Place them side by side and the philosophies of Mr. Rogers and President Trump are nothing less than the forces love versus hate.
Nice guys versus tough guys are heavy on my mind today because last night my love Elizabeth wanted, well more like demanded, we watch a documentary about the life and work of Mr. Fred Rogers, host of the beloved PBS show MISTER ROGERS NEIGHBORHOOD, now on Amazon.
I was reluctant to watch it because I am 50s kid. So Mr. Rogers’ PBS show was not part of my childhood. Digging deeper in my reluctance, I recalled a lot of rumors back in the Nixon years of Mr. Rogers being a Gay. Worse, a pedophile.
Finally, after some gentle scolding from Elizabeth for buying into the rumor mill, I watched WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR. The film erased decades of horrible Matrix programming. In the masterful film I simply saw a gentle family man with children and wife who dedicated himself to teaching kids that love and kindness is a powerful way to live.
The Sun-Times called it the feel good film of the year. But I’d call WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR one of the most important films my lifetime. Why? You see, my Dad was a blue collar welder who came to maturity as a US Army drill sergeant. Dad never understood the fact I could be an an artist and nice person and not be Gay, much like Fred Rogers.
I can’t help but wonder what he would have thought of Trump’s disrespect of a man far his moral superior, Senator John McCain, this past week.
As devoted Christian, Mr. Rodgers had to be rolling over in his grave this week as the ever self-serving Donald Trump, fearing impeachment, told a gathering evangelical leaders that there will be violence if the Democrats retake the House and Senate come November 2018. Violence? Only if he’s the one making it happen by continuing to demonize Democrats.
If Trump lasts in office until 2020, it’s going to be the three generations of the WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR students of love and kindness of Mister Rogers that sweep him from office.
Thanks for the 5 star Mister Rogers enlightenment Elizabeth. As always, you lift me higher.