Just because someone voted for a candidate you hate doesn’t make them a bad person.
Just because someone voted 3rd party or write-in or didn’t vote at all, doesn’t make them a bad person.
It does not make them blind to any candidate’s faults.
It does not mean that they approve of everything that candidate does.
It does not make then guilty of or complicit in any bad things that candidate has done or will do.
People are nuanced. Very very few people are single issue voters. How about we not judge others based on who they voted for?
Yes, there are racist dicks who voted for Trump because he was a white male. Your internet activism isn’t reaching them, and your riots and violence are letting them think they’re right in hating people who disagree or have different skin. Stop it.
Yes there are ignorant sexists who don’t realize voting for someone because she is a woman is just as sexist as not voting for someone because she’s a woman. You calling them names and making fun of their looks just makes them double down on 3rd wave inter-sectional feminism. Stop it.
People have a right to free speech. That goes equally for Nazis, Black Lives Matter, End Of The World Doomsday Cults, and anyone else you can think of.
You should respect their rights in the same way you want your rights respected. This is how civilized society works.
What people do NOT have a right to do is harm individuals or property. In the context of public discourse, words =/= violence, unless they are giving direct orders to enact violence, as in “GET ‘EM!” or “BURN THEIR SHIT DOWN”.
Someone exercising their right to free speech – be it abstaining from anthems, or holding a really damn offensive sign – is not violence against you.
I’ve seen people on the anti Trump side say “Oh, we’re not condemning them, we just need them to see how awful they voted and decry their choice now”. Guys, that’s basically the same thing. It’s a nice way of saying “You need to debase yourself and say I was right all along and you’ll listen to me next time or I’m going to defame you and call you names”. WTF? No. Stop. If you’ve done this, I forgive you. Fully. But please, really, stop it. It’s not helping. It’s making people rally against the Democratic party/ Progressives / etc even more. It’s basically campaigning for Trump in some ways.
If you’re still rubbing it in a Hillary Supporters faces that they lost, stop it. That’s not gracious, and it makes you a dick. We know that Trump is POTUS, and so do they, regardless of how many times they hashtag that he isn’t. You’re turning people off of any chance of having a rational conversation. Losing with grace matters. Winning with grace matters just as much, assholes.
I voted for Trump. Am I 100% happy with everything he’s done? OF COURSE NOT. Would I vote the same way if the election were held again today? You bet your ass I would. I didn’t see the other candidate’s POLICIES as worthy of my vote. They were not a direction I believe the country should (have continued to) head in. The other candidate believed in some things that would have been very bad, I believe, for our nation and my family. So no, even if she’d been the flipping Pope, I wouldn’t have voted for her.
Even though I personally cannot stand her, if her POLICIES had been better, I would’ve have strongly considered and likely voted for her, in the end.
Can we please start talking about ideas, and not continue the great character bashing of our online acquaintances and political opposition? Calling people names doesn’t change hearts and minds, it just rallies people around a common cause.
Can we discuss ideas without using whatever victim hierarchy we need? “Black Lives Matter” is not a full argument. Neither is “It’s A Child, Not A Choice.” People are complex and nuanced, HISTORY AND FACTS are more complex and nuanced (and so awfully boring), and if we are ever to heal the great divide in this nation, BOTH sides are going to have to “give” some.
Let’s use for our example, abortion. Something on which nearly everyone has an opinion. Holding out for “ABORTION ON DEMAND WITHOUT APOLOGY” is not compromise, it’s not meeting in the middle, it’s complete obliteration of the opposing side. And “COMPLETELY OUTLAW ABORTION AT ANY STAGE, JAIL TIME FOR ABORTIONISTS AND MOTHERS WHO ABORT” is not compromise, it’s not meeting in the middle, it’s complete obliteration of the opposing side.
Neither side is seeking to understand the other, much less build a nation and society with the “other side”. Pro life people 100% think that abortion is child murder. If they weren’t so riled up about CHILD MURDER it would be a little weird. Pro choice women literally think and have been taught that giving a child in the womb personhood denies the mother her own personhood and self ownership. If they weren’t so riled up about denying women self ownership, it would be a little weird.
COMPROMISE ON THIS ISSUE WOULD LOOK SOMETHING LIKE THIS: No government funded abortions, no government funds to organizations that do abortions such as Planned Parenthood, regardless of allocation of government funds. Abortions illegal after 12 weeks (after a short waiting period) unless there’s a medical issue with the mother or the fetus (this 12 week cut off is what some other 1st world countries do. I didn’t pull it out of my bum).
As an anti abortion person, I am not 100% happy with that. I promise you that no pro choice person would be 100% happy with that. But both sides get something, and that’s what compromise looks like. Politically, we ALL need to start looking at compromise, before we get another civil war.
Look at that person who voted for a different candidate. Why did they vote differently? Why are you taking that candidate’s actions and using them to judge that person’s character? If this person supports Black Lives Matter, why? Do they have bad data? Do they have information you *don’t*? Was someone they love the victim of police brutality? If this person waves a Confederate flag, instead of just calling them racist, do you know why? Do you know the long drawn out complex reasons that some think the Civil War was justified? Do you understand that those reasons have nothing to do with slavery and everything to do with the Sovereignty of the States, which is an currently ongoing political battle? Does the person you’re trying to take the confederate flag from think you’re trying to take part of their identity and culture because it’s this flag has grown to mean a lot more in the last 200 years? Do you care? Or is it just easier to scream racist, police what flags they’re allowed to fly, claim moral superiority and call it a day?
When was the last time you saw your opponent as a person, instead of a pile of symbols? A pile of symbols and slogans that you and that opponent might assign different meanings to? When did you last listen and try to see the hearts and the life of a person that puts them where they are, making the choices they have?
To get personal for a moment – I hate Black Lives Matter the movement. I think it’s a terrible reaction to an actual problem (police brutality) that has worsened race relations in this country, and doesn’t intelligently or usefully address the actual problem at all. The movement would happily crush myself, my husband and my daughter, then dance on our bodies because of our skin color. I fear groups of people with BLM shirts and signs, I fear for my safety and the safety of my child. I could go on for an hour about my problems with the movement, but just so we’re clear, I disagree with it’s actions, and I see it as just another form of racism in actuality, and the actuality is far divided from the rhetoric in many cases.
Not everyone that is a part of Black Lives Matter is an ignorant, foolish, racist person. Many who are vocal, who make stupid tweets and say stupid things are, but I can’t assume the person in front of me, or on my twitter feed, or facebook is. It’s frustrating. It’s difficult.
My gut instinct is to feel that people who are very pro “Black Lives Matter” are very anti my family. Us vs Them. But I have to fight that instinct in my gut that says ‘THEY HATE YOU, BE AGAINST THEM” and talk to them as people. Share links, share information. Share, don’t condescendingly scream, is if one tweet makes your argument. Ask them why this data and that data.
Turns out, you can’t tell if a person is racist based solely on their stance on Black Lives Matter. Some of my friends who are very active parts of the movement I would trust with my daughter’s life, no questions asked.
At the end of the day/tweet storm/ conversation, if they haven’t said “I think white are horrible and shouldn’t have rights”, I need to treat them as if they aren’t against my family and myself because of our skin color. I need to force myself to believe the best in them, even if we both walk away still disagreeing. I need to see them as a person of value, of humor, of whatever their personal character – which is so so so much more than politics – is, not just this one or three labels of their politics that I disagree with.
I have to separate the individual from the movement. I have to accept the individual on their own merits and character even if they’re a part of the movement I disagree with. We all do.
We – you, me, Keith Olberman and Tomi Laurhen – need to start seeing the “other side” as people, and having conversations about these things.
Conversations that are longer than a meme or 140 characters.
Conversations where we listen. To broken and scared hearts.
Conversations where we can both walk away with different opinions, still, but see the other person as person, and go forward attempting to live peacefully and build a society with that person of a different opinion.
Conversations that maybe, just maybe, don’t have a damn thing to do with politics, where we can just enjoy the company of another human being and let their hearts and minds add to the richness of our lives.
If you haven’t had a cup of coffee or a meal with someone you vehemently disagree with politically in recent memory (like, a week or two), I strongly urge you to do so. And don’t talk about politics. Talk about their lives, their kids, their favorite books and their dog and their mom’s health. Ask how their baby is. Talk to the person. Love the person. Leave the politics at the door.
These conversations are good for us. They heal us and add to us as people. If we have enough of them, we might start to heal the nation.