May 30, 2024

The 2016 Election: An Opportunity for Change

envolve-trump-wins-2016-presidential-election“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate; it oppresses.” —Carl Jung

Some of us have been witness to some disappointing events this fall. The not-so-hapless Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years (disappointing to non-fans). A reality TV star with billions rushed headlong through the Clinton machine to win an election no one though he could just days before the polls closed (disappointing for many). And now I’m hearing nonacceptance. “The Cubs are not my world champions.” “Donald Trump is not my president.” But by condemning this year’s election process and its results (or the Cubs and their fans), I believe the protestors oppress not only the winners, but themselves as well.

I read an article recently suggesting that the United States is more deeply divided ideologically than racially. The author, an African-American conservative Christian, experienced more discrimination in his field (academia) because of his political and Christian beliefs than because of the color of his skin.

It seems that you are easier to trust if you think like me than if you look like me. Look at the post-election protests in cities across the country. Look at the mixed crowds—racially and ethnically diverse individuals bonded by their focus on the ideologically insulting events of November 8, 2016.

Here’s my opinion. If your Knower/Judger and my Knower/Judger don’t agree on something and we get into a tussle over it without trying to understand one another, one of us will eventually be killed. If we aren’t willing to “give in” so we can listen and learn, we will fight to the death.

I frequently have fun proving this point by getting audiences to choose sides over which way toilet paper is “supposed” to come off the roll. While it seems laughable on the surface, kids in the inner cites are murdered weekly because of the color of their athletic shoes. Why? Because one person’s K/J rules condemn, and thus oppress, the other’s.

So protestors in Oakland, California (and other cities), want to change the leadership in our country. It’s understandable. Republicans wanted to change that leadership four years ago. They just butted heads with Democrats in a “Big Horned Sheep” collision and lost. They were training to do the same in 2016, hoping they had enough strong horns and mass behind them to push back the Clinton machine.

Then “the Donald” (who wanted to change the Republican party) saw them for what they were and appealed to their constituency better than their other warriors. He received the Republican nomination (bestowed with some trepidation). The circus was on.

He accepted the Republican party for what it was. Establishment, right-leaning politicians interested in retaining power in government rather than helping their constituencies thrive. So what did he do? He appealed to the constituencies and did not rely on the party to push him over the top.

While he clearly insulted just about everybody at one point or another during the campaign, his rhetoric resonated with the people who had voted Republican in the past.

And it wasn’t just them. Many Democratic members of the massive, disenfranchised, no-longer-upwardly-mobile middle class heard him too. Enough to get the job done.

So I have an idea for the demonstrators across the country. You have the right to protest anything you want. The First Amendment gives you that right. Use it wisely and make your point.

But if you really want to accomplish something positive, accept the situation and learn to communicate with that colleague of yours who voted differently than you. Perhaps you’ll discover that he or she isn’t a bigot or a racist. There were/are many other ideological reasons one might have voted for Trump.

And to flip the coin (there are no innocents here), a friend who voted for Hillary may not be a mad feminist. There are many other reasons why Hillary’s faithful selected her.

We all had our reasons for voting the way we did…or did not. Let’s accept that we differ and keep the conversation going.

To condemn (from our K/J) is simply to oppress.



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