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How This Writer Helped Elect Trump Through Carelessness

Those of you who follow this blog probably, if you think about it, recognize I can be called a screaming liberal and not get upset. Here, in an edited version is what I wrote on Facebook about Donald Trump becoming our President elect:

I’ve recently begun a practice of counting out 108 things I’m grateful for each morning. It took longer this morning because we somehow ended up with Donald Trump as our President.

Years ago, Rev. Guy Williams challenged a group of us to find a way to be grateful for every single thing. “And if you can’t be grateful,” he said, or at least I remember him saying, “stand there until you can be.” So I sat and waited to figure out how I could be grateful for Trump. The thought that came was “at least I can be grateful that I’m not Trump.” That counts, I think. It’s my personal start on my own healing.

Early this morning when, as is my habit I woke up about 1 am and confirmed my fears had been realized, I was startled to read that Glenn Beck, Glenn Beck! pointed out that we haven’t been listening to each other. And he’s right (okay, maybe my unconscious did intend that pun.) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/glenn-beck-we-dont-listen_u…

Van Jones sums up my fear – http://www.cnn.com/…/van-jones-results-disappointment-cnntv/

And Van Jones was his usual gracious self. “White lash against a changing country …” His challenge to Trump is not to throw out women and people of color and LBGT and Muslims – absolutely shocking how long the list is.

As I read further I kept seeing phrases like “we’ve got to fight” and I wonder about that word, “fight.” Maybe we have to listen to each other first, and consider what’s being said – perhaps like Council Practice (http://ojaifoundation.org/discover-council).

I plan to do more listening. I want to participate in more discussions. The New Yorker’s article that profiled 20 first time voters, some Trump fans and others Hillery fans (http://www.newyorker.com/magazi…/2016/…/31/first-time-voters) is the sort of thing I mean. I began to understand some of the fears Trump voters had. I also experienced that Trump supporters really do want much of what I want – good jobs, hope for their children and assurance that they too matter.

Deep listening, perhaps even with love, or the willingness to love, strikes me as the only way to heal what happened in this election. I want that healing, for my grandchildren and the planet.

I am responsible

As I read, listened and talked with others it gradually dawned on me that, Sara Kokyo Wildi

as said in her Facebook post, “yes i’m disappointed and yes i take responsibility.”

Here are some of the things I missed along the way:

  • When I asserted over and over again we must stop using coal, I didn’t also lobby that coal miners be made whole – that is, that the individuals who lost or were losing their jobs as we move away from coals receive meaningful training or otherwise be compensated. And I mean the miners themselves, not the mining company who are Corporations and in no way people no matter what our law says.
  • Ditto the oil workers and the pipeline layers and the folks who sell is gasoline.
  • Nor, when we bailed out banks did I insist we also stop the foreclosures and find another way to handle those debts that so many were tricked into taking on. The list goes on.

You see, I’m used to my white privilege and it colors all my thinking and all my responses or lack of them.

If Glenn Beck can see how he failed to listen, damn it, so can I. And I do.

Hope from the millennials

Then my grand daughter, who posts as Lennifer Lennington Lennis III posted this:

I am a woman. I am queer. I am jewish. I am mentally ill. If you voted for Trump today, if you decided your ideals matter more than people’s safety and voted 3rd party, you actively voted to reduce my quality of life, and that of those more disenfranchised than I. It is 2016 and more than half the country still doesn’t consider us people.

Followed by this:

That being said, I’m white. I’m straight-passing. I’m cis-passing. I have a support network. I know a lot of you are not so lucky. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the coming months, but I’m going to be damn well sure that my privilege goes towards making sure others stay safe through all this. Please, reach out.

And this to her community:

Fellow creators, please don’t despair. Life imitates art. We posses the unique power to uplift and inspire, to provide hope to the vulnerable, to create in our stories the future we wish to see, and our voices are needed now more than ever.

There is hope and I vow to listen more deeply and demonize less. And to write that way too.

Love and blessings, and of course,

Write well and often,




Not so btw, Leo Babauto wrote Compassion in the Midst of Madness. Amen Brother

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Thanks, Doug.

  • Sue, you have a great deal more faith in Gingrich as a force for good than I do. I’d love to be proven wrong.

  • I too hope to do better… at the moment it’s really hard…

  • Tina

    Thank you, Anne. I really enjoyed your ideas and the links you provided. I practically foamed at the mouth during the 8 years of Bush. It was miserable for me but taught me a great deal about wasting my energies on hating. I hope to do better during the Trump era. Thank you.

  • Sue Chehrenegar

    I am hoping that Newt Gingrich has some role in Trump’s administration. I remember that when he was running for nomination by on the Republican ticket, he favored more research in the area of brain disorders and brain injuries. As someone that has hydrocephalus, I would welcome increased research in that area.

  • My previous post from Canada was about swimming. Feel compelled now to voice my own concerns about Trump’s election because of my American connections. My mother was born in Michigan before moving to Canada as a child. I grew up in a border town, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. My sister married an American and now lives in Virginia just outside Washington where her husband works for the National Science Foundation. His reaction to Trump’s victory: “I am speechless.” And well he might be. Who knows much of his funding of research projects will be curtailed under the new regime? Right-wingers, after all, don’t much like pure science or the arts they can’t immediately understand. Witness our previous conservative government here in Canada under Stephen Harper. They withdrew funding, fro example, from a world-renown fresh-water lakes lab in Northern Ontario. Luckily, others stepped in to keep it going. And in the past year, Justin Trudeau has been reversing other retrograde Harper policies. Quite the contrast. Canada is now recovering from various right-wing-induced follies, while the U.S. is about to suffer them, and much more seriously. The sympathies of many Canadians are with you.

  • Thanks, Anne. Poignant reminders about how we need to try to understand people who are in different circumstances than us. If we can all start reaching out to one another and treating each other with more respect, than maybe the Trump presidency doesn’t have to be such a scary thing.

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