Defending Common Decency in Davis

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By Alan Hirsch

If you were at City Hall after midnight Tuesday you could see decency in action.

I was at the City Council meeting at 12:20 am. I’m retired, so I had the luxury of staying to speak on a minor item on Trees, the last item on the agenda.  This was nearly 7 hours into a meeting that began at 5:30 pm. It had run continually with only a few bathroom breaks. Council had eaten at their desks.

Council & staff began discussing an agenda item a new homeless respite center. A place so these folks could be off the street, out of the heat, smoke, rain, etc. during the day. A place to wash, bathroom and store their stuff.  Where to put it?  What services to offer?

I looked around, and noted –still in the council room after midnight — was not just council and supporting city staff but also 15 Davis residents who stayed up to make a public comment on the issue. I watched as they provided useful input on the different options for the homeless center.  To altruistically advocate for Council to take action to help the neediest in our community.  (Ed note: Even David Greenwald of Vanguard had gone home to watch video on TV).

You will see this agenda item noted in the Enterprise and Vanguard news stores, but you won’t see the pathos of this midnight scene conveyed — because it’s not news in Davis.   Rather it’s common for people to advocate for the betterment of people among us who struggle.

Common decency here.

As I watch the scene at midnight before the council, I thought of how it contrasted with the dark rhetoric of Trump that has filled the national media. Most recently, Trump attacking the American city of Baltimore for having problems.

Just as he has attacked the City of Chicago for having problems.

Attacked Puerto Rico while it staggered to recover in the wake of the hurricane.

His worse-than-indifference treatment of refugee crisis at our southern border, of people fleeing what he labeled “shit hole” countries.

This is what is common for Trump. His verbalized schadenfreude. Curse the weak, the victim.

This rhetoric is what inspired the clergy of the Washington National Cathedral to write a public letter last Tuesday rebuking Trump’s attacks on his fellow humans who struggle.  The clergy asked, “where is his decency?”

But they also asked the rest of the USA where is our decency that we tolerate Trump’s rhetoric?

In Davis, you can find this decency in many places, Council meetings are a good place to start.

But it’s time that we more often note the pathos of this common behavior in our local Davis media as the antidote to Trump.

But beyond this, our local Davis scribes- and citizen letters to editor writers  — to should answer the call from the Washington National Cathedral to overtly reject Trump’s behavior.

Silence is acceptance of Trump’s Rhetoric, the clergy’s letter states.


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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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20 thoughts on “Defending Common Decency in Davis”

  1. Alan Miller

    This is some sort of comparison between the ‘decency’ of Davis and the ‘indecency’ of Donald Trump?  WTF?

    “Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! Based on that statement, I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard! The fact is, Baltimore can be brought back, maybe…… ”

    –Donald Trump

    The man is a boorish ass.  And he speaks his mind, and he’s not a cookie-cutter politician the mold of which this country has grown so tired of — and lots of people like that.  I like those aspects.  Though I wish these traits were part of a more respectable overall human.  But alas, it is human nature that sociopath, narcissistic F***-heads rise to the top (also see: Arnold Schwarzenegger), and we let them.  Even enable them.  By not seeing that his boorish behavior is driving so many to react, which is exactly how people like him gain and sustain their power.

    And please don’t label Davis as ‘decent’.  [Ssssssh!  I’ve heard a rumor that Davis has a ‘dark underbelly’.  It’s a secret!]

    1. Eric Gelber

      The man is a boorish ass.  And he speaks his mind, and he’s not a cookie-cutter politician the mold of which this country has grown so tired of — and lots of people like that.  I like those aspects. 

      There is a broad spectrum between admirably speaking one’s mind and being a boorish ass and Trump is firmly on the boorish extreme. There is nothing admirable about his brand of outspokenness. And please, let’s not even suggestively give credence to false equivalencies by quoting Trump’s misleading out-of-context reference to Bernie Sanders comparing what Sanders’ said to his own racist comments.

      1. Ron Oertel

        It is interesting to see the difference between how Trump is viewed locally (and throughout much of California and elsewhere), and how he’s viewed by those (primarily elsewhere) who apparently really like his “outspokenness”, for the most part.

        Just an observation – not a judgement.

        I do wonder, however, how many Trump supporters are actually comfortable with the “send her back” chant, regarding an American citizen and representative.  (And, how they justify that, in their own minds.)  Yikes.

        1. Jerry Waszczuk

          This is all about money and power . Is no justification for  Trump to say a lot of things  Trump said or tweeted but is no justification  to orchestrate massive witch hunt against Trump and his family since 2016. Bullets are flying both ways .

           

        2. Ron Oertel

          Jerry:  It will be interesting to see if the passionate opposition to Trump is sufficient to prevent his re-election.

          He certainly elicits a reaction that we haven’t seen, before. Even though some of his actual policies may not be all that much different from some previous presidents. (With the possible exception of tariffs.)

          I previously had no idea that a president could just enact tariffs, on his own.

          One thing that I’m NOT surprised about is Trump’s avoidance of war. I recall that he criticized Bush’s involvement, in that. Of course, one might argue that Trump’s actions increase the likelihood of it.

        3. Ron Oertel

          Also – regarding tariffs:  Certainly another example of Trump’s willingness to tackle issues – regardless of political consequences (or perhaps “effectiveness”, as well).

          On the bright side, maybe it will cut back on rampant, throw-away consumerism (and shoddy products made with cheap foreign labor). 

          Trump – the “environmental” president – setting out to protect the working class?  (Just kidding, but could there be some actual, positive impact regarding that?)

        4. Jerry Waszczuk

          Ron . The  passionate opposition became too passionate  and works more for Trump’s  interest than against him .  On top of what I see , the dems candidates for  President office have no much to offer to be elected .  Trump  is  a populist terrified by the “Russian Collusion -Delusion ” Mueller’s  investigation which did not meet prosecutor ‘Kamala  Harris’  expectations and demands  to  throw Trump into prison .

        5. Ron Oertel

          Jerry:  I agree that Trump has been able to take advantage of the opposition against him.  That actually seems to be a driving force for him, and for some of his supporters.

          I’m also not very impressed with the current crop of Democratic candidates, at least in regard to those who seem “mainstream-enough” to win.  I miss the days that we had two of them – Hillary, and Barack.

          Regarding your reference to Kamala Harris, I’m not sure what drives her to pursue the presidency.

          Never understood why some had an aversion to Hillary Clinton.  An intelligent person, and a natural leader.

          Obama was (by far) the best speaker of any recent president (or candidate, for that matter). Perhaps ultimately not the best “deal-maker”, though.

           

        6. Ron Oertel

          Had to look up what that meant, although I’ve previously heard the term.

          I think I’ll refrain from commenting further here, partly because it is becoming off-topic (as someone else noted).

          Overall, I’d like to hear from you more often on here, as you provide a perspective I’m not familiar with. If you do so, I hope you’re not discouraged by others. From what I’ve seen, you adhere to the goals put forth by the article, above (when commenting).

    2. Bill Marshall

      Alan, as much as I respect you, in most matters, this generated a string of very off-topic comments…

      I get that… have very likely done that more than once…

      But I see that the drift off-topic is a sea swell…

      Yet, I do not disagree with your post… am just pointing out the “drift”…

      Have a good evening, and weekend…

      1. Ron Oertel

        I get that… have very likely done that more than once…

        Fortunately, one of which has now been deleted in this same comment section.  As you apparently requested, as well. Actually, the “substance” of the comment was also concerning, in addition to being “off-topic”. But, at least you (ultimately) acknowledged the mistake.

      2. Alan Miller

        Alan, as much as I respect you, in most matters, this generated a string of very off-topic comments……

        God knows which Alan he’s talking about.  We’re not F**king interchangeable, y’know.  And whichever one, the “this” he refers to generating “a string of very off-topic comments…” — I mean, how is it anyone’s “fault” what other people do?  WTF!

  2. Don Shor

    Nice essay by Alan Hirsch. Restoration of decency in government is going to come from the ground up. I hope the voters will consider that our president represents us to the world, and will consider personal comportment among other factors as they weigh their voting decisions.

    1. Bill Marshall

      You’re getting close to the line, Don… but I opine that it is also at the State, and local level, and I think that trumps just the Fed level… that said, I fully agree with,

      will consider personal comportment among other factors as they weigh their voting decisions.

      Something I’ve done for ~45 years…

  3. Alan Miller

    Nice essay by Alan Hirsch.

    It’s certainly worthy of the Vanguard.

    Restoration of decency in government is going to come from the ground up.

    And it starts right here with how we treat each other in the Vanguard comments section.  Cue the music:  #God Bless America, Land that I LUUUUUUUUUUUV!#

  4. Alan Hirsch

    Words Matter. And Silence Matters if you don’t condemn them.

    People with machine guns, inspired by word from Trump and his supporters have a sense of empowerment will take action. Stocastic violence is a fact.  Leaders need to be held accountable for action they inspire among of their followers.

    This is from the El Paso Shooters Facebook page.

     

     

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