Laura G Owens ~ Writer. Raw. Real.

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do, you apologize for the truth. – Benjamin Disrael

Tag: trump

Let's stop talking about Trump

It’s time to stop talking about Trump

It's time we stop talking about Trump to our loved ones.

Underneath our seeping political wounds over the past 5 years is an unsettled feeling no one on either side knows how to fix.

Because we can’t. Ever.

I’m an optimist and even with my abundance of wishful thinking I’m 100% sure we can’t move past this. By “this,” I mean finding “political common ground” with Trump supporters as we’re charged to do to “heal the nation.”

Don’t misunderstand, we’ll get back to decency and normal partisan political scuffling now that Trump is (almost) off the world stage. But the Trump Factor, aka those who love him, and the rest of us, can never discuss that man again if we want to get back to normal times with our loved ones, neighbors, etc.

This may not be the feel-good answer, but it’s true.

Because if we stop talking about Trump with his supporters we no longer have to feel like we’re trying to convince people that the blue sky they insist is yellow, is in fact, blue. It’s crazy-making to see something others don’t or won’t see.

One of the greatest tragedies of Trumplandia is that there’s no going back.

Now we know who supported him (twice), which includes some of our favorite people in the world. Family, friends, our dry cleaner, our pharmacist, our sweet neighbor (still sweet, btw). For a faction of Trump supporters, it was rabid zealot love from the start.

For others it was an insidious growing tolerance for his string of horrors, a numbing effect if you will, combined with full rejection of the Democrats. Either way, sad.

It’s deeply painful that our once benign political foe, say our opinionated Uncle Frank who used to be relentless with his trickle-down Reaganism vs our grassroots approach, isn’t who you thought he was.

Pre-Trump Uncle Frank was just a different sort of patriot than you or I. Not better or worse, but with an alternate point of view about what he thinks is best for the nation.

Except now Uncle Frank thinks what’s best for the nation is Trump.

A certifiable malignant narcissistic, racist, sexist, xenophobe, demagogue and autocrat in bed with Putin.

A president for who lying to is the norm and for who using superlatives (biggest crowd!) and bullying (loser!) is used to rile and divide rather than to keep calm and inform, as presidents are called to do.

A president who on the daily panicked the world (and his staff) with rogue tweets designed to feed his fragile ego and elevate his delusions of grandeur. It’s not a good strategy to keep people guessing “What next?” on the world stage. It’s a dangerous mind screw.

Trump politically and personally pulverized his own party naysayers until they retreated or crawled up his ass. He knowingly and repeatedly downplayed a deadly pandemic, smirked while he stoked hate in proud racists, and diabolically worked to dismantle democracy.

And in his latest flagrant act of corruption, Trump asked Georgia’s Secretary of State to ‘find’ him votes.

Trump does all this with the smug conceit of a megalomaniac convinced his power transcends the sanctity of facts, the Constitution and civility.

Come on, that person is better than a Democrat?

So no, with all due respect, I can’t reconcile a 2020 Trump vote. And frankly, I don’t want to. Not out of pride, because of my moral compass. Of course I’m no saint. I don’t see myself as better or worse than anyone out there. I’m plenty flawed.

But I’m damn proud that I sensed from the moment Trump mocked a disabled journalist and said he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” or that McCain wasn’t a hero because he was captured or that Megan Kelly “had blood coming out of her eyes. Or blood coming out of her where ever,” that I knew in my every cell, that this guy wasn’t presidential material.

This is unquestionably a sick man. A “stable genius” isn’t prone to referring to himself as a stable genius.

Still I’ll never show a hint of unkindness to a Trump supporter. Never. That’s just basic Golden Rule 101. Like with all my opposing views, my disgust or disappointment will never come up in conversation. My relationships are a million times more precious than the Divider-In-Chief’s dark shadow of evil (and evil he is).

It’s easy to say now that Trump’s no longer a grave threat. Although his devout will undoubtedly keep him relevant by rallying his Trumpian views and a 2024 run.

Yet I’ll never forget that Trump voters and too many politicians thought he was a proper role model for our kids. Neither would they if they were honest and dealt with their boatload of cognitive dissonance.

Trump repeatedly showed the emotional maturity of a toddler. He lacked integrity, stability, humility, contrition and a commitment to the truth. He’s nothing more than a schoolyard bully who beat the nation’s soul to a pulp. He’s a psychological abuser I’d kick out of my house, nevermind hire him as president.

It’s an understatement to say our nation wasn’t left A Better People thanks to this president. In time we became a pitied laughing stock the world over.

Lately my small church groups and I have been talking about how to heal the great divide. How we might come together. I have no doubt we can, but not in the way we did before Trumplandia. Instead of facing head-on where we disagree (about Bush, Clinton, Obama) over the dinner table or in moderated town halls, we have to pretend Trumplandia never happened.

This means we politely change the subject if someone brings it up.

Because what I’ve failed to successfully convey in five years of posting about Trump is that the problem doesn’t begin with his partisan politics.

The problem is first and foremost him. His character. The buck stops there. Trump is inherently a very bad person.

This is the sole reason I won’t talk to his supporters about their leader. Because either A) They think he’s a good person or B) They know he isn’t a good person but they don’t care.

It goes without saying that’s not a foundation for a reasonable discussion. I think he’s evil. You don’t. Exactly how do we progress from there?

So if we ever want to remember how life used to feel in politics before Trumplandia, we have to at least pretend it never happened.

Of course we’ll never fully escape Trump’s blustering that the election was stolen. His devout see him as the victimized Chosen one (some literally) and Democrats as a dangerous bunch of radical lefty socialists (despite the President-elect’s clearly moderate platform).

So sadly our Trump vs Never Trump divide will remain a gaping wound best not aggravated into further oozing infection.

So for the love of peace with our Trump-loving friends, family and community, let’s stop talking to them about he who shall not be named.

Jeff Flake: ‘Trump Can’t Hurt You. But He Is Destroying Us.’

Trump Banned From Twitter. Faces Possible Impeachment

trump vs hillary

HuffPo: Trump nation. Yes we’re divided, but you and I are fine.

Originally published on Huffington Post February 15th, 2017.

Image result for trump vs hillary

I wish it weren’t true. But we’re forever a divided nation. Still, you and I are fine.

What I mean is I still love my family and friends who voted for him. Our relationship is bigger than any President. Even this President.

Of course I’ll still chat with the dry cleaner or cashier or neighbor next door who voted for Trump, but we will not talk of him, ever. And if you bring him up and try to convince me why I’m wrong, I will politely ask you to change the subject.

Saying “Trump” has become our new “abortion.” His name is a trigger that when uttered can only end badly for both parties.

You will not change my view of him. I won’t change yours.

So instead I’ll do my activist work outside the dinner table or parties or lunch with friends. I’ll post my views on Facebook because it’s my page and my personal statement, and I’ll join the Resistance.

But I promise as a thinking engaged voting citizen I will do my best to listen to Trump on every issue. And when I agree, I’ll go public on social media.

This is the best I can do to “give him a chance.” Because for a long list of reasons that divide us, he is not and will never be, my President.

I’m sorry but we cannot “come together” about Trump. Because really, what does that look like?

I won’t suddenly agree with the Muslim ban or “alternative facts,” or his claim about voter fraud or his inauguration crowd size or Steve Bannon or EPA Scott Pruitt or Betsy DeVos or pussy grabs or his “so-called judge” or tweeting about his daughter’s treatment by Nordstrom

I will, however, consider the merits of a wall and read more about the pros and cons of sanctuary cities and tariffs on businesses who ship jobs overseas. I will listen to each Trump official and thoughtfully consider where we agree. Read full post here.

Image credit

‘I’m still waiting for an answer, Senator Rubio’

From Miami Herald Columnist, Leonard Pitts:

(Senator Rubio) I specifically asked you three questions: “What do you stand for?” “What could Trump do to make you say, ‘Enough?’ ” and “What’s the functional difference between being a bigot and just voting for one?”

You gave me cricket arias in response. So let me offer some thoughts. Because space is limited, I’ll leave the first two questions aside. But the third deserves exploration, speaking as it does to issues larger than your slipperiness.

Trump’s bigotry is, of course, a given. Between his housing-discrimination suits, his contention that black people are naturally lazy, his birther nonsense, his assertion that an Indiana-born jurist of Mexican descent was unfit to judge him and his support for neo-Nazis, any argument to the contrary must be regarded as asinine.

And despite your claim that people voted for him “despite” all this, a mounting body of research says just the opposite.

Trump’s bigotry was a big part of his appeal for white Americans scared spitless by the notion of a nation where Muslims, people of color and LGBTQ people play ever larger and more visible roles.

In an analysis based on data from the 2016 American National Election Study and published in the current issue of Critical Sociology, University of Kansas professors David N. Smith and Eric Hanley put it as follows: “The decisive reason that white, male, older and less educated voters were disproportionately pro-Trump is that they shared his prejudices and wanted domineering, aggressive leaders …”

Read the full piece here….

 

HuffPo: 6 ways to cope with Trump’s win (or how to avoid nasty conflict with your Trump loved ones)

Image result for 2016 election

 

Posted November 19th, 2016 on Huffington Post.

My husband was worried about me as the election returns came in. “Why are you so damn calm? She’s losing in some important states and you seem fine. It’s scary.”

“Because she’s going to win. I know it.”

I knew it the day she announced her run.

I knew it because despite well-funded, anti-Clinton machines that told us a million times across dozens of media outlets why we shouldn’t the trust facts, I counted on enough people to dig through the lies and add up the truth.

I knew past any red hot issue, jobs, immigration, that voter conscience would shove aside party, fear and Hillary-hate. America has self-respect. We know when enough is enough.

Grabbing crotches, fat-shaming, mocking a disabled journalist, inciting violence, feeding alt-right nationalism, disrespecting a war hero.

I knew our nation wouldn’t hire racism, sexism, misogyny, and bullying.

Voters felt long before they ever decided, that can’t be our President.

When Trump appeared millions of angry voters said this guy will turn the establishment on its cozy head, shake hard and man, oh, man, my life will be better than it is now.

Soon shocking numbers of people habituated to Trump’s horrible and pretended the vile he said never happened or was taken out of context or he “didn’t mean it.”

But I knew a tipping point of undecided and Republican voters would eventually say, “You’re not a good enough person to be my President. My kids are watching for God’s sake.”

And the fact is most voter voters did, because Hillary won the popular vote.

So when I hear “the people have spoken,” I think yes they have, but the electoral process told them to shut the hell up.

At about 3:30 am on election night, I moved out of denial and into the bargaining stage of grief. I sat on my bathroom floor and pleaded “Please, pleeease, God, no. Do you know what this means? My daughter just voted for the first time.”

About 4am, my husband came into the family room and saw me still watching the election returns and sobbing on the couch. Blurry after too much wine, shock and despair, I almost couldn’t get the words out, “This can’t be happening.”

The last stage of grappling with grief is acceptance. Acceptance is the place where you don’t agree with the outcome but you make peace so you stop feeling so shitty.

But I’ll never accept that *61,336,159 Americans decided racism, sexism and misogyny weren’t deal-breakers. I shouldn’t have to explain why in 2016.

Now all I can do is ask what’s next? What do we do? Where do we start?

My suggestion is to start by not making things worse.

1. Remember why you love your friends and family.

People you loved on Monday, November 7th are still those people. Your cousin Frank is still smart, a damn good storyteller and funny. Your best friend Lisa is still warm, a beautiful friend and generous. Good doesn’t disappear overnight. Forget their politics. Separate them, from him.

2. Stop mentally dividing people into Hillary vs. Trump.

This election viciously divided our nation into two mutually exclusive people piles. Now all we feel about our Trump friends is shock, disappointment and anger. Now we see our Trump neighbor as one word, Trump, and the antithesis to all we hold sacred. Now we wonder if the guy at the gas station or gym is one of them. Our deep tribal division is sad, dangerous and regressive.

We think we know everything we need to know about Trump supporters from disgusting chants by pockets of devolved people. We don’t. Trump pulled votes from almost every demographic, including a disappointing number of women. I heard a man tell Michael Moore, Prince of the Progressives, that he voted for Obama, loved Michael’s movies, but that Trump was his guy. This election isn’t about good people vs. bad. Trump won for a long list of complex reasons that have nothing to do (for plenty of voters) with the hate that came out of his mouth.

3. Don’t knee-jerk piss people off or excommunicate anyone.

If your anger is in danger of glaring at some poor unsuspecting Trump tee-shirt-wearing guy minding his own business, by all that is right in the world, stop yourself. Look away or give him the half smile you’d give any stranger in your path.

But if the Trump tee-shirt-wearing guy says something stupid when he sees the safety pin on your collar, breathe, then walk away. Yeah, go high. You’ll wonder how the hell you did it.

Don’t unfriend or boycott anyone unless he or she insists on being an a-hole. Sometimes you have no choice but to shield yourself from toxic people or nice people who won’t back off. If you hate your friend’s political rants on Facebook ignore her posts or hide her feed. If someone brings up the election, tell her “I love you but let’s not go there.” If she goes there, say it again and shut down the conversation. There’s thousands of other topics in the universe. Kids. Football. Dogs. Career. Dating. Movies. Books. Food. Travel. Her cool boots. Anything that won’t divide you into two angry piles.

4. Learn to actively listen.

Okay for some masochistic reason you want to confront the roaring stomping elephant in the room with friends and family. Your anger is who you are right now and you want people to understand why you can’t just “get over it.”

Fine, but set the stage to learn something from a Trump supporter. Ask friends and family to explain without bashing Hillary, why they chose Trump. Then explain without bashing Trump, why you chose Hillary. Stay off the controversial and personal. Focus on issues. Let them speak without interrupting. Don’t debate. Debate time is over. You might want to slam your head against the wall or you might learn something. This act of bravery will be damn near impossible which is why I don’t suggest you try it right now. Emotions are too high.

Post-election town halls are cropping up all over the nation so a better idea is to vent your anger in a moderated setting instead of railing against your loved ones. Your precious relationships matter far more than this election.

5. Focus on your election wins.

I lost a lot this election, so much that if I focus on the meaning and impact, I’ll go fetal and become a useless citizen. So I’m trying to focus on some state and local wins. Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy beat John Mica. Mica wasn’t my choice for Congress but he has an impressive record on mass transportation. Tapped for a possible Whitehouse position, maybe he’ll keep Florida’s transportation needs on the front burner. Medical pot finally won in Florida and a solar amendment designed by the utility companies to confuse consumers lost. My town of Orlando picked Hillary. It’s only a symbolic win, but I’ll take it.

6. Stop reading and watching political news for a while 

If you’re a seething mass of negative, go under for a while. Turn off all news. Get off Facebook and Twitter. Go the movies. Watch sitcoms. Head to the pet store and pet puppies. I promise you, puppies help. Personally I don’t have the willpower to get off the grid, but you might. Get away from the slow drip-drip-drip of 16 months of soul-sucking election stress. It’s hurting you more than you think. And for a while, you might pretend the impossible never happened.

And when you’re ready to come out from under the madness, depression and anger, activate.

Image credit

*running total

HuffPo: I miss the days of presidential dignity

The problem isn’t just about politics anymore, it’s about Trump, the very-bad-no-good person in the Oval Office.

It’s about the impenetrable bond between Trump and his most loyal, rabid fans who refuse to see this guy as anything but their nation’s over due bad-ass savior, and a victim of a media witch hunt. Perhaps to admit Trump’s grave character flaws after all this time and tribal division, would be too hard to mentally reconcile.

Unlike any other presidential election in history that I know, for the first time the losing side needs more than a run of political wins, we need Trump voters to see their guy for who he really is, and then and only then, can we begin to close the bitter divide.

We’re called almost daily by pastors and pundits and politically weary friends and family to reach across the aisle, and of course we must.

But first I need to know that my fellow American acknowledges who Trump is as a person. Then I need to know my fellow American is willing to courageously and relentlessly call him out, again and again and again. Wear him down, which with Trump’s shield of arrogance and narcissism will likely take a while.

Want to read my full post?

Image credit

6 ways to cope with Hillary’s loss (or, how to avoid conflict with our Trump loved ones).

From The Huffington Post

Hillary Won. But Lost.

At about 3:30 am on election night, I moved out of denial and into the bargaining stage of grief. I sat on my bathroom floor and pleaded “Please, pleeease, God, no. Do you know what this means? My daughter just voted for the first time.”

About 4am, my husband came into the family room and saw me still watching the election returns and sobbing on the couch. Blurry after too much wine, shock and despair, I almost couldn’t get the words out, “This can’t be happening.”

The last stage of grappling with grief is acceptance. Acceptance is the place where you don’t agree with the outcome but you make peace so you stop feeling so shitty.

But I’ll never accept that *61,336,159 Americans decided racism, sexism and misogyny weren’t deal-breakers. I shouldn’t have to explain why in 2016.

Now all I can do is ask what’s next? What do we do? Where do we start? Full post

*running total

Image credit

Sometimes, we the people are just very wrong

Donald Trump

There was a time when if my well-intentioned friends apologized for aging racists who said atrocious stuff, just to be polite, I pretended to agree with their lovable excuses.

Forgive that generation for they know not what they say!

They know.

A few years ago my sixty-something neighbor, a nice but tiresome lady, showed up at my door to gently complain about something I needed to fix. A few minutes later she got weirdly quiet and sighed, which I’d learned was my cue to ask.

“My husband is really upset lately because our son has been dating a half-breed nigger.”

She said it casually and in cahoots, like she’d mentioned that interest rates were up and so of course we’d both see the obvious downside of what was coming next.

And when I looked horrified, she didn’t.

“Oh yes, I forgot your generation doesn’t talk that way,” she said.

“Actually my entire family doesn’t talk that way,” I said.

And when one of my brothers who wasn’t raised racist offhandedly used the N-word I told him no, not ever. Not in my house.

People need to hear that thinking racist or outrageous bile out loud isn’t okay simply because people hand them a few empathetic hall passes like:

  • They hail from a less politically correct era
  • They earned the senior privilege to no longer self-censor
  • They’re rightfully angry about lost or displaced jobs
  • They’re rightfully scared of growing terrorist threats
  • They’re rightfully sick and tired of the bought and paid political establishment

There’s no excuse weighty enough to justify hateful, racist, sexist verbal bile.

None (unless, you’re not of sound mind).

You don’t get to imply that a female journalist has PMS or that Carly Fiorina is ugly or that real war heroes don’t get captured. You don’t get to make fun of a disabled reporter or say racist things about Mexicans or that you’d ban all Muslims.

Okay you get to say almost whatever you want, but clearly you shouldn’t.

We the people decide if we raise or lower the bar for civil discourse. … FULL POST at the Huffington Post

Image credit

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Site last updated June 22, 2022 @ 1:54 pm