Admitting My Difficulty in Hearing the Sounds of a Trump

trumpetMy dad leaned Republican. I am a Democrat. In our history, we had many discussions about our views–sometimes heated, sometimes light, always impassioned. We were able to debate quite honestly and intelligently about our opinions and why we we chose our respective candidates. I look back at those times with a smile in my heart.

I am amazed by this year’s presidential election and I’ve often wondered to myself, “Who would dad have voted for?” While he was a fiscally conservative guy, I don’t know that he could have swallowed Trump’s grandiose personality and all that goes with it…but who knows?

This is the first year in my voting history that I am having an embarrassingly hard time engaging in any kind of political debates. I once prided myself on my ability to discuss and sincerely engage others on their views, but that ability has been thrown out the window with this election. I am not proud of this. It’s been so much on my mind that at church, in a discussion about being more conscious, I shared my concerns:

“I know folks who support Trump and instead of having an open dialogue, I find myself being judgmental and intolerant. I am embarrassed by my inability to listen with an open heart and create a space to talk about this election. Instead of opening doors I am closing them down.”

The reply:

“Maybe you should start there. Maybe what you just said is the place to begin.”

So if you’re listening, Dad, there it is. I am having a hard time hearing a view that promotes Donald Trump. And, if you would have chosen him, I’m not sure if we could have had our typical debates like we used to. I would have come to the table with you and share my frustrations as well as my intolerance for listening to the Republican viewpoint. I like to think that you would have listened in the sincere way you always did and we would have had a real conversation about it.

Authenticity. Humility. Sincerity. Not typical characteristics we find in politics but maybe the very qualities we need to truly listen and connect. I am going to work on this and although I might not get there for November 8, I hope to get there by 2020. I hope to have the humility and open heart to hear all sides and to come from the space of Maya Angelou’s beautiful poem, “The Human Family,”

I note the obvious differences

between each sort and type,

but we are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike.

See you next time-

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