Maybe the best way to approach resistors is to be kind to them. Because it explodes their narrow if you will ‘trump-ed up’ view of the world and takes them out of that resistor bubble.
This story from a member of the ‘resistance’ against Trump is going viral. Her whole being is wrapped up in hating Trump who is to her, the personification of evil. But then she has an experience that stops her. At least for a moment.
She spoke of how she went to the Women’s March with her 16-year-old daughter to “protest in front of the president’s house.”
From Charlotte Observer:
I wanted to be with people who shared my anger. Because I have been so angry about Donald Trump this past year. I have been angry at my country for electing this man, angry at my neighbors who support him, angry at the wealthy who sacrificed our country and its goodness for tax breaks, angry at the coal miners who believed his promises.
My fury has been bottomless. I drink my morning coffee from a cup that says, “I hate to wake up when Donald Trump is President.” My husband and I, while reading the latest Trump news, routinely turn to each other and mutter, “I just hate him so much.” The constancy of my outrage has been exhausting, yet I have not yet found a way to quell it – nearly each day has brought a new reason to stoke the fire. But a day with my daughter, communing with the angry and the aggrieved, seemed a good way to try.
After the march, Katherine and I hit the road in the late afternoon, feeling good; we had done our part to express our outrage. We were about 90 minutes south of D.C. when I heard a terrible popping sound. I assumed I had blown a tire and headed toward the nearest exit. The popping was followed by screeching – were we now driving on metal? Luckily, there was a gas station right off the exit and I pulled in.
A man who looked like a mechanic immediately rushed over to help her and got to work. Turns out it wasn’t a blown tire, it was a piece of plastic from underneath the bumper.
After determining that he couldn’t cut the plastic off, he ran over to his car to grab some zip ties so that he could secure the piece back in place.
He did all of this so quickly that I didn’t have time to grab the prominent RESIST sticker on the side of my car, which suddenly felt needlessly alienating. As this man lay on the ground underneath my car with his miracle zip ties, I asked if he thought they would hold for four more hours of driving.
“Just ask any redneck like me what you can do with zip ties – well, zip ties and duct tape. You can solve almost any car problem. You’ll get home safe,” he said, turning to his teenage son, who had been standing nearby. “You can say that again,” his son agreed.
She sized the man up as a Trump voter because of the ‘redneck’ comment. She said that she kept thinking about the kind man as she drove away.
As I drove home, I felt the full extent to which Trump has actually diminished my own desire to be kind. He is keeping me so outraged that I hold ill will toward others on a daily basis. Trump is not just ruining our nation, he is ruining me. By the end of the drive, I felt heartbroken.
When my husband and I first moved to Charlotte eight years ago, I liked to tell people that our neighborhood represented the best impulses of America. In our little two-block craftsman-home development, we had gay and straight families and people of every political persuasion from liberal to moderate Republican to Tea Party, and we all got along. We held porch parties in the summer time and a progressive dinner during Christmas. It wasn’t perfect, but for the most part it worked. We put being a cohesive neighborhood above politics.
But this year, I realize, I have retreated from my porch. President Trump upended civility and decency in our country from the day he declared his candidacy with a speech that included a reference to “Mexican rapists.” Trump seems determined to divide us along racial and ethnic and gender lines. And his cruelty and mendacity demand outrage and the most vigorous resistance a nation can muster.
She said the experience with the man was humbling and made her understand that we were all just “trying to get home safe,” that maybe it would all be a bit more bearable if people treated each other with kindness and gratitude like that that was “so absent from the president and his policies.” She asked how can people hold onto that thought while still resisting “all of the cruelty that Trump is unleashing,” but didn’t know the answer to her question.
Maybe at least it got her thinking.
People like this who are lost are very sad. Most people actually don’t see the world completely through the prism of politics.
Her hate is her hate. It’s not from Donald Trump. If she’s carrying it, she owns it. If she’s evaluating everyone according to politics, that’s on her. If she’s retreating from interacting with her neighbors, that’s on her. If the world around her has suddenly become less loving, perhaps it’s because she has become ‘less loving’ to it.
When you only see the world through your tight little prism, you can’t approach the world with joy. You can’t see how other people might see positive in Trump, you only envision that they are deluded, duped or, of course, racist.
And yes, strangely enough, Trump voters (and who knows whether this guy even was one, but he fit her stereotype) can be nice and kind people.
If she wants the hate to stop, she should start with herself.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]