As much as we reject the rhetoric that has poisoned our political environment these past 20 months, we cannot simply blacklist those who supported Trump. There were clearly many, many people who quietly (or loudly) supported Trump. They have opinions, feelings, and perspectives that we have negated. Continuing to ignore the voices that dissent from our own views will not haste long term progress.
You might ask why we have to acknowledge their feelings — after all, they are the ones who are supported a candidate who crosses our personal bright lines regrinding our belief in the basics of what the United States stands for? It’s because we have more to give. We have more empathy to give to those who feel like the world is changing too fast, those who cannot empathize with being different, or those who feel (probably for the very first time) that they are the outsiders in their own country.
We can open our hearts a bit more. We can take a deep breath before shutting someone down. We can listen, empathetically, and provide safe spaces to openly talk about these dissenting — to us — views.
“When they go low, you go high.” — Our fearless leader, Michelle Obama.
When they insult us, discriminate against us, hate us, we can open our hearts, arms, and welcome them to our America. Together. Moving forward.
We’ve got this. We can do this. I believe in us.