Helping Trump Supporters Return to Sanity –  Post #1

Helping Trump Supporters Return to Sanity – Post #1

NOTE TO READERS: If you like this post, please share it as widely as possible. This is the first in what will be a series of posts on how to have productive conversations with Trump supporters. We know Trump is a malevolently pathological liar who deliberately distorts truth to “sell” his frighteningly negative view of people and the world. The deeper, even more dangerous impact of his incessant lying is that over time truth gets overwhelmed until it finally disappears. We know that. Trump’s supporters don’t get it. They live in the crazy, propaganda-driven world of his lies.  For example, regarding immigration. Trump world: Our borders are getting overrun by tens of thousands of “those people:” rapists, criminals, and drug dealers, who come into this country and take jobs from hard-working Americans or go immediately on welfare that we have to pay. All those crying children are just left wing liberal Democratic propaganda. Democrats want to turn America into a refugee camp/homeless shelter so they can enroll these people as voters and disenfranchise “Real Americans.” Independently-verified reality: Current rates of illegal immigration remain extremely low by historic standards. Immigrants legally admitted go through an extensive vetting process. Legal and undocumented immigrants are significantly less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens, making them a net benefit to public safety. The research shows that immigrants are not taking jobs away from U.S. natives, and their impact on wages appears to be small to nonexistent, particularly across the long term. Problem #1: Trump’s supporters believe his lies.  They really do. Problem #2: Attacking Trump personally causes his supporters to dig in...
America Has Lost Its Mind … How Can We Get It Back?

America Has Lost Its Mind … How Can We Get It Back?

Our country is on fire. We have become a viciously crippled, polarized society.  These days, an increasing majority of Americans passionately ally themselves with one or the other of two competing ideological extremes, then accuse the other side of every imaginable economic, intellectual, social, spiritual, and moral flaw. Now the people who disagree with us aren’t just “wrong,” they’re grossly stupid and evilly sinful. I’m old enough to remember when  people of good will who disagreed with each other on matters of policy and action could respect their differences but still work through them to reach consensus on what all parties could commit to support. These were consensual agreements based on fact — what’s actually happening — and anchored in a common ground of shared beliefs.  We have lost that good will. In fairness, the differences that now tragically and ominously divide us have always existed in the deep fabric of our nation  since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789: finding the delicate balance between the liberty granted individuals in a republic and the responsibilities of all people in a democratic society; between the powers relegated to the states (large and small) and to the federal government;  between the proper authority exercised by the three separate branches of government; between the enabling strengths and crippling limitations of both capitalism and socialism; between the promise of unlimited entrepreneurial possibilities and the harsh reality of working for a wage — or in the case of African slaves, no wage at all;  between our prosperity as a nation and our membership in a global economy;   and between the ideal of...
Liar in Chief

Liar in Chief

OK. I understand why Congressional Republicans running for office won’t criticize Trump. They run the risk of getting kicked off the gravy train: a hefty salary, better health insurance than most of us can afford, a fat pension, a luxury lifestyle paid for by wealthy donors, and absolutely no accountability to have to DO anything. If, God forbid, they were voted out of office, they might actually have to work for a living (unless they got hired as million-dollar-a-year lobbyists). But I don’t understand why my Republican friends, who are decent, well-educated people, continue to support a president who is an incorrigible, pathological liar and narcissistic egomaniac. Set aside the factual whoppers:  more people attended his inauguration than the inauguration of any other president; the Trump Tower has 68 stories (it really has 58);  the U.S. has the highest tax rate in the world; the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years; The Art of the Deal is the best-selling business book in history; the number of illegal immigrants in the United States is 34 million; thousands and thousands of people were cheering in Jersey City, N.J. as the World Trade Center collapsed; the unemployment rate may be as high as 42 percent; Trump University received an “A” rating from the Better Business bureau…  the list goes on and on. Clearly he believes his own lies. As he described them in The Art of the Deal, they are just “truthful hyperbole.” But how can someone create sane public and foreign policy if he has so little awareness of factual reality (or history, for...
4 Ways to Handle “Trump Stress”

4 Ways to Handle “Trump Stress”

The 65,844,954 Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 (48.2% of the popular vote against Trump’s 46.1%) are suffering from dangerous levels of stress. I’m a registered Republican who, for decades, has actually been an Independent. I’ve voted for candidates at the local, state, and national level based on their qualities as human beings and potential leaders. So count me in among the large number of people who are still asking themselves in shock and disbelief, “How could the America I love actually have DONE this?” Unmanaged stress is unhealthy. Fortunately, we don’t need to just sit back and bewail the train wreck that’s happened to our country. We can do what Americans have always done in times of peril: stand up and fight for what we believe. Of course, the roughly 110 million voting age Americans who didn’t vote should be feeling stress now.( I except the millions who were prevented or discouraged from voting − see https://mic.com/articles/162275/voting-millennials-minorities-key-states-faced-election-day-2016-barriers-new-study#.iYfzChS9N).  Tragically,  a lot of Americans sat this one out. We’re all paying for that lack of responsibility and trust in American democracy.  But you can make up for your indifference – see below. I get the fact that Trump was running against a terribly flawed candidate – Hillary was part of the problem, not its solution. If you’re still questioning this, read Bernie Sanders’ s Our Revolution (available from Amazon for under $10.00). I don’t agree with all Bernie’s solutions, but he hits the problems dead on. Bernie’s just as right about the GOP’s contributions to the problems and the non-solutions they now trumpet. And Hillary was supported by...