By Pam Luedtke
Every since Donald Trump was elected and sworn in as President, I’ve been struggling with how to feel and think about this situation. Trump is such a controversial character, and makes such provocative moves. Should I be outraged? Should I be fearful? Should I just put my head in the sand and hope it all goes away? I want to be respectful of the Office, but it is not so easy to be respectful of the man. What does one do with a situation like this?
Things are further complicated for me personally by the fact that my husband voted for Trump and remains his supporter. I love my husband and want to respect his choices, but I truly feel that my husband is misguided in his views, and is not challenging his assumptions and conclusions as he ought to at a time such as this. So again, how do I find a workable perspective that I can live with until things shift and get better?
Well, first of all, I realize that it is not up to me to decide what is right and wrong here for anyone other than myself. I certainly want to have my own opinions and take on things, but Trump supporters, like my husband, have the right to see things the way they choose as well. Even if that means they remain under the veil of illusion, if that is indeed where they are. What these individuals are going through at this time in their own process may be just right for them. . . just what they need to experience at this time in this great school of Life. And who knows, they may even be seeing something in Mr. Trump that I am overlooking. Despite all of the obvious liabilities and contradictions, this President could possibly come through with something useful before all is said and done. I do not want to rule out that possibility. Life is full of surprises.
At the same time, it is prudent to keep an eye on things and watch carefully what unfolds. Now perhaps more than ever before, we need to pay attention and remain aware, so that we can make the important choices when the time comes to do so. For that time will undoubtedly come. Now is the time to be thinking things through, to know where each of us stands on the issues at hand, to have a sense of the future direction we want our country and society to go. We can do this quietly within ourselves, and we can also speak out clearly and make our voice heard when we feel strongly about something. But perhaps more than anything else, I believe we want to hang in there with it. Don’t give up on this country and its potential. Stay engaged. Stay connected with what is going on. Notice the feelings that come up about things, and try to think through both sides of the issues. Do what you can to be prepared to make a choice and stand up for what you feel in your heart, when the time comes to do so.
So in the end I realize that it is not a matter of how I should feel and think about all this; it is a matter of what I do feel and choose to think. As we go through this period in our nation’s history, there will all kinds of conflicting feelings that come up. And I don’t need to be afraid of any of them. In fact, this is probably a good thing. Gets me to think through things, sort things out, figure out where I stand. Maybe this is the silver lining that having someone like Trump as President will bring us.
I believe in our country and its foundational values and I believe there is a good chance we will stand up for the higher path in the end. This has been our track record so far and there is no reason to think that will change. We need only look back upon our history and the choices our country, as a collective, has made along the way, despite opposition and dissention within.
Through our history, we have chosen freedom (the Revolutionary War), unity (the Civil War), equality (the Emancipation movements), diversity (the Melting Pot of Immigration), and the willingness to sacrifice for the greater good (the World Wars). Perhaps this is what our country is all about. . . what we are meant to be in the world as we grow and mature. And perhaps there is more we will add to this list as we go forward.
It will be interesting indeed to see how we, as a nation, work through our current challenges and what the choice of these times will ultimately be. Hopefully, it will be one that is constructive and helps raise the game for ALL.