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Troy

Official TLE Position on Trump Followers

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Maxim

I'm for ethical treatment of everyone.  No exceptions.  Either or doesn't work for me.  Some parts of us can be very awake and some still asleep. Just a little while ago I was chatting with my niece, her partner and a friend.  Two of the people are very progressive.  One voted for you know who.  For me the answer is to love and accept them all.  If we separate ourselves from the vilified other we are doing no less than any other small minded person.  In fact I just read a great book on drug policy and addiction for the past hundred years.  Chasing the Scream.  One of the points made was that isolating and vilifying was one of the worst ways to handle addicts.  Think jails and ghettos.  It only fuels the pain that made them addicts in the first place.  Mixing it up with Trump supporters is one way of letting them see a different point of view outside of a polarized context ie, their mind.  Another point to consider is that politics is just one facet of our lives.   Troy, I'm glad you are going to the pride parade in Washington.  I have a feeling you'll be among many courageous and wise souls who might broaden your perspective.

 

 

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Evelin
4 minutes ago, Maxim said:

Another point to consider is that politics is just one facet of our lives.

 

In good times, yes. In bad times, politics may be an end to all the facets of our physical life. (I'm not the alarmist type, and I'm the biggest optimist there is, but I admit I lately hear my deported grandparents whispering in my DNA.)

 

Maxim, I agree with you that overall, peaceful inclusion is the (best) way. But this place is essentially Troy's creation and it's his right to choose the "dress code". And, everyone is allowed a sanctuary. It's similar to not allowing certain kinds of behaviour in your home. I also think of it as a classroom, say, of French. And while everyone is welcome there if they want to learn French, or even recognise there is such a thing as French and learn a little more about it in general, there comes a moment when a student always showing up, but sitting at the back of the class muttering or yelling "French isn't a real language. It's just bad. Japanese is the only real language. You're all silly to be here. This place should be closed." is going to disturb those actually wanting to learn. (Bad analogy before coffee, but I'm sure you get my point.)
 

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Troy

@Maxim As I said in my statement, "The practice of Acceptance includes clarifying and sustaining boundaries when faced with those who wish you harm." Love, inclusion, agape, and acceptance have processes like everything else. Sometimes we have to distance ourselves from those who wish us harm so we can get our bearings and return with empowerment and resources to endure the suffering so we can get back to loving. Please understand that THIS is love, too. If we don't take care of ourselves, regroup, provide sanctuary, safety, and collective empowerment to take on those who wish harm upon us, then "Love" is just another new agey term we are throwing around with little to no true understanding of its depth and power.

 

Please consider this: you are at the top of the social and cultural food chain. Heterosexual, White, and Male are about as powerful identifiers as it gets with no official campaigns of assault against you, no hate groups plotting to destroy you, and no laws being fought over that involve your body, sex life, and basic freedoms. NOTHING touches you in that way. So If you have the luxury of *not* being from a targeted group, then you inherently have the best position out of all of us to negotiate and educate those who voted for the removal of others Rights and you can walk untouched among those who proudly mock the suffering and pain of those they targeted. Since you are in that position, you have a unique and wonderful position to see and experience things vastly differently from anyone else in the world. If you are using that power to help us, then that is Love. You can help make the world a better place for the rest of us who don't have anywhere near your leverage. Keep loving and educating our attackers while the rest of us are forced to take time to recover, regroup, and heal between assaults on us.

 

Please... never expect those who are abused, hunted, harmed, and oppressed to "love" their abusers, hunters, attackers and oppressors. Expecting that isn't very loving. Love is a spectrum that is benefited from both "ends." Sometimes we Love ourselves enough to discriminate, fight back, and stand together and this helps nurture a most powerful collective Love that we can broaden from our challenges. Sometimes we get to Love in ways that spring from our ultimate safety and we get to be the most selfless and accepting we can be. There is nothing in the Michael Teachings that isn't about a path to Love, to Agape, and Discrimination/Acceptance are GOALS for a reason. We can't get to Love by only Accepting or only Discriminating. It's sometimes necessary for one or the other and both are paths to Love.

 

Please consider that you may be in a more powerful and privileged and safer position than others, and please use that to help. 

 

The rest of us will get back to the lovely parts when we catch our breath from the on-going assault against our very existence.

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Troy
1 hour ago, Matt said:

Agree Maxim. Politics is just one facet of our lives.  So right Maxim.  my Grandma is a hardcore Trump supporter, and she is also the most loving, generous person i have ever met in this world.  She would do anything for anybody, and even though i don't see her vote for Trump making sense to what i see in her other values, i am not going to push such a great person out of my life because of politics. i am fully aware though that i am not in the targeted group.  I do get my little passive aggressive digs in to my grandma though about Trump. I will continue to stand up for those that need it though, i always will. 

10

 

I am very happy for you, but your story would be very different if her vote affected you more directly and obviously. You are an extremely protected class so you see and experienced things very differently. Those of us who are targeted and struggling to just catch our breath aren't "pushing people out based on politics" and the official position posted isn't about pushing people out at all. It's about creating the safe space we need from those who are attacking us.

 

Your grandmother may be a wonderful person TO YOU, and I would never want that to change, but try to remember that a lot of smiling grandmothers voted to destroy those not like them. They voted for my rights to be taken away. They voted for my friends of color to be oppressed, tormented and deported. They voted for my female friends to lose access to health care and control over their own bodies. They voted for environmental destruction and climate denial. They voted for the end of the world as we know it and for the world to be a worse and more dangerous place for your child.

 

So please understand when we have to draw a line that sometimes includes smiling grannies who are so removed from the consequences of their actions that they get the luxury of enjoying their time with family while the rest of us scramble just to survive.

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Troy

*bump* I updated the original post with a clearer description of TLE position that accommodates both the necessity to draw a line and the opportunities to erase them.

 

 

ADDED TO ORIGINAL POST: If you voted for Trump, tread very carefully here. A Trump follower will never be turned away, but your ideology is not welcome here. If your intent is to listen, learn, and understand those you have hurt with your vote, then I'm all for it, but don't expect anyone else to do the work that you should be doing. More than likely this community would embrace a Trump follower as an opportunity to bridge differences, but the official TLE position is that no one in this community will be expected to endure anyone who voted for a hateful ideology. So tread very carefully.

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DianeHB

It's nice to talk about mingling with Trump voters, considering they don't live with you and you interact with them by choice. I totally believe that's the way to build bridges. However, there is a HUGE difference when you aren't the subject of denigration vs when you are. Really try imagining yourself as someone in that category, that the hate rhetoric is directed at YOU for being who you are, and you're afraid to walk by yourself down a dark street, hold hands with your partner in public, or go to your place of worship. I'd never tell someone in that position, who is physically threatened by Trump supporters and their ideology, that they should mingle or invite them into their home, and TLE is Troy's home. 

Edited by DianeHB
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Troy
39 minutes ago, DianeHB said:

It's nice to talk about mingling with Trump voters, considering they don't live with you and you interact with them by choice. I totally believe that's the way to build bridges. However, there is a HUGE difference when you aren't the subject of denigration vs when you are. Really try imagining yourself as someone in that category, that the hate rhetoric is directed at YOU for being who you are, and you're afraid to walk by yourself down a dark street, hold hands with your partner in public, or go to your place of worship. I'd never tell someone in that position, who is physically threatened by Trump supporters and their ideology, to that they should mingle or invite them into their home, and TLE is Troy's home. 

 

This. 100% this.

 

For those are interested in building bridges, healing divides, and expanding love, acceptance, and understanding, start with those who are already here and willing and hurting.

 

If we can't even understand the person already next to us who is suffering, then we are off to a false start with understanding how to Love. Many of us are targeted by so much hate from the world *on* *a* *daily* *basis* that we struggle to just to get up in the morning. I'm lucky I'm still here. I worked hard to be here. I work hard every fucking day to keep my spirits up in a world that has told me since birth that I don't belong here. I'm not alone in that. Many of us here know that world. And I'm not talking about normal inner conflicts and struggles of a life. I'm talking about all of that, PLUS the world hating you. Every day. Teaching everyone you know to reject and dismiss and ridicule and even harm or kill you. 

 

So don't tell me or anyone else surviving this bullshit how to love more. We have loved so much and for so long just to clear a path of survival and safety and sanity. We've HAD to love. Or we wouldn't be here. We love so much that we are still here, with you, creating a better world based on all that love that helped us survive. We know how to Love.

 

And we know when it's necessary to create a wide berth around those who wish us harm.

 

We *LIVE* this.

 

If you can't relate to this, then please consider yourself to be in the best position possible to help those who live every day with the threat of harm, injustice, and assault because of people like Trump followers who blindly or willingly celebrate the demise of those not like themselves.

 

Please don't tell us that we should "love more" or that we should be nicer to those who hurt us. We were already there with love and openness in the first place. We were always already there, and will always be willing to go there, but when we are kicked in the stomach and heart every single day, give us a fucking break. We aren't talking about differences of opinions and preferences for pizza toppings. We are talking about a person's very existence being the daily target of attack, debate, controversy, and ridicule by an entire culture, religion, country, or world.

 

DESPITE this... I love. I continue to love. I love the FUCK out of this life and you and everyone I can, and myself. I'll get back to the Trump followers another day. Another time. Give me some room to breathe, please.

 

If you can't understand where I'm coming from, then start with trying to love enough to understand the people already right beside you... like me. Let us have your unconditional and compassionate support that we EARNED by just being alive and not being too much of a damn nuisance to the world. Because when you tell me I should love more? When you tell me I should embrace and accommodate those who have made my life a living hell? That kills me. I try not to let it, but it kills a little part of me.

 

I'll bounce back and heal like I've done every day of my life, but it's just the wrong place to start by asking the abused to love and accept his abusers before he can even catch his breath.

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Matt

i deleted my earlier comment because it obviously didn't come across right. I would NEVER expect someone who is the target to be accepting of the oppressors.   If i was in the target group, i probably would already be in jail for knocking people's teeth out everywhere i went.  Thats why i said in my comment that i understand that i am not in the targeted group.  That was just my opinion, from my position as not a part of the oppressed, and how i personally live my life, because i have that privilege.   I try to act like the bridge with those people because i am not in the oppressed group, and thats why i don't kick them out of my life.  I do think politics is just one facet of life,  but if your in the targeted group it's a big part, right now in this country. I sure as hell would never expect for anyone here to have to put up with hate or attacks here, i know i wouldn't put up with it for a second.  I should have prefaced my previous comment with my opinion, or this is how i live because i have that option. People who are oppressed shouldn't put with shit, period.  i can be the way i said, because i am not in the oppressed group and i know that. i hope i can be the bridge to those people who oppress and maybee change some minds, and wake some people up.  I will be no pushover if the time comes to fight for you, trust me.  When i needed to fight back for my son's rights at various times, kind and weak isn't something those people will remember from me, I am sure, i am hated by more than a handful of people due to run ins over his health and rights,  so even when i say i am going to be a bridge, that sure as hell doesn't mean i will be a pushover.  i got your backs. 

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Troy
14 minutes ago, Matt said:

i deleted my earlier comment because it obviously didn't come across right. ....so even when i say i am going to be a bridge, that sure as hell doesn't mean i will be a pushover.  i got your backs. 

5

 

I love you for this, Matt. Thank you.

And I didn't take your earlier comment wrong. I got what you were saying. My responses come from the steady drumbeat of well-meaning people telling Black people how they should go about fighting for their rights, or gay people how to stand up for themselves, and women how to come across less aggressively when demanding equality... all of this advice is really just saying, "regardless of how hard this is for you, could you try harder to make it easier for me?" No one thinks that's what is being said or even means to say it because it's wrapped in pretty language and is indignantly civilized, but that's what it means.

 

No targeted minority group that has ever been under the thumb of oppression has ever wiggled out from under it by asking nicely. We ask nicely. We beg. We give leniency and room and trust... and it gets exploited, used against us, and further oppresses us. Look at how the Trump administration is barreling through with a momentum that will destroy us... precisely because people are being too nice, too lenient, and too trusting. So we have to fight and it gets messy and ugly.

 

When we get our rights back, then we can all have tea together.

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Maureen
1 hour ago, Troy said:

 

When you tell me I should embrace and accommodate those who have made my life a living hell? That kills me. I try not to let it, but it kills a little part of me.

 

 

 

This reminds me of an abused child being told to hug and kiss relatives, friends of families, or anyone else mommy and daddy tells them to, when the child has been abused, knowingly or otherwise, by one or more of those said people. The child doesn't have a choice but still does it because they are "forced to" by their parents. We as adults, even though we often still have a wounded child within, now have a choice. We don't have to "embrace" the abusers. We get to choose who is allowed into our space. We get to decide where our boundaries are. This is one of my biggest personal conflicts of the philosophy that sits at the center of the new-age movement - the insistence that we all have to "love everybody", no matter what. It just doesn't t work that way. Love itself may be unconditional but all relationships come with conditions. Conditions of relationships come with responsibility, reciprocal respect and agreement and clearly defined and agreed to boundaries. Love and compassion are progressive works of the heart and our heart never stops growing. In the meantime, everyone has a right to include whoever they wish to include, into their circles of love, as they see fit.

   

Edited by Maureen
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ckaricai
12 hours ago, Maxim said:

I'm for ethical treatment of everyone.  No exceptions.  Either or doesn't work for me.  Some parts of us can be very awake and some still asleep. Just a little while ago I was chatting with my niece, her partner and a friend.  Two of the people are very progressive.  One voted for you know who.  For me the answer is to love and accept them all.  If we separate ourselves from the vilified other we are doing no less than any other small minded person.  In fact I just read a great book on drug policy and addiction for the past hundred years.  Chasing the Scream.  One of the points made was that isolating and vilifying was one of the worst ways to handle addicts.  Think jails and ghettos.  It only fuels the pain that made them addicts in the first place.  Mixing it up with Trump supporters is one way of letting them see a different point of view outside of a polarized context ie, their mind.  Another point to consider is that politics is just one facet of our lives.   Troy, I'm glad you are going to the pride parade in Washington.  I have a feeling you'll be among many courageous and wise souls who might broaden your perspective.

 

 

 

You can love a person but not accept their behavior, especially if that behavior harms you. And when dealing with addicts you can't accept their behavior especially if it harms you. And for those of us who are targets politics isn't just one facet it is The Main Facet in a politically charged environment especially if I have to modify my behavior in some way to somehow avoid getting targeted. I don't hate Trump or his people actually, however I do not like, cannot stand their behavior, and they don't get a pass in the name of love. You love your kids but they still need discipline when they misbehave. 

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Maureen

This is one of my favourite descriptions of compassion ...other than Michael's of course.  :wind:

 

"The third near enemy of compassion is idiot compassion. This is when we avoid conflict and protect our good image by being kind when we should say a definite 'no.' Compassion doesn't imply only trying to be good. When we find ourselves in an aggressive relationship, we need to set clear boundaries. The kindest thing we can do for everyone concerned is to say, 'enough.' Many people use Buddhist ideals to justify self-debasement. In the name of not shutting our heart, we let people walk all over us. It is said that in order not to break our vow of compassion we have to learn when to stop aggression and draw the line. There are times when the only way to bring down barriers is to set boundaries."

 

~ Pema Chodron, The Places that Scare You

 

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Sam K

I have little to say, other than that such measures will hopefully not be necessary for long.

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ckaricai
2 hours ago, Troy said:

 

If you can't understand where I'm coming from, then start with trying to love enough to understand the people already right beside you... like me. Let us have your unconditional and compassionate support that we EARNED by just being alive and not being too much of a damn nuisance to the world. Because when you tell me I should love more? When you tell me I should embrace and accommodate those who have made my life a living hell? That kills me. I try not to let it, but it kills a little part of me.

 

I'll bounce back and heal like I've done every day of my life, but it's just the wrong place to start by asking the abused to love and accept his abusers before he can even catch his breath.

 

I've been struggling with this love your abusers thing for a long time. I only realize as an adult that this is why I was a very angry teen. What are you supposed to do and how are you supposed to feel when you have constant messages from your family, teachers, doctors - authority figures as well as strangers and society at large that you aren't supposed to exist as you are and not only that but that your existence contributes to a worse world? That's a fucked up thing to tell someone. Talk about gaslighting. You know there is nothing wrong with you, but then people want to argue with you when you defend yourself. And you have to defend yourself constantly. That's a lot of mental and emotional work. And your abusers then want you to manage their guilt when you call them out on it. O. M. G.  I guess my point is that I realize now after all this mishigas that I don't have to love these people. I think it's enough for me to get to a point where I just don't hate them as long as I understand what might make them behave the way they do. I mean it when I say I don't hate them. I just really don't like them or their behavior if that makes sense. I guess at best right now all I can do is have neutral feelings about them as people but I have very strong feelings about their behavior.  

 

In any case we should totally get high fives for still being here. LOL 

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Bobby
5 minutes ago, Troy said:

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LOL... that saw does get around!   :)

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Uma

I'm dealing with this issue re my sister, who voted for fuckface (where it didn't count). She is scheduled to visit me in April. For a while I could not talk to her after the election, but somehow I decided not to cut her off and out of my life completely and to focus on the things we have in common. I'm a person who usually walks away and doesn't look back, so this is new territory for me, and this discussion has helped me clarify my understanding. So thank you, Troy and TLE Community and Michael.

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Troy

Just got the news that the madman in the White House was barely diverted from signing an Executive Order to roll back the LGBTQ Rights that President Obama secured for us in 2014. But this is temporary. Before I even get a chance to set a date for my marriage, I may have this equality ripped from my life again. And that's the least of my Rights to be concerned about.

 

Trump followers hired this man knowing where he stood on these issues or worse, ignored where he stood.

 

Tomorrow, I'll be spending my day once again in protest among thousands in solidarity and support for the immigrants and refugees whose lives are being destroyed on top of the pain and suffering they already endured.

 

Trump followers hired this man knowing where he stood on these issues or worse, ignored where he stood.

 

Arkansas just passed a law that will allow rapists to sue their victims if they have an abortion because, as Miss Betty Bowers explains, "Religious Freedom" means no American can be forced to deliver a wedding cake – just a rapist’s baby! 

 

Trump followers hired this man knowing where he stood on these issues or worse, ignored where he stood.

 

This list goes on... this is just news from the past couple of hours. It's been two weeks and the world is in chaos because of these monsters.

 

And Trump followers hired them knowing where they stood on these issues or worse, ignored where they stood.

 

So forgive yourselves and everyone else if we are not not prioritizing the feelings and comfort of any Trump follower.

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Jana
On 03/02/2017 at 7:28 AM, Maxim said:

  One voted for you know who

Let's call him Voldemort. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself

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Maxim

@Evelin Yes, you are right this community has been made possible by Troy and he can set the tone.  It is also a need of mine to express my truth even if it means I am no longer am welcome.  Expression is also a process in itself to clarify and find one's truth.  The give and take is a way to evolve our truths, eh?  When I wrote my first response after seeing Troy's post I was compelled to write it--I couldn't even read all of it at the time.  I saw red.  Some projection of my own fears of course.  I know I don't want to be involved in a polarity where it becomes Trump and Anti-Trump.  I've played that game enough this life and no doubt others.  It is important to stand up, in my view not so much against Trump but in a pro-active voice for what values we honor.  There is no one way and no one way to respond to the current state. 

@Troy Thanks for responding and clarifying your position.  That was helpful.  When you say no one should be told to love their abuser  I couldn't agree more.  No one should be told to love anyone.  Love is our nature, our natural center.  I have heard  many stories of forgiveness where the person hurt and the one hurting are reconciled--not to mention my own life. We have had a Forgiveness Day in San Rafael for years where such stories are shared.  I know that forgiveness and beyond can never be forced.

 

Years ago I was at a symposium on Peace.  Frances Moore Lappe (for those that don't know she is a long time vegan) presented the idea of embracing conflict as a path to healing.  That might be easier in a domestic conflict but my take on the the women's march was just that--an embrace of conflict.  May there be more with the scientists and the pride parade.  By the way, I was so impressed by Lappe--she was so magnetic--that after her talk I literally embraced her.

 

Yes, there is collateral damage as Trump gets some of his ideas in motion.  I wouldn't say he and his gang mean harm as much as they can't see another way.  We need to speak up and take action in all the many ways we are and will.

 

I know we don't come from the same perspective or background but that is a good thing. I remain grateful for you and your work you so freely share. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Evelin

@Maxim, of course you have the right to express your opinion, I didn't mean to imply otherwise, just expressed mine.
And of course Troy has the right to set his borders and those of his virtual home. (Although my first reaction was the same as yours, I know I have my own issues!) I think it's silly to openly welcome people who tell you outright you're basically not equally human. Troy isn't dismissing them as humans, just their behaviour. He's not throwing them out of humanity, just setting clear rules for his site :)

Also, in times like these you need your support group and a place where to vent in peace. Because to show vulnerability in the presence of a Narcissist (and those who "follow" him) can be dangerous, they will use it against you later when you least expect it.


But I also agree that on a wider scale a deepening division is only going to play into the hands of Twitler (my favourite nickname for him so far). It's Chapter 1 of the authoritarian's textbook: divide and conquer. Why bother with discriminative laws if people go to each other's throats all by themselves and meanwhile you can waltz away with the riches. We (as in the rest of the world) are all in this together, so more inclusion is the ultimate way. But I completely understand why people vote out of fear if someone comes along and tells them exactly what they want to hear, because they take it as compassion for them. Although it's clear manipulation and without Big Data this guy wouldn't have known what to say to anyone because he lacks the empathy to truly see anyone else's position.
 

I've lived with a Narcissist parent, and setting clear borders is paramount with them to maintain any kind of sanity. Give them an inch and they will try to walk right over you. They will overwrite anything they've said before if it helps to gain them upper hand in the moment and make them feel better about themselves.
As children, Narcissists didn't get enough attention and support to deal with their emotions, especially with the darker ones, so they project their feelings to the outside world, and will use all situations and people to make themselves feel "better (than)". Within families, one person is usually the culprit that gets the blame for everything negative the Narcissist is feeling, and one person is the golden one who can't do anything wrong. The Narcissist's lack of empathy, to me, is the most terrible thing about them. Because they can't fully feel their own feelings, they can't empathise with those of others.
I'm sure The Donald's close circle is mostly for reflecting back his success, greatness and other stuff. Melania, it seems, gets the blame for the not-so-great-parts, as do parts of the population and the rest of the world.

As to his followers (what exactly are they following is hard for me to see, he is mostly just reacting and projecting) -- they think they're safe, and for a while they may be, but in a permanent situation of alternative facts, in a world where nothing is true and everything is possible (to quote Peter Pomerantsev's book title) it's clear how any given day even the once-followers will be in severe danger.

So yeah, it's important to stand up right now, for each other.

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Troy

 

@Maxim RE: no longer welcome here. 

I don't know where you go that, and it's wholly untrue, so you can put that to rest.

 

RE: Trump vs Anti-Trump

None of us want to be in that polarity. For many of us, we grew up in a world that was polarized against us from birth. We didn't create that. It wan't because of our behaviors or beliefs or actions, but because of our mere existence. It is pounded into our soul every day that our very existence is wrong and that we must be controlled, rejected, or killed.

 

And yet we continue to love, to be trusting, inclusive, and brave. We gravitate toward teachings of kindness, love, and beauty like this one. Many of us extend our love so far that it includes all other species and the Earth as a whole.  

 

We've had a lot of practice in navigating a world of polarities we didn't create. We know how to create as much love and common ground as possible because we had to in order to survive. So please give us (me) some credit.

 

And when we have to set boundaries, regroup, heal, and call out our attackers, please hear this. It's not about you, and it's not about being petty or inconvenient. It's because we HAVE to. We know when it's time to step back and step away from dangerous people and those who support them and call out for solidarity and support.

 

If you are in a position where you don't have to do that, then that is awesome, but please don't presume everyone is treated like a straight white man. Please use your power to stand up for us from where you are and help our attackers change their perspectives and minds. Any "negative" reaction to my post isn't about what we/I should be doing here but is probably a part of you expecting yourself to do more from where you are.

 

Don't waste your time and energy telling someone like me that I should do more to love and accept, when that is the entire fuel for my existence in the face of being told I should never have existed in the first place. What I'm doing IS Love.

 

And I'd like to say that if someone slaps you in the face, it is NOT equally your own fault. Your job isn't to console the person who smacked you. That's a very unhealthy way of looking at things. We aren't forcing this polarity and we don't want it. We are just doing our best to respond to it. But we were slapped. HARD. And what did we do in response to being attacked? We came together in masses and are standing together to help stop anyone from being attacked again, and putting measures in place to protect us from further attack until we know our attackers have stopped attacking.

 

How is that not Loving?

 

RE: Forgiveness

I agree with Michael that forgiveness is a shortcut that brings us a false peace of mind. Sure, it's helpful for creating a break from our pain, but it doesn't do anything to heal and integrate. I'd rather do the hard work of processing all of this than to cut it short by placating the situation.

 

But even if forgiveness were the choice, the assault should be over before we can get to a point of forgiveness. If a Molotov cocktail of hate is flying toward your face, you don't just smile and say I forgive you. You run! You get out of the way. You take care of yourself. We have the most powerful office in the world hurling social fire bomb after fire bomb at us and we are doing our best. We are doing incredibly well, if you ask me, and the practical measures of psychological and physical safety are just as important and loving as any spiritual efforts. We'll get to the potential for forgiveness after we find a way to stop people from getting hurt.

 

RE: Trump isn't harmful and just can't see another way?

I say this with all due respect and affection, but it may be that you see Trump this way because you have the protected luxury of a straight white man's life and experience little to no effect from most social chaos in the world. Even now you remain untouched by the vast majority of teachings, religions, and politics that have bombarded the rest of us our entire lives to tell us we have no right to exist. Many of us have a very different perspective because we have had to deal with this all of our lives... and we know that people don't accidentally or innocently bumble into acts of hate, and they certainly don't accidentally become President and then gather a Cabinet of ghouls whose resumes were built by hurting people and then launch an attack on every group not white, male, straight, and Christian. They can see another way. The options are loud and clear. They CHOOSE and ACT willfully on hate. And the "Michael Students" and "channels" who hired this man knew what he stood for. They saw plenty of other ways and chose this one.

 

And I beg you not to suggest that there is no harm in what Trump is doing. If you feel no harm is being done, then we should really take time with you and go over the massive list of painful and devastating real world consequences of this madman and his followers.

 

 

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Jana

Trump knows what he's doing in so far as to stroke his ego and become a dictator he aspires to be. He does not believe half the stuff he says, which can be both observed from videos of him from the past, as well as was commented on by Michael. He is a populist and demagogue on purpose and as such chooses the crap he does and says. He does not believe it's right, only that it's right strategy for him to be backed up by people who are asleep and blinded. That is not to say he does not believe some of it, but not all, and it is calculated.

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Troy

Well, those who voted for Trump just got their wishes for destroying public education and access to education by the poor and middle class. The most unqualified person in history who has fought her whole life to destroy public education was just voted to run the Department of Education. Devos was just confirmed. So... yeah... I'm not making it a priority to love Trump followers just yet.

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