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Our penchant for goodness rises

August 16, 2017

goodness

As the days pass since President Trump effectively unleashed a full throated, raw defense of neo-Nazi, anti-semitic and racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, I find myself deeply reflective about the magnitude of the implications for our country.

How do we make this a teachable moment for young people and our broader community? How do we embrace the good in our nation and leverage this forcing function to tackle the undercurrent of prejudice in constructive ways? How do we recapture the narrative of good rather than evil? What can we say and do to add a productive, positive voice to the lack of civility represented in our president’s approach?

More than anything, we can speak out and reject the normalization of hate. Given that anti-semitism is central to the narrative currently unfolding, religious leaders at all levels carry a particular obligation not to remain silent. And there will come a time when the silence of inaction from elected officials from Congress to the state legislatures to local government will also be judged by history. The presidents’ party members hold a particularly serious obligation to speak out and reject the policies and sentiment behind his words.

We live in a time when progressive politics in a secular city is often uncomfortable with public displays of religion or spirituality. Still, my private religious conviction as a Jew and not merely my public role as a legislator motivates me to speak out against the embrace of neo-Nazi protesters by the president.

At a democratic institutional level, we can embrace the power of our constitutional republic and the role of our state.  Our government is based on an intricate and magnificent web of interdependencies that are the checks and balance of power. We live in a time when a one-party federal government is led by an unfit president. At no time in recent memory are we more dependent upon the broader system of checks and balances.

The balance of power is not merely between the federal legislative, executive and judicial branches. Under the 10th Amendment, power not expressly granted to the federal government is reserved for the states or the people. I have long been a champion of the 10th Amendment on numerous levels, and now more than ever we need its rigor.

The checks on this president must come from the people directly, state governments, a free and independent media. The collective voices of citizens and the power of the system of checks and balances together remind us of our penchant for goodness.

We must all continue to explore ways that Washington State can be a light among our nation that rejects the policies and values espoused by the president.

We are so much more as a nation than what we’ve become.

Your thoughts and ideas are welcome and deeply appreciated.

Your partner in service,

Reuven.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. tpchairbarbara permalink
    August 17, 2017 5:23 am

    I don’t want to log in to another medium. I do want to write that in a time when we have a dearth of heroes, you are one of mine.

    BRKR

    On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 11:03 AM, Official Reuven Carlyle Blog wrote:

    > Reuven Carlyle posted: ” As the days pass since President Trump > effectively unleashed a full throated, raw defense of neo-Nazi, > anti-semitic and racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, I find > myself deeply reflective about the magnitude of the implications for our > count” >

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