… to discuss Alternative Facts.
I’m struggling with trying to figure out how to deal with the reality of a President Trump. He continues to amaze and offend me with his appointments, his tweets, his policies. But the reality is that, under the rules of our elections, he won. I have a tremendous amount of respect for those rules. I’m an attorney after all. Without rules, we are nothing more than animals. Without rules, I don’t have a job.
I teeter between wanting to express my outrage at everything he does and wanting to say to all of my liberal brothers and sisters “he won, let’s see what happens.” In my little liberal heart, I firmly believe that after two years of a Trump Administration, the American people will respond with a Democrat Congress, and two years later, a Democrat President. But who knows. There’s a small piece of me that is intrigued by the idea of seeing what might actually happen with such Republican dominance. I am not so confident in my views that I believe in them to the exclusion of all others. I actually believe that the best way to success is through compromise and bipartisanship. That conservatives have some good ideas and that liberal dominance is not the answer. But … we have lived in this mushy world my entire adult life where neither party has true dominance at the national level. Hence, the liberals never get everything they want and neither do the conservatives. Okay, the conservatives now have total control. Let’s see what happens.
Also, I have grown tired of the partisan hysteria that exists on both sides. The response from the left to every statement, every tweet, every decision, every word that comes from the new President just needs to end. Take a breath and see what happens. We look crazy and unhinged. But the hysteria from the right is equally problematic.
Over the weekend, I got sucked into a political discussion on Facebook. A friend there posted a few images from some of the more horrendous anti-Obama demonstrations to counter the argument that Saturday’s marches were an inappropriate act against President Trump. A couple of her friends who were Trump supporters commented on it and I … well, I responded. At one point, one of the friends said that many Republicans were willing to give Obama a chance, that he did so, but after two years when it became obvious that Obama wanted to take the United States down the path towards communism, well, he just couldn’t support Obama anymore.
Ignoring the falsehood that is “many Republicans were willing to give Obama a chance,” I focused on the idea that Obama pursued communist policies, as did another commenter on the thread. We asked this individual what policies of Obama supported his claim. His response? That Obama had appointed several dozen czars during his Administration.
Yes, that’s right. No specific policy that is communist or leading to communism. Obama appointed czars. I pointed out to him that the use of the word “czar” to identify a government official is generally a nickname the media uses. That czar is not actually the person’s official title. For example, the official title of the person who is called the marijuana czar in California is actually Director of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. The other commenter pointed out that czars were a creature of pre-communist Russia and were actually driven out of Russia by the communists.
We haven’t heard from this individual again.
I don’t know. I guess it is this. In this world of alternative facts, in which people have formed opinions and conclusions based on such complete and utter nonsense, opinions and conclusions from which they refuse to be dissuaded, I simply do not know what we can do. We have become a people completely divided by two completely different realities. When people on my side of the debate question or attack those on the other side, we are accused of arrogance, elitism, or thinking those others are stupid. How is it remotely possible to fix that? (By the way, if you believe that Obama was a communist because he appointed “czars” you are stupid and I have a right to be arrogant about it. Let me go even further … if you believe that Obama was a communist, you are stupid and I have a right to be arrogant about it.)
You want another example? Every poll that is done that asks people what they think about the individual components of the Affordable Care Act shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans, including Republicans, support those components. But when they are asked their opinion of Obamacare, the numbers are reversed. There are people who receive benefits through the Affordable Care Act who oppose Obamacare because they don’t realize the two are the same thing.
I simply do not see a way out of this morass we have fallen into.
And again, under the rules of our system, he won. I feel a deep desire to retreat and let what happens happen. To escape the hysteria. Let’s see what happens in this grand experiment he and America’s voters have foisted upon us. While at the same time I want to scream from the mountaintop. To take action. To do something. I want nothing to do with any of this, but I find myself sucked into it each and every day, each and every hour.
I will be baffled for a long time about this. Until then.
On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away”
It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud
On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night
No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?