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Mad as hell AND want to talk

I am furious at President Trump. In my opinion he has done tremendous damage to our country. He urges Americans to be mean to other Americans. I think he is unpatriotic and has put our national security at risk. I’m furious that he is further compromising our national security by resisting a peaceful transfer of power.

And at the same time I am willing to talk with and show respect to a Trump supporter. I know you have your reasons for supporting him. I want to learn about that. I bet we have stuff in common. I want us to at least talk.

It’s okay to not approve of someone’s behavior yet not walk away. It’s like two people living together, mad as hell at each other, and still come to the same kitchen table. And at least try to get along.

Here’s an NBC News article: Post-election calls for unity are toxic positivity that ignores damage Trump’s done. Author Tonya Russell breaks down the Trump damage to people like her and she’s angry at people like me who want us all to get along with each other.

“You have no idea,” she basically says to a guy like me. “Me and my people are kicked and dying because of this Trump guy and his supporters. You want me to what? Don’t you dare try to get me to be nice to them.” The quotes are my paraphrases. I hope I got it right. Please read her own words and stories here. This is a great article.

I think Tonya Russell is rightfully furious. I get that people are done with talking. I get that people want to be warriors right now. And that’s all okay with me. It’s not for me to say that anyone shouldn’t follow their heart.

But those whose hearts are torn or those who have not yet enlisted in the fight; let’s talk in spite of our differences. Let’s stay at the table even if it’s hard.

Some are called to aggression and some are called to diplomacy. Some are being peacemakers and some are being warriors. And it’s okay to be both; sometimes one and sometimes the other. Both are needed, and every kind of effort in between. It’s okay to be mad as hell AND want to talk.

I just have to say one more thing and that is to check my privilege. Tonya Russell also writes, “These sentiments [like mine calling for harmony] are clearly coming from people whose ability to live comfortably in the United States doesn’t hinge on the outcome.” That’s an actual quote and I believe she’s right about that too. Things like this are easy for me to say.

8 thoughts on “Mad as hell AND want to talk

  1. Anyone got a suggestion for a way to express curiosity about what someone else thinks without having them get defensive?

  2. Craig, my heart is breaking right now. Such is the love that I have for Maine and the rest of this nation. I have friends who still support Trump. I have friends who support Biden. We have all lost a lot of friends to Covid. Perhaps I am in some stage of grief. I would like to hit a pause button and take a deep breath, but I realize that that is not possible. Time passes. I believe that we are on the cusp of a great revolution where we can heal our divides. Blessed are the peacemakers.

  3. I’m not mad – but I am concerned:
    1) Concerned that – my fellow citizens may have elected a man who has nothing to show for his nearly half century in elective office.
    2) Concerned that – according to his son’s laptop, he sold access to his position as Vice President of the U.S.
    3) Concerned that – said son obtained a directorship on a corrupt energy company in Ukraine at a salary of $183,000/month.
    4) Concerned that – according said laptop, “The Big Guy” gets a percentage of any money received by by family members.
    5) Concern that – while that Ukraine Company was under investigation V.P. Biden threaten to withhold financial aid unless the prosecutor was fired.
    6) Concerned that – American policy may weigh on or be subject to blackmail.

    But what do I know, I’m just one of those guys in Hillary’s Basket of Deplorables.

    1. I’m not sure why you bring these up, everything you say has been debunked by US intelligence. Trump make this stuff I’d and you believe it. Maybe this a a bridge to broken to mend, I’m ok with that. You stay over there, I’m good over here.

    2. Wayne, I completely agree with you. To the commenter who said this is all made up, I think that is the REAL problem. I do absolutely believe what Wayne has shared, yet other people do not. We are all listening to different narratives and honestly have no way of knowing what is actually true. And we have citizens who refuse and want to block any narrative that they believe as untrue and call it hate speech and then rationalizes attacking the speaker physically.
      As a Trump supporter I am tired of being called a racist or hateful. Anyone who knows me knows that not to be true. There is a growing hate on both sides, no side is innocent.

  4. I don’t like Trump and to avoid the negativity and lies I have cut most of his supporters out of my life. They aren’t worth the pain they cause. That said, I understand why they love the appearance of an authoritative figure and why they believe the lies. It’s all about their world view and their stories that they tell themselves. Sounding like a broken record here, but the people I don’t understand are the anti-mask/anti-social distance people. Craig, I think we need a chance to hear what they have to say but I can’t afford to sponsor the talk. I also probably am not the right person to speak because I can get pretty passionate on the subject. But I am willing to try to listen. We need to heal this country.

  5. Thank you for your thoughts, Craig. I think I am in a similar position as you, however, I would qualify it by saying that I am willing to talk with people who can talk about issues, consider facts, and not engage in name-calling. However, I question whether there are many people who support Trump with whom I can actually have a productive conversation. The right-wing news media have led a significant portion of our population to believe an alternate set of facts about how our world is constructed, and as an individual, I am not sure how I can break through the misinformation campaign. I’m not sure how to engage in a productive conversation with someone if our understandings of the world are built on fundamentally different takes on the “facts.” Yet, I feel like it is people like you and me — people whose ability to live comfortably doesn’t hinge on the outcome of the conversations — who need to be the ones to try to have these conversations and attempt to break through to find common ground with the other side (and ultimately, hopefully open their minds so that they cease to cause as much damage to others). That work shouldn’t have to fall to the people who are already most damaged by the vitriol. I think that there are people out there who, rightfully, are way beyond talking. And I think that makes it all the more important for those who can engage in constructive conversation to do so in an attempt to reel the vitriol and decrease the damage to others.

  6. This is a disappointing take. You can’t be furious with Trump and his supporters and an apologist for those equally intolerant at the opposite pole.

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