On Nov 8, this nation elected Donald Trump to become the next President of the United States. This is a frightening outcome for many of us due to the troubling rhetoric he expressed during the campaign.
Sadly, some people voted for candidate Trump because of this campaign rhetoric, much of which was xenophobic, misogynistic and racist.
I believe however that the majority of individuals who voted for Mr. Trump were motivated by other, more pragmatic, reasons. Of course, we could argue with those voters on what we deem pragmatic yet we would merely be delving into the sea of opinion. Many good people voted for Donald Trump because they felt he would be the candidate who would:
- Change the culture in Washington
- Eliminate corruption
- Cut their taxes
- Help small businesses and the local economy
Again, we may argue whether a President Trump could deliver on any of this yet this is not my point.
We live in a very ideologically divided country. And although many are still angry and are not yet ready to move on (and that is ok), we will need to begin building bridges to span those divisions and to begin moving forward constructively as a nation.
Of course, this does not mean that we accept any policies that lead to discrimination, marginalization and oppression. No, such policies must be actively resisted – and we need to me more vigilant than ever before in our resistance.
But I do believe that we do have an opportunity to begin to build bridges with those who voted for Mr. Trump for what they deem as pragmatic reasons (e.g. tax cuts, ending corruption, etc.). These are people we can (and need to) work with.
We cannot move forward as a nation if every four (or eight) years we simply hope the other side fails simply because they are the other side. Can we build bridges so that there no longer is an “other side?” Can we build bridges so that we become one people, on the same side, who lovingly have differing opinions from time to time?
I believe that we UUs want as many people as possible sitting at the welcoming table – but it can’t be our (i.e. UU) welcoming table. It needs to be bigger than that. It needs to belong to everybody. We need to begin building these welcoming tables with others.
Building bridges and welcoming tables. We can do this.
Take care and be well,