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My Father – Doctor, Republican, and Catholic – would never vote for Trump in 2020!

Posted on | November 1, 2020 | 8 Comments

Mike Magee

“You know, our doctors get more money if someone dies from COVID. You know that, right?” Trump asked the crowd in Michigan last Friday, October 30, as he laid the blame for nearly a quarter million Covid deaths at the feet of our nation’s health professionals.

Susan Bailey, president of the AMA, in a same day reply, was pretty direct. “The suggestion that doctors — in the midst of a public health crisis — are overcounting COVID-19 patients or lying to line their pockets is a malicious, outrageous, and completely misguided charge.”

Trump has not only insulted my father, he has insulted my mother and their children, and our entire family. We buried my father on September 21, 1998. My sister, Sue, delivered the Eulogy, which two decades later speaks loudly in his absense, and draws a stark contrast with his modern-day critic.

Sue said:

One time before Mom and Dad were sick with their dreadful diseases, I was visiting Steve and we were talking about heroes. Steve said his hero was Dad. I asked him why. He said, “Think about it. Dad went to work every day, was out of the house early and went till late in the evening, often got called to the hospital in the middle of the night and always made rounds on the weekend…but, never complained. You never heard Daddy complain about how hard he worked.”

Dad was a man of compassion. We were all frustrated at times when we would come home from school with a story about some annoying little classmate and Dad would feel compelled to insist that we think about what that child might be living with that would make him react the way he had. Dad always thought of the other side of an issue. When I was younger I thought he did it just to tease me (he was a masterful teaser after all) but as I got older, and, certainly now, I am convinced it was because that is how he saw the world and the people in it. And, it was his compassion that helped people, and healed those who were losing their spirit for life.

All of us, while we were growing up, were stopped by people in Fort Lee who felt compelled to tell us how wonderful our father was. For me, at the time, it was an uncomfortable situation—I didn’t know them and they would be pinching my cheek and filled with emotion would say, ‘Your father is a great doctor and a great man.’ Today I would have to say I agree—He certainly was.

He was hard working. He was a man with heart. He was a gentleman. He was a busy man who did not ask much for himself. His pleasure and the only thing he really seemed to need in life was Mom. And we all knew it. His busy life, the responsibility of raising 12 children and his love for Mom meant that none of us have memories of Dad dawdling away a day with us alone, but what we do have, straight to our very core, is what it means to be devoted to someone and what it means to love someone—and we know that because of Dad and Mom. We know that when you love someone you give everything you have, and you don’t measure how much you’ve given, and you don’t measure how much you receive. Although Dad didn’t spend a lot of individual time with us, he shaped our world quietly and powerfully.

...He taught us honesty. I was a little girl when Dad first impressed upon me the importance of honesty. He related a story to me about his own childhood. He had gone to the store and when he paid the shopkeeper there was some question about the amount of change he was due. He said more, the shopkeeper was uncertain but took Dad’s word because he said, “He had never known Bill Magee to tell a lie.” He finished that story by saying to me, “There is nothing more important than honesty. People may not always like what you have to say, but if they can believe you then they will always trust you.” That was a lesson Dad taught over and over again. His personal honesty and his integrity were beyond reproach.

Dad’s final lesson for me was one that taught bravery and humility, again through his example. When Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, Mom already had Cancer. Throughout the years to come I do not remember Dad talking about his disease. He must have been worried about what the future would hold. He must have been frustrated by his loss of ability. Long before he reached the stage of being unaware of his surroundings …Long before Alzheimer’s robbed him of his memories and his abilities completely, he was losing small things. He lost the ability to drive. He lost the ability to read. He couldn’t remember his children’s faces. He couldn’t participate in conversations appropriately. He couldn’t follow conversations. He couldn’t tell time. He didn’t recognize his friends. He couldn’t order food in a restaurant because he couldn’t remember what different types of food were called. He needed help in the bathroom. He couldn’t remember how to tie his shoes…All this, yet he was still aware enough to know that this was happening to him. And through it all, Dad talked about Mom, her care, her treatment, and about other things in life.

Dad was a brave man and with every personal loss he suffered he did it silently. He did it humbly. He did it with a firm faith in God and that faith shaped his life and gave him the strength to live it so well.

‘This too will pass honey,’ it was a favorite saying of Dad’s, and it often came with a gentle smile

Were my father alive today, he would never vote for Trump. He is the antithesis of all that my parents valued – honesty, hard work, compassion, integrity, humility, gentleness, kindness, respect and love for others. Trump has none of these.

My parents were life long Republicans, Catholics, conservatives. But they were wise enough to know that no policy gain – on federal funding of private schools, or limits on abortion and contraception, or lower taxes, or conservative Supreme Court Justices – would ever be enough of a rationalization to signal to an evil man like Trump that the traits he embodies are acceptable for America.

They would never vote for Trump – Never, Never, Never!

Comments

8 Responses to “My Father – Doctor, Republican, and Catholic – would never vote for Trump in 2020!”

  1. huck Fahy
    November 2nd, 2020 @ 9:28 am

    As always, Thank you Mike.Peace, love and all god things to you and all dear.

    Chuck F

  2. Mike Magee
    November 2nd, 2020 @ 9:33 am

    Thanks, Chuck! Think of you often, and your wise insights – especially as I age. Best, Mike

  3. Art Ulene
    November 2nd, 2020 @ 10:53 am

    The apple does not fall far from the tree.

  4. Mike Magee
    November 2nd, 2020 @ 4:04 pm

    Thanks, Art! We all must do what we can now! Best, Mike

  5. Dolores Gaspari
    November 3rd, 2020 @ 9:22 am

    The eulogy brought me to tears. Sue,you have been given the gift of being able to bring someone to life through your words. I have always felt that your parents were outstanding people to have given the world such beautiful souls. Mike,I too cannot imagine my parents voting for that person.God bless.

  6. Mike Magee
    November 3rd, 2020 @ 9:31 am

    Thanks, Dolores! We’ve all come a long way, and must keep moving forward! Blessings to you and your’s! Mike

  7. Randy Souders
    November 4th, 2020 @ 4:50 pm

    Mike– your heartfelt letter rang true for me as well. In terms of material things my father was a very modest means. He had no hotels, no golf courses, casinos, multiple houses, yachts, helicopters or private planes. He had no scandals or vices. Nor did he seek to have his name enshrined in giant gold letters anywhere.

    Yet, like your father, he was a multi-billionaire in terms of character, honesty, faithfulness, loyalty, generosity, humbleness, and rock solid faith. He was conservative and voted Republican and passed away on May 21, 2016… 5 days before Donald Trump was declared the GOP’s nominee. In the weeks and months before he could not believe Republicans would ever even consider -much less rally behind- such an obviously flawed, unqualified, and morally bankrupt man as Trump.

    In the last years and months of his life I saw how his mailbox was stuffed full of constant pleas for money to defeat the “evil Democrats” and save the country from Godless socialism. His phone never stopped ringing from these political panhandlers. FOX News provided propaganda 24 hours daily that often manufactured content that played on viewers worst fears. Even so, he simply couldn’t handle the cognitive dissonance required to support Trump.

    My dad was an elder in our church from 1965 onward. However, many ministers across many denominations have rationalized their support of an immoral man. In a letter entitled “Christian hypocrisy on display,” Druie Cavender ridiculed Faith and Freedom Coalition president Ralph Reed for justifying his support of Donald Trump by saying “God often uses imperfect people to achieve his perfect will.” That line was exactly the sort of moral cover the millions of previously conflicted Christians and others needed to put on their blinders and don their MAGA hats. Clearly no one is “perfect.” But does that mean we give a pass to a serial sexual predator and adulterer, a fraudster, a racist, a pathological liar, a tax dodger, an aspiring autocrat, a person who viciously attacks and demeans anyone who disagrees with or opposes him, a person who exploits religion as just another loyal voting bloc, and arguably the least humble/ most prideful person? Shall we overlook all this and more in exchange for tax cuts and for stacking the Supreme Court with conservative? Shall we give him a pass for inflicting acts of unimaginable cruelty on poor people seeking asylum here simply in order to deter others from fleeing violence in their countries that were destabilized due to the billions Americans send to drug cartels?

    Quid pro quo at any price?

  8. Mike Magee
    November 4th, 2020 @ 5:41 pm

    Randy-
    Thanks for sharing this story of your Dad. I can see where his son gained his moral compass and core goodness. You are absolutely correct that leaders like Ralph Reed have pedaled in the very “situational ethics” people of faith have traditionally decried. When we vote, we vote for the individual in his/her entirety. Our vote is a statement of value alignment. Aligning with Trump has a steep, steep price has aligning with evil always has. Many thanks for your friendship and wisdom. Best, Mike

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