Discord & Dissension — Part III — Where Do We Go From Here?

Where do we go from here?

Last week Jeff did a marvelous job explaining much of what has led us to where we are today, a place I call The Great Divide.  This nation is divided more than at any other time since the end of the Civil War in 1865.  The divide is complex … not just white vs non-white, but Christian vs women, LGBTQ, & non-Christian, even once again male vs female.  And perhaps most notably, conservative vs liberal.  Those who are for smaller governments with fewer powers, for unlimited wealth, for uber-capitalism, versus those whose values are all about people, about using tax monies to help those in need, to reduce the ever-widening income disparity, to educate the nation’s youth, to provide such things as health care, housing and food for those who cannot provide for themselves.

Trump was able to rise to power largely because of those divisions.  He played them, he pitted one against the other, he instilled in his supporters a ‘fear of other’.  Since 9/11, people in this nation have worked to quell their fear of Middle-Easterners, and then along came Trump and fanned the flames of fear.

Today we stand at a crossroads, a place where we must decide to either accept the rifts, to allow a madman to divide and conquer, or to move past the things that divide us and search for common ground, to find ways to heal this nation.

So, Jeff answered the question, “How did we get here?”, and I must attempt to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?”  My inclination is to answer with three words:  to the polls.  But, while that is obviously the short answer, there must be more.  We must find ways to reach out to that 40% I mentioned in our introduction two weeks ago … the 40% who did not bother to vote in 2016.  We must find ways to remind ourselves that we are all in this together and that if we don’t make some serious changes, we will all go down … together.

To those of us who are displeased with the corruption, greed, and lack of integrity in Trump’s administration, it is clear that we must vote him out of office.  No doubts there.  But, my friends, that is not the end of it, for Trump is not the entirety of the problem.  I have long said, and I still believe, that Trump is but a symbol of a greater problem.  Some 40% of the people in this country still, despite massive corruption and ineptitude among Trump and his cohorts, support him.  Even if Trump leaves the White House on January 20th 2021, those 40% are still out there, and they are going to be mightily displeased.

So, the problem is multi-fold.  First, we need to vote Trump out of office, for it is the opinion of this writer that he presents, as our friend Keith has often said, a clear and present danger to the future of this nation.  But then what?  How do we heal the ‘great divide’?  How do we find a middle ground, some common cause?  When I was doing graduate work back in the 1980s, one of my jobs was as a research assistant for a professor of Political Science, Joe Scolnick.  At the time, Joe was writing a paper on conflict management, and I well remember the theme.  According to his research, when the people of a nation are so seriously divided, often a threat from outside the nation is the only thing that will bring them together.

In our lifetime, we have seen how this works, albeit briefly.  Remember in the days and weeks following 11 September 2001, aka 9/11?  New Yorkers, notorious for their callousness and stand-offish personas (which is somewhat of a myth anyway) came together, they helped their neighbors, they volunteered both time and resources.  All around the nation, people were kinder, more human.  It didn’t last for long, but it was there … it was palpable.

I experienced this on a personal level.  I live in a neighborhood that is comprised of about 30% Middle-Eastern refugees.  They are all truly wonderful people, generous to a fault, kind and caring.  A couple of days after 9/11, a woman from down the street, a Pakistani woman, brought me flowers, a card, and said that she just wanted me to know how sorry she was.

But back to my point.  Governments have, at some points throughout history, created an external threat to bring about internal cohesion.  Think about that one for a minute.  Do we really need to have a threat from outside, whether real or perceived, to bring the people of this country together for the common good?  I don’t think so, but if we don’t find ways to heal ourselves, we leave ourselves open to that very real possibility.

I like to think there are more things that we have in common than there are things that divide us, though sometimes it certainly doesn’t seem that way.  For one thing, we are all humans with shared needs of family, food, clothing, shelter, jobs, friends … and love.  This is our country, our home.  All of those are basic human needs, far more substantial and important than the things that divide us.  Among those things that divide us, I think there are three that rank at the top of the list:  religious beliefs, income disparity, and bigotry.

So, our first goal must be the November elections, not only the presidential, but also the congressional and gubernatorial elections.  And, in the interest of staying focused, keeping our eye on that ball, we will focus most of our attention in this project toward that end, but keep in the back of your mind, that the problem does not end when Donald Trump walks out of the White House.

Now, beyond going to the polls on November 3rd, we have other things we need to do.

Every day, states are working on ways to disenfranchise minority and lower income voters.  Some of their tools are gerrymandering, voter ID laws, closing or reducing the hours of polling stations, purging voter registration rolls, making registration harder, and the list goes on.  Most of this we have little voice in, but there are things we can do.  The most important thing, I think, is … talk.  We need to work toward convincing people how imperative it is for them to vote.  And, we need to have conversations about the reasons Trump must be voted out of office.  This is the tough one, folks, but … we have been going about it all wrong, I think.  A few of you may remember my post from August 2017 about Daryl Davis,  a black man who befriended members of the KKK by listening to them, talking to them, reasoning with them, and had convinced more than 200 KKK members to lay down their robes.  He didn’t call them names, didn’t belittle them … he tried to understand them, and to help them to understand him.  This, I think, is the approach we must take, this is how we will help some Trump supporters understand what it is we want for this nation.

We have our work cut out for us, my friends.  There are just under 10 months until election day, just 286 days.  Right now, if I had to lay odds, I would say that if the election were held tomorrow, Donald Trump would get another 4-year term, for he has played the victim card on the impeachment issue, and played it well.  His fan base are typically single-issue voters, and the two most important issues to them are immigration and religious ‘rights’, including an abortion ban.  Let’s put our heads together, let’s try to find common ground with those who view the world through a different lens than we do.  In the long run, it will be worth our effort.

*Note to Readers:  This project will be ongoing for … some time, we’re not sure how long yet, but we would like to keep up the momentum through election day, at least.  In keeping with that, we will cover various topics once a week for (with an occasional break) the next ten months, including how to motivate voters, the lifetime appointments of the judiciary, where we go from here, the role of the U.S. in the larger, global world, and more.  After the Democratic National Convention, when there is a final Democratic nominee, we will move more into the area of platforms and ideologies.  We hope you’re enjoying this project as much as we are and really would welcome any ideas or suggestions you may have.

Table of Contents to Project Discord & Dissension

Discord & Dissension — Part I — Introduction

Discord & Dissension – Part ll – “How did we get here? – Part 1”  

Discord & Dissension – Part ll – “How did we get here? – Part 2”

69 thoughts on “Discord & Dissension — Part III — Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. Pingback: Discord & Dissension — Table of Contents | Filosofa's Word

  2. I heartily agree with the premise that we must seek common ground; I have made that one of the goals of my blog—and I love the story about the KKK converts. But like you, Jill, I sometimes find myself falling short of my best intentions.
    You and others have mentioned the Democrats’ infighting. Right now, I see that as the greatest threat to our reclaiming the White House and protecting our democracy. And even as I’m seeking unity and consensus, in the post I published this morning, I describe my sense of urgency in gaining greater attention to Bernie Sanders’ divisive efforts—which go considerably beyond those of the other candidates’—and his past—which I fear would make him a doomed nominee who could even bring about the loss of the House. I understand the incongruity of my calling for unity and then “exposing” one nominee, but I feel the fragility of our democracy now demands that I do so.
    Two other items. First, the importance of electing Democratic governors as the Census data are being gathered and redistricting will occur next; second; aligning this worthy effort with other get-out-the-vote organizations. We will need a massive turnout to overcome the Republicans’ Electoral College advantage, as well as voter suppression.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for understanding, and thank you for your well-reasoned comment, for you’ve made at least one point I hadn’t thought of — the importance of gubernatorial elections to prevent or correct gerrymandering in the future. As for what you say about Sanders … I will pop over to your blog (I have simply not had time to do much blog reading in the last week or two) and check out your post, for I’m puzzled by some of what you say here. I’m hearing democrats say no way would they vote for Sanders, but I’m also hearing some say the same about Biden. This is going to be an uphill climb for certain, and unfortunately I do not feel any real sense of security that we can “throw da bum out”. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Annie, I do understand your concern about the fracturing of our Democratic party, and how this infighting might play in Trump’s favor. However, I respectfully disagree that Bernie is the problem.
      Unfortunately, our media favors establishment candidates like Biden who’s beholden to the donor class – wealthy powerful elite and politically connected ppl in Washington and corporate America. It’s quite obvious there’s an inherent conflict of interest, as our media is wholly owned and controlled by 6 corporate media giants who dictate how “news” is disseminated to the public. Corporate mainstream news is highly biased and full of lies. They bash Bernie Sanders and paint him to be this disruptive force within the party. That is a blatant lie.
      Throughout the Democratic debates, not once has Bernie disparaged other candidates, he was cordial, respectful and has a powerful vision of uniting the party by returning to it’s roots – to fight for the betterment of everyday ppl, not to enrich the wealthy even more or pander to corporations and special interests.
      Bernie has the largest individual contributions averaging $20 per donor, which means he has broad base support from his grassroots movement, and he’s the party front runner in overall campaign contributions! Unlike Biden and the rest of Democratic candidates, all of whom accept corporate PAC money “donations” (actually bribes) – which means these candidates don’t work for us! Bernie, Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang are the only ones not on the take, and that’s why the DNC are so against these mavericks.
      There’s a reason why many decided not to vote for Hillary after she rigged the primaries against Bernie in 2016, the Democratic Party is highly corrupt and needs to be reformed. Bernie’s the man for the job.
      Please don’t take my word for it, do further research and come to your own conclusion. Thanks for hearing me out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello 1EarthUnited. I agree with what you wrote. I would add one more thing. The idea that Bernie did not campaign hard enough for Hillary after the primary is completely false. He held 39 rallies for her, while she only held 12 for Obama when he won over her. More Bernie people voted for Hillary than Hillary people voted for Obama. Facts are pesky things. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Scottie, very good point! During a recent interview, Hillary was asked if she would endorse Bernie to return the favor. She hemmed & hawed, finally blurting “we’ll see…. right now nobody likes Bernie” as if he’s not in contention!
          If you want to hear all the internal problems associated with the DNC, check it:

          Yup, facts are such inconvenient truths. And so much easier for both parties to simply lie to us like we’re ignorant of their long standing corruption.


  3. Another interesting and thought-provoking post, Jill. I think the commentary is excellent as well. The healing that must happen in all divided democratic nations won’t happen overnight. Jill, your point that struck me the most is the fact that we have far more in common with each other as human beings than we have differences. As well, our commonalities are far more substantive than our differences. Yet fear is fuelling the bigotry, hatred, and intolerance. We really need to find a way to defuse the fear. It really is fascinating how all that negative garbage is tossed aside in the face of an external threat. Wow!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks so much, John! No, my friend, it won’t happen overnight, and I’m convinced it won’t happen in my lifetime. And yet, I will still do what I can, in the time I have left here on earth, to help people see how important … nay, urgent, it is that we find common ground, a meeting of the minds. Let us hope it doesn’t take WWIII to make us realize how alike we all are. Sigh.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Pingback: Discord & Dissension — Part III — Where Do We Go From Here? – Frank Parker's author site

  5. Couldn’t get the reblog button to work this time, so pasted a link into my site and added this:

    Here is part III of the series of posts by USA bloggers seeking a way to ensure Donald Trump does not secure a second term in the Whitehouse. This one is mostly relevant only to USA readers. However, the theme – how to bridge the divide between the two ‘camps’ of US politics applies equally to other places. In the UK There are 4 1/2 years until the next election, long enough, surely, for those who disagree with Brexit and everything else that the Tories stand for to reach out, listen and explain.

    In Ireland we are in the middle of a short election campaign and already I hear candidates speaking in divisive language seeking to pit rural Ireland against the urban centres, farmers against those who consume their produce and public sector workers against those who work in private enterpirises. As Jill says here, we need to recognise that we are all in this together and we need to pull together, not against each other.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. How do you subvert a non-technological society to becoming a thechnological society? Not by telling them how bad their life is, nor by telling them how great technology can make their life. No! You give them a single technological item, such as a flashlight to light up the night without the use of fire, and let them use it for awhile. They will soon be asking what else you can give them, even if their leaders do not want them to have such things. (This was a common science-fiction plot for the stories written in the 50s and 60s. Don’t tell, don’t persuade, show.)
    Here you are, today, trying to tell people that they should not vote for Trump, trying to persuade them life will be better if they vote against Trump. You might have a hope in hell of getting a few non-voters on your side, but most non-voters are not going to vote no matter what you say. You haven’t proved to anyone yet that their vote is going to help them in their lives.
    So is there someone else you could be targetting? Yes, starting with undecided voters. They’ve heard it all before why they should or should not vote, and for whom, but they are not convinced, nor will they be easily convinced. Words are meaningless. Action speaks much louder. Show them how voting Democratic will make their life better.
    But even that is not enough. The largest group of voters you should be targetting are actually the ones you think you cannot win over. Yes, the weakened Trump voters!
    But don’t try to start by denigrating Trump, talking about how bad he is. Stop trying to talk him down. People all over are wondering about Trump, seeing that while he seems to be fulfilling their one platform, he is failing to provide leadership on most of their other concerns. Show them the overall situation, emphasize the dastardly over the good.
    These people are propping Trump up right now, but how can he hold them with his one-platform ideas? A leader must be many things, and must care about those he is leading. They will not put up with him much longer, but only if you quit telling them it is dangerous to vote for Trump. Show them the dangers. And show them why you care!

    Liked by 3 people

      • And ideas are what I have. I rely on others to make my visions become reality.
        Truthfully, Jill, I do not know. But where are all the SJW meme writers. The editorial cartoonists do their bit, but ever-Trumpers don’t understand them. Protest songs could fill the airwaves, if you could get them on the radio and Youtube. I’m just brainstorming here, with a tired brain. Fill the internet with true stories, and pictures of the mess Trump is making of the environment.
        I’m an old fuddy duddy. I don’t know how to use social media. Get the youth of today to come up with ideas, they will blow us seniors away. But one thing remains, suggest, don’t tell. Give ideas a chance to eat away at their thoughts. Most people are basically good deep inside. Appeal to that goodness. This won’t work on everyone, nothing can. Turn those you can, it will help greatly in the end.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Well, you’ve given me some things to think about here, for sure. One is “suggest, don’t tell”. I have a tendency to tell, but you’re right … people don’t respond well to being told they are wrong, but perhaps the better way is just to ask them to consider another viewpoint. The other thing that made me stop and think is when you said, “The editorial cartoonists do their bit, but ever-Trumpers don’t understand them.” I think it’s more to the point that they don’t see them, for they stick with the sites and outlets that promote their own views, and it occurs to me that I do the same. I don’t go to conservative websites, don’t see their political cartoons or read their articles, for they annoy me and I disagree with them right out of the gate. But then … perhaps that is exactly where I should be going … into ‘enemy territory’ … sigh. I’ll give all of this some thought … thanks for helping. LuL

          Liked by 1 person

        • I see RG has taken the Zen approach to politics. Show don’t tell totally separates the wheat from the chaff. I couldn’t agree more. Jill, while your words are entertaining and informative, you will not convert a single voter over b/c words are essentially worthless, esp from the internet. Ppl need human face to face connection in order to make it real.
          It’s no accident that Trump’s constantly rallying, on our dime as you so aptly point out. Yet he is highly effective b/c he’s constantly reinforcing this connection with his base. Social media can be a means to supplement support and create hype/ energy behind his movement. But it can never convert a person on the fence who is not committed to voting. The majority of any country are comprised of passive, powerless, indifferent ppl who thinks politics doesn’t concern them. Too busy earning a living, putting food on the table, taking care of kids etc. Or the other group of highly cynical individuals who won’t vote no matter what.
          It is my opinion that we need to take physical action. That means getting off our collective asses and go door to door the old fashion way. Start with your immediate neighbors, organize and form a club, hold weekly meetings.
          First off, get a clipboard and introduce yourself to your neighbors. Ask if they have registered to vote, if not, give them a voter registration form or show them how to do it online. Yes that means a bit of hand holding and patience.
          Then show them why your candidate is the best person for the job. DO NOT bring up the negatives, like why Trump is such a rotten president – keep that to yourself. Be prepared to back up your presentation with facts, videos, the candidate’s record and why he or she has won you over.
          I am actively promoting Bernie Sanders b/c I believe in him, if he’s the nominee then great, half the battle is won. If it’s someone else then I’ll research all the positive attributes of that candidate and promote him or her to the best of my abilities. I believe that is the way to victory.
          If you or RG have any other advice I’d love to hear it. Also I plan to arrange carpooling to get voters to the booth come election day, talk is cheap – action makes all the difference when our collective future is at stake. Thanks for listening.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. There is a certain apathy in the people who don’t vote. It seems to stem from
    A) Not liking any of the candidates
    B) Not liking politics
    C) Feel their vote doesn’t count for much of all their neighbours are voting opposite
    D) Just can’t be bothered
    E) Away from home

    Perhaps (and this is likely too difficult to organise) having pre-voting Street parties, bringing neighbours together and talking about the need to vote (regardless of their politics) does make a difference. Even if all they do is pick the lesser of ‘the evils,’ it at least represents an opinion.
    Sometimes, it pays for people to get together to learn (even if it is biased learning). This is how Trump works, he has assembled people and filled their heads with nonsense. Perhaps, on a lesser scale, local activists can do the same thing, but to fill their heads with a few truths, to explain that society does best with thinking, not with dogmatic following.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You are quite right in all you say, and the reasons you give for people not voting are all true, but there are others, as well. In some areas, areas that are heavily populated by minorities and lower income citizens, polling places close early, or are shut down altogether and people who are least able are forced to travel long distances to vote, or are unable to vote because they cannot take time from their job during the day. Most every other nation in the world hold elections on Sunday so that most people have no excuse, but in the U.S. it’s on Tuesday. Why? There’s a reason. And, another reason people give, which is pure b.s., is that by not voting they are “making a statement”. One of my readers a week or so ago said that the system is broken, and her protest would be to not vote! I was highly annoyed, to say the least!

      For too long now, those who are thinkers, who understand how government SHOULD work, have remained relatively quiet, assuming that right would win out over might at the end of the day, but we can see that is happening less and less. You’re right … it is time for us to become activists in whatever way we can. If we don’t do it now, we may not get the chance next time. Sigh.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes Jill, much as I hate all politics, I do vote and pick a candidate strategically (if not optimally). There is no statement made by not voting other than sending a message to which ever party that wins, can do whatever they like with impunity because the people will just accept anything as ‘inevitable.’ I have just heard that Indonesia wants to build a new Capital city… and take the last remaining wild area on the Island, to do it, displacing an indigenous native tribe in the process. Why aren’t Indonesian people outraged that their biodiversity is being killed? Why is our former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, giving his blessing to the project? I cannot wrap my head around the terrible stuff on the world political stage… I might be old and fairly ineffective, but I do think it is time for a revolution, and for people to take back control from evil politicians.

        Liked by 4 people

        • You’re right … not voting is like writing a blank check to the ones in power. As re Indonesia … you open a can of worms, for certainly it seems wrong, and yet … it isn’t our culture, not our place to intervene. I was responding to another comment earlier that it is the American Arrogance that gives our nation to believe that they no best for everyone and have a divine right to impose their own ways and beliefs on all other cultures. And yet … where crimes against humanity are concerned, don’t we all have an obligation to speak out? So, it’s a slippery slope. I think that in this, the age of technology, we must find more effective ways to revolt … I’m just not sure what they are, but we certainly cannot sit back and allow the status quo. Sigh.

          Liked by 3 people

      • In UK elections have traditionally been held on Thursdays. But polling places everywhere have the same hours – 7am – 10pm.which offers workers the oportunity to vote on their way to work or after work. And then there’s postal voting for all with a genuine reason for being unable to attend a polling station on the day.

        Liked by 4 people

  8. Hello Jill. On the idea of needing to listen and be civil toward the cult of tRump members, it works both ways. Having argued with enough evangelical / fundamentalist religious people over biblical morals and the LGBTQ+ I know they love to push their points while ignoring everything you might have to say. I have conversations with tRump supporters that is informative and civil, but I also have had conversations with tRump people who deny reality and are Kellyanne Conway like in their responses in support of the Dear Leader. In those cases I do not see why I alone must tolerate their abuse and refusal to accept the reality they don’t like. I have been listening to C-Span during the impeachment trial, and the Republican tRump supporters are not willing to even attempt to see reality. This is all made up by Democrats, and tRump has always only had the best interest of the US in mind. Heck he donated his salary back, what a saint. I call the deplorables just what they are, deplorable. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Scottie, it seems all the reasonable decent ppl have left the Republican party. There’s no point in playing the martyr if the person you’re speaking to is not open to new ideas or facts. Some ppl are just plain heartless and have glommed onto Trump’s cult of personality. Some are so weak, without core values that they need a Führer to tell them what to do, like hapless children seeking authority figure for approval.
      So yeah, don’t take any guff from ignorant ppl just to be tolerant, only do what your heart tells you to do. Also I would not call them deplorables, that would only strengthen their resolve, remaining obstinate. Like the old adage goes: Never fight with swine, you’ll get dirty and besides, the pig likes it! 😉

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hello 1EarthUnited. Thank you for your reply. I am open to suggestions. What should we call people who support separating families at the border who are seeking asylum from death and worse? What should we call people who are racist and want to use guns to start a “race war”? What should we call people who support forcing women back to no rights and a time where men ruled their bodies? What should we call people who refuse to be educated or informed on what is reality but instead want to substitute their own feelings for what is real? What do we call people who go into a pizza place with an AR-15 and fire shots demanding to free the child sex slaves in the basement of a place that has no basement? I could go on, but the truth is we are in this mess because not enough people stood up and said no that is not right, that is wrong and I stand against it. You are wrong is a refrain that needs to be said! I often talk to tRump cultist who want to force me to see their bigotry as valid. I refuse and call them deplorable bigots. I simply refuse to let the worst parts of society demand how the conversation is framed. There is a well known social fact, that people raise to the standards of others around them and the reverse is they fall to the lowest standards of those around them. Calling these people what they are is beneficial and needs to happen. Hugs

        Liked by 3 people

        • You are absolutely right Scottie, not every discussion will end amicably with resolution that will satisfy both parties. There are fundamental differences which we should never tolerate. It is your responsibility to assess the situation ur in with full awareness, and focus on the RESULT you are trying to achieve. Most ppl argue for the sake of upholding their point of view, rightfully or wrongfully. I say that is the wrong approach, you will never convince the other party if you put them on the defensive. Read Sun Tzu’s Art of War to gain the timeless understanding of human nature. The human mind is a creature of habit and conditioning which ultimately makes up our world view, so we regurgitate mindlessly without questioning the opposing viewpoint.This may be the hardest thing for a mind to do, look at both sides of the issue holistically.
          Assuming that your opponent is not a psychopath and is open to reasonable debate, there’s always a chance to “win him over” – allow him to make up his own mind, with you being a guide/ adviser. But you also have to be honestly open to his POV! I know, easier said than done.
          First, read my comment to Keith’s in this post. I establish boundaries in every discussion, and I am mindful to control myself, my emotions, my logic to assess that I’m on point. I’m not going to argue for argument’s sake. After assessing the situation, I can choose to proceed from there, or I walk away.
          You don’t have to jump every time someone says how high. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          • Hello 1EarthUnited. I agree with you to a point. While I am willing to listen to other viewpoints, as a gay man who has been subjected to the worst effects of bigotry, I feel it is necessary to call out unacceptable behavior when we see it. I have lost jobs, been denied promotions when I was the highest scoring candidate, I have been assaulted at my place of work, and so much more due to simply being an out gay man. I reject the idea that these people that support that and who condone such horrible actions against other vulnerable people like those at the southern border seeking to simply keep living are to be soft treated in calling them what they are! They are deplorable in actions and in what they want. We all should be willing to call them on it. If we do not they win by default. They think they have the people on their side, they think they got away with their object cruelty. I think they are wrong. We need to start speaking truth in this bad time. Hugs

            Liked by 3 people

            • Yes, you absolutely have the right to stand up for yourself and share your beliefs… with those who are willing to listen. Like I said, establish your boundaries, this applies to you as well as others. Choose your battles wisely, if you feel you are making a difference in the workplace and management is open to upholding your rights as a valued employee, then by all means fight with everything you’ve got.
              However, if your assessment leads to the conclusion that ur workplace is a toxic environment and management are bigoted asshats not willing to abide by ur civil rights, I won’t even bother wasting my breathe.
              It’s easier to document the abuse, get a lawyer and inform ur employer that if conditions don’t change to meet with current worker guidelines, you will be taking them to court for harassment, assault, discrimination and a host of other injustices u’ve suffered. There is a monetary value assigned to suffering, a good lawyer could set things straight (so to speak).
              BTW I’m very sorry to hear of your horrendous experience, take the power back. There a time for talk and a time for action. Determine what’s best for your own growth and development as a conscious human being.
              Yes speaking our truth during these terrible times is important, again pick your battles wisely. During Hitler’s time, those who spoke up in defense of Jews were jailed or killed. At the time, majority of Germans were angry and bitter after suffering depression and hyperinflation during the aftermath of WW1, Weimar Republic. They succumb to the ranting of a madman promising better times while scapegoating minorities, sound familiar? That was the wrong time to speak up against atrocities, but the good ppl hid Jews and gave them sanctuary, much like these times where righteous organizations help refugees crossing the border. But our border agents are just following orders much like the SS and Nazi Germans.
              You have to assess the situation and determine if the conditions are favorable in relation to your circumstances.
              The end result: calling this administration corrupt, cruel and deplorable (while true) won’t change a damn thing. Sure, keep speaking the truth but be smart about it. We only have so much energy and resources, make it count!
              For us during this tumultuous period, we need to organize and get like-minded ppl to rally and VOTE this bum out of office! This will be our ultimate challenge, either we step up or suffer the consequences. I’ve outlined a plan of action come 2020 in RG’s comment on how to defeat Trump. If you have further suggestions please share. I will do everything within my power to really make America Great Again- that means getting rid of this phony impostor we call President.

              Liked by 1 person

  9. Jill, I am glad you brought up Daryl Davis’ example and appreciate eschudel’s comment echoing that message. That is key. I have shared this quote before but “You have two ears and one mouth, so use them in that proportion.” Many times we listen to respond, not to hear. I have told myself “to shut up and listen” when I get tempted to interject.

    If we listen, we can try to find a piece of common ground to connect. If we agree on just one thing, we can introduce a small counter on another.

    Finally, we must vote, even our favorite two or three candidates don’t win the nomination. There are no perfect candidates, but each on the Dem side have a moral and ethical compass lacking in the president. He is already trying to sow division just like he did last time. Focus on real news sources and vote.


    Liked by 4 people

    • You are so right, Keith … but it is easier said than done. I am my own worst enemy in this area, for I’m likely to either zone out, or trample on opinions I don’t agree with. Sigh. Yes, a large part of our focus in this project is going to shine a light on why people must vote, how to overcome the odds of disenfranchisement, etc. If we keep throwing away this privilege, we may find we’ve lost it by 2024.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill, it is very hard. Sometimes, you want to leave scorched earth.* As a consultant for years, I had to find ways to diplomatically push back on clients. Here are a few lines to remember and use:

        – That is interesting, but help me understand….
        – I hear what you are saying, but I must confess I do not totally agree with that
        – You know, I would be remiss if I did not share my concern…

        If you have a more strident Trump person, I like to find some common ground, with comments like this:
        – You know I wish he would not tweet so much…
        – You know, I find his biggest enemy is not the press or the Democrats. I think it is the person staring back from the mirror when he shaves
        – You know I hate it when he is less than truthful, because it makes me question more things he says
        – You know I hate that our reputation around the world has declined

        Please do not take the above as a lecture. This diplomatic push back is hard. But, your voice is to informed not to b be heard, especially by those who need to hear it. Keith

        * I had a good friend who went on and on about Ann Coulter as a voice of reason. After five minutes of this, I just said “I am sorry, but I do not hold her opinion in as high a regard as you do.” She did not like that at all and pushed back. I finally had to say, “I hear what you are saying, I just don’t agree with it.” This last line is a big put down, as too many feel people that disagree with them just don’t get it.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I did not take your comment as a lecture at all, but merely as some suggestions for a better way to communicate! As I have often said, I look up to you as the gold standard, and you always find better ways to get your point across than I, for I tend largely to rant when I am angered (and I am angered much of the time these days!) There is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes it is time to let loose and rant, but … it is a conversation-ender, not a starter. Your ways are conversation starters. I shall try, in the coming months, to follow your lead. Thanks Keith … I truly appreciate your input and ideas.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks Keith for sharing your civil discourse on communicating effectively with ppl having opposing viewpoints. As your experience shows, when the opposing party is not open to reasonable, rational discussion then there is no point in continue further. Anger and stubbornness ensues, which benefits no one.
          BTW, I don’t feel ur last line is a big put down in ending a discussion, ur simply setting the parameters and boundaries of the discussion. From my own personal experience, the first one to raise their voice loses! It just shows me you are not in control of yourself, forget about trying to control the other person. This lesson I learned very well in debate class, preparation, delivery and control.
          I usually end a fruitless discussion in similiar fashion: “I have listened intently and respect your argument, however we have a fundamental difference of opinion. Opinions are subjective so there’s no absolute right or wrong. I hear you, and hope you heard me, let’s just agree to disagree. I’m open to changing my mind in the future if additional facts come to light, and I hope you will do the same. Perhaps we could then continue our conversation in a more productive manner.” Thank you!

          Liked by 3 people

  10. Another good, succinct piece about where to go to get over this nightmare. I was reading a piece from Apple news about the Conservative group Freedom Works https://apple.news/ABOW-A4y5Rx2n3vEfvp15bA . One woman who had travelled with the group and had come 400 miles with the group to pressure a few moderate Republican and Democratic Senators to end the trial quickly by rejecting testimony. What annoyed me with this woman who was willing to travel so far to save her beloved leader is that she said she wasn’t all that familiar with the Ukraine saga that let to impeachment. So really she’s just a fool following the party line.
    Very soon now I expect to hear the not guilty on both counts, which makes me regret again there were only two counts. These buffoons have written the rules and yet have ignored them and had senators walking in and out, missing vital information they’ll expect to render an honest (ha ha) verdict on.It strikes me that the GOPare not a political party anymore but the tail that’s being wagged by the wealthy conglomerates and or billionaires without conscience. In the forthcoming elections Trump will lose and it’s my hope the Senate will be Democratic as well as the house. At that point the new Government can start to consider other people’s POV and see things from another perspective. But we must remember it’s a two way street and the other side must be willing. First the damage to women’s rights must be amended and religion must be kicked out of politics again.
    ps Sorry it’s so long.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hello David. I read the same article. I am amazed at the passion and drive that causes these people who are ill informed to fight the hardest for what they do not understand. They are not interested in the facts nor the truth, but only in the feelings of membership they get for belonging to a powerful group. They will do what they can to get their way, so we must be as passionate in getting the truth out and to get support for doing the right thing, hearing witnesses and getting the documents. I have tried twice to call my Senators, and couldn’t get through either time. I think they are simply letting all calls go to voicemail. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re quite right, Scottie … they don’t care about facts or truth, so long as Trump’s priorities at least claim to align with their own, ie : religious “freedom”, banning abortion (desecrating women’s rights), discriminating against — Muslims, Latinos, non-Christians, LGBT, etc. They are one-track voters, one-track people. Sigh. Hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, David!

      You have just highlighted one of the biggest obstacles we are facing in this nation right now: ignorance. Far too many people don’t understand the issues, the ramifications, and are perfectly content not to bother to try to enlighten themselves, but rather choose to buy into whatever line of b.s. Trump & Fox News use to rationalize Trump’s behaviour.

      You are quite right … you will hear “not guilty” on both counts … of that there is little doubt. I think at this point the most important goal of the impeachment trial is to make public as much information as possible, to throw it in the face of trumpeters so that it becomes harder and harder to defend the indefensible. The best we can hope for is that enough people will at least hear the evidence, stop & think for once in their lives, and it will ultimately swing some voters in November. We’ve got a long, uphill climb over the next 10 months … our work will, hopefully, bear fruit.

      NEVER apologize for the length of your comment, David! I appreciate your perspective, your views. Thank you!


      Liked by 3 people

  11. Right now voting is the main focus, for if he is re elected, all of this is a moot point.
    I have no other answer for beyond that…the winds of change sometimes takes generations or a true threat to our very existence.
    It took Germany only, what, 40 years or so to recover and look at them now. Hopefully time is on our side.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Germany still suffers the scars of Hitler, and might always. The U.S. will never, at least not in the next 100 years, regain their place of respect in the world order. I said in 2016 that if Trump only remained in office a year or less, the damage he would inflict would be reversible, but that if he served his entire 4-year term, it would leave everlasting scars. And now, if he gets a second term (shudder), this nation will become a pariah among all nations on the globe, for many reasons, not the least of which is the willful destruction of the environment.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Reblogged this on On The Fence Voters and commented:
    My Good Friend Jill continues our project with her “Where do we go from here?” post. We’ve identified the history of the rancor between our two parties. Now it’s Jill’s turn with her wonderful take on what it’s going to take on moving forward in our country. Trump needs to be voted out, overwhelmingly in November. To that, there is no doubt. But he’s not the problem, believe it or not. It goes much deeper. He is, in fact, the symptom of an overall division and corruption of our politics that if left to it’s own, will morph into a situation where there may be a point of no return.
    I will let Jill, as only she can, tell us what we need to do. Thank you Jill!

    Liked by 5 people

  13. People need to be willing to listen to each other AND be patient with that listening, taking the time to consider other people’s points of view and maybe allow yourself to agree, or if not agree, be ok with another POV (as long as it’s not hurting others…). I find that is a hard place for people to come to today. But it’s key – you need to let yourself listen and see things from another person’s perspective AND it has to work both ways to effect meaningful change. A long road, but not impossible, just very, very long…

    Liked by 5 people

    • Exactly!!! I am as guilty as any of jumping in with a rebuttal before I’ve even heard the person out. If we are to heal the great divide, to find common ground, we are going to have to do better than this! And yeah … it’s going to be a long, and at times painful, road … but the alternative is unacceptable. Sigh.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I totally agree with you about keeping an open mind and really listen to the other person’s point of view, especially when you don’t agree. I ask myself the hard question: is my bias or political/ societal conditioning preventing me from seeing the other’s point. Is the other person providing facts or personal opinion? Why is he so passionate/ insistent about his position, should I take the time to research his argument further? Do I really believe in my position, or am I simply repeating talking points from my peers or TV? Debate could be a growth process for both parties, I feel this is a good opportunity to come together and set aside differences, even if we disagree. Also starting a dialog is much better than lecturing a diatribe from some moral high ground. That is very off putting and I wouldn’t want someone doing that to me.
      So you are right, effective conversation must be give and take. We must create mutual respect and not take it for granted.


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