What the World Needs Now

This election sounds like a prelude to civil war, or at least martial law. Politicians speak of taming the Mideast by bombing Muslims. Trump rants, courting the NRA, villainizing everyone who isn’t white, calling for violence of all sorts. Domestic abusers buy guns easily. Angry armed white people kill innocents…

We can’t continue this way, and Trump makes it worse by the day.

As for Trump, I’m frankly worried about his mental stability. He’s obviously a raving narcissist, which is a mental health finding itself, but almost every day he says something new and alarming that goes well beyond narcissism, and even alarms his staff. On several occasions he’s asked his staff what’s wrong with using nuclear weapons, and his conspiracy claims are endless. His raving hatreds have inspired a number of threats and even fatal attacks against innocents, and he is looking very much like a similar personality in the past.

We don’t dare trust that Hillary Clinton will win without a huge effort. Trump’s angry white followers pay no attention to what he actually says, just his attitude, his blaming of practically everybody, and there are a lot of Trumpsters. Trump provides them with plenty of people of color to blame.

But if Hillary does win, aside from the many repairs of state needed from four decades of harmful Republican policy, particularly the fantasy belief that tax breaks for the rich will bring prosperity, the more important need is to cultivate a climate of tolerance and peacefulness at every level. While ending the many privileges that the very rich have devised to funnel more money to themselves is supremely important, it is the “softer” needs that will be more difficult, and probably more important.

Democrats must do a better job of listening to the Trumpsters, because they do have some legitimate complaints. However, domestic economic needs have nothing to do with the rich, and Trump’s plans would make it much worse. It is the poor who have suffered most, moreso than the middle class. And the solutions lie with helping the poor, not the rich or even the middle class, and certainly not with blaming an ethnic group for our problems.

We have a much worse problem with racism than most of us whites knew about until the Obama years, a racism that has been fully embraced by Republicans for many decades. Racism manifests in many ways, but of course the most obvious of them currently is the endless unpunished murder of unarmed African-Americans by violent police. My belief is that we finally understand what blacks have been saying all along, and the barest beginnings of improvement are being seen—I hope. If so, it may be the beginning of an improved national attitude.

Making our public attitude more calm depends greatly on the purposeful cultivation of tolerance. We must come to understand that we don’t have to like everyone, only to accept that everyone deserves everything we deserve, regardless of their color, sexual orientation, religion, or anything else.

Most people are peace-loving and law abiding, but also have legitimate complaints, even if they express them hatefully. It is unfair to judge people harshly for objecting to conditions they did not create themselves. Most people who hate being poor aren’t that interested in being rich. They just want to be treated fairly, to not be harassed because they are poor, to be reasonably paid for work, to benefit from things like a balanced education and medical care that a just democracy should provide.

Acceptance and tolerance are hard when society cheats us. So a good part of an improved attitude depends on improved justice and opportunity for everyone. If we believe we ourselves benefit from fair treatment, from equality, we are more inclined to champion justice for all. If we believe we are being mistreated, we look for someone to blame.

Trump plays to the latter, ginning up many scapegoats by race, religion, and citizenship status, and telling people he is the cure for all the problems created by his scapegoats. But the problems he claims are mostly imaginary, and he has no cure for the real ones. The great business empire and wealth he claims consists of bankruptcies and failures, and he is clueless about nearly everything else, including the Constitution. He cultivates demagoguery and understands human rights poorly.

Here are a few things we as a nation must come to understand: Refugees escaping from dangerous political situations are very rarely criminals of any sort. They must be welcomed and assisted. They have lost everything. Immigrants do not “take American jobs”. Rather, they create new jobs, pay important taxes, and improve the economy. Immigrants have always literally made the US.

It is important that Democrats adopt a persistent attitude of tolerance. We don’t have to like people in order to tolerate them. We might even dislike them, but we must protect their rights and equal treatment under the law.

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. May I publish this letter as a response?
    Mr Donald Trump,
    Dear Sir,
    We are in receipt of your invoice requiring payment for our fair share according to your “Our allies are not paying their fair share” statement of account.
    May we be permitted to raise a number of matters in this regard.
    Firstly you are sixteen times larger than Australia and your own contribution is obviously larger than ours. However when you went running off to war in Vietnam who lifted their skirts and ran to give you support?. We did. Sadly 521 Australian soldiers were killed. Mr Trump, we have paid our fair share of that account and are in credit. And what about the war in Afghanistan? This is not our war. We are only there because you wanted some sort of moral support. I know that 41 soldiers who died might not seem to be a significant number, but one is one too many.
    Oh yes Mr Trump, I nearly forgot Korea. 356 soldiers paid for that one. I think we are still in credit.
    But we are not your only Allies Mr Trump. Do you know how many Canadians have paid on account. In Korea there were 516. They have paid their fair share and are also in credit. In Afghanistan there have been 159. Is that not enough Canadians, Mr Trump. And there are the English who you seem to have dismissed as well. Over 450 have paid out on that account.
    Up to 1 October 2015, there have been 3,407 coalition deaths in Afghanistan. Approximately ONE in every THREE was not an American. So, Mr Trump, the account, headed “Our allies are not paying their fair share” is returned marked “Paid in Full”
    Your Sincerely,
    Your Allies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Most enthusiastic Trump supporters are conspiracy theory enthusiasts. The concocted theories they enjoy would be hilarious if the distorted thinking behind such weren’t so worrisome.
    Here’s a tinyurl.com link for the Google search for Trump Conspiracy Theories:
    TinyURL.com/jjhyuwl

    Like

  3. Very sober and balance assessment of the current moment. Kind of reminded me of what Ted Koppel or Walter Cronkite used to do; focus and sharpen the lens. Thank you!

    Like

  4. I just finished re-reading your post several times. I’m very taken by it. It’s very well done!!!

    Like

  5. Thank you.

    Like


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