Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Trump Divide: Getting Along

Twitter and social media in general is an interesting place where there is an exchange of ideas, even if some of those exchanges are sometimes contentious. Tempers can flare, especially when the topic is politics. President-elect Donald J. Trump is a newcomer to the world of politics and he has created chaos since day one. His running created a group of people who came to be known as “never-trumpers.” The Republican Party and those who often vote Republican became divided—battle lines were drawn. Some of those people fought Trump, even to the point of possibly electing Hillary Clinton as president. Even after the election of Donald J. Trump, the coals of the feud are still hot.

For the past year I've listened almost daily to Glenn Beck say everything imaginable about Trump and his supporters. He often called his supporters “brown-shirts,” a reference to Nazi sympathizers. Beck often referred to Trump as a tyrant. There were many days when I had to turn off his radio show because it was just too much. People asked why I even listened. I remembered who Glenn Beck once was and I hoped he would someday return to the man who educated many of us on a variety of topics.

Over this past year, those who supported Trump were ridiculed as being someone supporting a tyrant or someone who was a progressive. Is Trump either of those things? No on can be sure. I do know he is fairly progressive on social issues, which is one of the reasons I supported him. Trump is moderate on LGBT issues, which I found refreshing, but of course strict social conservatives hated that aspect.

Beck and others supported the strict conservative, Ted Cruz. Some conservatives and libertarians drifted to Trump because Cruz was seen as a snake, someone not to be trusted. For some, the primary never ended and they kept battling Trump and his supporters.

This boils down to what brought me to the keyboard, today. I was listening to Doc Thompson who was filling in for Glenn Beck. I've listened to Doc for many years as he filled in for local talkers and others. I always found him enlightening and entertaining. But that day I tuned in to find someone angry. He said some things that wasn't suppose to be bad about Trump, but his tone said something different. I found it impossible to believe he meant what he was saying.

Doc then moved onto the reports that Trump said he wouldn't pursue criminal charges against Hillary. The media repeatedly played a clip of Trump saying he wants for all of us to get along and that he wouldn't pursue charges against Hillary. This made the never-Trump crowd and a few supporters extremely angry. These people were ready to put Trump on trial and convict him of treason for renigging on his campaign promise. They might be right, but I say, let's give him a chance. He has appointed a tough Attorney General who will decide what happens to Hillary. I have doubts that Hillary will ever get more than a slap on the wrist, not because she is above the law, but because the standard of guilt is set much higher.

When Doc began the topic of Hillary and her prosecution, I tweeted:

Doc didn't feel he was bashing. He felt he was just addressing points. He took the time to ask me privately why I felt it was bashing. I explained that for a year Trump supporters have been hearing lies and mis-truths. It's hard to know what the truth is when you read or hear something about Trump, so the first, and correct, reaction is to be skeptical. Because we have heard so much negativity, we might be overly sensitive at times. It's more likely we are frustrated from a year of hearing the same words repeated—such as Republican talkers and politicians tearing each other apart daily.

Together, Doc and I listened to the segment to understand why I called him out for bashing. It came down to tone. How he spoke said more than his words. It came across as sarcastic. In retrospect, I might call it passive-aggressive instead of bashing. I'm sure his fans and Trump haters understood what he intended. But to those of us who have been bombarded with anti-Trump rhetoric, we heard something different.  This time is better spent analyzing Trump's moves. He has made some interesting nominations. We should be learning more about these people.

It's time to speak with calm voices and judge what is done and not what is said. Trump has been put down because he wasn't presidential. From what I see, he is trying to do just that. So far Trump's actions have been encouraging—even his detractors are feeling more positive. Many times when people have tried to predict Trump's actions, they have been wrong. It's time we come together and try working to make the best of what we have. For the first time in nearly a century the right-wing ideology has a chance to make positive changes to the country. We have a chance to unify the races by showing the world what can be done with a free market system. In short, me, and many like me, are just sick of the negativity—the arguing and name calling. Trump will inevitably make mistakes and we should remind him of those mistakes. He will do things with which we disagree and we will voice that disapproval. If we get 50% of what he promised, the country will be far better. No one who has ever run for, or elected to office, will be able to do everything they promised. We can hope the Clintons someday get what's due them, but there are far more important issues. If we fix the system so future Clintons end up in prison, then we have done enough.

I'm glad Doc took the time to try and understand my point of view—why I reacted as I did. I think that in the end, we both will be the better for this exchange. The both of us only want what's best for the nation. I can tell you, Trump is the last person I thought I'd ever support for any office. All I ask is, let's give him a chance.

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