By The Content Of Their Character?


“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by…”

…their political party affiliation or ideological leaning?

…their level of hatred or support for Trump?

Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream was that we would judge others based on the “content of their character”. But in today’s hyper-partisan America where Twitter mobs and Facebook arguments are so pervasive, King’s dream seems further from reality than it did 50 years ago, and not primarily for racial reasons. This new breed of discrimination is based on your politics rather than skin color.

Why? Because we have allowed political identification and ideology to become the predominant, and sometimes only, defining characteristic by which we judge our fellow Americans.

If you voted for or support President Trump, well, that’s all some folks need to know about you in order to conclude that you are of low character and an enabler of evil. Your support of or vote for Trump is what defines you, and it means you’re a Nazi racist misogynist homophobe deplorable, unquestionably. Right?

Remember when supporting a duly and fairly elected POTUS because we wanted to see the country succeed was considered a good thing? Not anymore. Now, you must publicly confess that Trump is the full-on manifestation of the Prince of Darkness, because if you don’t then you’re obviously one of his evil minions who will be held equally responsible for the coming Trump-caused collapse of Western civilization.

Because according to some, no good, virtuous, moral person of high character could possibly support any part of Trumps agenda.

How in the world did we come to the place that we actually believe ones character can be determined by a cursory glance at his or hers choice of political platform or candidate?

The political part of a person is only a sliver, a tiny slice, of who that person is, and to make broad and character-defining judgments about folks based solely on the politicians they like or don’t like is preposterous and flat-out wrong. Yet that seems to be the place we’ve come to in America now.

And yes, we saw the same tendencies during the Obama presidency, and Bush before that etc. But it’s worse now than I’ve ever seen it, and I’ve been around awhile.

Trump is a temporary occupant of the White House, he’ll be gone eventually and other presidents after him will have to endure the precedent we’re setting today, and that precedent doesn’t look much like Dr. Kings vision.

It looks more like we’re judging the character of our American brothers and sisters based on an opinion of the content of someone else’s character.



Posted by Rick Tryon

Rick Tryon is an entrepreneur, a singer-songwriter, and is currently serving a four year term as a Great Falls City Commissioner. Helping Montana become an even greater place to live, play and work is Tryon's passion.

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