A short review of my Facebook feeds says “Trump is…”
- A Dangerously Insane Person
- Crazy and Incompetent
- A bumbling idiot
- The next Hitler
And the list goes on and honestly I think for good reason. He isn’t ready to be president (and I doubt he ever will).
But appreciation has been on my mind and for fun I started thinking about what could I appreciate about Trump? This was a change for me. I come from a rather opinionated family and in 40+ years of political debates I can’t ever remember a conversation about “what can we appreciate about [name of any non-left leaning leader]?”
Honestly the result was rather fascinating. The first to appreciate about him is that he is actually trying to do something.
He is putting his other-worldly hair out there and doing what he thinks will help our country. I don’t agree with the vast majority of what he says but you have to give him props for doing more then the vast majority people that are criticizing him.
Michael Moore (ironically a very staunch anti-Trumper) said it best: “Democracy is not a spectator sport, it’s a participatory event.” For better or for worst, Trump is on the court and participating while most people are spectating and critiquing from the sidelines.
This realization allowed me to see something that resembled his humanity and ultimately helped me connect with people that I never understood – Trump supporters.
I was on vacation in New Jersey and catching up with my wife’s aunt. At some point the conversation turned to the election and I realized that I had actually never really talked with a Trump supporter (and I’m pretty sure she hadn’t spent much time talking with a Hillary supporter).
I found myself saying things like “I don’t like Trump but I do appreciate the the fact that he is in race” and “But why do you like Trump? I’m curious as I’ve actually never met someone willing to admit it.”
I think we were both surprised by the civility of the conversation as we discussed our why’s. From her, I developed a new level of appreciation for Trump supporters. I think many of them are angry, frustrated and simply want something different. Which is not so far from many people I know in Marin. Their difference is that Trump supporters are willing to over look all of this short coming to get that something different.
Trump hasn’t caused that anger but he has tapped into those deep waters rather than shying from them. I think that is the reason he is the Republican nominee when no one gave him a chance even a few months ago.
I don’t think Trump is the answer for that something different but he is showing all of us the path. We have to get on the court. That something different will not come from the right leader but each of us working in our families and communities to help out one another.
We must get on the court, appreciate what we can about each other and make America great for all people.