Guest Essay: And So It Begins


Euphemism: a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt .  .  .  Apple Dictionary

e.g. Alt-Right – same as white supremacist, as in neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and Posse Comitatus. Steve Bannon of Alt-Right is now installed as Chief White House strategist and senior advisor to the President-elect. In the Oval Office.

Kris Kobach, the author of the draconian and hateful “papers please” laws in several states, all of which were found to be blatantly unconstitutional, is Donald Trump’s transition lead on immigration. In the Oval Office.

Additional harbingers of harm to America and Americans arrive daily. And it’s personal. Keep reading.


From boyhood pal Skip Levy:

Everyone –

As I continue to sit shiva for the America I love, have worked all my life to make a better, fairer, more just place for everyone, and have now lost, the “voice” of Pastor John Pavlovitz echoes much of what I am thinking and feeling.

This is the link to one of John’s recent essays. You might want to send it to family and friends who voted for Trump. [This is required reading and is best read aloud. Ed.]

We cannot sit idly by, paralyzed by our sadness and anger. Now more than ever, when each day seems darker and more frightening than the last, is when we are called to action. We must stand up, speak up, and act up to reclaim the America we love, worked to build, and even with its flaws and quirks, need now more than ever. One action we can take is to tell those we know who voted for Trump that their actions have consequences – some personal and immediate, and some we will not fully understand for years. But act we must.

My best to all of you. I know you, too, are feeling the awful pain and anger of living in an America we long longer feel comfortable or safe calling home.



P.S. A few days ago, for the first time in more than 50 years, I was told by a stranger that as a Jew I need to know that once Trump is elected, “You and your kind will no longer be welcome in America.” I had heard things like this a lot when I was young, but had not encountered this kind of hatred in many years. What caught me off guard was that a total stranger felt absolutely comfortable talking to me like that in the middle of the grocery store check out lane. She said she knew I was Jewish because I “looked Jewish” and I was wearing that “star thing around my neck.” And so it begins.


Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

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6 Responses to Guest Essay: And So It Begins
  1. Allan Shuman Reply

    So, I’m sitting at a table at a CVS pharmacy, offering to people to explain Part D of Medicare to them, and an elderly (I’m guessing 80; when I’m 80 it won’t be elderly) gentleman stops by, looks at the wording on my table’s apron, and blurts out the name of a particular Part D (prescription drug) plan, and continues “but they took it away, and now we (not sure who “we” is or are) have to go to (an obscure company)…” and then some description of his difficulty getting service, which shows his confusion and he is impossible to follow, so I didn’t try to unravel it and he didn’t want me to. And then he spouts “I’m hoping that Trump will make things the way they used to be,” to which I replied (and I probably shouldn’t have) “I don’t think that’s very likely.” His response: “You mean everything he said was a lie?” and I replied, “about 70%.”*

    He’s not everyone, but he’s a lot of them. Trump ramps up the fear and then promises to take it away, this to people who don’t know that he can’t. Some people call it his brilliance. I call it his criminality.

    * I used the conservative 70% because that’s the figure fact-checkers consistently threw out when assessing the percentage of claims in Trump’s campaign speeches that were outright lies.

  2. dominickpalella Reply

    Pastor John –

    Do you think telling those who voted for Trump about consequences makes any sense? Didn’t Trump make it perfectly clear what he wanted to do if elected? While you are feeling the “awful pain and anger” of living in an America you no longer feel comfortable or safe calling home, aren’t Trump voters looking forward to having a new leader to give them comfort and safety in their Homeland?

    This is what happens when corporations control two exclusive private political parties whose members occupy over 99% of elective offices, and mainstream media resources to brainwash our voters. Unfortunately, the effect of brainwashing cuts across all levels of intellectual capacity and education. That is, intellectually challenged and uneducated voters, as well as intelligent and educated voters share the same inculcated beliefs promoted by political propaganda.

    For example, the vast majority of voters don’t seem to recognize that their First Amendment right to protest and petition does not oblige our elected officials to listen or respond to them. Our elected officials cannot be held accountable for their actions, except to vote them out of office after harm has been done, which is usually irreparable. For instance, if they permit financial regulations to drain pensions, or allow lead or cancer-causing chemicals in drinking water, we must wait for the next few years, and try to elect someone else to replace them. Can anyone reading this so far explain why they would accept such a foolish definition of political “accountability”?

    Even people like Michael Moore and Robert Reich, as well as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have no idea of how the influence of political propaganda affects them.

  3. Amy Tucker Reply

    It’s been a week since the election and I am still finding myself at a loss for words at times. The story of the woman stating Jews are no longer welcome in America is so sad to me.

    I’ve already seen several racist incidents occur in the school where I work as a direct result of the election. We have an anti-racist student group. The day after the election, the student leader posted a Facebook announcement about a meeting. Many students replied that they would be attending. In response to this, one student sent personal Snapchat messages to the students attending. It was a picture of Clorox bleach with a caption stating that the bleach was a gift from him to everyone who was attending that meeting. The reference is to suicidal students drinking bleach to kill themselves.

    We’ve also had several Muslim students report that students are telling them that they now need to be wearing badges like the Jews in Nazi Germany.

    I have found that I’m struggling with my relationships with some of my colleagues as well. Sometimes we don’t agree on how to address issues like those I just named; but a mere week ago, we had no problem collaborating when it came to disciplining students who have made racist comments.

    Little by little I have learned of colleagues who voted for Trump and I find myself all of a sudden struggling with how to interact with them. I think to myself, “I thought I knew this person,” but now that person isn’t so safe to me. I just want to scream, “Do you know what your vote has just done?!”

    I’m not in a place yet where I can have productive conversations so I’m keeping my mouth shut for now. For those who know me, that’s not a small feat!

    It’s CRAZY how an election has altered everyone’s relationships so quickly. That’s quite some power and we need to recover that.

  4. David Lindgren Reply

    Jack, so gracious of you to print Pastor John’s blog appealing to White Christians to actually practice their religious teachings. Your actions as a Jew makes it all the more evident that we all are responsible for what happened. I could have gotten my ass up to Wisconsin. 46% of the public did NOT vote. And then this is all happening for a reason. Maybe the acting out was going to happen at some point. Might as well tackle it now! Much love, David

  5. Jim Altschuler Reply

    You’re right, Jack. “There is much in America that needs fixing” and this “authorization” created by Trump’s vitriolic crap has to be stopped immediately … not in the near future … right NOW!

    And Pastor Pavlovitz definitely has the right idea, regardless of what religion you believe in (or don’t believe in). If those who see your blog didn’t take the couple of minutes to click on “This Is The Link”, it’s well worth their time.

    No person has the right, authorization, permission to demean, belittle, or “push out” any other person because they don’t like the other person. Not for color, not for race, nor religion, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, nor any other prejudice.

    Those of us who do not treat others in this demeaning, belittling manner have the moral and ethical obligations to respond those others in positive ways. That means no violent confrontations, either verbal or physical; it’s okay to explain the error of their ways but it’s not okay to beat them up (no matter how infuriating they are).

    Keep in mind that if you add up all of the Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, gay people and all of the others that have become targets recently, WE OUTNUMBER THE HATERS! Substantially.