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Bernie Sanders says he will be attending the 2017 presidential inauguration.
On Jan. 5th, Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) announced that they were skipping the Jan. 20th ceremony at the Capitol as a matter of conscience.
On Jan. 12th, Barbara Lee (D-CA) released her statement. In it she said, "On January 20th, I will not be celebrating or honoring an incoming president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House."
On Jan, 14th, the iconic John Lewis (D-GA) joined in, via an exclusive interview with NBC News' "Meet the Press," noting, "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president."
When Lewis said he would not be attending the inauguration, the snowball picked up speed, and the list of those RSVP-ing "no" continues to grow.
I support the thoughtful decisions of those who decide not to go, as well as those who decide to attend. Because what I am supporting is not the specific action taken, but the fact that each one of these people has clearly given deep thought to this issue, and probably a good bit of struggle. There are clearly substantial reasons for either action, and in the end, the most moral choice one can make is the choice that is most harmonious with one's own inner sense of integrity.
Bernie is a better public servant for attending. And Katherine Clark, Luis Gutierrez , John Lewis, Barbara Lee, and others are better public servants for not attending. The final decision, for each of these people, is based on a solid committment to conscience, and a decision to match the chosen action to a sense of integrity.
Others whose decisions to attend or not are based on political greed, mere appearances, or addiction to power, cannot command my respect for their actions.
Intention and a committment to a moral compass is more important than the specific action it takes. One of the benefits of living in a traumatic political crisis is that, in this, it clearly separates the wheat from the chaff.
And that is very valuable knowledge.