Tag Archives: trump

Kumbaya and other things

I promised myself that I wasn’t going to get involved in politics on social media, but no one reads this anyway, so what the hell.

I believe in the right to protest the government. It’s a free country. But, like everything else in this world, there’s a right and wrong way to go about it.

Wrong: Hateful rants on Facebook.

Right: Talking to your government representatives about your concerns. (Hint: that’s why they’re there. To REPRESENT you.)

Right: Voting in your municipal elections so that your local representatives might be people who care about what you have to say.

Wrong: Rejecting people who think differently than you.

Wrong: Arguments.

Right: Conversation.

You will never convince anyone to think differently by posting a meme or an article or a paragraph-long status. People who agree with you will like it. People who don’t will get mad at you. And in the end people are upset and nothing has changed.

Don’t be idiots. If you want to better yourself, listen to someone who is on the opposite side. Don’t listen to tell them why they’re wrong. Listen to hear them. Understand why they think what they do. You don’t have to agree. Build some freaking empathy and say sure, I see where you’re coming from, even if that’s not how I see it. If they invite you to, share your side. Don’t throw it in their face. Don’t insult them. Just tell them why it means something to you.

And just like that — conversation. And you can still be friends! Super.

There’s a meme out there that I love. Jesus (don’t start with the religion thing. It’s a good message no matter what you believe spiritually) says to a crowd “love one another”. Now there are various versions in which the crowd asks “what if they’re….gay, black, immigrants, etc?”  His response: “Did I stutter?” I think we should include “What if they have different political leanings than me?” Did. I. Stutter? Love one another. Period.

For those of you who can’t get behind something Jesus said, let’s instead follow the example of Jackie Moon: Everybody love everybody. And if we can’t even figure out how to be as good as Will Ferrell, we’re in real trouble.

Love you all.

 

Why Trump Won: A theory

Much like biological development, social abilities generally follow the same pattern of development in all people. When it comes to social interactions, we first figure out how to have positive and negative emotions. We learn how to direct those charged emotions at one, then two people. By the time we have reached adolescence, we should be able to feel complex emotions for many people. We can hate our mom for grounding us, but still love her at the same time. America is socially stunted. As a whole, we’ve never made it to this final stage of complex social relations. We denounce black and white ideologies and praise the idea of the fluid spectrum when it comes to things like gender identity or sexuality. Yet at the root of it all, are we not a 2-party system? It has become nearly impossible to be a bipartisan citizen. We are not allowed to believe that Black lives matter, and still support the police force. We cannot be both religious and accepting of all people. For every new victory in making progress, it seems that an old value is denounced. We can move forward while still maintaining some of our old values, but society seems to think otherwise. And so it has come to be that progress means shaming many people. To be politically correct and socially accepted, we must praise minorities and scowl at the White Man. And while there surely have been mistakes made in the past by a society that was mostly controlled by the WASP, we cannot hold today’s men accountable for those same deeds. I have met people from all walks of life and I see value in ALL of them. I have straight, white, Christian, male friends and they are some of the best people that I know. But they are made to carry the weight of all that is wrong with our society. White men are a majority. This means that there are many more of them than anyone else. So it is only natural that they have more bad eggs than any other group. But guess what? They also have more good ones. It isn’t so hard to believe that people who feel that their traditional values – note I say traditional and not outdated; not all traditional views are bad ones – are being trampled on would look at a man who does not follow the convention of political correctness and breathe a sigh of relief.

I do not say this as an endorsement of Trump. I feel that he, too, is of the black and white mindset. His side goes against the grain of society recently. Rather, I implore people to seek out the middle ground. The safe space, so to speak, where complexity can be appreciated and we can act like fully developed adults who can have their own opinions, and respect those of someone different. A space where we do not think in black and white, in yes or no. Where I can say that I am I Christian who does not discriminate against the LGBT community. Where I can be an educated white woman who wants to help the poor regardless of race. Where I can exercise my right to speak out freely against war and still appreciate the men who have fought to protect that freedom for me.

Life is full of complexities and intricacies. Let’s stop simplifying it.