What Would it Take for You to Say Out Loud that Trump is Wrong
My general hypothesis is that people are so invested and entrenched either in their support or resistance to President Trump that it is affecting the quality of their decision-making.
I suspect that there are strong business corollaries related to the concept of escalation of commitment; i.e. even when signs that a deal is soured, business executives still invest resources because they can not bring themselves to walk away.
I am strongly of the belief that empathy counters escalation of commitment, both in our personal lives and in our business lives. Last week, I asked a difficult question for those opposed to Trump. What if he is correct about Islam? Furthermore, what would the necessary consequences of that be?
I am now asking Trump supporters to tell me a scenario where you would willingly say that he is wrong?
How Do You Decide to Draw the Line?
If you are a supporter of President Trump, do you believe the following statement?
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.
Could the President be wrong? Is this a gross over generalization of immigration from Mexico? Is it wrong to say they are illegal immigrants? Were your relatives illegal immigrants under your current definition? Most likely, the answer to that is yes.
Pejorative terms have existed to describe immigrants that came without papers for many generations. This is not new, nor is it likely an actual problem. Immigration is a net positive on the economy. It always has been, and it should always be a net positive. So why do you suddenly believe that there is an incredible “illegal immigration” problem in the U.S. What evidence do you have to support this?
I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.
This statement is one of many where I drew the line. I was in New Jersey that day. It simply is not true. Yet, the President said this exact quote. If you support the President today:
Do you support this statement?
Do you believe that this happened?
If you answer no, why are you unwilling to hold the President accountable for making the statement?
This false belief about September 11 is one of the main reasons that President Trump believes that “Islam hates us.” In that statement, the us is you and me.
What is the point where you will say, I draw the line and I cannot support this person or his administration. What is the point where you will speak up and say, No. That is simply not true.
Empathy is the Answer
Consider what the more than 3 million Muslims in the US are going through right now. Can you imagine how scary that must be?
The U.S.A. has a long history of bad decisions with regard to people that are viewed by the majority as “others.” No matter how much time is spent attacking Muslims, Muslims across the world believe that terrorists are exactly that…criminals that use terror through violence and intimidation to pursue their political goals. Depending upon how you feel about 18th century America, the Unites States was founded by a group of terrorists. We just believe that those terrorists were on the side of justice.
Terror is the tool of the weak. Moral relativism is not the answer to a world of political difficulties, but to think that terrorists can tear down a nation the stature of the United States seems awfully short sighted. Their goal is to inflict enough fear into us, so that we do it ourselves.
I am not asking you to be empathetic to the terrorists, but to the millions of wonderful people who are grouped in with them based upon nothing but your presumptions and fear.
Many Trump supporters are angry that people call them racists, just because they supported Donald Trump for President. Well, take that feeling, and imagine how millions of Muslims in this country across the world feel because the entire leadership of the world’s most popular nation thinks each and everyone of them is a terrorist. They are horrified.
I have spent a great deal of time trying to put myself into the shoes of both sides of this argument. I strongly support one side over the other, but having empathy for both sides allows you to see the implications and make decisions as to how to move forward. I am constantly surprised at the failure of Trump’s opponents to hold him accountable for this behavior and language. Part of it is because they simply do not understand his supporters.
Greater empathy increases our ability to design solutions in every avenue of our lives.
So again, if you support Trump, I ask “what would it take for you to say he is wrong?” Where is your line? You should be prepared.