During the election and definitely post election, I have seriously contemplated how and why anyone supported or still supports Trump. How could they overlook his severe character flaws, why weren’t they morally offended by many of his actions, why didn’t his ridiculous claims, brags, and chants scare the hell out of them? Why couldn’t they see the emperor was naked?
I think there are a few key differences between Trumpsters and the majority of Americans who were opposed to Trump. Many Americans particularly those in rural middle america were hopeful that Trump would “Make America Great Again.” Thinking that America was already great but recognizing there was always room for making it better made me wonder what were these Americans thinking? I tried to put myself in their shoes but economically, socially and logically, I could only find proof that we were better off. Way better off than when Bush was in office. I did not vote for Bush and many things he did made me unhappy but I never hated him with the vitriol Trumpsters hated Obama (I will save that post for another day). It seems like Trumpsters did not rely on data and facts, they were driven emotionally. I wonder if any Trumpsters self reflect to examine what emotions do drive them? Can they recognize the possibility that they may be driven by racist, white privileged, homophobic, xenophobic, climate denying, self-improving, misogynistic, or self serving motives. I live in an area in NJ that is very Republican. My friends and neighbors are good people who supported Trump. Could it all be about a tax break for them? Is a tax break worth the destruction of healthcare, our social system and the eventual economic strain that Trump’s policies will have on our economy? Outcomes, the big picture, recognizing “you don’t know what you don’t know” should be factored into all big decisions but the writing seemed to be on the wall with Trump. After all why would anyone think this reality TV personality would all of a sudden be Presidential.
America was great and our economy was significantly stronger that it was 8 years prior. With unemployment at an all time low, with improved healthcare coverage for all Americans, with the social advances our country had made with tolerance and acceptance of same sex relationships, marriage, religion, ect….why did so many Americans HATE that. Hate it enough to elect Trump (I will save the rise in hate and intolerance for another time as well, as it deserves its own post).
I think the big differences between Trumpsters and those opposed Trump are:
- Empathy, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes
- and passion and willingness to CHANGE
Trumpsters are the naysayers. The co-workers who bemoan change and try to sabotage new initiatives. You know the type–the Negative Nancies, the Constantly Complaining Chris, the “I like it the old way” and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” type of people. Change is uncomfortable and evolution of a society, advancement of a society requires CHANGE. Making something better requires work, effort and a willingness to do so.
For example, coal is DEAD. The coal industry is not coming back. Investing more time and energy in this industry is not efficient or economically sound. No, I am not saying SCREW YOU to anyone who worked or lost their jobs in this industry. That is why I support social services for all, so we can help and lift up anyone who needs the assistance. What I am saying is that time, money and education needs to be allocated appropriately. Investing in change. Investment in education. Give people the skills they need to participate in this ever changing world.
We can not stop change as much as Trumpsters would like that–better yet, they would love to see a post WWII boom but going back in time is not possible and is also ridiculous–we must respect that change happens whether we want it to or not and we can adapt and evolve as those changes occur or we can dig our heals in and fight it…a fruitless effort. You cannot hold back change.
I came across this video on Facebook this morning. It is a speech JFK gave and it is as if he gave it to us for just this moment. Please take the next few minutes to watch it; I promise you will not regret it.
The speech was given in 1963 at Vanderbilt University and I have included my favorite pieces below, may they resonate with you and guide you in your #RESISTANCE to all cynics and skeptics.
“This nation is now engaged in a continuing debate about the rights of a portion of its citizens. That will go on, and those rights will expand until the standard first forged by the nation’s Founders has been reached and all Americans enjoy equal opportunity and liberty under law.
But this nation was not founded solely on the principle of citizen-rights. Equally important, though too-often not discussed, is the citizen’s responsibility. For our privileges can be no greater than our obligations. The protection of our rights can endure no longer when the performance of our responsibilities each can be neglected only at the peril of the other.
I speak to you today, therefore, not of your rights as Americans, but of your responsibilities. They are many in number and different in nature. They do not rest with equal weight upon the shoulders of all. Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of responsibility. All Americans must be responsible citizens, but some must be more responsible than others by virtue of their public or their private position, their role in the family or community, their prospects for the future, or their legacy from the past. Increased responsibility goes with increased ability. For those to whom much is given, much is required.”
“Of the many special obligations incumbent upon an educated citizen, I would cite three as outstanding: Your obligation to the pursuit of learning; your obligation to serve the public; your obligation to uphold the law. If the pursuit of learning is not defended by the educated citizen, it will not be defended at all.
For there will always be those who scoff at intellectuals, who cry out against research, who seek to limit our educational system. Modern cynics and skeptics see no more reason for landing a man on the moon — which we shall do — than the cynics and skeptics of half a millennium ago saw for the discovery of this country. They see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.
But the educated citizen knows how much more there is to know. He knows that knowledge is power — more so today than ever before. He knows that only an educated and informed people will be a free people; that the ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all; and that if we can, as Jefferson put it, “enlighten the people generally,” “tyranny and the oppressions of mind and body will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” And, therefore, the educated citizen has a special obligation to encourage the pursuit of learning, to promote exploration of the unknown, to preserve the freedom of inquiry, to support the advancement of research, and to assist at every level of government the improvement of education for all Americans — from grade school to graduate school.”
Mother of 3,
Colts Neck, NJ
Copy of full speech, http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkvanderbiltconvocation.htm