I struggle. I’m human. I have my thoughts and reactions just like everyone else. At times, it can be really hard for me to separate how things are making me feel from the message I’m hearing.
I work hard to make sure that what I say provides space for people to have their own thoughts and opinions, whether they are the same or different from mine. That’s important to me. Everything I write, everything I say is designed with that purpose in mind. I try to avoid sharing too much of my own opinions, even though obviously I share some.
I have been struggling to know what to say as people have expressed how they feel about President Trump’s State of the Union address. As I strain to reach for my usual call for finding common ground and shared values, I feel discouraged and defeated. I’m at a loss. While I would like to express myself, I’m aware that I may stumble over my words. What if I’m wrong? What if I make a fool of myself?
So I’ve not said much. Naturally, when you don’t say much, well, you get to do a lot of listening.
As I’ve listened to people express their thoughts about events leading up to and following President Trump’s State of the Union address, I feel like there are things that people want to say, but don’t quite know how to say it. I would like to restate what I’ve been hearing people saying, regardless of the political parties they support.
Please acknowledge the points I’m trying to make. Please recognize what is important to me and why it’s important to me. Don’t excuse behavior. Don’t tell me it’s no big deal. Celebrate with me. Mourn with me. Respect me even though I don’t agree with you. See me as a person that is deserving of a seat at the table. Allow me a turn to express myself and what’s important to me.
And you know what, even though I might fundamentally agree with you, I am really struggling with how you’re delivering your message right now. It is a real challenge to sift through the things that bother me so that I can let the good things sink in. Can you give me a moment to be upset, to be offended, to pause before smiling?
We’re not robots. We’re not unfeeling creatures that can just accept the images placed before us and know exactly how to react. It might take a moment to digest, to understand, to sympathize and empathize with each other. I hope we can give each other permission to be human and to sometimes simply struggle.
I personally was disgusted by the SOTU address, but far, far worse for me was the Prayer Breakfast. I was appalled.
Since Emily has graciously allowed anyone to share what’s on their mind, I’d like to share what came to my mind after reading her blog.
What I like about Trump is that he’s a human, just like many of us. He’s got his faults, just like many of us. He’s got his strengths, just like many of us. He is actually quite courageous in letting all of that show. I know many people like Trump in my regular mundane life of regular mundane people. He brags…he’s conceited….but he’s also changing government policies that have put America as the financier of the world. (How did that happen ?)
I wonder if I see Trump in this light because I’ve watched years of politics with all the ramifications of acquiescent policies ?? America was suddenly responsible for financing the UN. America was bearing the brunt of NATO. America was policing the world. America was sending foreign aid to prevent the Communists from gaining a foothold in a poor country which has resulted in sending money out when our debt was climbing and our people needed the help. We would buy China’s goods that nobody else wanted. We’ve taken in immigrants because of our own immigrant beginnings but now that policy is straining our domestic programs.
I see Trump as bringing things back to a reasonable situation where we’re not taking care of everyone in the world. I’ve admired that he wants to stop this cycle. Other countries in the world are strong now. We are now way past the devastation of World War II. They can be weaned off American help now. It’s like ‘cutting the apron strings’ when young adults go to college or enter a career. The change might hurt but it’s necessary.
Taken as a whole, Trump has changed politics. He’s not a plastic person. I see him as a guy who will listen but also has a national view in mind. I can take his bluntness because that’s part of my own family culture. I see him reaching out to others to talk and discuss.
I see him as energizing our country and I think that’s been very good for our morale.
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