Unfortunately, an already very shallow dating pool has been split in half. We now have a left end and a right end and our ideas are the rope floats keeping us apart. Websites are popping up all over, catering to this new polarization. On your right, you have TrumpSingles.com displaying a very upwardly mobile attractive couple out for an elegant evening. On the left, you have Maple Match catering to liberal U.S. citizens who, as a result of the election, are ready to exit the country.
So, the big question is: Can a pink beanie and a red baseball cap ever live happily ever after?
According to Grindstone, there are some political unicorn couples out there. You have Mary Matalin, a Republican political consultant, and James Carville, a Democratic commentator. Their diametrically opposing views seem to fuel the passion and perhaps their disagreements are a form of foreplay.
They are not unprecedented. Although, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt had 6 children, their marriage definitely had its rocky moments. During FDR’s presidency, Mrs. Roosevelt wrote This Troubled World, a book directly opposing many of her husband’s ideas.
There are other presidential examples as well. After the very conservative George W. Bush exited his presidency, his former first lady Laura Bush, proclaimed she was pro-choice and supported same-sex marriage, in direct opposition to her husband’s beliefs.
All three couples have differing values and opinions but managed to keep their marriages together. Of course, I suspect with very different levels of success. So, maybe it works and maybe it does not work but they do offer hope. If they can come together, compromise, and make their relationships work, shouldn’t our country, with all its collective resources, be able to do the same?
The Best Signs
I think we all need a little humor. These slogans were seen on Inaugeration Day and at the Women's March on Washington. (There are fewer pro-Trump slogans because he won.):
The Women's March on Washington
For my #2 No Fears I am invoking the First Amendment and joining the Women’s March on Washington.
For the record, I am nonpartisan. I have voted for democratic, republican and independent candidates. I have been pleased and disappointed with my respective presidential candidates' wins and losses but this time is different. It is so different, I am spending the equivalent of an Italian vacation to cross the continent and make my views known.
Before my right-leaning friends ditch me, I must say I do see positive changes, directly and indirectly, attributable to our president-elect:
After a great deal of soul-searching, I realize there is a whole lot contributing to my concern regarding Donald Trump and I can understand why the Women's March has had a difficult time finding a unifying theme. Which, of the many issues, does one choose? After more thought, I find a rather simplistic answer with two overarching loosely defined characteristics fundamental for a good president. There is much evidence Trump has neither. They are: truth and empathy. (Thanks to Meryl Streep for using this perfect word in her Golden Globes speech.)
Our president-elect has a very complicated relationship with truth. I have heard him connect Ted Cruz’s father to Lee Harvey Oswald via an article in a tabloid, say thousands of people in New Jersey cheered the collapse of the Twin Towers, tweet he would have won the popular vote if millions had not voted illegally, claim he could not release his tax returns due to an IRS audit , and other obviously ridiculous statements. Jane Mayer of The New Yorker interviewed Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of Trump’s bestselling book The Art of the Deal:
Schwartz said of Trump, “He lied strategically. He had a complete lack of conscience about it.” Since most people are “constrained by the truth,” Trump’s indifference to it “gave him a strange advantage.”
Trump understands the power of the press and puts an extraordinary amount of time into managing it. He is the first president to adopt Twitter for conveying his message. On the surface, this does not appear to be a poor decision. After all, aren’t we receiving the undiluted truth directly from the source The problem is he, with his own interpretation of the truth, is his own fact checker. Isn’t this the job of our legitimate press and part of the checks and balances of our country? He does not appear to believe so.
There are factions alienated by this president:
Our 45th president is a complicated human being, unlike any previous president. Like all Americans, I hope his tenure is successful but do not see this happening without some major changes and there are a whole lot of us who are VERY concerned.
After pouring over press sites, both liberal and conservative, trying to distill my viewpoint into a slogan for my protest sign, I have finally figured it out. Superman’s mantra was: Truth, justice, and the American way. I’m changing it a little to fit the situation: Truth and Empathy are my American Way. I have designed the sign with super ”men” of all colors, sizes, and genders standing with capes waving in unity . For truth and empathy truly are my American way.