The fringes on both sides of the political spectrum have created a vacuum. The Radical Middle must rise and create a new Common Ground and move our country forward. Reasonable, Sensible, Balanced. Outrage does none of us good. Let us stop screaming at each other and get to work!
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
The 'Blame Trump' Pitfall
The apprehension people feel this week is understandable. That apprehension cannot lead people to succumb to fear, anxiety, and paralysis. I’m certain we have also seen and heard people that have become angered and outraged by nearly every action, every executive order, each tweet, and every statement made by the Trump administration. ‘Sign this petition. Get rid of this Democrat. How dare they find even a shred of common purpose or common ground with him!’
Last Saturday, millions had the courage to gather together in support of women, Muslims, LGBTQ, the disabled, and countless other groups to rally and march in solidarity with one another. Mostly, these were positive and forward-leaning gatherings, focused on action, not division.
These marches made some Americans uncomfortable. Democracy isn’t about being comfortable. The freedom of speech, expression, and the right to peaceably assemble have consequences. We sometimes hear and see what we don’t want to acknowledge.
In May of 2012, Vice President Biden came out in favor of marriage equality, forcing President Obama to make a similar statement in support of marriage equality. This was thought to be political suicide ahead of the 2012 presidential race.
After Obama’s support and the subsequent national conversation that resulted, the majority of the American people grew to support marriage equality and are now against discrimination on the basis of sexuality as well. This is an example of how bold, courageous words coupled with appropriate action can have enormously beneficial impacts unforeseen at the time.
We live in a truly historic time. This is not the time to retreat from the most recent, hard fought victories. If we don’t stand up together with and for each other, for our fellow neighbors, and for our shared values and principles, we won’t have a chance in 2018 nor in 2020 to begin reversing the damage done in the coming months and years.
I might add that more people supported those who marched on January 21st than currently support President Trump.
We cannot shy away from difficult or uncomfortable conservations and actions. The most vulnerable amongst us are the most threatened in the coming years. They may not be able to stand up and speak out for themselves.
I, for one, will not rest until they are protected.
This does not mean we demean or dismiss those who happen to disagree or who happened to vote for or support President Trump. Being anti-Trump is not enough, nor is it compelling to those who don’t already agree with that rather myopic perspective.
We must stand FOR something, not simply be AGAINST Trump. Running an anti-Trump campaign didn't work out so well in 2016. Secretary Kerry’s anti-W Bush campaign didn't result in a victory in 2004 either.
A movement has to be about something. Trump was for tangible policies. That's a fact rather his adversaries agree with it or not. Some may not agree with these policies, I certainly don't, but these were tangible for those who voted for him.
Having a constructive, positive, forward-thinking agenda that addresses the needs of those people is important. If people condescend, demean, and dismiss their concerns and their support, there is no constructive conversation and dialogue that can possibly take place.
The bully and intimidation tactics of Trump has never convinced you, has it?