I had an epiphany and I hope we all get this now before we get played again.
Because we all, left and right, got played last week. Trump's tweets about Hamilton and SNL were a way of distracting all of us from what he did last week and you know what? We all fell for it. The right jumped into "Boycott Hamilton," "How rude," the left jumped into defending the First Amendment rights of the actors and therein lies the problem.
Trump is a master at playing and preying on peoples' fears and needs. He sold the right a bill of goods by promising them better jobs and cheaper healthcare and a voice for "the people" in the White House. He traumatized the left with racist and misogynist rants and while all of that was brilliantly played, he won the election because both sides were being distracted from what matters most -- having a leader who will take America in a good direction.
So, just a few weeks after the election, do we all get smart and start paying attention? You on the right -- has Trump made one move toward delivering his promise of jobs and cheaper health care? You on the left, were you so busy worrying about Hamilton and SNL that you had time to rant about that but didn't have time to call your congressperson about your real concerns?
Pay attention, people. You fell into Trump's trap again. His culture war worked well for him, pitting right against left, working people against elitists. Even Pence (a man for whom, make no mistake about it, I have no respect given his misogyny and homophobia), but even Pence tried to tell us not to fall prey when he said he had no problem with what happened at Hamilton. But Trump is smarter than Pence, than so many of us, really. He's president elect because he played us all and since it worked so well, he is doing it again. So, while he was tweeting about Broadway and TV, as he was essentially starting a trash can fire so we'd all look away from him toward the flame, he celebrated his own version of "Take your daughter to work day," and fixed her up with government contacts in Japan to line Trump pockets. He met with his own business associates from India to talk about investments there. He had his folks reach out to diplomats all over the world to invite them for an audience with Trump and oh, by the way, "You want to book a room at a Trump hotel?"
Do any of those sound like ways for him to bring jobs to the US or to lessen the cost of healthcare or improve schools or build roads? He's about to choose someone to run the schools who may want to dismantle public schools. We have much we do agree about on the left and the right. We all want good schools, roads, bridges, healthcare, jobs and a safe place to call home. Let's focus on those things and not be distracted by this very smart ploy.
I'm going to try a new way of communicating with those on the other side. I'm going to stop yelling "Racist" to everyone flying a confederate flag. I'm going to stop trashing Trump supporters for being stupid and bigoted. When I hear people make overtly racist, misogynist, homophobic or Anti-Semitic remarks, I won't attack. Instead I'm going to go with "I'm sorry you've had so many problems that you feel this way. I hope life gets better for you soon." And I'm really going to try to mean it.If I had to face someone at Thanksgiving who voted for Trump (thank god I don't) instead of attacking or defending or even mentioning Hillary, I'd say, "I'm sorry you feel so left out of what's been good in America for a few years. What do you most want from Trump and what have you seen him do since the election that gives you hope you'll get what you need?" That could open a dialogue and I'm telling you folks, we all need to be in this together.
And I won't get distracted by Trump's tweets or rants. I'm focusing on what he does while he thinks no one is looking. I hope you will too.