Where Is the Decency?

Where Is the Decency?
Photo by Reese Garcia via Flickr

By Ruth Gadebusch

Those of us of a certain vintage remember the question asked of a particularly rogue senator: “Sir, have you no decency?” Well, we have another rogue to whom that question might be asked except we already know he has none. Worse yet, this man isn’t just representing one state but an entire nation.

The good news is that he makes every other president look good. There are several who should be truly grateful to him as they roll over in their graves! Little did we think it possible.

Another memory from my early years in the South was how we excused behavior of the worst sort. We simply passed it off that the person was born a fool and had a relapse. You can’t get much worse than that, can you? I don’t have to tell you whom in our so-called leadership that description can most correctly be applied to these days. Yes, that accounts for our president but not how to explain the Congressional Republican leadership’s support of his antics. The word is hardly adequate, but there really is no language—most especially not in polite society—to describe such a person in such a responsible role. Furthermore, we do not need to lower ourselves to his level.

It is not as if he did not have a well-documented history of misbehavior of every sort. From his own mouth often followed by denial. Just when we think it can’t get any worse he manages to top himself. In the spirit of give the devil his due we must admit he is superb in bragging on his own claimed assets. In fact, he has developed this trait to a point well beyond ego-maniac to having his mental well-being questioned by competent professionals. Without doubt, many of us ordinary citizens have long believed there is a screw loose to use the common term.

The trouble is that he holds the most powerful office in the land and those responsible for putting some restraint on the out-of-control creature are sacrificing country for party. First and foremost is the legitimacy of our election that put the man in this awesome position. I don’t mean gerrymandering, a common practice deplored by all except perhaps when it works in our favor. I mean interference by a foreign power.

With the technology of the day and humankind’s gullibility, there is little doubt that efforts are being made all over the planet to increase the influence/ power of one nation over all others. Alas, it would appear that the closer investigation of our 2016 presidential election gets to proof of foul play the stronger the efforts by the majority in Congress to halt it. Notice, I don’t say benefiting party because in the end none of us win with power held by a corrupt election.

The latest brouhaha is just one in a long string and, unfortunately, won’t be the last. Other than the damage done just by the words alone is the reaction of several of the senators of this nation in actually denying the undiplomatic words of our president rather than the usual default of silence. Yes, better described as hateful, racist, etc. All the more so because they come from the mouth of a world leader. World leaders may think some of the inappropriate statements but generally have sense enough not to utter them.

It is said that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) spoke out at the meeting against these words at the time and has not denied them since. That is more than we can say for others present. Sen. Dick Durbin (D–Ill.) is the one fully condemning the president’s words, words that the president has now denied. Who are you going to believe, Sen. Durbin with his impeccable reputation for integrity or the president? How sad that this great nation has come to this.

Some of us might still be reeling in shock that such a man now holds such an office, but it does little good to dig an ever-deeper hole. We in this Valley have a particular opportunity to replace the representative who has shown himself entirely too willing to “amen” anything and everything this president says or does. Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare) has got to go. That is the election closest giving us an opportunity to make a difference. Never ever has our action—not just talk—been more called for.

America can be great only with decency in our leadership. It isn’t that hard to find those who care about their fellow/sister humans, who have empathy for those less fortunate, who appreciate that we have responsibility to protect this planet, who know those resources are to be shared, who use that vote responsibly. Decency resides in us the voters and we must support leadership living it. In short, decency is an all-encompassing word sorely needed in our leadership allowing us to live peacefully on this wonderful God-given Earth.


Ruth Gadebusch, a community activist, is a veteran, a former member of the Fresno Unified School Board and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Civic Education.


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