin Luther King when we need him?