Finding my open mind

photograph by Tracey Rediker RedLincArt

I am writing this in advance of the presidential inauguration because I will be staying away from all media as much as possible that day.

You can tell from that statement where I stand on our incoming administration, but I don’t want you to make assumptions before you read what I have to say. I have tried to stay open minded throughout this entire election process, weighing my own political opinions against candidates on both sides of the aisle. I had my moments but I feel like I voted for the right person. She won the popular vote so I guess I wasn’t alone.

Let me start by saying I have had issues with Donald Trump which predate this election. I grew up in NYC, Queens as a matter of fact, much like our President. That is pretty much where what we have in common ends. He tore down beautiful historic buildings to put up glittery monstrosities. He refused to pay contractors for work. He discriminated against minorities when selling units in his buildings. And then there is his person life which I don’t want to even get into.

Growing up watching this man I could never imagine that people admired him. He was a rich kid who got everything handed to him and kept failing. I mean, all those bankruptcies and marriages? But he spoke to the right people in the right way at the right time, I get that.

So here we are, at the top of a black diamond ski slope. It could be really amazing, a fresh take on our political system from someone who has nothing to lose. It could also kill us since he doesn’t know what he is doing.

I want to set aside what he has said and done that I don’t like that have nothing to do with policy. That he does not play well with others. That he does not have a likeable personality. That he is the ultimate bro. It is hard but I am willing to concede that I don’t have to be friends with him if the country does well under his watch.

Of course here is the rub, I have enormous privilege. There are very few policy changes he has proposed that will effect me or my family. It is very easy for someone like me to give him a chance.

That does not mean, however, that I will be silent in my beliefs. He needs to know where I stand on women’s rights, religious freedom, gun control, income equality, and education reform. When he makes changes that help the country I will applaud him. I will call him out on decisions which I disagree.

And now a toast: Here is to positive change under the Trump administration. May you be as great as you believe you are. May you usher in a time of peace and prosperity for all Americans. May you leave a positive lasting legacy for future generations.



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