Guest Opinions

I will support goodness and grace

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. Tribune News Service

There comes a time when enough is enough, when being silent for the sake of political decorum is no longer acceptable. Today, I am reminded of the stirring words of Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

I am not going to be silent anymore.

Let’s look at a recent international development. Here are the facts — what sentient human beings call “reality.”

1. The CIA has concluded that the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman ordered the assassination of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi.

2. Trump has chosen to stand by the Crown Prince to boost arms sales to Saudi Arabia and prevent oil price spikes. “They have been a great ally,” Trump said of the Saudis, and “the United States intends to remain a steadfast partner. I’m not going to destroy our economy by being foolish with Saudi Arabia.”

3. On October 16, 2018, Trump tweeted, “For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!”

4. At a 2015 campaign rally in Mobile, Alabama, Trump said of the Saudis, “I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much!”

I’ll let you connect the dots.

I have had enough. As an American but, more importantly, as an admittedly imperfect human being striving to be principle-centered, I am not willing to sell my soul to a president (or anyone else) who will toady to a cruel and ruthless totalitarian dictator assassin for the sake of dollars.

I know that I cannot dissuade the Trump true believers who are seduced more by emotional fear mongering than reality; they have to live with their own choices. As for me, I will no longer be silent. I will stand for reason and moral integrity, and I will support reasonable and moral spokespeople, regardless of their political party, for no single party has a monopoly on virtue. In short, I will stand for and support goodness and grace.

Allen Johnson is the author of a new novel set in Pasco, Washington: Spike, Benny, and Boone: Life-Long Friends and Their Quest for Grace.

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