Needless to say, there has been a lot of marching lately. You can try to deny that, but you would be lying, so let's move on. I can boldly say I did not march at all, but I cannot say it unashamedly, because I so wish I could have marched in solidarity with the friends of mine who are being impacted by some of these radical changes we are seeing in our political system. (Of course, I was working during these marches, classic. Next time I will march.) Like the tweet above so eloquently states, though: This movement is about more than marching. It is about communicating important and relevant truths by whatever means necessary.If you can't march, write. If you can't write, sing. If you can't sing, paint. If you can't paint, knit. We need everybody. @YNPierce— Daniel Hill (@danielhill1336) January 24, 2017
And I like to think I'm a good writer, so I'm going to use my gift to communicate to you. Please read with an open mind.
I'll be honest here. I am fed up with so many of you. That is the real, raw truth. So many of you walk into conversations with your fists up ready to fight, ready to debate, ready to destroy someone in an argument, and I am disappointed. If you don't think I'm talking to you, I probably am, because there are very few that have handled the past few months gracefully.
I have not written anything political here since July, because I am that dumbfounded - not just because I cannot believe we elected Donald J. Trump as our president (That's wild enough), but because of how nearly every person has reacted to it. Last year, America was politically divided, but still united. Now, I am not sure we are united in any sense of the word. Never have I seen such hatred against each other. People are not just mad about policy; they are mad at each other and that is so infuriating. I hope and pray for unity and peace, and then this happens? Why?
Since January twentieth of this year, a lot of change has happened. I would be lying if I said I was going to enjoy receiving feedback on much of what I am about to say, but a lot of it needs to be said. If you disagree, I ask that you communicate with me in a manner that is respectful, understanding, and doesn't make you look like a child (Although some of you will maybe still do the latter).
Disrespecting Donald Trump because he doesn't respect much of our country does not make any logical, emotional sense. So many of us were raised with the Golden Rule, and that says, "Treat others the way you wish to be treated." It does not say, "Treat others the way they treat you," or, "Retribution is served."
It is to treat others the way we wish to be treated. (And if you, like me, are a Bible-believing Christian, then please read this post of mine, in which I discuss Jesus' teaching about loving our enemies.)
I understand that it is with great (white/straight/male) privilege that I can say that, but, at the same time, wouldn't we have wanted the same respect for Hillary? I know I would have. We can disagree with DJT and we can fight him until the very end, but there is no need for a slander of character. Even Hillary, during the debates, was asked to name one thing she respected about him. And if Hillary Rodham Clinton, his polar opposite and rival, can name something she respects about him, then I think we can try to do the same.
(Also, just for kicks, think about how confused Trump would be if we all started respecting him... maybe he'd join in the respect? I'm a dreamer, though.)
Now, for my friends that are nodding along to this, saying, "Yes, respect Trump! He's the best!" That's nice, but where were you the past eight years? Where were you when Obama was making decisions and people were slandering him? The amount of disrespect Barack and Michelle endured is unbelievable. So many of my friends that are preaching love and respect now that DJT is elected our president were slandering the Obamas on the daily for eight years.
Don't think that goes unnoticed. Don't think your hypocrisy hasn't been seen.
Speaking of that, please do not ever complain about Obama's executive orders again. The number of those that Trump has had in his first two weeks are unbelievable. (In addition, executive orders are not all that uncommon, in case you've never researched them.)
I cannot name the number of times in the past few months where I have read a post about respecting Trump, giving him a chance, or believing he'll do the right thing, while also reading posts about how Obama is the worst president we have ever had... from the same person. The street goes both ways, not just the way you're driving. Please don't preach love if you are not rounding out that ideal no matter which way we're going.
I have had a lot of friends complaining to no end about feminism and the women's march, which is ironic, because they complained about protests years ago and said, "I would be ok with protests if they weren't so violent." Now we have a protest that is completely and totally peaceful and people are still complaining and making sexist jokes. So, then, it was not the violence that bothered you. It was just for a cause you didn't support. Got it.
No one seems to have taken the time to research what the marches were for either. Many assumed they were just "anti-Trump" while the protests were more about advocating for groups whose rights may be infringed upon in the coming years. While there is a definite anti-Trump rhetoric -- he made himself an easy target -- this protest was more about unity and advocacy for the lives of all people. Please understand that.
Speaking of lives, we have our president declaring via executive order that there is a refugee ban. I understand it was eventually blocked, but that is beside the point here. We are cutting off those who are trying to flee from areas that are dangerous, and that pose a threat to them, because we are concerned that their race or religion may try to harm us? For a nation where many voted against a candidate because she was pro-choice, we don't seem to be very pro-life here.
Fun fact: I, myself, am pro-life, but I am pro-refugee life, pro-black lives, pro-Muslim life, pro-LGBT life -- not just pro-fetus, because if we are going to claim pro-life, we need to be pro-life. If you are going to advocate under that label, please understand the implication that is there, or that I hope is there.
I am not even going to touch the environmental issues or the problems the educational system is going to face the next few years, because I have enough of you fuming.
Look, here is what I came here to say.
(1) I tried to believe in Donald Trump's ability to make progress in our country and it just does not seem like that is happening.
I'm sorry if you wanted to believe I would get to the end of this post and say I believe in Donald J. Trump's ability to change our country for good. Every day, I wake up, see a news headline, and want to sit on my floor for the duration of that day. I believe he is a danger to our society and, perhaps, to the world. However, that is just my opinion, and it is fine for you to (respectfully) disagree. That is the beauty of free speech. We can disagree and have civil conversation. At least, we should be able to do that.
(2) The hypocrisy is real right now, and it needs to stop.
If you are advocating for Trump, then congratulations, but listen to me: There are people who literally scared for their lives in this country. They don't know what their future holds, so do not waltz into conversations and say, "You're just too emotional," or, "You are worrying too much, none of that extreme stuff is going to happen," because it just might. You have no idea -- none of us do. Trump is a wild card.
If you are with Trump, be careful with how you tell us to respect the president. Be careful with how you tell us to disagree. Many of us are trying to be respectful, and protest in the right ways, and we all watched you bash Obama, disrespectfully, for eight years. I want you to tread carefully, because it can be very easy to disregard the words of someone who has yet to taste their own medicine.
(3) Advocacy, protests, marches need to continue to happen.
Free speech exists in this country and these protests are necessary for our democracy to continue flowing. Free speech is what allows Donald Trump to tweet at three in the morning. (I know, bad joke.)
Seriously, though, we are free to voice our opinions. If you feel someone is protesting disrespectfully, then have a loving, open conversation with them about it. Before you accuse them of disrespect, though, examine their intentions. Attempt to understand where they are coming from before you go in swinging. (Don't call them out in a Facebook debate either; that just gets people riled up.)
(4) We do not need to like or support Trump, but we must love him.
I like to think I was pretty hard on both sides in the post. If not, I apologize. My intent was to cause both sides to re-examine themselves. Hopefully I have done that.
Anyway, I have stated that I view Trump as a threat. I do, but I also respect him in the office of president, and I will continue to attempt to see the good in what he does. Some days are more difficult than others, but if we can see some good in the next few years, then we won't wake up depressed every single day. Wake up, drink your coffee, read the news, pray, and then go march for what you believe in.
But never let love leave your sights.
(5) Put yourselves in others' shoes.
The final thought I want to leave you with is this: We could solve so many more issues if we just got some perspective. I tell my employees this all the time. I don't care what you intended to say, because perception is, unfortunately, more important.
If you meant to contribute a valuable fact to a conversation, but you start by saying, "Well, Obama destroyed this country, but here's this fact--" then no one is going to care about your fact. That fact has been smothered in your hatred-filled comment. If we tried to understand why minority groups feel so endangered by this presidency, then maybe we would have more compassion for them. If we really, truly thought about how it would feel to have people using our identity as a slur, then maybe we would stop using "gay" as synonymous with "uncool" or "lame." Maybe we would become better proponents of political correctness, because that is the right thing to do.
Look, I know I probably just word-vomited a ton of thoughts from the past three months, but what I want to finish with, at 4AM, is that love is the most important. In our politics and lives, love, love, love. If you voted for Trump, love your neighbor that didn't and is fearing for their life. If you are advocating against Trump, love those that voted for him. Respect him in the office he has been placed in. Never stop advocating for people; all people made America great. Fight for what you believe in, but never forget respect and love.