Mother Picked My Friends

2017 by Ed Chasteen

1702 Magnolia Ave. Liberty, MO 64068


“That boy is not welcome in this house. You are known by the company you keep. If everybody else jumped off a cliff, would you jump too? I’ll wash your mouth with soap if you say anything like that.”

Mother married my dad at 18 and lived to be 100. I was her oldest child and was 78 when she died. She didn’t say these words above just once or all at the same time, but so often that they blink on and off in my mind to this day. Mother taught me not to be a braggart, not to use crude and vulgar language, to respect women, to be a man of my word. Mother took me to church where I heard these words:“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

When the current occupant of the White House was just a candidate, I said that anyone associated with him would be degraded. Now the entire nation is associated with him. Even though millions more voted for his opponent, he is the current occupant.

I respect the office of president. I do not respect the current occupant. He refuses to release his tax returns because they would reveal that he is not the billionaire he claims to be. He exaggerates the size of his NY apartment, his deal-making, his crowd size, his approval rating, his net worth. Now in office he divides us. He wants to wall us off. He takes actions that harm the people he promised to help. Current Occupant reminds me of the junior high bully who lorded over my eighth grade life.
This bully, like that one, will for a time abuse, intimidate, mock, ridicule and fire to get his way. Divide and conquer works for a time, but the negative energy it generates dooms it and those who author it. A hundred years hence history will have a new standard against which to measure our worst.


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