What with the government shut down and his Twitter tantrums and daily mangling of the English language, many folks go on and on about the ways Donald Trump has made America worse, rather than great.
These folks are clearly glass-half-empty types. They are not looking at the positive effects of two years under the tiny thumb of President Trump.
Take the refreshing outburst of honesty that has taken root across this great land. More and more people in public life are willing to speak their minds these days, rather than waste time with euphemisms or diplomatic doublespeak.
Take Irish American Dorrie O’Brien down there in Texas. Before this week, O’Brien was best known as an activist and author whose books include "500 Islamic Words You Should Know: An Encyclopedia of Islam". The cover of the book features a scary, hooded gunman with an automatic weapon.
Given the author’s name, this is presumably an IRA man on the Falls Road from back in the day. But who knows, could be a UVFer. Heck, O’Brien is from Texas so this armed fella could simply be stepping out to Starbucks.
Anyhow, O’Brien’s book cover also claims “Misunderstanding Stops Here,” and how right she is!
Because recently, O’Brien earned her way into the Honesty Hall of Fame. She is a mover and shaker in Republican circles in Tarrant County, Texas, where a fellow by the name of Shahid Shafi is the vice chairman of the local Republican organization.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. O’Brien led a movement to have Shafi, a doctor, removed from his post because of some vague, fuzzy ideological reason that sounds kind of made up and is really just a cover for anti-Muslim sentiment.
“We don’t think he’s suitable as a practicing Muslim to be vice chair because he’d be the representative for ALL Republicans in Tarrant County, and not ALL Republicans in Tarrant County think Islam is safe or acceptable in the U.S., in Tarrant County, and in the TCGOP,” O’Brien wrote on Facebook last month.
She lost the vote 139 to 49 (!). Still, do you see how refreshing it is to be honest?
This makes it so easy to point out that O’Brien’s logic is exactly the same as the anti-immigrant American Protective Association’s in the 1880s and 1890s, which felt that folks with names like O’Brien were not fit for holding public office, or joining the military, or working in public schools.
“While tolerant of all creeds,” the APA’s statement of beliefs reads, “(we believe) that the subjection to and support of any ecclesiastical power, not created and controlled by American citizens, and which claims equal, if not greater, sovereignty than the government of the United States of America, is irreconcilable with American citizenship.”
Muslim. Catholic. Either way.
Ecclesiastical power? Not created and controlled by American citizens? Sorry. There’s the door. Don’t let it hit your dirty, foreign butt on the way out.
O’Brien is even to be commended for avoiding the kind of airs practiced by folks like Charles Marshall, who in a famous "Atlantic Monthly" essay said (without quite saying) that Al Smith simply could not be president in 1928 because, well, you know.
“There is a note of doubt ... as to certain conceptions which your fellow citizens attribute to you as a loyal and conscientious Roman Catholic, which in their minds are irreconcilable with that Constitution which as President you must support and defend, and with the principles of civil and religious liberty on which American institutions are based.”
You see what Marshall did there? It’s not me! It’s your “fellow citizens” who are worried.
Thank you, Dorrie O’Brien, for your honesty. And let’s also give credit to certain Democratic U.S. senators, who now feel free to question court nominees on their membership in un-American cabals such as the Knights of Columbus.
Making America great again. One honest, dumb, bigoted statement at a time.