Falling apart

My Naval Academy classmates decided to have a holiday conference call this year. I'm not dialing in.

For the longest time, I thought we graduates were supposed to be leaders among leaders in the military, pinnacles of honor, officers and gentlemen. Each of us actually took a solemn oath to protect and defend the constitution.

That was then.

Today, some of my classmates are gleeful Trump supporters. It's astounding and profoundly unsettling.

The conference call is supposed to be a chance for everyone to catch up. The ground rules exclude discussions of politics and religion. I'm sure it will be a polite conversation. I just can't do it.

In the grand scheme, this call is no big deal. But at ground level, it feels like America taking another small step down toward the bottom of the basement. Let's all be pals. Let's chitchat about grandchildren and retirement. Let's ignore the spread of ugliness and cruelty, courtesy of today's Republican Party.




Better angels?

One of my old friends says his approach is to strive to summon "better angels" through all this chaos. I admire his resolve, but I know I don't have it in me. If being a "better angel" means making nice with people who are trying to destroy democracy, I'll pass. I don't necessarily hate these guys, but I sure do hate what they're doing to my country.

I can't be friends

with people I don't respect, and I can't respect people who support Trump, or even tolerate him out of party loyalty or some twisted idea about "beneficial" effects of Trump's insane policies.

How about this?

I know how you feel. I've had to quietly - and sometimes not quietly - cut a few people out of my life that I've known several years because of their support for Trump and his racism.

I just don't have time in my life for people who want to see the basic fabric of our society destroyed. I make time in my life that want to make things a little better in the world.

Why not suggest to your classmates that you would like to have a separate conference call after the holidays about the disturbing actions you've seen and how they can, individually or as a group, respond to this crisis in leadership?

Why not ask, for those that are interested, to talk about how they can show leadership?

Worth considering

I'll have to think all that through. The problem is burned bridges. Several of these guys are gleeful Deplorables who wallow in the joy of being able to be cruel assholes. I wrote them off and have zero interest in understanding anything they think.