Insight, analysis & opinion from Joe Paduda

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Jan
12

I wish I could.

It is times like this that determine if people have souls.

To those who say stay out of politics, I say – I wish I could [see comments at link].  What happened last year, and last summer, and last week make that impossible.  We can’t just continue on as if nothing had happened.

Our country – lauded by self-described “patriots” as the greatest country in the world:

photo credit Daily Mail, circled object is fire extinguisher thrown by rioter that struck and killed Officer Brian Sicknick

 

American Carnage indeed.

I get that people are upset when their candidate loses a critical election – millions of Americans – your fellow citizens – were crushed when Trump won in 2016. I was – and still am – among them.  As much as it hurts to say it, Trump won in 2016 – and we accepted that victory. We did not riot, lie, provoke, build scaffolds on the Mall, threaten to hang the Vice President and shoot the Speaker of the House. We did not file 60 lawsuits seeking to overturn our fellow citizens’ votes.

I accept and understand that Trump supporters are distraught, angry, even terrified – as I was in 2016 (and still am of the damage Trump has done and will do). I do not accept and cannot allow the anti-American behavior of many to pass unremarked and unchallenged.

I applaud the businesses that have stopped contributing to politicians lying about election fraud. Among those organizations fed up with Trump and his enablers are AirBnB, Amazon, BestBuy, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Commerce Bank, Dow, Marriott, GE, Hallmark, AT&T, MasterCard, Verizon.

I decry CVS, Berkshire Hathaway, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, JP MorganChase, Microsoft, Google, BlackRock, Charles Schwab, VISA and others who have suspended all political contributing to all politicians – this smacks of false equivalency when it is blindingly obvious that the Ted Cruzes and Josh Hawleys are guilty of fomenting insurrection – not the Sherrod Browns and Jason Crows.

My family has agreed that we must do more. So, I will contribute 10 percent of my income to organizations dedicated to righting wrongs. The Southern Poverty Law Center, BLOCbyBLOC, FairFight, and the Native American Rights Fund are the ones we’ve chosen.

This may well cost me readers, business, income, and prominence – and I am totally fine with that. What we are on the verge of losing is immeasurably more important.

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Tomorrow – back to health care and related topics.


48 thoughts on “I wish I could.”

  1. “What we are on the verge of losing is immeasurably more important.” says it all and is something everyone who genuinely cares about this country and who has the slightest understanding of what this democracy is about should take serious time to consider. This applies regardless of party affiliation. Jeb Bush said in 2016 that Trump was a chaos candidate and would be a chaos president and he was right. What Trump has wrought should be no surprise to anybody. I respect and appreciate your post and contributions.

  2. Joe: This is why I love, admire, and respect you. You do not shy away from the hard issues, the tough conversations, the things that matter. You and I have always been on the same page politically, so I tend to agree with your analysis, observations, and conclusions. But now more than ever, I respect your decency, your courage, and your commitment to doing right and speaking the truth. I am so grateful for your leadership, for your wisdom, and your willingness to share your personal views with us. Our industry is better because of you; but even more important, our country is better because of the thoughts you express here. Thank you!

    1. Rafael – thanks for the note. What matters is the respect of people you respect, so your words deeply resonate with me.

      I look at these days as necessary. Every society goes thru dangerous, scary times when demagogues and would-be dictators try to co-opt people who are frightened, scared of the future, and feeling unappreciated and disrespected. That is exactly where we are today. People like you – and many others – know and understand that. You are what will keep us from becoming Germany circa 1936.

      be well – Joe

  3. Your actions are what real patriotism looks like. Let no one ever tell you otherwise. I applaud your generosity and hope this, as the nuns used to teach us, comes back to you tenfold.

  4. Joe, wonderful country that USA. . . despite all our challenges. So, ironically, and prior to perusing the comments, I was thinking after reading your musings, “Put this on a broader platform” for the non-subscribers to read. . . . who presumably have not had exposure to your unapologetic observations and opinions. . . .

    1. Hey Stryker – thanks for the note. I agree, for all of our warts, and they are many and ugly indeed, we have something special here in this country.

      be well – Joe

    1. Hey Claude – thanks much for the note – I’ll sign you up and double your subscription fee!

      be well Joe

  5. Thank you, Joe, for using your platform to share your views. People of goodwill need to speak up. Like you, I was distraught and horrified when Trump was elected, but I grudgingly accept that occasionally having leaders I strongly dislike is part of being in a democracy. I’ve complained quite a bit over these four years, marched in a protest, and donated to opposing candidates. But no matter how strongly I felt, it never crossed my mind to try to try to lynch Mike Pence or his boss. Or Mitch McConnell. We have to do better.

    Someone said the other day that America is beginning “The Troubles.” Good Lord, I hope not.

    People of goodwill need to try to calm the waters.

    Did you happen to catch the Arnold video? I’ve never been a fan of the guy, but what he said certainly deserves a listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_P-0I6sAck

  6. With you, Joe … sharing values is increasingly more important than sharing past history with folks.

    1. Hey Frank – thanks for your observations. I’ve talked with several people who are losing long-time friendships over this.

      You stated the situation much more elegantly than i have…although it still hurts to know people you are for are different than you thought they were.

      Arnold’s video is very helpful in that regard.

  7. I agree with you Joe and thank you for starting a discussion. There needs to be a stop to the dissemination of information that has been refuted repeatedly in the courts and elsewhere. This is a lightning rod for a lot of violence. Too many people are not even in the same book much less the same page.

    1. Thanks Jeff – good observation. I’m struck by – but not surprised by – the willingness of so many to believe stuff that is patently and demonstrably false.

      We cannot change their minds and trying to do so is a waste of time. The sooner we accept that reality the faster we can start to fix our problems.

      be well – Joe

  8. Joe – you’re absolutely spot on. It is not about politics, it is about decency. Regrettably, we need to re-learn that an opponent is not an enemy. We are all Americans, and when we’re attacked, we will all stand shoulder to shoulder to defend our country – Democrat, Republican, White, Black, Brown or other and regardless of our sexual preference or pronoun. Thanks for being a voice of reason.

    1. Thanks Peter – really appreciate your thoughts. Those who seek to divide are the problem.

      be well – Joe

  9. I agree of what happened last week at The Capitol was disgusting and anti-American. It is good to see that they are making arrests and hope they are prosecuted. I challenge you Joe about your “silence” for 4 months this year when Antifa & BLM burned, looted, torn down statues, made threats, killed innocent people, created billions in property damage, etc… Biden called Antifa an “idea” and Harris participated bailing out rioters. If we have any moral compass…..you must reject what happened last week and this summer.

    1. Hello Greg – thanks for the comment and observation. I appreciate you taking the time to voice your opinion.

      Allow me to respond to your challenge about the protests and riots this summer.

      Protests, riots, armed takeovers of state capitols, assaults on and by law enforcement, all happened in 2020. Unfortunately riots, protests, and the like happen fairly frequently – whether its the Ammon Bundys or the Black Panthers, the Anarchists or the Know-Nothings our history is replete with civil unrest.

      Those are fundamentally different from what happened last week.

      A violent group taking over our nation’s capitol in an effort to overturn an election, egged on by politicians is wholly unique in our history – and that is why I wrote about it. The takeover and the people behind it are a clear and present danger to our nation, which BLM is not.

      be well, Joe

  10. Well said. As MLK Jr. once said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

  11. Thank you Joe for your thoughtful commentary. This is certainly something I never thought I would see in my lifetime. It is difficult for me at this point to see how we could move beyond this extreme polarization. However, I am hopeful that we can sort through the hype and focus on the facts, such as the glaring differences between the BLM protests, and the attempted coup of our government as you clarified here in the comments. I personally am looking forward to a time when we can get back to having civil debates; the ability to disagree with someone in a civil manner over an idea, a policy or an issue, while still having respect for the person you disagree with; as several have pointed out recently, a favorite quote from Abraham Lincoln in his house divided speech…”A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That quote was specifically from Lincoln’s speech about the need to abolish slavery; he said we cannot stand half slave and half free. Seems we are all living in real-time through the belief that if we don’t pay attention to our history, we are doomed to repeat it, a famous line as stated by Winston Churchhill who paraphrased Spanish philosopher George Santayana. My sincere hope is that we can all learn from this and become stronger because of it. I for one can say without hesitation that I have never wished or intended harm to someone that I did not agree with. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  12. Joe- I’ve been pondering what I can add to what you and others have said that would be of service to our common good. I agree with your perspective, and have admired the courage you have displayed in presenting to your readers what you believe, and value over the many years I have followed you. I have been a supporter of SPLC since the mid-80’s. I appreciate your mentioning the other justice organizations. I will check them out for contributions as well. Peace and Blessings to you and yours.

    1. Hello Kevin – thanks for weighing in, and appreciate your kind words. I’ve been an SPLC supporter for hears – although not as many as you. Added BlocbyBloc last spring, and decided it was time to do more.

      There are lots of well-deserving organizations out there- thanks for making a difference.

      be well – Joe

  13. “We did not riot, lie, provoke, build scaffolds on the Mall, threaten to hang the Vice President and shoot the Speaker of the House. ” You’re obviously biased and blind to the facts. Why don’t you go back and look at the rioting, looting, and vandalism that occurred the day of and after Trump was declared the winner? I know you live out in no man’s land so you may be out of touch with reality but that is no excuse for not accepting the destruction and damaged caused by Democratic supporters. They destroyed thousands of small businesses across the country for several days. What about the ANTIFA, BLM, etc. organizations who decimated cities and small business along the way? Where was your outrage then? Why are you and your people just now outraged by the current events? The only positive thing of your blog today, is that we all see get to learn a lot more about you, biased Joe.

    1. Rick – always interesting to hear from you.

      Fortunately even those of us who live in “no man’s land” have access to news and the interwebs.

      Pray tell what cities and small businesses were “decimated” after “Trump was declared the winner”?

      best wishes, Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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