We’re several days past the election and the hard feelings/anger hasn’t dissipated on either side.
I continue to see posts filled with rage and pain and accusatory tones in which people wave their fingers about how awful the Trump/Clinton supporters are.
Today I was told how to feel about something that I said people might find to be insulting. “No insults were given, you are just upset because someone told the truth.”
I got a good laugh out of it because it was based upon an opinion piece and not some academic study.
Part of me was tempted to point out the obvious fallacies in their argument and ask if they thought it was ok to tell people how they ought to feel.
I didn’t bother doing so because it wasn’t going to lead to a discussion and I don’t care what some stranger thinks of me.
Nor did I expect them to hear, listen or accept my response and I am ok with that. I have other people and places I am focused upon.
About That Basket Of Deplorables
I have friends who voted for Trump and though I vociferously disagree with their choice I won’t end our friendship.
It is ok to disagree and I understand their reasons and trust none of them were based upon hate.
But that is predicated upon 30 plus years of friendship and significant experience that makes me trust their word.
“Jack, do you know how offensive it is to be labeled by a candidate as “deplorable?”
I responded by asking how we should feel about a candidate who is supported by racist groups and who has emboldened them.
“You can tell me they don’t make up a significant portion of the population and I believe you see that as important. But I’ll tell you Trump’s refusal to distance and disavow their support in a significant way troubles me.
I’ll tell you hate and mistrust has been sown in his name too and you have to expect a strong response because of that. You can’t just say it is a case of sore losers. I won’t excoriate you for your vote, but I’ll say I expect you to do your part to stop these racist groups from thinking they received a mandate.”
We Have To Talk
If we have learned anything from this election it is that we are deeply divided and that is why now more than ever we need to talk.
I don’t believe we are all racists or sore losers.
I don’t believe we are all one group of anything other than Americans.
And like I said, I don’t unfriend people for simply having a different opinion than I do. I’ll listen and talk to you about all sorts of things.
Of course there are limits and if you promote racism/hate you’ll find I oppose you and in that case, well we probably won’t be friends.
What I am interested in is finding ways to get all of us pulling together and pushing for change for the common good.
You tell me you want to make America great again and show me how to do it in an inclusive manner and I’ll be right there to try and help.
We might disagree on ways and means, but that common goal keeps us talking and working together.
But if your idea is one that excludes others simply based upon race, color or creed then you and I have a problem because you aren’t talking about America.
We are a nation that was built upon the backs of immigrants.
We all come from somewhere else.
I don’t believe for a moment that we have so lost our way that we can never find it again. This can be a hiccup and bump in the road but only if we work together.
Fear & Anger
Fear & anger have led us to this corner and the only way to get beyond it is to start talking.
It is not hokey to say united we stand and divided we fall because that nugget has been proven true a million times.
So like I said to my friends who voted for Trump, I won’t call you names for doing what you thought was right but I will hold you accountable as I do everyone else to help promote inclusion.
In some ways your voice might even be more important as you let your candidate know that you didn’t vote for a bigot or a bully.
And like it or not, that is how he appears which is why these hate groups support him.
So help him help himself by demanding he do the right thing to disavow their support and to help the rest of us see that we really are pulling for the same common goal.
We’ll still argue about policies, some of them quite aggressively but at least we might feel like we are all Americans and not two separate groups.