Friday, February 3, 2017

Government Bureaucrats are Braver Than Me

I've worked with federal employees for most of the past thirty years. I have found most of them to be conscientious, competent and sincere in their belief that they are working for the good of their country. This stereotype of people raking in huge salaries doing very little work has never fit with my experience.

So, I'm not a big hater on government bureaucrats, but still, "brave" was one of the last adjectives I'd use to describe them.

Most people I've seen who spend a career in big government, big business, big universities or any other "big" go along to get along. They are comfortable with following the rules from the top down. After doing their job and following orders for a couple of decades, they can retire with a pension. That's the deal.

Lately, though, I have seen people I know making major steps outside of their comfort zone. Of course, Sally Yates, who was fired for refusing to enforce an executive order she believed indefensible, was the highest profile.

However, there are other people I know who just quietly left their jobs because they felt that the policies they would be expected to enforce were immoral.

Think about that for a minute. Whatever you believe - whether you adamantly are sure that abortion is murder and a sin or you think that women have the right to choose what happens to their own bodies - however you come down on any side of a moral issue - would you really quit your job over it?

Think how often have we seen people doing things we think are horrible, whether it is foreclosing on a family farm or refusing an elder medical care that would make their life less painful because "It's my job."

It would have been so easy for the people who quit those jobs to say,

"I need to think about my family. I have kids in college, a mortgage. I could lose my house. My children need an education. What can I do?"

But they didn't. That took bravery. They are braver than me because, as we all know, it's pretty much an instinctive reflex for me to tell anyone who wants me to put up with unethical behavior to go fuck themselves.  For these people, it was out of character and it took a lot of courage.

On Tuesday, we were recording next week's podcast (not up yet, but you can listen to all of our other podcasts here) and for a moment, Maria and I discussed whether it was a bad idea to be too outspoken about how loathsome we believe the immigration ban is, how I feel not having the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the National Security Council is wrong and a lot more. Then, I thought of Sally Yates, of the anonymous civil servants I knew who had quit their jobs because it violated their conscience. So, I leaned into the microphone and said,

I call bullshit on all of you people who said, 'Oh, we're not against immigrants, just illegal immigrants.' Well, FUCK YOU because you are a liar. You can't change it now. Sixty days ago you were fine with legal immigrants who had done everything right to get into this country but now, today, you're not? Go fuck yourself!  Oh, now, it's brown immigrants you're against. If they're not the same color or religion as you, even if they are legal, even if they did everything right and waited all of  those years like you said two months ago, that you were okay with them then, NOW all of a sudden only certain legal immigrants are okay? Well, FUCK YOU, for denying entry  to the United States people who risked their lives as interpreters for us.

Yes, Maria waived the one swear word per episode rule for this.

So... maybe fewer people will buy our games. That is the tiniest sacrifice compared to giving up your job, your pension, your certain future and your quiet life.

Honestly, look in the mirror and ask yourself, would you really quit your job because it violated your ethics, your morals?  I'm finding that some unexpected people would and it gives me some faith back in humanity.

If you still want to buy our games, you can find them here. Get smarter, have fun. Learn math and social studies. Donate to a school. Donate in the name of your favorite politician, or Betsy Devos.



Old Grasshopper said...

Most Honorable Dr.

Kung Fu was outlawed in China because of politics, as surely you know more about than I. The Ethical Stewards continued, with the greatest of suffering and sacrifice, to vote their morals,and managed to keep the spiritual discipline alive. Ultimately many died.
POINT; Put your energy where it will do the most moral good. Venting over politics is certainly understandable, especially when you have an audience. Homeless people vent all the time; no one listens, and many are wise philosophers. Since you have the earned privilege of being respected, it seems you should always leave more of your energy for influencing young souls that need spiritual muscles. Politics WILL DRAIN ALL OF YOUR power. Always has, always will. Vent as a balance, Teach as a destiny. Much Enduring Respect.

Anonymous said...

My parents are legal immigrants, and both they, and I are against illegal immigration. Oh yeah, we are brown too. Thanks for giving me the final reason to unsubscribe to your blog.

Anonymous said...

I remember distinctly , (even if it was only to hear myself say it aloud and somehow hope the universe heard it, )"GOOD FOR YOU, SALLY! Good for you for not compromising who you are and what you believe , in order to continue to subject yourself to being trapped in the mire/muck with those pigs!" Okay, so I ad libbed the end of that sentence. But, still... Hell yeah, Sally! And a "hell yeah" to you too, Dr. D for telling it like it is!

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Anonymous - if that IS your real name - I think you're lying. I don't believe you or your parents are immigrants nor do I believe you ever subscribed to my blog in the first place. Also, did you notice that the ban applied to legal immigrants as well? Like you and your imaginary brown immigrant parents?