A resident on the busy highway I take to work every day put a large Confederate flag in his front window after Charleston’s murders last summer. It’s still there. The better to let people know he’s an ignorant, racist, traitor, I guess. And I am ashamed that someone in my town is so proud of those dark places in his heart that he will make sure his fellow citizens and visitors here know about it.
There was also a story in the news recently about two women who walked up to Governor Snyder in a restaurant and started yelling at him about Flint's water debacle. One screamer was quoted as saying that she couldn't understand why people didn't applaud. Ummm, because that's not how civilized people behave?
And there is The Donald. His flippant, vulgar and hate-filled speech apparently represents many more Americans than anyone outside the reality TV industry was willing to acknowledge. His politics aside, he is emblematic of what passes for discourse now – not Mitt’s leather-lined country club library where racism, misogyny, and contempt for most Americans could be discreetly shared with other members of the choir without Trump's insults and volume.
We live in a big, fat, crazy democracy and I wouldn’t trade their free speech, but I sure don’t have to respect it. And we should not reward their dark places and incivility with applause, or votes.
The flag painting, devoid of its color but not its essential character, was painted by Jasper Johns and is from metmuseum.org. If you vote in Michigan's primary on Tuesday, please lead with love. As always, thanks for reading.