The ‘nietus-wellus’ president

We have a new president who reminds me of playground behavior when two kids argue and the language drops down to, what in Dutch I’d call a ‘nietus-wellus’ argument (“this did happen,” “no it did not!” “It did too!”) So Trump has already become for me the nietus-wellus president. He is pushing buttons left and right and risks bringing us down to his level, which is as low as a preschooler.

The big challenge for many of us now is to not enter into the game that Trump is trying to seduce us into. As my friend says, when they go low, we go high. This means becoming more inclusive (which does mean listening to those we don’t agree with and who did vote for Trump). What we already know about many of those is that we simply have pushed them away by not listening to their stories and showing ourselves superior to them. It is not about bringing them around to our point of view but looking through their window, listening, rather than pretending to listen while we formulate our reply. I know I have done that. It is seductive but it is a losing proposition.

We need to appreciate worldviews other than our own. It is easier said than done. Again, it is about listening rather than judging.  Rather than limit ourselves to hang out with those most like us, an ancient survival strategy, we have to recognize that survival now depends on the opposite. And then there is this thing of responsibility. We cannot say ‘you broke it, you fix it, because we all broke it, whatever the ‘it’ is. I cannot, as in the past, presume that our liberal politicians will take care of things. We have to let those brave republicans, the ones who are recognizing that the train is already derailing that we appreciate their courage to stand up to what is not right. Maybe, after all, the hard lines between republicans and democrats, are going to become irrelevant.

Oh brother, we are in for a wild ride.

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January 2017
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