I’m really puzzled.
Two days ago I published a Catch about what I had learned from something Neil Young wrote in an open letter to President Trump. Now I knew I was stepping into a political minefield that I probably should have left alone, but I learned so much from what he expressed along the lines of what I had been talking about all last week, that I thought we could all benefit.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I received more comments from that article than I have received in months, and some of the attitudes exhibited the very reason why I wrote the article in the first place.
In spite of his own personal feelings about the president and about politics, Neil Young came to the defense of the people he disagrees with, and that was all I wanted to point out, and, as the following paragraph clearly indicates, it was all about me, anyway, not Neil Young, or the president, or politics, and how something that he said pointed out errors in my own attitude and something I had hoped I could pass on to you.
Here’s what I took away from what he said: “Can I say I have the back of Americans with whom I disagree politically? Well … not until now. Can I say that I think those with whom I disagree are true Americans? Well … not until now. Can I say I don’t blame anyone who voted differently from me? Well … not until now.”
Does this mean I can only use people I like and agree with as examples of something I need to learn? I hope not. That would leave me a very small circle to grow in.
So I am copying that Catch below, because I would like everyone to read it again, set aside your political views (and whatever you think mine are, because you’re probably wrong) and get what I’m trying to get you to see that I learned from Neil Young.
I’m hoping, in this political minefield in which we live and move, that through whatever I might say or attempt to say, rightly or wrongly, that through it all, you would have my back too.
Thank you, Neil Young
Posted February 24, 2020 by John Fischer
I don’t blame the people who voted for you. I support their right to express themselves, although they have been lied to, and in many cases believed the lies, they are true Americans. I have their back. – Neil Young in an open letter to Donald Trump
Contrary to what it might look like, this is not a Catch about politics. It’s a Catch about attitude, and about what I wrote about all last week, and what I hope you’ve been talking over and seeking to do with your friends and neighbors — about loving our enemies.
Neil Young, popular singer/songwriter and rock star, who was born in Canada and has become an American citizen, published an open letter to Donald Trump on his website in which he disagrees with many of Trump’s policies and minces no words about what he thinks of his character, but towards the end of his letter, he has the statement I quoted above, and it caught me unawares. I must say, it not only caught me; it nailed me.
Can I say I have the back of Americans with whom I disagree politically? Well … not until now. Can I say that I think those with whom I disagree are true Americans? Well … not until now. Can I say I don’t blame anyone who voted differently from me? Well … not until now.
That’s right — not until now — because now I must say, Neil Young has taught me something. He has taught me something about respect, about no blame, and about what Jesus said about loving my perceived enemies. He has shown me a different attitude from the one I had.
And this is the reason I offer this to you, in case you might benefit from it as well. It matters not where on the political spectrum we find ourselves, this is how we should think about those with whom we disagree, and it’s about the only way we will ever move forward in this country — when we all, think like this.