(2016) American Duty (美国的义务)

Forgive me for being even less coherent than usual today. I write this with a bit of emotion, since this long election is finally coming to a close at last.


Let me start today by bringing out something from the Wall Street Journal.


Red feed, blue feed.

Take a look at how different the two worlds are, and you will soon understand why this is important. In less than two weeks, one of these two will be president, and the world will change because of it.


Those of you who are long-term readers of our work should know more than well about where I stand on things. After all, this 2016 series started out as a one-time joke, but quickly blossomed into something much more. In these posts and in this little space I’ve documented my journey, and yes, as you know, I’ve made up my mind long ago. I will vote. You can see my choice here, how I’ve came to it, and this hasn’t changed one bit.


As always, I am not trying to convince you to vote for one or the other. That is your right, and that is always your right. What I am trying to do here is just to articulate my own feelings and thoughts, and to document my journey.


Personally, this election has galvanized me in a way I didn’t think would be possible. It gave me impetus and drive to be better than who I am today, and it put to rest my own insecurities about the fate of this country. If I am wrong and America is great already, then it’s up to me to do my best to be worthy of it. If I am right and America is not great, or it has never been great, well, then, it’s never too late to start now, right?


Hey, listen. I vote not because I believe that victory or defeat is imminent. I vote because it is the right thing to do. I vote because whatever direction this country may head towards, I want to be a part of it. I want to take personal responsibility for the fate of this country, and should my candidate turn out to be a poor president, then that’s my fault too, and I’ll proudly bear the price of failure alongside the rest of us.


Look at this very series. I was on the other side. Then like many others I tried not to take sides. I gave the benefit of the doubt. I tried to look the other way. I did my best to willfully ignore all that has happened, and in the end, I can’t do it anymore.


I cannot and will not overlook the extent of which corruption of all forms has strangled this country. The media’s blackout and one-sided coverage, the complete betrayal of our own people by our intellectual class, the artificial creation of realities for only things that suits our own worldviews, and to say nothing of the illicit and immoral practices of Clinton and much of our government.


I can offer platitudes and hang-wringing about how flawed Trump is. Yet at this point, what difference does it make? To me, he’s the only one that wants to make America great for all Americans. His message resonates with me, and I see it as a call to action. Like my profession of choice, he doesn’t mince words. He sees problems like we doctors (okay, I’m not one yet, but I’ll get my letters soon!) would, and he offers a solution because it is necessary. It isn’t easy. It isn’t nice. It’s not even guaranteed to work.

我可以抱怨特朗普。我可以说他多么烂。但现在,What difference does it make? 他是唯一一个想让美国为所有人而更伟大起来。我对他的话语打动,而我个人认为这是一个启动的开始。如同我现实生活的职业一样,这家伙不会说瞎话。他可以如同医生一样看问题,给出答案,因为这些答案是必须的。这些答案不简单,也不顺耳。甚至可以说这些答案并不一定会成功。

But at this point, what have we got to lose?


Take a look at who’s opposing him. Party elites from both the left and the right, telling me that the support of this particular candidate is “unAmerican.” The “fact-checking” media that wants to do my thinking for me because they’re afraid I might reach the “wrong” conclusions.  The professors and intellectual elites at my university who openly and contemptuously dismiss any opposing viewpoints, claiming it is all in the name of “furthering our education and protecting our intellectual atmosphere.”


They’re all wrong. No matter how heinous the idea might be, there is nothing wrong with other people holding different opinions than you. That is what intellectual diversity is. You change hearts and change minds by presenting a good alternative and answering their contentions vigorously, rather than trying to silencing or cowing the other side into silence.


Do you understand where I’m coming from?


There will be plenty of opportunities to talk shop and discuss issues, and I welcome your inquires as usual. But this is not the time nor the place for it.

Let me finish up by quoting Mark Twain. I thought it was from Captain America, but as it turned out? I was mistaken. 🙂

For in a republic, who is “the Country”? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant–merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. Who, then, is “the Country”? Is it the newspaper? is it the pulpit? is it the school superintendent? Why, these are mere parts of the country, not the whole of it; they have not command, they have only their little share in the command. They are but one in the thousand; it is in the thousand that command is lodged; they must determine what is right and what is wrong; they must decide who is a patriot and who isn’t.

Who are the thousand–that is to say, who are “the Country”? In a monarchy, the king and his family are the country; in a republic it is the common voice of the people. Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catch-phrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man.

To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country–hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.


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