It's Not Me, It's You

When I heard about Donald Trump's hate speech, I was shocked by the stupidity. But when I read it in the New York Times, it was much easier to see it for what it was. Here's the quote that clarified things for me.

Saying that "hatred" among many Muslims for Americans is "beyond comprehension," Mr. Trump said in a statement that the United States needed to confront "where this hatred comes from and why."

This kind of pronouncement would be adorable coming from a 3-year-old caught with his hand in the cookie jar: "I didn't do it, she did!" But Trump is a presidential candidate. It's a sentiment that has actually managed to curry some support, and so it must addressed. It was seeing the above quote in black and white that allowed me to see the situation in a new light.

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Trump wanted to ban Muslims and then claim he didn't comprehend hatred. That's just not understanding his own self, or the concepts America was founded on. Spiteful action is always a reaction, which tends to cause more hate and more reaction. Think Osama bin Laden's rise to power on the coattails of CIA training, which was in reaction to violence in the region, and so on. Or better yet, think about your break ups.

Why I'll Never Bang Donald Trump

In my 20s I had a real slash and burn policy. It was very important for my exes to know just how they done me wrong. Then there'd usually be more sex, which would devolve into friends with benefits because clearly we weren't right for each other, which would finally morph into more tears and acrimony. I did this dance with one poor fellow (along with countless others in between) for seven years. Seven years!

Finally we were over and along came many frogs, whom I learned to deal with more compassionately. This was mostly out of necessity, because I wanted kids and I didn't have that kind of time to lose. Years later, when my childless marriage ended, I knew I needed to move on and leave my ex be. It was too late for children, so my motives changed. I just wanted to experience and induce less suffering all around. For the most part, it's worked. I haven't always succeeded in drama-free endings, but the answer isn't about casting around for someone to blame. I'm the one who has to change. And so it goes with ISIS.

Let me hasten to say, yes, forceful action is needed. I don't claim to understand murderous terrorists, nor do I want to, nor do I think it's necessary. Likewise, I don't know exactly what that action should look like. What I do know is that doing the same thing and expecting different results makes us all crazy. We don't accept the unacceptable. We point out the the three-year-old that we see their game. We don't get in bed with someone like Donald Trump.

Let's take action with dignity rather than superiority, so that we might foster healthier relationship patterns. Because even when we don't quite believe, "it's not you, it's me," (I can pretty much pinpoint how that lover doesn't meet my requirements), it's only when I get to that place that I'm able to regain my equanimity.


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