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Gig Line: Principle – does it even matter anymore?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve come to hear, read or have seen significant changes to the workings of our nation. Some are not only unsettling but unbelievable to me.

I have said this before – several times – I’m a conservative, a proud conservative. I have also said that it is or has always been our choice as to how we live; how we take care of our bodies; our money; our families and who we vote for, because we can (or used to) think for ourselves, right? After all, our mind, our heart and our soul are our own and created by Almighty God, right? People have had differences of opinion for a gazillion years as to political figures, platforms, points of view and individual goals and that has always seemed fair and acceptable, right?

But within the last few weeks, it’s been said that some businesses would no longer offer or promote products manufactured by other businesses because of their support of candidate(s). With all that business owners have gone through due to COVID-19, are you serious? Well-established businesses, some of which I’ve patronized for years, are going to take a step to basically punish those businesses who supported a political candidate? I thought it was crazy misinformation and unfounded, so I made a few phone calls to get the truth for myself.

My hope that it wasn’t true fell flatter than a pancake. Without hesitation, the first and second reps I spoke with each told me immediately that they were no longer promoting such and such and at that point, I had not even mentioned the well-known business . . . they did. I asked why and was told they just no longer wanted to represent that company’s products but that “it wasn’t political” . . . hummmm, right! Honestly, I was floored – it was true. I then told them I was disappointed to hear that; that I had enjoyed working with them for a long time, purchasing many products and that I had always found their reps to be nice, helpful and great to work with. I added that I thought this would likely be my last call to their company.

Its obvious I can’t do anything to change their corporate decision, but I have my opinion, too. The company I had thought so much of and had recommended to everyone I know chose not to stand up for principle, to stick by vendors whose products they had promoted knowing how thousands of businesses had suffered through this pandemic; how employees depended on jobs to feed their families who worked there, etc., etc. Furthermore, I basically told them they had fallen off the pedestal I had put them on.

If you look on the internet for the term “principle” you will likely see its relation to a “foundation for a system of belief” and “morally correct behavior and attitudes.” Before I hung up speaking with the reps of that company two different times, I asked them to share with the “powers that be” that by not having the courage and conviction not to potentially hurt another business owner, they might want to consider innocent bystanders who don’t appreciate deliberate intimidation and suffering bestowed on anyone else. If you disagree with me, it’s okay, it’s your choice, just like the decision for others, as Americans, to believe in not going out of our way to hurt someone or something. In essence, it’s a pain in the buttocks to search out another venue, similar competitively priced products and give up the great experiences I’ve enjoyed through them in past years, but I stand my ground and if I ever hear that this company I reached out to resumes their previous business affiliations, it will restore the respect I had for them initially and I’ll gladly resume doing business with them as before. In the meantime, I don’t wish bad things on anyone, I just agree to disagree, nor will I share which company I contacted. Again, my goal is not to discourage business for them either. What if our troops gave up on courage and retreated in the face of diversity? If that be the case, dear Lord, please help us.

One time years ago, I was asked to serve as chairman for a particular political party. At the time and for all the years before, I was registered with the party and maintained my position, yet I had voted for candidates from both sides of the aisle based on their support of matters important to me and my respect for them. So, when asked to serve, I agreed and started out doing just that, helping to organize fundraisers, etc. But once I realized I could not promote a dominant candidate, I first prayed about it, not wanting to let anyone down (especially the group who had approached me about helping to begin with), but I had no choice and at the next meeting, I thanked everyone for the opportunity and resigned. I told the group that I wasn’t raised with a lot of money or fancy things, but my parents raised me, instilling within me integrity and self-respect. I finished by explaining that because I couldn’t feel it in my heart to support or carry signs for the candidate(s) they naturally expected me to, I also could not encourage anyone else to, either. I don’t regret that decision. I try to never let anyone down if I can help it, but I prefer to remain true to my convictions, hold my head high and not “pussyfoot” or ‘”kiss up” for pats on the back. While I’m the first to admit that I’m a sinner, I’m also a believer in the Lord and the virtues he expects me to uphold, therefore I’m also true to myself.

I hope that we all consider daily news and seek out the facts. Our country and the beliefs we have held so dear throughout history matter.

I recently told someone how concerned I was about the border crossings in Texas with folks coming through testing positive for COVID while we are taking major steps daily and sacrifice to protect ourselves, our families and others and the highly intelligent person I was talking to told me I was watching old, pre-taped news and that it wasn’t true. I was also told the “wall” built to discourage bombardment of folks coming through illegally was so frail, it had fallen over and had collapsed. It became apparent that many people are not paying attention and it’s sad and shocking that anyone in this day and time can be so ill informed. But whatever, right? Again, its our choice to watch the news outlets we choose and that we trust. Enough said.

SPECIAL NOTE: Please know that if any of you have tried to reach me through my email (giglineheroes@aol.com), communications have not been coming through to me since February 17. I have used that email for all my veteran-related correspondences since my initial columns years ago and a computer specialist is trying to help me sort out what has happened, so please bear with me. It is strange that I have continued to receive emails through my hookedonsales@aol.com address, so you are welcome to write to me through that address or call or text my cell phone at 252-202-2058 if you’d like. If you call, text or email me, please preface with Gig Line. When you all respond to my columns and share your thoughts, I don’t want to miss them, so please make sure I hear from you until this email matter can be resolved or just call me and leave a voicemail so I will know it’s a legitimate call. Thank you!

Next week, I am writing about something especially important – so watch for it. In the interim, remember to contact Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County Veteran Service Officer at 252-475-5604 or write to her at dcvac@darenc.com about a potential V.A. claim or concern you have as a veteran. You deserve any/all help that is available to you! Please don’t waste another minute of your life wondering if you might be eligible for medical help or disability compensation; please call her. Patty is there to help you and she will to the absolute best of her ability!

Until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud. God bless you all and know, my friends, that I love you. Stay tuned.

FOR MORE COLUMNS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, CHECK OUT OUR OPINION SECTION HERE.

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