Stand up and be counted

November 29, 2016

selling-outSome months ago ago I had reason to be in a discussion involving someone who had at one point in their life been a key player in an anti-establishment human rights movement.

Time passed and while that person hadn’t drawn the lucky gene card, they’d drawn another lucky card and leveraged it to high visibility and prestigious standing in the presiding establishment.  That day, though, listening to this person’s views and observing their current public persona, all I could think is this:  they sold out.

They sold out to be part of the elite in power. in their sphere. They sold out for prestige, and money, and to be, in a way, famous.

Oh, they had plenty of skill and credentials to make it on their own. They just wouldn’t necessarily have been traveling in such high cotton.

Selling out can pay off, I don’t deny it.

Once I worked for someone who sold another employee out.  There was business we should have jettisoned for moral and ethical reasons, but we didn’t. We didn’t.

I wish I could say more about all this, but where it’s going is this:

Stand up and be counted

At some point in our lives we are called upon to stand up and be counted.

To take a stand.

Sometimes, we have to make a decision as to whether we’ll take the stand that’s morally and ethically right–but risky–or travel the safe path and stay seated.

I’ve always been one who stands up.

It’s cost me, I won’t deny it.  But I know no other way.

Integrity’s a funny thing. It was far more valued in the Greatest Generation than it is now, its value eroded by…well, not just time, but everything.

And it’s in short supply these days, when folks are tempted to sell their souls for money or fame.

Now, people are selling out for power, ingratiating themselves with the incoming administration and they’re going to great lengths to do so, contorting in ways that are ethically questionable.  Maybe they don’t want to lose the standing they have. Maybe they want to increase it. But one way or another, they’re selling themselves–and us–short.

Strange bedfellows

Politics truly makes for strange bedfellows, strange bedfellows, indeed.

I’ve read a bunch of different analyses about this election and the bottom line is that I believe what i blogged about here and it’s likely I’ll believe it til the day I die.

always-stand-up-for-what-youI am never going to respect a man who makes fun of the disabled, who treats women so disrespectfully, who wants certain ethnicities to “register” and for whom the truth is incidental. These are not my American values.

And while I respect the office, I believe this man is not fit to serve, not in any way shape or form.

And I can never respect voters who got him into office.

I do understand that speaking out has and will cost me people I once called friends. But I won’t apologize for it.

I am a proud American. A patriot. And this is serious business to me.

So I’m standing up to be counted because that’s what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. That’s why American came to be in the first place.

Maybe we should remember that. And we should remember THIS, written by Pastor Martin Niemoller about the cowardice of German intellectuals during the Holocaust.

First They Came

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

49 comments on “Stand up and be counted
  1. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    This post leaves little room for those who stand up for a republican administration. This is one complicated election and while I can’t stand the man the media represents, I don’t know the man who is off-camera; while I am in a position to want and need a republican run government, I can’t leave my liberal heart and social beliefs behind. Stand-up, sit-down. It all feel like a game of duck, duck, goose.It has gotten to the point where I think twice now before I post pictures of a floridian vacation on Facebook for fear I will be ( as I was only recently) a white, elitist,privledged,upper-class “NEO-right” supremacist. Me. On my farm in NJ. Me, who gives away almost a third of her income to charity, me, who works tirelessly for the rights of the underprivileged in my community. My brother-in-law is black, five of nieces and nephews are from third world countries, two of my nephews are gay and I march with them, annually. So you see, If I stand up, I get shot down, the Goose being chased…but you know nothing about the real me, do you. I am muzzled.I fear stating up, because I will be instantly shot down.

    • I have no black relatives. I post photos of our spectacular vacations all the time without guilt. we earned them. My life is privileged, no question.I’m white. And I have never feared being shot down. I believe everyone should stand up and lead with their humanity. What other people do with it makes no never mind, as they say in the south. What matters is only what WE do.

      • Actually, I DO have black relatives I don’t know, as we are not a close extended family. Now that I think about it, a second cousin has a mixed race baby.

      • Ryder Ziebarth says:

        Well, let’s wait and see WHAT he does.

        • The thing is, it’s pretty clear where he’s going given his appointments. It is an extreme right wing and dangerous cabinet. Waiting is just not necessary. Anyone who follows politics or even history knows where it’s going.

          • Jennifer says:

            You are so right Carol. There is no waiting to find out what he is going to do….he’s done it and is already doing it. Why wait when his highest advisor, Bannon, is a white supremacist? Why wait since he’s already herded several newspaper publishers into a room so that he could admonish them for publishing negative stories(or as we like to say, the truth) about him? Who does that in a society in which a free press is part of the first amendment (ahead of the one guaranteeing lunatics get to stockpile and carry guns.)

    • Barbara says:

      IF you don’t know who the man is off camera you are not paying attention.

      • Ryder Ziebarth says:

        Actually, I was in church with him two Sundays ago, and spoke with him at Trump National, a week prior, a year prior, several times the year prior to that. He is charming, humorous,humble, polite and a gentleman. So, no, I can’t tell you what he is REALLY like,privagely like, because I have only interacted with him a half dozen times over the years in a public setting. But I can tell you , he is not what he is portrayed as on TV….it’s as interesting to me, as it is to you. His private persona is very different from his media persona.So now, can you tell me, Barbara after telling me I am not paying attention, that you really are? Have you interacted with the same man I have interacted with in a public setting, face to face?

        • I know well people who have done business with him or his kids. They don’t see the same guy you did.

        • Jennifer says:

          Interesting that you used the term “portrayed on TV,” since the only person “portraying him is Trump himself. It’s his words, his actions, all the TV is doing is showing a video of him. So I have seen it first hand. Like any good snake oil salesman, he’s going to try to be gracious in person.

  2. shari Eberts says:

    I love that poem. Such an effective way to express that we all need to watch out for one another. Thank you for reminding me about it.

  3. candy says:

    Always stand up for what you believe in and don’t sell out. Standing up now seems to be beating someone else up for not agreeing with you. Looting and burning businesses, posting untrue and hateful things. Stand up but there is a way to stand up without hurting anyone else.

  4. Jay Colby says:

    This was a thought-provoking article. I tend to agree that we have to stand for something. I’ve always followed the quote “if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything”. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kelly says:

    What standing up means for me is to challenge blatantly untrue articles or assertions on social media. I used to just let them go, but now I research and I provide statistics and facts. It NEVER changes any minds – but at least I have tried to engage in productive dialog. It usually goes south rather quickly. As for our President-elect, I am mortified by his public persona and that is what everyone around the world sees. It is impossible to determine what policy will come from his administration – he changes his mind so quickly that it is hard to keep track. Will those he appoints shape policy? Or will he turn on them as quickly as he did during the campaign? I am trying not to anticipate the worst.

  6. I would much rather stand alone then go along with something I don’t believe in. The lonely path is more difficult but its much better than not being true to ones self.

  7. Azlin Bloor says:

    Such an inspiring post, and what a wonderful poem! Thank you for reminding me about this.

  8. As long as I can remember my father recited that poem. After narrowly escaping Nazi Germany that certainly rang true for him and the family he left behind. And lost forever.

    I try to stand up whenever I can. I never had a loud voice but now it’s a must. This person others elected is a sham and is frighteningly reminiscent of another time when a demagogue took over a country and surrounded himself with evil cronies. Times are not a changing. They seem to be repeating themselves.

  9. Connie Tillman says:

    Always stand up for what you think is right – even if you are the only one standing. I love the poem

  10. Tyler says:

    I genuinely adore this post and completely agree. I wrote a very similar post that I’ll link at the end… not trying to plug… for real it’s just nice to know that there is a community behind you that agrees with you and will also stand up.

    http://www.feeltheesunlight.com/blog-3/2016/11/9/what-to-do-now-love

  11. Diane says:

    You energize me, Carol! We need women like you to get us up out of our too-comfortable chairs and stand for what we believe.
    “These are not my American values.” This says it all. These are not our Canadian values, either.
    Thank you! Again!

  12. Always stand in what you think is right and wrong.. that is a great attitude. Believe that God is on your side whatever battle you are in.

  13. Jess says:

    Sadly we need a reminder like this today to never give up on our rights and importantly; others rights as well. To stand united and show empathy and support for one another

  14. Admiring your stance and willingness to lead in this time of chaos!

  15. It can definitely be difficult to stand up for what you believe in, especially against those who think the opposite but worth it.

  16. Becki Svare says:

    It’s hard sometimes to stand up for your beliefs when they seem so counter-culture. In the end, you have to be able to live with yourself!

  17. angie says:

    Yes!! Yes!!! Yes!!! and again I Shout Yes!!! for if someone does not then we will never stand for anything. If we do not throw our hat in the ring then who are we after all?? We must become very much goal oriented and fight for what we believe in. That is why I say Yes!! for this beautiful post
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  18. helene cohen bludMan says:

    I stand with you. I have been vocal about my extreme unhappiness with this man so ill equipped for the highest office in the land. And I’m putting my words into action. I will not stop fighting until he is gone. #notmypresident

  19. This is such a great reminder. I think it is so important to always stand up for your own personal values and beliefs, though that often means stepping out of your comfort zone and facing the fear of others’ judgement.

  20. Cori says:

    Jay took the quote I was going to use! Taking politics out of this for my comment, I do agree that we all need to figure out where our boundaries are and what we’re willing to fight for.

  21. Amber Myers says:

    Yes, I always try to stand up for what I believe in.

    At the same time though, if I constantly worry, I’ll be miserable, so I can’t panic all the time.

  22. Being that Jew that was graced with antisemitic neighbors for years, it was a simple baby step to intervene to ensure the rights of others.

  23. Ellie says:

    Definitely important to always stand up for what you believe in and stand by your morals and convictions.

  24. MilicA says:

    I love this post and the poem too!

  25. Elizabeth O. says:

    That’s the problem these days, less people try to stand up and fight. We all turn to silence and just wait until everything falls apart. The will power and determination to fight that our ancestors had before us, is no longer evident in our bloods. Instead, people hide behind their keyboards. It’s heartbreaking.

  26. Paola says:

    Very true and very well written… The funny thing is certain people like me, don’t get a chance to stand up for what I believe nor do I get a chance to sell out hahahaha… unlucky much, I guess… hahaha
    jokes.

  27. Nellwyn says:

    As a Canadian, this recent election was very strange for me to watch… but that poem is always a great reminder to stand up for the rights of others.

  28. Well written article I believe it is our right to stand up for what we believe so hats off to you. I have never met him in person and I don’t always believe the media because they love to show only the drama. This is definitely a tough subject to write about so great job at expressing and standing up for your beliefs

  29. I can never respect the man. The idea of admitting he will be my President makes me physically ill. I’m standing up, for the values I believe in. We have to get him out as soon as possible. He has so many GD conflicts. I’m with you. I’ve been fired for insisting on equal pay. I’m still standing.

  30. Vera Sweeney says:

    So important to stand up for what you believe in. As long as you know you have done right by you and your belief, it is a great place to start.

  31. Very well written article, you’ve got a great voice. Really good information too.

  32. So many political issues going on all over the world right now. I admire people who have the gall to speak up and stand for what they believe in. Hats off to you, Carol!

  33. Watching from a far distance. The last election was an eye opener for many. Some still in the state of stock, awe and disbelieve. But living in a democratic country is what all of us sought. The results are there and it’s time to accept defeat. From the poll result, it seems that American people had spoken. This is just my opinion.

  34. Susan cooper says:

    Through this all, “First They Came” was constantly running through my head. It gave me a chill out read it again in your post. Scary times we live in. More important than ever to stand up for what is right and true.

  35. I’ve heard a variation of that poem before and I’ve always loved it. I really wish more people could find the line of I disagree but let me hear you and respect you besides just “that’s stupid you’re an idiot” or “Well I can’t change it so I won’t try.” It’s not how things get better. If only black people fought to end slavery it wouldn’t have ended. If only women rallied for women to vote, we wouldn’t be voting.We all have to find out voice and do our part.

  36. This election has changed my whole outlook on life. I’ve never been ashamed of my country before, but I am now. I can’t look at people that I once looked up to, respected, even share DNA with ever the same.Living in SC has been an education for sure and my home state of KY isn’t much better. Hell, they’ve let Mitch McConnell lead them by the nose for 22 years! It’s humiliating and disgraceful. Apparently, every politician in this state sold out because they’re all headed to Washington.

  37. Angela Ricardo says:

    What a great poem, I love to read this and thanks for making me Inspired

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