“Thank you for your service,” he said, before throwing the word “traitor” at me.

On a beautiful spring day in Colorado, a friend and I were having lunch at a restaurant when a middle-aged man approached the table.

He told me, “Thank you for your service,” after noticing that I was wearing the 82nd paratrooper hat. In return, I thank him for his comments.

Then the man pointed to Joe Biden’s pin in my sweatshirt and said, “Betrayal!” He disappeared in a blink of an eye, and my friend and I were stunned to see each other.

Perhaps he shouldn’t have been surprised by his sudden farewell comment. Since Donald Trump ran for president against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the country has been trapped in a verbal war over political ideology. Many Americans have cast similar hostile comments on them, even about what they are wearing, what they look like, and even how they speak.

But who is the real traitor? Am I a Mexican-American military veteran having lunch with a friend? Is President Biden a traitor?

As you can imagine, no, I don’t think so. In my opinion, the traitors are those who attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021 with the encouragement of former President Trump. In my opinion, the parliamentary riots were intended to kill or physically harm former Vice President Mike Pence, all parliamentary officials and their staff. They intended to thwart the democratic process of confirming the legally elected president-elect. Traitors illegally broke into the Capitol, killing the Capitol police, damaging property and attempting to harm parliamentary leaders. They wanted to end our experiments by people, for people, and in democracy with people.

The riots will attack the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The riots will attack the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Former President Donald Trump allegedly encouraged mobs to attack the Capitol and was unable to stop or stop action after the legislature was violated by parliamentarians confirming the next president. While the jury is working on these issues, a special committee set up to investigate the January 6 attack seems to be approaching the answer. If Trump finds out that I have done what I explained above, he will also be a traitor.

But what became clear to me after my encounter with a combative restaurant was the man who thanked me for my service and then called Biden, or he was referring to me. Was it? — The traitor did not intend to start a dialogue with me. Instead, he ruined my day and angered my friends and succumbed to hell just because he was with me. In fact, when he thanked me for my military service, I wondered if he was honest.

This incident bothered me. Americans on either side of the political spectrum need to get together to discuss our differences, rather than resorting to violence to try to enforce our beliefs. If we find a way to move forward, it will be done through dialogue, not the violent turmoil of the political process.

As a Mexican-American, I have faced prejudice and discrimination in many areas of public and private life. I have learned to reach some sort of solution only by sitting and understanding the differences.

I often remember the words of the late President John F. Kennedy in a speech at American University in Washington, DC in June 1963. I leave JFK’s words to you not as a warning, but in the hope that we can find a way back. Dialogue and away from division and insult.

“So let’s not know our differences, but let’s also pay attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved.

“And now, if we can’t end our difference, at least we can help make the world safer for diversity. In the final analysis, our most basic The common connection is that we all live on this little planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish the future of our children. And I We are all humans. “

Alvin Rivera was president of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and was one of Barack Obama’s nine Colorado presidential voters.

This article was originally published in Pueblo Chieftain: “Thank you for your service,” he said, before throwing the word “traitor” at me.