We Are Not Enemies

Dear conservative friends and family,

I am not your enemy. And you are not my enemy. But you’d never know that from the information you receive. I have tuned into Fox. I have read Breitbart. The overwhelming message they send is that I, your friend and loved one, should be despised, ridiculed, and, yes, some even say eradicated.

Think about that.

No, really, think about it.

Turn off the TV or radio and get quiet with that thought.

Is your happiness really dependent upon my demise?

Somewhere in your heart I hope you know their sole objective is to divide us. To make you and I seem so irreconcilably different that we hate each other. But the truth is, we are more alike than we are different. Everything I value—things like respecting my fellow human, living an honest life with integrity, being a responsible citizen, caring for my family and friends, and most of all, adhering to the golden rule of treating others as you would like to be treated—is completely compatible with everything you value and hold true.

These are (apolitical) conservative values. And I believe we share them. I hope we do.

We are one tribe. But you’d never know that from listening to the false prophets trying to convince you to hate me.

Love,
Your liberal friend

This is My Hometown


Thank you Mayor John Birkner Jr. and the Westwood Borough Council for raising the gay pride flag on the borough hall. Reading about the flag raising at njersy.co/westwoodrainbow made me quite emotional. As a kid, I would have never imagined my mostly conservative hometown being so welcoming and inclusive to celebrate gay pride month. Of course back then I had no idea what gay pride was and the rainbow flag—what’s that?

When I came out in the early 90s I didn’t believe that being gay was something to be proud about. Nor was it something to be ashamed of. I still believe this. Being proud of inherent traits like having blue eyes or being left-handed or being gay seems a little silly. For me, pride comes from how you live your life. It’s about having the strength to be honest with yourself and your loved ones, to accept yourself, and to live out and openly with integrity and respect for your fellow human, especially when they didn’t quite understand you, and at a time when the world was a much more hostile place than it is today. 

I applaud my hometown for the message it sends and for making the world more welcoming than it was yesterday.

And…

GO CARDINALS!

Popular Vote Winner’s Commencement Speech

Excerpts:

Now, of course today has some important differences. The advance of technology, the impact of the internet, our fragmented media landscape, make it easier than ever to splinter ourselves into echo chambers. We can shut out contrary voices, avoid ever questioning our basic assumptions. Extreme views are given powerful microphones. Leaders willing to exploit fear and skepticism have tools at their disposal that were unimaginable when I graduated. Continue reading “Popular Vote Winner’s Commencement Speech”