Thursday, August 17, 2017


© by Gerald So | 4:00 a.m.

I saw enough of Donald Trump not to vote for him last year. When he won the election, I allowed for the slim chance he'd rise to the occasion, but at every opportunity he hasn't measured up. In the aftermath of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia is the most egregious evidence that Trump cannot wholeheartedly break from his supporters even when they act despicably un-American.

These pressure situations reveal Trump as a man who cannot leave it at a proper, though TelePrompted message, but who lashes out when cornered under the mistaken impression he isn't wrong unless he admits he's wrong.

What to do when you can't look to the president to lead and inspire? Resist, yes, but saying that, I realize how long I've resisted. My family emigrated from the Philippines in the 1970s, when I was two months old. Both doctors, my father found work in a partnership of Jewish surgeons. My mother gave up work to raise my brother and me. My father had a sarcastic sense of humor, but was otherwise earnest and practical. My mother is just earnest and practical. Not to say they were perfect. No one is perfect, but where they came up short, I took it upon myself to go the rest of the way to attitudes I wanted to project. Much of my father's sarcasm occurs to me, for example, but I don't project it.

Growing up, I was teased and mistreated by some kids and classmates, sometimes even without words. My parents told me to ignore them, but I also decided for myself I wouldn't insult or treat them the way they did me. None of those kids turned around to become my friends, but, remaining open to all kinds of people, I found a small but varied, great group of friends in college. Just as I could tell the kids who only wanted to tease me, I could tell very quickly these people didn't judge me by color or other physical quirks. We're friends to this day.

I guess that's my way of saying, once again, America and its leaders don't always live up to its highest ideals. It's up to us, the people, to learn the right lessons from history and uphold those ideals in ourselves.

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