It took me a long time to accept this as well, but I believe it’s what needs to happen so we can truly move forward as a country and act as an actual United States of America.
Here goes: After the election, after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are safely installed and the Trump nightmare comes to an end, we have to figure out a way to work with his supporters. We can’t let them fall back into the cracks, stewing in their anger, resentment and racism. We can’t simply ignore them and pretend they don’t exist. Because they do exist, and their children and grandchildren exist, and if we simply look the other way like we’ve done in the past, the same thing will happen again. And again. And again.
Let’s use history as a guide.
After WWI, when the Allied forces kicked Germany’s ass, we left them there to rot, isolated and alone. And what happened? They rose up again, more determined than ever to spread their hatred, malice and destruction around the globe.
The reason for this is simple: They were super pissed off. The combination of their humiliating defeat, devastated economy and tattered reputation proved to be the perfect breeding ground for amorality and revenge.
So when Hitler came around, positioning himself as the hero to restore their former glory (“Make Germany Great Again”), they were more than happy to follow him. As to all the atrocities that came after, they either ignored them, rationalized them or actively encouraged them.
After WWII we didn’t make the same mistake. We worked with both Germany and Japan to help them rebuild. And ever since they’ve been our staunchest allies.
We need to adopt the same strategy with the Trumpers. We need to try to find common ground. To offer support, not disdain. We should even offer to help develop the red states, which for decades have been underperforming and leeching off of blue ones.
All of Japan’s technological and financial success came after we partnered with them. Perhaps New York and California can share their knowledge and skills, helping places like Alabama and Mississippi become more prosperous and self-reliant. In addition to the obvious economic benefits, this will help bring about benefits in self-esteem and self-confidence, which will allow them to finally get past the hardcore schadenfreude that lies deep in the heart of every bully and bigot.
Now before you ask the obvious questions, let me answer them for you:
- Do they deserve it? Absolutely not.
- Would they do the same for us? Of course not.
But we have to do it anyway.
For the sake of our country, we have to do what ‘good Christians’ are unable to do themselves: Turn the other cheek.
In that same vein, most decisions in life can be boiled down to choosing between one of two things: Love or Fear. Everything Trump and his allies, enablers and supporters do is 100% fear-based, masquerading as rage, divisiveness and anger.
The alternative (which is also the solution), and which has been touted by everyone from Jesus to Buddha to the Beatles to Harry Potter, is Love.
Now, I’m not saying you need to love Trump, Giuliani, Bill Barr, white supremacists, your racist aunt Karen or people who use words like ‘libtard.’ However, I am saying that you need to act with love, and act out of love.
Love for our country. Love for our humanity. Love for our planet.
So after the election (assuming there still is a country left to live in, and if Putin hasn’t stolen it again), I want you to remember everything I’m saying here, and hope you’ll join me and the rest of the Democrats, Independents and Never-Trumpers as we forge a relationship with Trump supporters.
Because the cold hard truth is that despite all of America’s many accomplishments, it was never truly great. There was always a dark side to all of the light. Now we have an opportunity to try and stamp out that darkness once and for all.