Vail Daily column: Learn tolerance and move forward together |

Vail Daily column: Learn tolerance and move forward together

Gus Nicholson
Valley Voices
Gus Nicholson
Special to the Daily |

The day I’m writing this is Flag Day, Wednesday. One of our nation’s oldest official commemorations, it celebrates the adoption of our national symbol by resolution of the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, and is, incidentally, also the day that Congress brought the United States Army into being.

Exactly 240 years later, We the People are now skinheads and libtards to one another, barely able to tolerate each others’ speeches. Things have gotten pretty crazy lately. Today, a man with avowed progressive views lashed out and shot up a GOP sandlot baseball game in the nation’s capital, wounding a congressman and at least one lobbyist, among others, before being killed by police.

We learn on this day, the fabulous Koch Brothers, owners of some of the biggest industrial polluters within our nation’s boundaries, are funding a movement calling for a new constitutional convention with the aim of limiting federal spending and power. They have already succeeded in getting a dozen states to pass bills in support of the movement.

More immediately, they are on the verge of succeeding in defunding the Environmental Protection Agency, founded during the term of Richard Nixon, a Republican president, as a means of assuring then and future generations of clean air and water, which at that time, by the photo and chemical evidence, could no longer be taken for granted. Lake Erie was on fire, acid rain had killed most biological life in lakes and rivers in New Hampshire and Maine and you could barely see from one end of Pittsburgh and Manhattan to the other. These are truths.

Here in Colorado, our state constitution makes it illegal for the state to engage in deficit spending, so the idea works. But, why a constitutional convention? Could it be to enshrine corporate interests into what would potentially be the third document organizing our national government after the Articles of Confederation (1783) and the United States Constitution (1787)? If you’re a Snowflake (aka, libtard) you probably think so. If you’re a conservative Tea Bagger, it’s only fiscal responsibility where everyone and everything pays its own way, except, of course, if you’re a corporation.

My priest, of all people said to me we’ve got to give president 45 a chance. Despite my anger and frustration, I managed to tell him that until the man comes out explicitly against all the racist hatred suddenly present on the national stage and stops implementing the Tea Party agenda of dismantling the government, obstructing the investigations into his Russian ties, those of his associates and his alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution and advancing for appointment judges whose political views, expressed through their blogs, actions and behaviors offend the very nature of judicial impartiality, then I will do all I can as a citizen of these United States to encourage the best imitations of Mitch McConnell I can find among all our elected and appointed representatives.

Some people may be driven by their frustration and anger to such violent acts as we witnessed recently against the GOP. I do not condone them. I love this country too much to watch it unravel before my very eyes. We reap what we sow. If you can’t find the common ground, then there will one day be no ground on which you can stand and make a case, any case.

So, unless you’re taking some twisted pleasure in dehumanizing your fellow American citizen by labeling them, and we are all guilty as charged, and you think it’s your way or the highway and you’re pretty damn certain the country will be bankrupt in a couple of years if people who worked all their lives continue to collect a Social Security check they paid for with their own wages and their employers’ contributions, I suggest you start treating one another with respect. We are all in this together, progressive and conservative, and the way forward begins with civility.

Gus Nicholson is a resident of Denver and Avon.

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