“Get out there and fight for what you know is right!”

Our foundational values are now at risk of being overrun by a growing mob mentality of anger and fear.

As we left the house for school or to “hang” with friends, Mom would look piercingly into our eyes and say, “Remember who you are and what you represent!”  She said it louder and more often during our stupid, hormone-soaked teenage years.

She always reminded us of being part of something bigger than ourselves—family, community, country—and she reinforced principles taught at home, school and church.

40211223 - giving a helping hand to another

Among them, the “Golden Rule”—to treat others as we would want to be treated—a universal moral compass to point us toward the values of acceptance, respect and compassion.

This ancient wisdom has nourished the roots of civilization and united communities.  Sadly, it is now threatened by an angry and fearful mob mentality whipped to a frenzy by divisive and hateful political rhetoric.

Presidential palaver and policies, with the cowering silence of congressional leaders, have given official license to racism and xenophobia and consequent vandalism and violence.

The dark vision painted in the election and since has causal connection to the shocking desecrations of Jewish cemeteries; to multiplied vandalism and bomb threats at mosques, synagogues and community centers; and to the shooting of two innocent Indian men in Kansas by a drunken xenophobe, who believed they were Iranian and yelled “Get out of my country!” before he pulled the trigger.

This darkness will be hard to erase.  Belated, scripted words delivered to a crowd of genuflecting congressional cowards will not by themselves call back the hounds of fear and anger already unleased.  It will require much more—even from us.

Today, Mom would not just urgently whisper, “Remember who you are and what you represent.” She would push us out the door and shout: “Get out there and fight for what you know is right!”

“OK, Mom.  We’re on it!”

To Blog or Not to Blog? That is the Question.

Looking for a more constant outlet to strenuously defend fundamental values and to persistently expose falsehoods and fallacies.

2-1I love this high school picture of my Mom.  Among all the things she accomplished in her life, she was a writer of plays, novels and inspiring letters.  She was also an avid reader, who surrounded herself (and her kids) with books.  She was consistently thoughtful, passionate and principled.  I strive to follow her example.

My own reading and writing has most often been connected to my work.   As a lawyer, I read the law and wrote mind-numbing contracts and prospectuses.  As an investment banker and businessman, I have studied financial reports and industrial analysis, and written book-length descriptions of companies and projects.

Then I ran for the U.S. Senate in 2016.  This was a drink-from-a-firehose education, like doing a post-graduate program in months instead of years.

With this experience came deeper understanding of the issues we confront as Idahoans and Americans.  It also motivated me to a passionate purpose: to promote factual clarity and reason in what appears to be an officially-sanctioned atmosphere of “fake news” and fallacy.

In the clearest and simplest terms I can muster, I seek to correct factual misrepresentation and logical absurdity–and to beat back the impending threats to our most fundamental values.

For these reasons, I have written about honesty, trust, acceptance, compassion, respect and decency.  I have given priority to exposing the factual errors and illogic behind travel bans, “extreme vetting,” “repeal and replace,” and the “Con-Con” movement that threatens to muck up our Constitution.

The Idaho Statesman and the Post-Register have been exceedingly gracious in publishing my work (and I will continue to submit articles to those and other papers).  However, I am looking for a more constant outlet to strenuously defend our values and to persistently expose falsehoods and fallacies, including those emanating from our state and federal governments.

To blog or not to blog?  I will blog, and I hope you will join me.