PROTECTING FRIENDSHIP, NEIGHBORS AND KIDS

1. It’s Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

2. It’s the 226th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Postal Service. Celebrate by going to a post office and buying the stamp commemorating Mister Rogers, whose TV show started 50 years ago celebrated neighbors of all color, shape, size and mindset.

3. It’s the 56th anniversary of the flight of Friendship 7. John Glenn, a real-deal hero and man of integrity, became the first American to orbit the earth.

Talk about making America great. Who didn’t love Mister Rogers or John Glenn?

4. In 2018, someone wouldn’t.

Somewhere in St. Petersburg, formerly Leningrad, trolls would stop their promotion of Trump to make up trash about both of them. Stuff like: Mister Rogers wasn’t deferential enough to white men. John Glenn was a crybaby about the danger he faced or his flight was really just him acting in a Hollywood studio.

And then their fanboys, the Jack Posobiecs and Jim Hofts and other aggrieved brats who pollute social media, would try to make John Glenn and Fred Rogers into hoaxes and conspirators and whatever else they could.

That’s what 2018 is about. It’s about people with chips on their shoulder who can’t stand a happy, proud, united America. People still shuttering from the fact we let one of them become president for eight years. And that people who aren’t like them find success.

You’re seeing that now with the reaction to the kids who survived the Parkland high school shooting.

Most of the people in this country have every reason to look at these kids with pride. They’re smart and they speak their mind. They’re in pain – that’s what happens when 17 of your peers and the adults you admire are murdered in cold blood – and they’ve articulated that so well in the past six days that they’ve inspired anyone with a still-functioning heart or brain.

Alas, it was only a matter of time until the NRA got its message to its whores in media and Congress.

The message:

These kids have been coached. Yeah, that’s it. One of them has a father in the FBI who’s trying to cover his tracks about failing to stop the killer while investigating this phony Trump-Russia scandal. Yeah, that’s it.

(I refuse to link to the stories or tweets this scum has put online. I refuse to give them the traffic. They’re not hard to find if you want to see them.)

5. This is our crucible.

If we’re not willing to stand up for our children, if we cower when confronted with the people who spit out warped Constitutional interpretations and say gun violence isn’t a problem improved by legislation, if we let the trolls control the narrative, the NRA – a group complicit in more American deaths than ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Taliban combined – wins. Again.

And this nation, this supposed citadel of democracy and freedom, will have failed. We will be exposed as a banana republic, run by a schemer trying to repay his debt to his masters in Moscow with the help of their gun-loving henchmen.

We will have not proven ourselves worthy of Mister Rogers or John Glenn or the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

We have to do better.

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