Well, it has been four years, and the election is days away, and whether Biden or Trump is declared the winner, the only thing that is certain is that we are a country more divided than ever. The problem far exceeds the individual who has made a mockery of the presidency the past four years. The problem is two-fold:
- The people who Trump represents. Even if Trump is not re-elected, we still have to figure out how to mend our country. The people who have supported Trump are not going away.
- The Electoral College. The current system allows a handful of “battleground” “swing” states to determine the outcome of the election, essentially making my vote not count. This antiquated system should be kicked to the curb, and replaced with a system where every vote counts. Every vote SHOULD count!
In many ways, Trump is simply the outward expression of the pent-up rage of the far right, white, disenfranchised Middle America. This is less a battle between states, and far more the tension between (typically more progressive) cities and (typically more conservative) rural America.
I’ve seen so many times, friends talking about people they know who are ardent Trump supporters, and just shaking their heads. They have just given up on them. They can’t even discuss politics with them anymore, because there is no way to reason with them.
A couple of thoughts jump to mind from my book:
- You have to meet people where they are.
- You can’t have a rational conversation with someone who isn’t rational.
The Trump supporters are not rational. Their allegiance is visceral, and based purely on emotion. Trump crafted a message that resonated with white, disenfranchised voters, and fanned the flames of racism, hatred, and intolerance.
How would you even start a conversation with them? What is it that has caused them so much anger and pain? I think they’re afraid of losing their rights, their freedoms, and having big government take over.
I am equally afraid of losing my rights and freedoms.
One person’s rights extend only as far as where the next person’s rights begin. To some degree, we look to our Government to help draw these lines.
We need to live and let live, and learn how to live together.
Apart. Because of course there’s still that: we’re in a pandemic.
© 2020 Rosemary A. Schmidt
Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020),
and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of
Life (Gainline Press 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of
the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use
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