Sometimes you just stand up

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Sometimes in life, when you’re ordered to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, or you know to be wrong, you simply need to say, “No.”

That’s the lesson we teach our children, right? Don’t follow the bully. Don’t go with the stranger. Don’t walk the wrongheaded path, but the righteous one. Stand up to the thug. Fight back against the crumb. Don’t just go along because it’s the easiest way.

I like to think those lessons matter. I like to think they influence our lives and our nation, especially at the highest level. Yet as I sit here this evening, in a Southern California coffee shop, I have less faith than ever in humanity’s ability to seek justice over sludge. I think we’re weak. I think we’re simple.

I think we’re ripe to be overtaken by a man like Donald J. Trump.

The latest example involves the USS John S. McCain, an American ship stationed in Japan. Earlier this week, when Trump was visiting the nation, someone from the White House instructed someone from the Navy to have men and women place a tarp over the McCain name painted on the vessel—for fear it would infuriate the 45th president. So … someone did it. I don’t know who, and you don’t know who. But photographs exist of the name of a 4 1/2-year POW being covered.

It’s infuriating.

Trump is a child. We know this. But when do people stop kneeling? When do they begin to say, “No. Sorry, but no.” When does Mike Pence, a devoutly religious man, say “No” to Trump’s racism, xenophobia, name calling? When does Lindsay Graham, McCain’s closest friend in the U.S. Senate, say “No” to Trump’s repeated belittling of his pal. When do Republican senators say “No” to Trump bashing, thrashing, degrading their Democratic colleagues (many of whom (gasp!) are friends? When does Ted Cruz stand up for the father Trump accused of assassinating John F. Kennedy? When does Marco Rubio stand up for his reputation as a senator of conviction? When does Mitch McConnell stand up for the ideals of a party? The ones he has long championed? When do Sean Hannity and Britt Hume stand up to a man who damns the “media” as fake?

When do veterans stand up to a man who had five deferments via a fake doctor note? When do they stand up to a man who lied about helping with the Ground Zero recovery?

At some point, I still believe, people will stand up and say, “Enough.”

At some point.