One More Thought On America in The Time of Trump
By Karen Shiebler
I can’t stand Donald Trump. He is a liar. I hate liars. He is willing to turn us all against each other to achieve his own power and his own gains. I hate that kind of selfishness. But I love a lot of his followers. I love my relatives who have come to every birthday party for my kids, sent graduation gifts, danced at family weddings, made me dinners just for fun. I love my neighbors who kayak with us, go out to dinner with us, share perennials, gripe about the lousy weather and sit through endless town meetings with us.
I despise the media moguls who control our thoughts by following the orders of their corporate overlords. Fox News is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trump and his Corporate Organization. They’re ridiculous. They aren’t news. I would never look to them for news. CNN is less obvious, but “Breaking News” every hour on the hour for the past 10 years? Seriously, dudes? One big story per week, with endless repetitive talking heads pretending outrage and tears? That’s your idea of news? Come. On.
I hate the ugly words that are being hurled around by people who disagree on the latest core issue. I hate seeing people berated for their beliefs, their life styles, their religious choices, their sexual preferences. I hate it. I hate the swear words, the offensive remarks, the name calling, the hatred, the plain old meanness.
I don’t love my country, because I don’t know what that means. Am I supposed to love the dirt? The trees? The highways? Am I supposed to love the flag, no matter where it waves or who is holding it or how it is used? I don’t know if I’m expected to love my government? The bureaucracy of it? The big money that owns it?
I do love my countrymen. I love them because they’re also trying to make sense of the struggles we face every day. They want jobs, they want some financial security, they want to know that if they work hard they will be able to provide a safe life for their families.
I love my countrymen because they are humans. I love my fellow humans. I don’t hate the ones who are different from me. I don’t hate or fear the ones who have different colored skin than mine. I don’t hate of fear the ones who are more or less religious than me or the ones who call the divine by a name I don’t recognize. I don’t fear or hate my fellow humans if they are richer or poorer than me, or if they speak a different language or if they live in a different part of this earth.
And I don’t hate or fear my fellow humans, my fellow Americans, my fellow community members because they disagree with my views on gun control or border safety or trade or taxes.
I hope that I am smart enough to find some truth in all the complete bull that is filling our world. I hope that I am brave enough to listen when people have different ideas than my own.
And I hope that I am kind enough, evolved enough, thoughtful enough to grant my fellow family members, neighbors, coworkers the right to their own opinions. I will still work as hard as I can to move my country and my world in a direction that seems the best to me. I will still work as diligently as possible to bring a positive, loving, kind world into being. But I will try my best to do that without screaming at my friends on the “other side.”
I don’t know if my plan will work. I just know that it’s the only way I can proceed and still feel proud of myself as I look in the mirror every day. I wish more people shared my view. It might make us all a lot safer and a whole lot better informed.