Saturday, January 21, 2017

I Am Learning To Be At Peace, But How About The Other Side?

If there is anything out there that has lifted my spirits this weekend it was seeing and hearing about all of the protest marches nationwide and globally.  Who says Americans haven't "come together and united"?  We have united indeed.  Millions of Americans are united to fight to be on the right side of history.

We stand strong together and we can get through this.  If we keep this momentum up, we will become a stronger and more united nation.

I have come to pity Trump supporters.  Today I asked myself, why they love him so much.  What has he done that makes him such a hero in their eyes?  Let's look at the facts.

By all accounts Donald Trump is a textbook narcissist.  People who have met him in person have given accounts of his self-serving, grandiose behavior.  He has made some outrageously sexist and racist statements.  He truly seems to revel in unkindness and cruelty.  Despite all of this, his supporters seem to think he is kind and classy.

Donald Trump has had multiple business failures and four bankruptcies.  He has committed outright fraud. He has stiffed his employees and contractors.  He has made more money from lawsuits, branding, and reality TV appearances than from doing any actual business.  No matter how many times someone points this out,  his followers insist he is a brilliant businessman.

He doesn't go to church. He hasn't shown any real evidence of being a religious man. He treats women terribly.  He mocks the disabled.  He tossed aside two wives after cheating on them.  He has five children with three different women.   It doesn't matter to his followers, who think he is the most morally upstanding Christian politician in decades.

He lies constantly.  Fact checkers can barely keep up with his lies. He will look right into the camera and deny the statements he previously made on camera. He went back on his campaign promises before he even took office.  His followers still believe he is the only truthful politician.

Today I asked Kevin why anyone would still want to believe in Donald Trump when all of the evidence is out there that he is a sociopath who is unfit for office?  How can these people not see what is right in front of them?

Kevin replied it's because they have a narrative.  Donald Trump fits their narrative of what a candidate should be and they are willing to ignore his many shortcomings if it suits their narrative.  They don't want to be wrong about him.  They have placed so much faith in him already.

That's when it hit me.  That's why his supporters won't see the man for who he is.

Scientific studies have shown that facts don't really matter to people who have deeply held beliefs.  What's worse is the more facts you present someone that are contrary to what he believes, he is more likely to dig in his heels and cling more tightly to them.  I can tell a Trump supporter every fact check ever done on Trump and present eyewitness accounts of everyone who has been wronged by him, and that supporter will still say Trump is a good man and an ideal President.  He may even believe it even more strongly after hearing the facts presented.

The online behavior of Trump supporters has now confirmed for me just how uncomfortable they are.  I see them digging in their heels.  They desperately cling to any little positive thing they can find.  Most importantly, I see it in how they attack the opposition.

Take note of the behavior of a Trump supporter versus a Trump opponent.  Those of us who did not vote for Trump are vocal about the election results, but we don't take it out on others.  We grieve.  We worry.  We attack Trump himself saying he is incompetent and unfit for office.

Trump voters are making vicious outright attacks on the opposition.  They keep telling us to stop pointing out the facts, to stop making comparisons to totalitarian regimes, to accept the election results, and to unite with the rest of the country.  They can't defend Trump.  They are acting on the offense, but I realize it is now a defense.  Their language is harsh and insulting.  They are dealing with their uncomfortable feelings by lashing out.

Let me tell you something.  If you're going to call me an "idiot" or a "whiny little bitch", then it says way more about you than it does about me.  You tell me America has to come together? You are the ones who are dividing this country with your disgusting, graceless, classless rhetoric.   If this is the kind of person you are, then I don't want to come together with you.  I want you as far away from me as possible.  I'll go stand over with the millions of people who took to the streets today.

Trump supporters aren't at peace with these election results.  I see that now.  You know this election carries a huge risk and you don't want to admit you're scared.  If you give up your deeply held beliefs now, you worry you have no place to go.

I suggest you come over here and stand with us on the other side.  We will welcome you and not call you names.   We understand the future is uncertain, but we plan to face it together.  Come join us. 

Yes He Is My President (and he had better remember that)!

It's very easy to say, "Not my president," when a candidate you loathe wins the general election.  Many of you even hashtag it.  You can say it as much as you want, but it won't be true.  If you are a citizen of the United States of America, Donald Trump is your president.  No hashtag will change that.

Let me reiterate that.  You are a citizen of the United States of America.

Donald Trump is President of all citizens of the United States of America.

So we accept it, because we understand that's how the democracy works (however imperfectly).  My question for Donald Trump is if he understands it.

Being president of the United States means being President of the  United States.

It does not mean President of white people. It does not mean President of Christians.  It does not mean President of the wealthy.  It does not mean President of Republicans.  It does not mean President of cisgendered and straight people. It means you are President of every single person born in this country - no exceptions.

So once again, Mr. President, do you understand that?

Years ago a friend on Facebook frustrated with the government as only people on Facebook can be asked, "Why don't our leaders lead?"

I countered that with a better question.  "Why don't our public servants serve?"

We refer to the government as "public servants".  We say that politicians "serve" their terms.   Our government isn't meant to lead us.  I know I'm not a follower.  I don't want to be led.  Our government is meant to serve us.  We, the people, are the employers and the government is the employee.  It is the job of the government to work for us, to keep our best interests at heart, and to see our needs our met (although different political affiliations have different definitions of what those needs should be and that's okay).  To work in government is to work for the common good and not personal enrichment.

This is what is so wrong about Donald Trump.  He has spent his life dedicated to personal enrichment and personal glory.  His track record on seeing to the needs of others is abysmal as he has repeatedly committed fraud and stiffed his employees and contractors.  How can this man possibly work to "Promote the General Welfare" (before you get twitchy that I used the word "welfare", please note I am quoting the Constitution he just swore to uphold).

So please. Mr. President, as you enter your four-year journey through government, I hope you remember that this liberal, feminist, secularist is paying for your cozy little stay in the White House (or the security needed for your stay in Trump Tower) with my tax dollars.  So is my Jewish liberal husband.  So is my gay best friend.  So is my Latina (and veteran) sister-in-law along with her veteran son and daughter-in-law.  So are my black coworkers.  You are President of us too.

Don't try to lead me.  I won't follow. You work for me and I expect a stellar job performance.  I'm going to be the most demanding employer you ever had.  If you can't meet my demands, in four years I will take great pleasure in telling you, "You're fired!"