An Appeal to Trump Supporters

When I was a kid, we sang a song in Sunday school that went “they will know we are Christians by our love.” The meaning, we were taught, was that our deeds, based in love, would show the world who we were and what we believed, rather than our words. I’ve long since left Christianity as a faith, but the teachings attributed to Jesus still make perfect sense. Love your enemy, comfort the afflicted, care for the poor and downtrodden, welcome the refugee and immigrant, shun wealth and greed, consider all people as one family. These are deeds of love that would let the world know who we are.

The problem is so many so-called Christians are busily engaged in the exact opposite of these tenets. And they’re doing these deeds in support of a dangerously unfit president who, in every way possible, exemplifies the opposite of Jesus’ teachings.

When I was a kid, we learned in school that America was a country that was a shining beacon to the poor and downtrodden of the world, a place that welcomed refugees and immigrants, a nation that believed in equality and justice and human rights. Of course, the reality has always been much less altruistic, but these ideals still make perfect sense.

The problem is so many so-called patriotic Americans are busily engaged in the exact opposite of these ideals. And they’re doing these deeds in support of a dangerously unfit president who, in every way possible, exemplifies the opposite of the writings of our founding fathers.

I doubt many Trump supporters will read this, or honestly think about it, but if any do, here’s what I’d like to say to you:

Please ask yourself what you are supporting when you support Trump. I know it’s difficult to admit a mistake, but based on the words and deeds of this administration this is what you are telling the world you support:

You support lying every day to the people of the United States.

You support children and babies being torn from their mothers and locked in cages designed for animals.

You support trashing the Constitution and rule of law.

You support racism.

You support homophobia.

You support the annihilation of the First Amendment and the suppression of a free press.

You support religious bigotry and persecution.

You support the poisoning of our environment.

You support taking money from 99% of the people to give it to 1% of them.

You support coddling dictators who murder and imprison their people for resisting fascism.

You support fascism.

You support abusing women.

You support cheating on wives with prostitutes, then paying hush money and threatening violence to hide it.

You support giving our public lands to corporations that will destroy them and leave us with the clean-up bill.

You support rape.

You support a foreign hostile power toppling our democracy from within.

You support treason.

You support using public office to enrich oneself in direct violation of the law.

You support arrogance, greed, hatred, ignorance dishonesty and violence.

You support what the Bible calls evil and what common sense calls being a traitor.

No argument about Obama or Hilary’s emails or crime or law & order or fake news or snowflakes can get you out of the position where you are. These are the things you are telling the world that you support. This is who you are telling us you are. This is how you will be remembered.

If you don’t, in your heart, actually support the items on this list, then you cannot, you must not, support Trump or his enablers. You must, as a Christian (if you are a Christian), as an American, as a human being who knows right from wrong, you must stand against this concerted attack on our democracy. This is not about left vs. right or Democrat vs. Republican. The Republicans should be more outraged than anyone that this man is destroying their party for his own ends. They should be offended that he dare call himself one of them. This is not a partisan issue, this is a Constitutional crisis and a threat to our nation. History will view this time for what it is: an attempt to replace democracy with fascism.

You must decide which side of history you will be on. For the sake of us all, please make the right choice.

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100 Highways Tour Photos

This gallery contains 115 photos.

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Hundred Highways Tour #96 – #100: CA-87, CA-85, US-101, CA-156 & CA-1 to a Cliff Overlooking the Pacific

What better place to end the tour for Vagabond Song than on the same road where the book ends: the Pacific Coast Highway on the very farthest edge of that myth we call America? And what better audience than the ocean herself?

We flew into San Jose, grabbed a rental car and headed south to Pacific Grove and our postage stamp hotel room with a view of Monterey Bay and a daily alarm clock of the loudest gulls I’ve met. This was our base of operations for day trips down the coast, hiking in the redwoods, wandering cliff-fringed beaches and making a pilgrimage to the Henry Miller Memorial Library.

photo by Lisa Beaudin

An enchanted courtyard filled with art and trees, a room filled with great books, free tea and the best motto: “The Henry Miller Memorial Library, where nothing happens.” Miller is one of those writers I read too long ago and need to revisit. I vaguely recall Tropic of Cancer changing my conception of what a book could be, in the same way that Ulysses and 100 Years of Solitude did. Plus, Miller introduced me to the work of Anaïs Nin, whose writing blows me away.

Eventually, we found the right cliff along the right stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. I read the scene from Vagabond Song that happens during a hitchhiking trip down this very road. The plan was to give people a heads up that I was going to broadcast the reading to my Facebook page so they could tune in, but suddenly, we were at the right spot, didn’t know if we had a connection or not, but started recording and reading without notice. The result was shaky and marred (or enhanced) by the noise of passing cars, and the clip cuts off right before the final word of the excerpt. But it’s okay. The point was to read to the ocean, not create a lasting record of it. The point was to celebrate the completion of the Hundred Highways Tour on the same highway as the book’s final movement. The point was to toss out those words to the sea and let them fly away like the gulls and cormorants who were with us continuously on this final trip.

It’s been a fantastic voyage hitting these hundred highways, meeting great people and sharing my work with them. With you. Thanks for traveling with me. May your roads be winding, wild and filled with music. May you meet many vagabond angels, and may you be one to others.

See you on the next hundred.

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