Sometimes We Need to Feel Uncomfortable
That was a s--- show,” CNN’s Dana Bash said. “It was a train wreck. But it was the making of one person,” NBC’s Chuck Todd said, referring to the president. And one news report after another characterized the president as “arrogant” and “un-American.”
Senator Kamala Harris said Trump’s debate performance “really denigrated the office of the President of the United States.” Michelle Obama said she understood those who were “turned off” by Trump’s behavior.
Even the debate moderator, Chris Wallace, said Trump “bears the primary responsibility for what happened” during the debate with Joe Biden. Biden thought it “was embarrassing for the country the way the president acted for the rest of the world watching” the debate.
And maybe you felt the same, uncomfortable way. I get it. But not everything that feels comfortable is what we need, and not everything that is uncomfortable should be avoided. In fact, if you look back at your life, the times that you are most grateful for are often those times where you were not “comfortable” because it was in those times that you became stronger.
But for all those who were embarrassed, let me ask you a question:
Is it embarrassing to leave Americans for dead in Benghazi, when radical Islamist terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Libya, and then lie repeatedly to the American people that it was because of some anti-Muslim video on the Internet?
Is it embarrassing to pay a ransom of a $1.7 billion to the ayatollahs in Iran in exchange for U.S. hostages when Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world?
How embarrassing is it for the Department of Veterans Affairs to treat our war heroes – our veterans – so irresponsibly that it’s estimated nearly 1,000 veterans lost their lives waiting for medical attention during the Obama administration?
How embarrassing is it to attempt bamboozling the American people by telling them, “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it”? Is it embarrassing that under the Obama administration, the number of Americans who needed food stamps grew by 135 percent?
Isn’t it embarrassing that the last two Democratic presidential nominees have made racist insinuations that African- Americans are “super-predators”? Or that black and Latino unemployment was much higher than the national average during the Obama administration, and there was no full job growth for almost eight years during the Obama-Biden administration?
How embarrassing was it for Obama to call ISIS a “JV team” and within months that “JV team” became the world’s most dangerous organization? Isn’t it embarrassing to have never supported – in the least way – those men and women struggling to defend basic freedoms in China, even as China saw its most significant human rights erosion during the Obama administration?
Was it embarrassing for Obama to describe Syria’s use of chemical weapons as “a red line” that would have “enormous consequences” on American military intervention, and then do absolutely nothing – leaving Bashar al-Assad to continue using chemical weapons against thousands of civilians?
Of course it is. A thousand times, yes. It’s all embarrassing.
But aren’t you also embarrassed that government has seemingly crept into every nook and cranny of our lives? Where you can’t choose your own doctor, have no say in the curriculum being taught in our schools, or can’t even practice your religion in some instances without being bullied into silence?
Aren’t you embarrassed that we can’t even recite the Pledge of Allegiance’s “under God” without being sued or watch a sporting event without having our flag disrespected? Aren’t you embarrassed that abortion clinics remained open under the government’s pandemic restrictions, while “non-essential” medical procedures were prohibited and churches were closed?
Doesn’t it embarrass you that dozens of children and their teachers can’t gather together in a classroom to continue their education, but rioters and protestors alike can gather together by the thousands in cities across the country to destroy private property, desecrate our national monuments, and murder innocent people caught in the middle?
These are tough times, no doubt, and that means having the tough talks, as well. So, where is the decorum? Well, that’s a two-way street, isn’t it?
You may be grieving the loss of the America we grew up in and the erosion of the fundamental values that provided us all with a sense of security, identity and purpose as proud Americans. And even if we didn’t always agree, we felt like we could make a difference, at least.
Those embarrassed by the debate may not understand that the popularity of Trump’s message is not primarily because of Trump. It never has been, and it never will be. Trump’s message will continue to resonate with millions of Americans – not because of his showmanship or his knowing the art of the deal, but because it’s a message that we already know to be true: We can do more for ourselves than we think is possible, and that America’s best days are ahead.
No, Trump may not be the best politician, but for millions of Americans, we just want it to be morning again in America. And we want a leader, whatever his name or however presidential he sounds, to want it as badly as we do.
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.