You don’t know what you have until it’s gone

My first bitter-sweet experience with John Lewis’ death was this exquisite tribute by President Barack Obama. Reading this eloquent writing reminded me of how much I miss the intelligent, articulate, brilliant, principled, moral man we had as our national leader before the last 3 ½ years.

Both President Obama and Representative John Lewis faced aggressive racist attacks without responding with violence or bullying.  John Lewis, especially, reacted with determined, non-violent resistance to violence from the age of 17.  He steadfastly and vociferously opposed racism without ever resorting to bullying or personally denigrating his opponents, and without confusing right from wrong sides of the issue.  He was a man of humility rather than narcissism.  Both men accomplished monumental achievements without the sordid financial gifts of a deplorable, criminal father.

As is often said, you don’t value what you have until it’s gone. While I have been acutely aware of how bad our national leadership is now, I had not clearly remembered how good it was before. President Obama’s tribute was such a stark contrast to the cacophony of ignorant tweets we have now.  President Obama is thoughtful versus irrational, measured versus irascible, amiable versus pugnacious, and erudite versus pretentious.

I am astounded that anyone can still support and defend our current temporary national office holder.  Character matters.

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