Monday, October 3, 2016

Let's Be Reasonable

I have friends who are supporting Donald Trump who have posted a few times on my Facebook page. They believe that I sympathize with them in certain ways. And I do. I understand where they are coming from. I share their frustration. And I’m glad they have posted comments. I want to hear their thoughts. I welcome them.

I have friends who are supporting Hillary Clinton who seem bewildered that I am not on board with them and with her. I get that, too. I’m a liberal Democrat and they think I should be supporting Clinton. But, I’m not. Friends are irritated about that. That’s okay; I still want them to comment. I want to hear them as well.

We don’t have to fully accept each other’s viewpoints or beliefs or politics in order to be friends. But we should be willing to at least listen to one another and allow each one of us our thoughts without judgment, anger, resentment, or condemnation. And certainly without hate. Thankfully, my friends do this.

Hillary supporters believe Donald Trump is a dangerous, unbalanced person who will somehow destroy the nation. That won’t happen. He has plenty of troubling issues about him but he will not ruin America. People need to get beyond hysteria. Uncontrolled fear can take us places we would never go otherwise and leave us lost in horrible scenarios that are only in our imagination. The truth is, we don’t know what Donald Trump might do as president. All we know is what he is as a TV celebrity and a rich guy. Being president is something altogether different. And he may be altogether different in that role.

Donald Trump supporters believe Hillary Clinton will take away their guns, tax them into oblivion, lie, cheat, and do all sorts of disastrous things to make their lives miserable. That won’t happen either. Hate for her can cloud people’s perceptions and create so much dissension that reason is thrown out the window and there’s nothing left but unproductive rage. We’re not sure how she would be as president either. With Bernie nearby…she might…might be different, too.

If Trump wins he may very well shake up our political system and our nation in ways that might actually, finally, bring about some necessary changes in the way politics are done in this country. He’s not going to wreck America. He may create chaos. He may make some terrible decisions. He may keep us divided. But, in the process, he might help us see we need one another.

If Hillary wins, little will change in the country and in our politics. But she is not going to destroy our freedoms or ruin our nation. She may cater to Wall Street. She may remain secretive and devious. She may try to institute controversial policies. But, along the way, all of that might make us finally see how desperately America needs to change its politics and how the system needs to work for all of us. Right now, it doesn’t.
We survived the Civil War, for God’s sake. And though some of its residue still lingers in some ways we are a better nation today than then. We made it through the Civil Rights Movement, Kent State, the Vietnam War and 911. And though those cataclysmic events damaged us, they changed us, too, to be more thoughtful about prejudice, war, and what we represent to the world. In spite of the bigotry we see, the violence against blacks by police, the greed of politicians, and the shallow bickering and petty quarrels of people who disagree over politics, most of our country is still made up of decent, hardworking, tolerant, caring people.

The only ones winning in this election are the media, the Television networks, the advertising agencies, the political pundits, and the fund raising campaigns of Clinton and Trump. And that is a travesty the rest of us allow.

We need to be smarter about all of this. We need to demand a better system. We need to work for change. This is our country. It belongs to all of us. And if we let fear, rage, and hate control our thoughts and our actions, then no matter who is president, we all have lost, and we are no longer America.

Copyright © 2016 Timothy Moody

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