Listen, Don’t Scream
To the Editor,
I did not vote in this election since neither candidate gave my conscience enough comfort. I now feel a small elation that Donald Trump has blown a hole through the corruption of our present regimes, allowing fresh air and maybe a fresh start. Yet, I in no way support his prejudices, lack of sensitivity to human feelings, force-first proposals, and impulsive temper.
I am concerned for programs like environmental protection and worry about a world of retro isolationism, false trust in corporate loyalty and a seeming disregard for the basic tenets of a democracy. But, these are worries and are not facts. Some of his actions deny many of his stated positions. His style, unpleasant as it can be, worked to dislodge the self-proclaimed superiority of the ruling elites and their self-perpetuating advantages when nothing else seemed to do so. Further, I admit that my cherished liberal policies have failed, whether due to their lack of merit or to failure of performance. I am more willing to listen and seek out once distrusted views.
There are many Americans who think like me. And many more who did vote for him without much confidence but willing to take a chance on an unknown rather than more of an unacceptable known. I hope the opposition can control emotional outbursts in order to organize into an effective voice backed with political strength to give needed ideas to our new President and to stand firm against him if needed. He is the only one of the elites who heard the cry and gave it voice to victory. That wave was made of frustration, desperation, fear and anguish not just hate and racism. A rich kid who knows nothing personally of the streets heard that cry so well. It seems he knows how to listen. So give him something worthwhile to listen to from us.
Imagine a born-again Christian with an American Buddhist atheist; a struggling farmer and a disappointed environmentalist; a union machinist and self-employed gay hair stylist; a store owner and farm collective; a bank manager and a church pastor; college professor and street vendor – these are the disenchanted who will accomplish nothing all alone. We all want to trust our systems of justice, finance, medicine, and morals by making them again accountable to us and to standards or laws. We should never want to shoot cops as they are the ones we should look to for protection. They make our laws work and we need to see them doing this rather than reporting to the corrupt and becoming just hired guns for the powerful.
Screaming at each other will bring defeat. Screaming at him may bring worse. If we must oppose this new regime, then we must remain loyal to our deeper values including that of our country. We may never like each other, but we will get reacquainted and gain understanding, even respect. A loyal opposition and a loud one must become too busy for insults, malice or even honest disgust. This country we love has never come cheap. And it is not the most efficient nor the most omniscient. But in America, if we sink the boat, we all go down.
Sharon L. Robinson