Several years ago I briefly watched Celebrity Apprentice. Cyndi Lauper was on and well, I like Cyndi Lauper. I never had an interest in the show and my curiosity squelched quickly. I found Donald Trump repulsive, arrogant, narcissistic, privileged and unprofessional. I decided at that moment to never allow him in my family room again. I didn’t cause a stink, after all it was his show, his business, his game, and not my cup of tea. Reality television never sustained my interest. I’m not fond of most reality television stars.
Fast forward and Trump is my President.
Where does someone like me go from here? How do I embrace someone I have absolutely no respect for? My vote is irrelevant. I’d be writing a similar blog-post if Clinton was my President. I’m not particularly fond of some of her business dealings and policies. However, before you respond with a million and one reasons why Hillary is bad, read these next few words… this. Is. Not. About. Hillary. This. Is about. Our. President.
Things I know; our country is dangerously divided and this election has conjured hate at an unprecedented level. Things I assume; if Hillary won, fifty percent of America would be protesting and raising questions about her every move, just as we are seeing with Trump. This election ran too close to home to believe otherwise.
I’ve disliked politicians in the past, yet I’ve sometimes respected how those politicians conducted themselves. Sarah Palin for example, endeared herself to millions of Americans and against adversity, she held her head high. I don’t like her, but she tried. Additionally, when Tina Fey was butchering Palin on SNL, the real Palin went to the show and jokingly helped the hairdresser perfect her hairstyle. In my opinion, that was a display of professional conduct, because SNL has been mocking politicians since the beginning of the show. SNL is part of our American Pop Culture.
We’ve all heard the saying, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Trump is President. The bitter campaigning is over. In my opinion, it’s time to exercise some verbal control. As my President, he should be diplomatic and professional. His aggressive and divisive manners do not display the behavior I expect from a good leader.
I’m often in meetings and I watch my colleagues add fuel to issues rather than take responsibility and or diffuse volatile situations. I often wonder if those colleagues understand the power of their words and their actions. There is a way to be firm, in control, and professional. In fact, in my opinion a good leader is a master at the art of carefully choosing appropriate manners and words to lead with respect and manage with diplomacy.
Though at work and in my personal life there is always that person who believes they are either privileged or untouchable and they can therefore, act according to their own rules rather than rules of decency.
Ah, but this is a free country and we strongly believe in freedom of speech. Trump has every right to say and or do anything he wants. Just as his supporters and non-supporters have the right to voice their opinions.
When though, is it better to keep quiet? When is it better to hold your tongue, and find ways to get along?
Again I am going to bring up something personal. At work I have a colleague and we do not agree on something…someone actually. We’ve both stated our opinions and we know we stand on opposite sides. However, we have agreed to disagree. We still have respect for each other and we work together to make our department successful. I have never insulted her or degraded her contributions or thoughts. Behavior like that is counterproductive and does not belong in the workplace. Actually, it doesn’t belong in healthy relationships of any kind.
She has the right to her opinion, as I do mine. Still, we are better people for learning to work together and respect each other.
Sometimes though, an issue is so personal, we cannot let go and we feel it’s important to take a stand. Good. Malala took a stand for girls to get educations. MLK took a stand against racism. Joan of Arc took a stand to protect France. Gandhi for Indian independence.
Are people taking a stand when they bully their friends and family over differing opinions about Trump? Are they taking a stand when they make blanket statements that they have no room in their lives for anyone against them? Anyone with differing opinions?
In my opinion, taking a stand requires an action that leads to improvement or support for your cause. How exactly is unfriending people or surrounding yourself with only like-minded people, taking a stand? Sounds more like intolerance, even bullying. Sounds to me like people displaying this type of behavior feel that their opinion is the only important ideal. Sounds to me like these people are like the coworkers I mentioned, somehow untouchable, privileged, or beyond reproach.
I ache for my country and fellow Americans. I fear our divide will weaken our democracy. I foresee hate clouding our judgement. I pray decency will show up and take a stand in my President and with the American people.