Image from Eurasia Group
To the 56.3% of you who are ready for 2020,
Tomorrow night is the first state of the union address by our “winning” president.
We are engaged in an intractable conflict in this country. Such conflicts are “intense, deadlocked, and resistant to de-escalation or resolution. They tend to persist over time, with alternating periods of greater and lesser intensity. Intractable conflicts come to focus on needs or values that are of fundamental importance to the parties.” This is not like normal conflict, where two sides can engage in dialogue and resolve their differences. Rather, this conflict goes to the heart of who we are as a country. What we believe, what we value, what we want our future to look like. Walls & Guns? Or Diversity & Health Care?
We see this exemplified in congress every day, where our “leaders” are shunned if they so much as think about working with a politician across the aisle. Even bi-partisan has become no partisan, as no member would dare give a concession to the other party, even if they want it as well. Worst congress ever? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m sick of it, and of the nimrod golfing at the very top. So tomorrow night I will be forgoing this circus of an event. I will be spending time with my family, perhaps playing a game or reading a book. I will be teaching my kids about tolerance, acceptance, and humility.
I encourage you to do the same. Avoid the anger, the bigotry, the hatred, and engage in something that brings you meaning and joy. Realize that no future action will erase the atrocities of the past year, and instead look to your own future and the future of those you love. Strengthen those bonds, as in doing so you will be working to fight the hate that has become so deeply rooted in our country.
To the 38.8% of you who still support the “stable genius” in chief:
Your vision of this country is not the same as mine.
You don’t want immigrants from “shithole” countries. I do.
You are scared of diversity. I embrace it.
You want tax cuts for the rich. I don’t.
You are fine with misogynistic behavior from our senior leaders. I am not.
You fight against efforts to help those with less than you. I want to fight for them.
You want to isolate America from the rest of the world. I want to integrate America with the rest of the world.
You think we are stronger with more guns pointed at our enemies. I think we are stronger with fewer guns pointed at our enemies.
Given you are still supporting the president after this past year, I’m sure your support is rock solid. I, therefore, make no plea for you not to watch the State of the Union, let alone to change your beliefs.
Rather, I ask that, when your kids or perhaps your grandkids grow up and leave you to move to the city, you keep an open mind about why they’ve chosen the path they have. And try not to hate them as much as you hate the Democrats.