Intentionally Unreasonable: Love, bullies, hypocrites and liars

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 11

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

– Isaac Asimov

I am the proud father of Emily, Cammy, Zack, grandson Jax, soon-to-be, granddaughter Charlie, and son-in-law Ryan – led by my incredible wife, Katie.

I love my family.

I am an American. As a descendent of Irish immigrants, I am profoundly grateful for the opportunities and freedoms that the United States was built upon. I also feel a solemn debt to the millions of Americans, yesterday and today, whose selfless acts and supreme sacrifices make our tomorrow possible.

I love my country.

I am also a Mainer. For almost two decades my family has called Maine our home (my wife was born here) and after previously living in 10 other states, and traveling and working in all 50 at one time or another, I believe we live in the best state in the country.

I love my state.

Finally, I am a Yarmouthian. From the moment my wife and I first visited Yarmouth in 2001, we both knew that we found the ideal community for us to raise our family. With thousands of fond memories collected over the years (Clam Festival, Royal River, community and school sports events, bean “suppahs” and more) – the people and place of Yarmouth are in my heart.

I love my hometown.

To “love” something (or someone) with honor and meaning, one should support and reinforce the word and attendant sentiment with some tangible demonstration. In this regard, my vocal patriotism for country, engagement in statewide policy, and years of active involvement in local town service, codify my beliefs.

And, the love that I feel for my family, exceeds the measure of words, so I won’t try to express it in bits, bytes or ink.

My point: love itself is something magical and worth celebrating.

Despite whatever issues that divide us as neighbors, citizens, co-workers, Mainers and Americans, can we agree unanimously that the pursuit and joy of love is common to all? And, that love might be the most critical element of our humanity – the thing that fuels our better angels and helps to point our moral compass towards goodness and compassion?

The Beatles song, “All You Need is Love,” contains a total of 210 words, with 40 of those words, being “love.”

All you need is love, all you need is love,

All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.

All you need is love, all you need is love,

All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.

While I might not agree with John Lennon and Paul McCartney that “all” you need is love, I do believe that it’s a core ingredient to the human condition.

But, with that Ying of truth is this Yang: things I don’t love.

Bullies. People with power over others using that dominance to demean, hurt or ridicule. Whether on a playground, in a boardroom, or inside a government office, such actions are not demonstrations of strength, but of weakness and insecurity.

Hypocrites. People who export one set of values or standards, often for personal, professional or political currency, while applying and defending another set of rules for themselves.

Liars. These are strange times where the premise of objective reality has lost all meaning. My facts, your opinions, tribal truths, nutty conspiracy theories, political propaganda and proven science are often presented, and frequently accepted – with similar weight and value.

Donald J. Trump is a bully, hypocrite and liar. And, his presidency, wildly reckless and destructive out of the gate, threatens everyone and everything that I care about. And, I’m genuinely scared for the people and places I love.

So I implore the 62 million Americans who voted for Trump to stay engaged and open-minded about what is happening today in America. Please stay knowledgeable.

To the nearly than 336,000 Mainers who voted for Trump, I respect your decision and your right to vote for whatever candidate(s) you wish. But, please stay vigilant and involved regarding the result of that decision as we move forward.

Finally, to the 1,500 of my friends and neighbors in Yarmouth who voted for Trump, you’re still my friends and neighbors. But, let’s all agree that what we share as common values is greater than what may divide us – as we listen to one another with respect and compassion.

For all, let’s never allow for our political partisanship to blindly override our inherent and deeply rooted love for country, community and the best interests of family and friends.

Love. Let’s never lose sight of it. It may be the brightest and truest light ahead in these turbulent times.

Steve Woods is from away, but fully here now, living in Yarmouth, working in Falmouth, traveling the world, and trying his best. His column appears every other week. He can also be heard Saturdays at 11 a.m. on WLOB 1310 AM and 100.5 FM.

11