Hatred Cannot Be Our Answer…

In the early hours of November 9th 2016 Donald Trump won the 2016 Election and become President Elect of the United States of America.

If you are looking for details of that story, you have come to the wrong place; that is not why I am writing this.

I am writing this, for you.

For if you (as I do) think that Donald Trump as President is a Very Bad Idea, then we have work to do.

I know that it is too soon.  That for some of you the shock and disbelief will be too near; but despair is a luxury we cannot afford.

Donald Trump did not win the election by accident.  People voted for him; in vast numbers.  And this day is the darker for it.

If you are angry, I understand.  If you are scared, I understand.  If you cannot believe this is happening, I understand.

Trump’s election has shone a harsh light on the very real wounds of America, wounds which speak bluntly to our collective failure as citizens of the world.  Our failure to effectively educate, our failure to heal division, our failure to meaningfully engage.

But now is not the time for blame or recrimination.  Hatred cannot be our answer, and more fear will only feed the fires of division.  This is our time now, our challenge; this is the task that has been set before us.

Apathy is the enemy.  If we give up we become part of the problem.  If we want things to improve we have to work.

Moving forward, we must work to effectively educate.  We must work to heal division.  And we must work to engage more people in this process.

Because this is not just about America, it is about the world and every soul in it.  It is about you, and it is about me; it is about our families, and it is about our friends; it is about our future, and it is about the world we choose to leave behind for those who will follow.

Take heart my friend.  If you are reading this then there is hope.  Today may be dark but, as long as we still draw breath we carry with us the opportunity to make things better.  This is not hyperbole, nor is it panacea.  I believe it with every fiber of my being.

I believe in us.

And I believe, in you.

Love.


Two Things:

If you are having a hard time then I am here for you.  If you need to speak to someone feel free to write me, either thru the mailing list or by using the comments section.

If you like this or have found any value in it please help me spread this message as far and wide as possible by sharing the article.  Use the sharing buttons below or just copy and paste the link.

25 Comments

  1. James, this was a great post. I am only coming back to read it now. In the wake of the election results, I was really and grasping to understand, like many. I went in to work the very next day, looked at my friends, who were also visibly shaken, and said, “Fear and anger is what got us here. Only love can make it better.” It won’t be easy, but it is the only way that doesn’t make the situation worse. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.

    There seems to be a global trend toward isolationism, nationalism, xenophobia, and blame. I wasn’t alive in the years before WWI, but this all feels eerily familiar. Didn’t I read about this in history class? It is hard to know what to do right now, but if all I can do is live my little life by my values of love, trust, willingness to be vulnerable, reaching out to the other in compassion and an attempt to understand… hopefully that is enough.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, and take my hat off to you for spreading that message to others.
      Hatred is, unfortunately, always familiar. But, today, we are together in a way that is unprecedented. And that gives me a lot of hope because together we are strong. The greatest challenge to my mind will be: not responding to hatred in violence in kind, but instead seeking to strike that precious balance between integrity, strength, and also action.
      I am glad you wrote this. Speaking to people like you gives me hope.
      All the best to you and yours, 2017 can be our year.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there, I’m glad you asked this.
      First, I admire your optimism, I think we could do with more of that pretty much everywhere.
      I don’t hate Trump at all. But I do think he could be very bad for America and the world at large. I’m not jumping on any bandwagons here, I’m basing my position on: his history before the presidency, his campaign, and his decisions and actions since winning the electoral vote, none of which inspire any kind of confidence at all.
      I understand the urge to intellectually normalize the situation, but unfortunately I think this is very far from normal.
      To give just one example: (as announced today) America is now pretty much the only ‘developed’ country to have climate change denial as it’s administration’s official position.
      In closing, I think it’s safe to say that we are probably both in exactly the same position, namely: we both sincerely hope that I am dead wrong here. 😉
      AS ever, thanks for reaching out, thanks for reading, and have a good one.
      – J

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The views now have changed. No, not mine, but I guess my apologies are. Sorry, James. Most of the comments are back, though not all — it seems to be a strange thing, as they seem to come and go. I don’t get it. I did get my first spam death threat during this exchange, although it was caught. Perhaps that’s the problem. I had a similar kind of thing with another site once — it happened to be just .com (paid WordPress site) like yours, but in that instance, it came out that the person was selectively posting and manipulating comments at will. Well, sorry, and I hope this clears things all around.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here is a reasonable article to read, from someone who can state things better than I can:
    If it doesn’t show up its:

    I’m pretty shocked that you erased the commentary. It seems to be a common move among those on the left, but to me it has the faint whiff of book-burning. Sorry, James.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you have either: not read the rest of my articles or comments on this, or have just plain misunderstood my position – if that is the case then I apologize for not being clearer – allow me to clarify a few things.

      I have not: said anywhere, or written anywhere, anything negative at all about the people who voted for Trump. In fact, I have no doubt that the vast majority of Trump supporters are: good people trying to make the choices that best serve their families and their country. (This is one of the many reasons that I have been doing my best to foster dialogue with people from all sides of the debate, as evidenced in many of these comment threads, and elsewhere on the net.)

      It is Trump himself being placed in a leadership position of substantial power that I have issue with. And I base my concerns not on groundless fears or emotions, but on what he himself has said and done, both in his campaign, and in his 70 years of (well-documented) personal and business history. Furthermore, I think that the choices he has started to float for his cabinet, and the way he has already aligned himself with Putin – a man who has literally flat out killed his political enemies and who rules his country as a tyrant – speak strongly to these concerns – and not in a good way.

      Now, you seem to have tacked on a random accusation here (and accused me of book burning…what?). What exactly do you mean I ‘erased the commentary’? This seems strange. And also completely without basis. The only thing I can think that you meant is the fact that I don’t allow links in the discussion threads (they interrupt dialogue and are generally very irritating for the people who like to read the comments). This is quite a serious and hurtful accusation to be throwing around so groundlessly.

      Hope that has helped. Good luck with it. As I have said many times here, I hope I am dead wrong about this, for both our sakes; I really don’t think I am, but I hope so.

      – J

      P.S. If you do want to send me links to things, you can do that thru my mailing list.

      Like

      1. You have erased all of the commentary of these discussions. By that, I mean comments of people who have cared enough to write their own thoughts on your article, or the topics within it. And yes, I did read them all before they vanished; and now, at my last reply, there were only two. All that content, including my own commentary, is gone. Does this mean it’s been erased? Deleted, disappeared, made gone? That would be like having your cd’s removed from a music store, just days after their release, limiting to a select few those who fortunately purchased aforehand and got to appreciate its content (I know you’ve offered your work freely). Is it “groundless”, as you call my comment, when comments pertaining to this article have disappeared? This makes my statement neither “random”, nor “groundless”; it is based on a direct observation of facts: comments (commentary of people posting) which were here previously, are now gone. Poof! Erased. No longer showing.

        You’re entitled to your opinions, as are everyone else, about Trump and his cabinet. Just as I had listed Chris Christie as a possible (though unsure, as he was yet untested) cabinet member in my “2012 Presidential Cabinet Picks” post on my site during the Mitt Romney run for President, he has since proven not up to par and had to go; it happens.

        Why do these Trump protesters feel justified to use violence against business owners who are just trying to make a living? Is it right to burn down their stores, smash the windows of cars at car dealerships, etc.? Was Hillary a paragon of virtue? I’ve already gone on about Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater, Benghazigate, Servergate and Bill’s serial adultery insinuations, and so forth, in my posts. People can gripe and complain all they want over the voting results, and protest as they wish. If their violence has consequences, it is not Trump’s fault. No violent protests occurred from the Republican faction when Democrats won their elections. Though I didn’t vote for Obama, I cried at his election. I’ve even voted contrary to my party, when I felt it warranted. I used to be a Democrat liberal, but I changed as I grew up and actually had time as my age and my gauge. I used to argue vehemently in support of my liberal views. But, now that I’m on the other side of all that, I can see more clearly, and I cansee it more clearly for what it is. And the Left of today is not like thr Left of yesteryear; it seems ti be veering off toward even more-Leftist dabblings down socialism’s path. So, I’ll still fight against that which I feel is a wrong-headed course for this nation. I also think Theresa May might prove to be a good Prime Minister and that Brexit may prove to have been a good decision for the United Kingdom. The Leftists went bonkers over that one, too, but it was put to referendum and the majority decided. On appearance, although I hope it doesn’t reach that point, what it seems they’re trying to mount seems to be a toppling of government, a coup, almost tantamount to an insurrection, given that the President-Elect has yet to even rule. This is what you see in third world, corrupt countries that can’t seem to get their act together. I don’t want the U.S. to become that. I’m happy we’re the dominant power in the world and shudder to think who would replace us, in the event of failure. Any suggestions?

        Like

        1. Hi there,
          I haven’t actually erased anything. It may be a function of the wordpress theme I’m using. I’ve checked and I can see all your comments, so maybe try looking at it on a different device?
          Hope that helps,
          – J

          Like

          1. I don’t have easy access to another device, so instead checked another site, where I easily saw 100 comments, long or short, without problem. My device doesn’t seem to be at issue. My statement was because I could previously see all the comments, but this changed. The tally at your site showed “2 Comments”, and that’s what showed. Are you implying that your “Theme” changed its own capabilities in the midst of our dialogue? Maybe you see the missing comments in your email, but they disappeared from my view!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I can still see them. Have tested it with others and can see them too.
              You know that each thread only counts as 1 comment, but can contain many answers and replies, right? So, you can have 50 (or more) replies contained in a single thread.
              Hope that helps.

              Like

    2. I was also wondering if I can get your take on something? You mentioned in one of your previous comments that you identify as Jewish. Given this, what are your thoughts on the proposed ‘Muslim registration’ legislation? I would be genuinely interested. Is this something you think would be a good idea?
      Hope your day is going well,
      – J

      Like

      1. Well, James, Judaism is part of my identity. The lineage aspect of it comes from my ancestral heritage and goes back thousands of years. It’s not something I can cast off, but it is something which can be joined by others, if people truly wish to meld lives. Other aspects of Judaism are bound up into its totality: things such as faith, traditions, customs, culture, language — though with the numerous experiences of our exiles, these have taken on permutations of the cultures into which our people settled (which is everywhere). Islam follows a similar initial structure. Where we’ve maybe diverged is in our relations to the world, and where we’ve learned to compromise and accommodate. Islam as expressed via its TERRORIZERS chooses to dominate with no tolerance for divergence. Does this bode well for the Jews? Not as evidenced by the continued attacks upon Jews and the state of Israel, nor by the Hamas Charter calling on Israel to be wiped off the map, nor by the dogma of the faith, via its Book and via its commentaries, and enshrined in the religion. Where I feel it must go is in learning to just ignore the part about the non-believers of Islam and to just live and let live. In the democratic republic of the U.S., we have equality for all (though there can instances, yes, of discrimination). People here co-exist, whether Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Black, White, etc. The same is true in Israel, where you have a multitude of various Christian denominations, Armenians, Egyptian Copts, Maronites, Jewish, Syriac, Lebanese, Druze, Bedu, Sunni, Russian Orthodox — if this isn’t believed by the readers, just research the various houses of worship. Look up their locations. It would be impossible to even become a so-called “apartheid” entity with one next to another being so different.

        Now, with regards to this proposal of a list you reference… There are always people making lists of things. Should this concern us? Lists can be weaponized, as we know from the efficiency with which the Nazi Germans organized the implementation of Hitler’s Final Solution of extermination for certain people (yes, my “group”, “The Jews”). Lists can be innocuous — like a shopping list for the market. Lists can be grey, in-between things, as precursors to action detrimental to those on it. However, they are an integral facet of our existence. In elections, we’re delineated as per our choice: Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green, etc. In school, we’re now segregated in the larger populations into forms or classes or graduation class years — there are lists for those. We’re numeralized with specific identifying numbers (yes, I’m aware of some Christian denominations’ thoughts about that) and registered with that as a citizen with all rights to the entitlements inherent by it within this country. Do you think it would be like the list in which a variant of my surname appears (dating from 1941 and 1947, respectively), which makes a list specifically of Jewish- and/or perceived-to-be-possibly-Jewish people, and the looting by Nazis of their artwork, which documents were only declassified in 1984 from OSS (precursor to CIA) Records (see: “Stolen Art, Stolen Lives”, at my site)? Do you think anything specific to negative incidences resulted as an effect of U.S. government policy to classify immigrants in registry/registration lists upon arrival to Ellis Island based on listing the category “Race or People” with classifications such as “Polish” or “Hebrew” (etc.) in its field? And, what are the proposed classifications to the parameters of this list you mention, and where is the existence of this list? Would you provide me the H.R. number of the specific legislation so that I can read more about it? Oh, it doesn’t exist? I see.

        Like

          1. Thank you, James. I only have my present knowledge to go by, as do you. Our lenses show diffferent perceptions. Time will tell how this will go.

            I appreciate your interest. I’ve delved fairly well into Jewish history and have learned a lot; but not everything). I used to spout canards about U.S. aid to Israel, and other matters, which I’d believed correct, based upon what I’d always heard, and based on what everybody else was saying. My viewpoint was challenged (political debates are like sport, in Israel) by a man who had once worked in the MOD of Israel. He didn’t tell me specifics, but I then engaged more seriously with the matters at hand, learning beyond the hyperbole. It honestly took me, I’d say, about five years to have a better understanding of the realities. They were not, let’s say, what I had been spouting five years earlier. We learn and grow. As we both will.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I come to this post some days after Trump’s landslide win and have read your post and the many comments with great interest. It has certainly opened up some very healthy debate, galvanised people’s opinions and some actions for the better and others for the worse. Time will tell but we must not sink into complacency. This is an opportunity to heal and make things better for everyone. I really appreciate all you are doing James. The world needs more like you

    Liked by 1 person

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