Joseph Stalin made me a PB&J

By November 14, 2018 December 30th, 2018 Personal
If Joseph Stalin made me a sandwich, would I say thank you? Would I compliment him on his sandwich-making abilities if it were a good sandwich? If it were the best sandwich I’d ever had, would I throw it away and claim it wasn’t?

Of course you can ask this question of any distasteful, mass-murdering, dirt-bag. I would have used Hitler, but that’s a bit played out at this point, isn’t it? Besides, old Joe Stalin killed more people, so the question should be more powerful.

I can tell you my answer: I don’t know.

But that’s the point. Especially about someone I don’t know enough about to make any kind of judgement about how I would react in that situation: I haven’t predetermined my reaction. I haven’t automatically decided if I would throw it in his face, or ignore him. I admit maybe I should, and I probably would (If I know myself well enough). But I haven’t made up my mind beforehand.

What if we were to walk the streets of San Francisco (or better yet Portland, Oregon) and ask the people on the streets if how’d they react if Donald Trump made them a sandwich. (You could have asked the same question about Obama to people in, say… Texas, but let’s keep it in the present for now).

Can we predict with relative certainty how a majority of the participants would react? I would say so. (You’re welcome to disagree).

The problem with today’s world is that we’re so set on choosing sides, making sure that our side is “right” that we are willing to disregard any good thing, any victory, that comes from the other side. People in every political party, in every walk of life, are susceptible to the mistake of prejudging the actions of others, and automatically assigning motive and morality to actions, good or bad.

I mention this because the (fingers crossed) impending peace with North Korea is definitely a good thing. I don’t think there is a single honest person in the north or the south of that peninsula who doesn’t want peace with each other. This is a good thing, no matter what others say about it.

Isn’t that annoying? Am I the only one growing tired of the hecklers and the naysayers?

Don’t get me wrong, there are things Trump has done that I don’t like. But the fact that talking heads and pundits continue to make the issue about them, about him, about how it can’t possibly be as good a thing as we believe because of who is behind it, proves that they’re not in it for us, they’re in it for themselves. It’s not healthy for us as a nation.

Our democracy didn’t fall apart, as promised, when Trump was elected.

Millions of people didn’t die when we repealed the mandate for the Affordable Care Act.

Maybe I have a better view of him because I don’t have Twitter? But it seems every other day there is a news story about something the president tweeted, and not about what he did. What if he didn’t have Twitter? Would the country’s perception of him and the things he does change?

Maybe we should remember that actions speak louder than words.

Aaron J. Webber

Author Aaron J. Webber

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