Home thoughts some thoughts on election day

some thoughts on election day

by Shawni

It’s a big day today.

And I’m not here to talk about one party or the other.

I’m here to remind us all that we are neighbors and friends before we are political parties. And we have good hearts that will still go on after the results of what has been pulling us apart for so long are unfurled.

Our family has a friend from Bulgaria who is an exceptional artist and photographer. Her name is Eva Koleva Timothy and parents often refer to her as our “adopted” sister because they love her so. She came to live with my family after my sister met her when she was serving a mission in Bulgaria almost thirty years ago. Saren and I were already off to college so we didn’t get to live with her, but my parents had the opportunity to sponsor her as she was getting her much dreamed for and sought after college degree. She was so full of life and gratitude and love that rubbed off on everyone she met.

I loved listening to the story she put on Instagram on the 4th of July this past summer because although I knew many things about her growing-up story, I never knew the depth and details of some of the things she talks about. She fought her heart out to come to America, for freedom. For opportunities. And to have the things so many of us take for granted. And she tells why in the little video she posted:

(HERE)

(Lots more details about Eva and her background in an article over HERE.)

Because of the freedoms she found here, she put herself to work and has become a renowned artist/photographer. Her photography has been displayed in galleries all over the world. Her latest project is called “The Lord is My Light” and she has figured out how to depict the life of Christ in a very unique and beautiful way.

Ok, so the reason I bring all this up on election day? Well, I think with all that has been going on lately: the division, the anger, the deep-rooted sorrow of our imperfect history, the readily accessible ways to post our frustrations and lash out at those who are different from us, those we can’t seem to see eye-to-eye with, we have forgotten.

Forgotten that we live in a land of opportunity.

Forgotten that people have given their lives to give us those freedoms. Is that always perfect? Is our history perfect? Of course not! We always have had things to work on and always will.

But somehow mixed up in the muddy waters of 2020 it seems many of us have forgotten that love is always the answer.

Forgotten that everyone has their own story.

Forgotten that we live in a land filled with good people, and good hearts…hundreds of thousands of whom we never hear from in social media or on the news. Good people who are looking to quietly go about strengthening the feeble knees, seeking to understand their “enemies,” “doing good” to those they can’t seem to see eye to eye with.

Because we can. That is what our founding fathers, as mixed up and “messy” as that whole process was, were trying to do.

And because THAT is what will bring us true happiness.

As we cut through the anger and frustration that will surely greet us in many avenues today, may we see past the negative things surrounding us and find someone to compliment.

Write a note of gratitude to someone we may not understand.

Lift up someone who is different from us.

Give someone the benefit of the doubt.

Because, my friends, THAT is where true happiness lies.

I love this idea another friend posted on Instagram a couple days ago:

I love that she says, “come Wednesday, we’re going to need a whole lot of Jesus to bring peace and harmony back into our nation.”

“No president or human can do this alone.”

“It’s up to us to come together and vote for Jesus!”

Lots of different thoughts today, but may we remember that what is most important will never come from lashing out and closing out those who are different from us. There is no way we can fully understand everyone around us coming from so many different places. But we can try.

One person at a time.

(art at the top by Caitlin Connolley)

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206 comments

K November 3, 2020 - 10:43 am

Hi Shawni! I have been reading your blog for years (since your China stint) and I genuinely enjoy the peeks into your life, and you’ve taught me a LOT about parenting, that’s for sure! I did want to share a few thoughts about the idea of freedom, since you wrote about that today. I know you’ve always made it a goal to listen and learn, which I really deeply appreciate. But, the “freedom” that white people celebrated during the time of the Founding Fathers didn’t apply to enslaved Black Americans — they did not have freedom at that time (Frederick Douglass had a whole speech about it, if you’re not familiar) — and what does “freedom” mean today for the Black community, when Black children have to wonder if their parents and relatives will return home after work alive? Where Black Trans folx are murdered at a massive rate and it barely makes the news? The “freedom” you are writing about is simply not something everyone experiences. I know you are aware of the power of your platform and are committed to using it for good, for which I thank you. A great video I’d recommend for watching that I’ve learned so much from around this idea of freedom:

Daveed Diggs [who is in Hamilton!] asks “What to My People Is the Fourth of July?” Brief video:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WuCeUyItpzE

Take good care today & be safe! XO

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Kristine November 3, 2020 - 1:38 pm

Every police officer’s spouse and child wonders if their spouse or parent will come home after work alive. Really they are always on the clock, or were when I was a kid. If they happened to be at a store or bank that was being robbed they had their duty. So anytime their parent or spouse could be taken. And a fair number of officers and police chiefs over the last 30 years are not white if you had not noticed. If you are not pumped up full of illegal drugs or holding a weapon or attempting to drive into the officer you will survive just fine.

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Nish November 3, 2020 - 3:05 pm

Being a police officer is a dangerous job, and I’m really grateful for the all the people who put their hand up to do dangerous jobs of all sorts. But it is a choice and they know it’s dangerous going in.

Black folks don’t have that choice. The statistics show that it’s just more dangerous to be born black. And that breaks my heard and makes me ask what I can do to change that fact. I hope you’ll think about that too Kristine.

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Kristine November 3, 2020 - 5:34 pm

I think you need to change the channel. It’s dangerous to be born black? Are you serious? Astronauts, law enforcement, elected to office, teachers, preachers, doctors, surgeons, cabinet members, military, military officers, journalist, athletes, CEO’s, celebrities the list goes on and on. What exactly is the concern that a bunch of white people think they need to do to fix a situation where frankly no barrier to success exits in reality? There is no voting, housing, education, employment prevention for over 50 years. I think this “what can I do “ is old fashioned white savior mentality, it did not go well in the past and it’s not going to go well now and to be frank is just wrong. I know people want to feel enlightened but it’s not enlightenment. African American’s who go to the White House to tell the current president how they want things to be for African American’s in America are attacked for meeting with the man. Does that make sense? Or is Joe Biden, the while elderly male, the savior having pondered on it for 47 years? He didn’t even bother to run last time cause it was rigged for Clinton. What a party! I hope Nixon has been forgiven. I feel especially bad for expats. They don’t get the benefit of another channel. Have you looked at #walk away? Clinton and Biden attack the character of those who do not vote for them. Irredeemable, deplorable. Including questioning their blackness. What is that?

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Rebecca November 5, 2020 - 6:14 pm

What are you even talking about? You make zero sense.

Jessica November 14, 2020 - 7:36 pm

This is disturbing. White Fragility on display. And I’m white saying that. Please go listen to President Oaks’ devotional from this fall at BYU please

Shawni November 3, 2020 - 3:22 pm

Thank you for that perspective, K, I am actively researching and trying to learn my part in the racism tension (planning to come back to write more about that soon). This post is about trying to give one another the benefit of the doubt even if we may be voting differently on election day, which you’re right, spills into racism as well. Oh there is so much to talk about! And so much to learn from one another! Today my friend sent me a link to another friend’s blog post, who I believe explains my thoughts better than I do. In it she quotes Richard Rohr’s meditation from yesterday to make it more clear: “We live in a time of great hostility, and the temptation from which we must defend ourselves is to pull back from others, deny our shadow, and retreat into our own defended camps or isolated positions…rather than accusing others of sin on the Left or the Right, Jesus instead “became sin” (Corinthians 5:21). He stood in solidarity with the problem itself, and his compassion and solidarity were themselves the healing” I just think that is so beautifully said. We cannot singlehandedly solve all the world problems no matter how much we try, but we CAN stand outside our “camps” and “be where the pain is” as we try to understand one another better. I think that is what God asks of us. And it is much easier said than done. There are many wonderful, thoughtful, kind people voting on both sides today, and I think it’s so interesting to try to get deep into why, trying to understand each other instead of just trying to hold our ground insisting we are right. This friend says it so much better than I do so click here to read her whole post: http://www.wildnprecious.com/2020/11/02/beyond-our-camps/

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Ciara November 3, 2020 - 11:00 am

Thank you for sharing this today, Shawni! My heart has been heavy, not because I’m afraid of who will win, but because I’m nervous about the reactions of the party that loses. As someone who is choosing to vote for the candidate that is not in the party I’m registered to vote for, I see first hand the different reasons why people vote for either party. No one wants to ruin our country, we’re all wanting to make it better based on our perspectives.

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Shawni November 3, 2020 - 3:23 pm

I so agree, Ciara!

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Lisa November 3, 2020 - 4:45 pm

When the issues are so crucial, there will be division. We should not be afraid of that. We should not compromise our fundamental values for the sake of getting along. Does that mean that I can’t work with or talk to people who have voted differently then me? Of course not. But we should remember our privilege. My life will not fundamentally change regardless of who win but there are people’s who will. I respect your opinion but frankly I am tired of the plea of “can’t we all just get along.” There are times where we are called to stand up for what we believe in regardless of the consequences. We should not shy away from uncomfortable conversations.

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Shawni November 3, 2020 - 5:20 pm

I agree, Lisa. The idea definitely isn’t to agree, it’s more to dig deep to try to figure out where people are coming from. That takes lots of uncomfortable conversations for sure.

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Lisa November 3, 2020 - 6:00 pm

Unfortunately, I see people very comfortable with racism. It is those of us in comfortable positions that need to take on some discomfort even if it may lead to division.

Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:09 pm

Yes we need to take on some discomfort to figure it all out but what does that discomfort look like to you? I don’t think we can be the judge of the uncomfortable things others are doing to learn and grow through this difficult time. Each person’s learning curve is going to look different depending on where they are coming from.

Véronique November 4, 2020 - 7:55 am

Dear Lisa, I agree with what you have written with one exception: if one of the guys wins, the (sometimes) irreparable damage done to environment will affect everyone. You but also me, a rather terrified european and every other person on this planet.

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Lynne November 4, 2020 - 9:38 am

One thing about the United States is that it is NOT a racist country, nor do I see the leaders being racist in spite of them being portrayed by that in the media. The race discourse that has been going on the past year has, in my opinion, moved race conversations back 30 years. There may be some racist individuals but as a country we are not a racist country. In fact, at my job I’m now having to hand hold black business owners when working with them. Is that not the definition of racism? What’s offensive to me & should be to them is the message that sends is that they are not as competent as their peers & need to be ‘helped’. In my experience, color of your skin doesn’t determine competence. But I’m constantly told I’m racist because I treat my neighbors as neighbors, not black neighbors. or coworkers as coworkers, not black coworkers. What’s fascinating is that we lump black people into this group ‘black people’ when really aren’t they all unique individuals with unique experiences & by lumping them all together that takes away their individuality?

Kimberly November 3, 2020 - 12:19 pm

Hi, Shawni! A compliment to somebody who’s different from me is just a hollow gesture if I’m going to vote for a candidate that wants to disenfranchise them based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or the ability to pay for healthcare. I love people. I want them to be safe and warm and healthy, and that’s how I’m voting. Be safe!

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Kristine November 3, 2020 - 1:43 pm

Where was the executive order that said the person on Medicaid, gay person, or person of color can not vote? So confused? What channel or social media outlet told you this? Which candidate declared places of worship essential?

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PS November 3, 2020 - 5:01 pm

Disenfranchise can also mean to deprive someone of any legal right, not just voting. Shawni’s call is to dig a little deeper and be more charitable and honest (and less disingenuous) in our interpretations of others remarks. We need to see each other’s souls more clearly.
May God Bless you Kristine.

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Shawni November 3, 2020 - 3:26 pm

Hi Kimberly! Just to clarify, I’m not talking about giving a hollow compliment to someone different from who we are, or not being sincere. I’m talking about delving deeper below the surface and finding something that we can learn from someone who is different from us. I believe we can learn something from everyone, no matter how different we are.

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Shane November 12, 2020 - 6:45 pm

I don’t think we can learn anything from white supremacists.

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Noon November 4, 2020 - 10:18 am

Thank you Kimberly. Perfectly stated. So easy to “both sides” the parties here when it is not your life, liberty, health and happiness at stake. SMH

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:16 pm

But don’t you think “both sides” want life, liberty, health and happiness? Do you think anyone is out to ruin that for themselves or their families? We’re all just looking at this from such vastly different angles. I have found it so fascinating how people can spin either side to be the BEST, and the most “no-brainer” way to look at the world, and the other side to be the worst and something that will ruin our country. There are strong proponents on both sides. I’m still trying to figure out the whys behind the way many of those around me have voted. We may think very differently, but that doesn’t mean I need to shun them and refrain from calling them friends. It just gives me a lot of food for thought!

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:16 pm

…and lots to discuss with them.

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Alycia November 4, 2020 - 6:36 pm

One side wants life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people in this country, and one side does not. One candidate has said he wants to unite America, that this isn’t a red or blue issue, it’s an American issue. The other candidate contains to promote division and violence. How anyone can choose to be on the side that is out to destroy lives and families, or even make excuses for them, is beyond me. The end of our pledge of allegiance states “and justice for ALL”. When will we actually have that?

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Lillian November 5, 2020 - 4:21 pm

This sums it up. The political parties are so divided because there’s a difference between looking out for your OWN families in a place of privilege, and the idea of helping EVERY family succeed in this country, despite their financial circumstances, color of their skin, or whatever life may throw at them.

The current situation doesn’t allow us to come together because it’s a fundamental moral argument. I can’t call anyone a friend who would vote for someone that assaults women, calls wounded veterans losers, and continuously divides this country in an effort to get ahead. Especially from a Christian perspective, it astounds me that anyone can relate Christian values to the incumbent in this election.

Rebecca November 5, 2020 - 6:17 pm

Amen, Alycia.

Tebecca November 5, 2020 - 6:19 pm

…and amen, Lillian!

Teresa November 5, 2020 - 3:50 am

I think you said it just right: wanting the best for themselves or their families. What separates the two political positions in my opinion is one side focusing on their own (and their families’) well-being and the other side focusing on the “biggest common denominator” for all of society. As someone watching from Europe I have my very own view of the situation which also lies in a very different history, world view and socialization. But I deeply hope that however it’s going to turn out, your country finds ist way back to some semblance of unity.

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Christina November 5, 2020 - 7:42 am

Amen to this! I am not transgender, or Black, or an immigrant, or someone with a pre-existing medical condition, but I want what’s best for all of those people, not just myself!

Today, the rest of the world has to watch as Trump and his supporters attempt to destroy democracy in the most powerful country in the world. This affects all of us in so many ways and we can do NOTHING about it. To see people voting the way they are, protesting ballot counting (?!), and subverting centuries-old norms of politics and decency is so painful. The rest of the world sees Trump supporters for who they are, no matter how they try to portray themselves. They are voting for their own (often only perceived) self-interest, and nothing more.

Mparker November 3, 2020 - 2:02 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Some of the best words I’ve read today. I’m grateful that I get to associate with a large number of incredible, educated, loving people…who are voting on both sides…who have expressed so well to me in personal conversations why they are voting the way they are. It helps me remember that there are very good reasons and desires behind why many people vote…even if they are choosing to vote for someone I dislike greatly. Many have well thought out concerns and hopes that the media never covers for either candidate. Loving our neighbors, those like us and those who are very different, really is such a great way to get back to a place of love.

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Shawni November 3, 2020 - 3:28 pm

Amen, Mparker. I think those personal conversations delving deeper really make such a difference, and also give us an opportunity to let go of preconceived notions that make us so quick to put up walls. I love what this friend says in her post (that I mentioned in the comment above): ““You are a good person. I know you will make a good choice, even if it is different from mine.”
xoxo

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Lisa November 3, 2020 - 6:04 pm

But what if you know the choice is not good or one you cannot respect? One that violates your fundamental beliefs? I am sorry Shawni but it is not always possible to give people positive strokes.

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:33 pm

I respectfully disagree, Lisa. Because I think there are people on both sides of the issues that can say the exact same thing you just said. I could take all kinds of screen shots from social media saying the exact same thing from both sides. That’s what is so crazy about this whole election. There are people who really, genuinely believe that their side is the “only” right way, even when I myself may think the exact opposite, yes they may even be violating my fundamental beliefs. Does trying to figure out what makes them tick mean I have to agree with their opinions? Does that mean I shouldn’t fight for what I personally believe or my own convictions? Of course not. All I’m saying here is that there are good, wonderful, smart, well-educated people on both sides of the fence. And that is kind of fascinating to me.

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lisa tompkins November 4, 2020 - 9:45 pm

I am not talking about issues like whether taxes should be raised or whether there should be farm subsidies. I am talking about whether it is acceptable for the President of the United Staes to call the vice Presidential candidate, a woman of color, an “animal”. I could go on and on with examples. There are some values that are so fundamental that I don’t think there are two legitimate sides. This may be an extreme example but sometimes they are illustrative…do you think a slave owner could be a “good and wonderful” person? would you want to say let’s just agree to disagree or I am sure you have your reasons for your beliefs? Of course not. I believe there are issues that rise to that level. we can’t always “make nice” with everyone. If someone does not believe in gay marriage, that is their right but I am not going to spend time trying to see their point of view or going out of the way to assure them I think they are a good person despite their view. I don’t believe every choice is a good choice. I can accept that people may feel that way about some of my choices. I have relatives and colleagues that disagree with me. We don’t spend our time arguing, I am not in their face, nor them in mine but I am not going to spend time trying to figure out their point of view and trying to see their side. Not every issue has two legitimate sides. I think it is more important we spend our time listening and learning about the experiences of point of view of members of marginalized groups and learning to be better allies.

Kimberly November 3, 2020 - 3:25 pm

Beautifully written! I love your thoughts and the way you express them! Thank you so much for shelling out beauty and love into our world.

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Shawni November 3, 2020 - 3:29 pm

Thank you Kimberly!
xoxo

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Rachel Winter November 3, 2020 - 3:46 pm

This was great thank you

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Molly November 3, 2020 - 4:47 pm

Thanks for sharing this!

I think I’m just really, really struggling to see people I know who are so good and loving and kind and purport themselves to be Christians vote for someone who does not believe scientists, speaks with vitriol and hatred at every turn and who’s main message for years was “Build the Wall!”

These issues are complex and neither candidate, nor party, is perfect. I’m just really struggling with how people who are base so much of their lives in love choose Donald Trump. This is not really about party – so many Republicans I know are not voting for Trump (and a lot of Democrats I know are only begrudgingly voting for Biden). This comment was not meant to be inflammatory, I’m just really, really curious why some deeply loving people are voting for Trump – if anyone has answers, I would love to hear them!

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Shawni November 3, 2020 - 5:33 pm

I’ve been on a quest to try to figure out the same thing, Molly! As well as some things about Biden. I’ve been trying to dig deep and figure out where people are coming from and trying to form my own thoughts amidst so many complex issues and imperfect candidates. This is a difficult election for sure. I just hope we can remember that even if we vote differently from one another, we are still friends and neighbors before we are opposing parties.

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Casey November 5, 2020 - 6:26 pm

Shawni, friendships have a foundation – one that looks different in every relationship. If someone supports a person who consistently and knowingly misleads an entire nature, verbally encourages far-right white supremacists, tells other men to grab women by a not-to-be-named-here body part, among so, so many other issues, that speaks to that person’s character. You are a woman, with daughters – he is talking about you, about them. I agree completely that we don’t have to agree on everything – that is one of the things that makes life interesting – but there are limits, and words and actions affect relationships.

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Jen November 10, 2020 - 5:35 am

Yes, Casey! We are friends and neighbors but I have a very hard time being friendly with someone who would support a president who seeks to separate children from their parents. Who openly mocked a disabled journalist. Who manipulates his voters using their faith as a weapon. If I’m being brutally honest, I would not want my child around people who supported or allowed that kind of behavior or language. Would you? If an adult can see this and not be disgusted, what else will they see and not be bothered by? What else will they excuse?

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Shane November 12, 2020 - 6:46 pm

Oh really, what things about Biden?

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Ciara November 4, 2020 - 5:24 pm

Hi Molly,
So I’m going to take you up on your question. This is just my own personal experience as a 20something in PA. I’m a registered Dem but I think that will be changing soon (voted for Trump). Over the course of 2020, I’ve seen too much hypocrisy from the “left”. I can’t handle the demanding of love and acceptance for everyone while simultaneously labeling anyone with an opposite viewpoint as something slanderous and false. That was the starting point for me. I also struggled with the “White Savior Complex” that came along with being “woke”. I’m wondering if minorities felt that too, because exit polls from yesterday show that Trump’s support from racial minority groups increased in every minority group. His support from black women DOUBLED since 2016.

Lastly, what solidified my vote quite honestly was Kamala’s video discussing equity vs. equality and how we can only achieve equality when everyone has the same outcome. In order to achieve that, that requires suppression of those who achieve and disregards talent, work ethic, etc. while I certainly believe there are people that are disadvantaged in our society, I don’t think it’s possible to reasonably give every citizen the same exact outcome in life.

Thanks for being willing to ask others’ viewpoints! I feel a lot of people are in shock today because they can’t fathom how such a large group of people can think so differently than they do.

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:35 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this, Ciara! So interesting to hear where people are coming from.

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Molly November 4, 2020 - 8:14 pm

Ciara – thank you for answering!

I definitely disagree with you on your idea that equity requires suppression, but maybe my view is of lifting others up to get equity, not pushing people down. I also love the quote – “when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression”. The White Savior Complex is definitely real – I cannot argue with that! People of color are not a monolith and it serves no one to treat non-white people that way. I do think that part of what gets tough with “wokeness” is that there’s a line between different viewpoints on policy and viewpoints that prohibit people’s rights.

Interestingly enough, the “Left” is not happy with Biden or Harris as the nominees – both are much closer to the center of the party, whatever that really means.

Anyway, I really appreciate you taking the time to write all of that out and respond to me! I too find it so interesting to hear where people are coming from. If you’re willing to answer one more question – I’m curious if Trump’s rhetoric is offputting to you or not? I’ve never voted for a Republican, but I deeply respect George Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney – I just don’t agree with their policies. But Trump just seems SOOO different from any other president we’ve ever had, and not in the best way?? Anyway – thanks again for taking the time to respond!!

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Ciara November 4, 2020 - 10:56 pm

Molly- I like that quote a lot! And to clarify, I definitely agree with lifting people up. I just meant that you can’t guarantee the same exact outcome for everyone because other privileges come into play (such as being pretty, smart, athletic, artistic, hardworking, able bodied, etc). Siblings of the same gender with the same upbringing can end up in completely different places in life due to skills, experiences, and choices.
Regarding his rhetoric, I’ll admit I’m not a fan. I have learned though that while he has very aggressive statements, it’s very different hearing just the aggressive statement by itself in a clip on the news vs. hearing an entire speech with that same aggressive one liner thrown in there. That being said, I’m def not on board with everything he says.

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Lisa November 5, 2020 - 5:46 am

Between 6 and 8 percent of Black women voted for Trump. They, as a voting group, do not support him. Equity means dealing fairly and equally and it is what as a society we should strive for. It does not mean suppressing others to make it happen. When a group historically has not been treated equitably , there needs to be change. Arguments like pretty people may always be favored or if you are the first born you may have advantages does not address the real issue. All privilege will never be erased but if a class of people based on their religion, race, or gender do not have access to the same opportunities or are not being paid the same for performing the same job, then they are not being treated equitably. If only the beautiful people in your office got promotions, well then the others would not be treated equitably but one off examples of that happening are not the same of whole groups of people based on race or gender or other identifying factors being treated differently. The starting line in life will never be exactly the same for everyone but we should strive to get there. Treating people equitably does not suppress others.

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Lex November 5, 2020 - 6:33 pm

Unfortunately, I think you missed the point, Ciara. I find it shocking that any woman would vote for Trump if for no other reason than he has said about women – it’s not about having issues with people seeing things differently. It’s about this person and the people who agree with his infantile hate-mongering. I am not particularly a fan of Biden, but Trump is destroying our country. As a patriot, I can’t support that.

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margaret Sargent November 3, 2020 - 5:09 pm

Thanks for sharing this! I hope we can all come together as Americans after this election and work together for peace and harmony — and that there will be “”no manner of ‘ites’ among us!”

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Maureen November 3, 2020 - 6:32 pm

Shawni,

I recently came across this article and it really resonated with me. I’m not sure if you saw it, but thought I’d share it with you: https://www.freep.com/story/sports/columnists/mitch-albom/2020/11/01/mitch-albom-2020-presidential-election/6102179002/

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Ashley November 4, 2020 - 5:12 pm

Thank you for sharing that article. It’s a good one. I did not vote for Trump but I personally feel that our country works the best with a give and take between both parties—individual freedom and personal responsibility with a recognition of the uneven playing field in our country, capitalism with regulation to reign it in and protect the environment, states having the power to govern themselves with federal mandates when necessary, a benign government with safety nets for those who need them. It saddens me that so many people cannot respect or understand those who would vote differently than them or who frame this election as good vs. evil. I appreciate your thoughtful post, Shawni, and your desire to learn from other viewpoints.

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:47 pm

Maureen, thank you for sharing that article, so many great points there! And thank you for your thoughts Ashley, I so agree with what you said, thank you for sharing.
xoxo

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Jen November 3, 2020 - 6:45 pm

Thank you. I can accept that someone might start out the same faith as me, probably similar values, and end up voting the opposite as me. I hope others can give me the same benefit of the doubt instead of assuming I’m evil. I think people listen to and trust different media voices, perhaps different life experiences, and it leads us to a different vote. I hope that deep down people are kind and whole-hearted, are doing the best they can, and we can unite our country with or without good leadership at the top. Though it certainly would help if the tone at the top wasn’t fear and division. We should start being more critical of fear-mongering in the media we consume.

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:48 pm

Amen Jen!

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Lex November 5, 2020 - 6:35 pm

Leadership is critical, Jen. That’s why we are in the midst of the storm we are. The President needs to set an example, and if you have one who is unqualified and unequipped to do so, change is necessary.

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Jen November 5, 2020 - 9:34 pm

I know, Lol, I voted for Biden!! To imply that I would vote for Trump is the worst insult I have ever received. I voted democrat all down the ticket. But wait, there’s more: I donated $$ to democratic campaigns, the NAACP, and a monthly contribution to common cause. I have a Biden sign in my yard. And I wrote the the mayor, city council, sheriff, county commissioner in support of BLM in my Town. I donated money to the library for joyful books about children of color. I sign change.org petitions every week, sometimes daily about Social justice change. You’re making an assumption that just because I want to built bridges and assume the best in my republican neighbors, that I’m a Trump voter. I think people are making the same assumption about Shawni.

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Jenny Hatch November 3, 2020 - 7:03 pm

Thanks for being brave enough to write something political. I am proud of you and all of the mom bloggers who care about these issues.

I voted for President Trump today. He earned my vote with his passion for freedom and religious liberty.

I hope and pray there is no violence or loss of life as the votes are counted.

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Ann-Kathrin November 4, 2020 - 12:31 am

Let me just be the arrogant European and shake my head in disbelief.

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KerstinEK November 4, 2020 - 1:40 am

Another European here: Jenny Hatch, I respect that these issues are very important to you and that you think Trump represents them the best. What I don’t understand is, how you can overlook so many issues that are probably important to both of us (like taking children away from their parents to scare off immigrants, claiming the victory while not all votes have been counted, tear gasing peaceful protesters to get a nice picture in front of a church he doesn’t even go to, etc.).
Can you (or any other person who voted for Trump) explain this dilemma?

I don’t mean to attack you and I wish you a good day!

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G E F November 4, 2020 - 6:45 am

Another European agreeing. I am agog at the current situation.

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Véronique November 4, 2020 - 8:02 am

Exactly. When I think of the children I feel utterly depressed and very angry.

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Jenny Hatch November 4, 2020 - 1:57 pm

President Trump rightly understands that some of the children being brought into the country were being trafficked to be sold in the USA.

When told they would have to take a DNA test to prove parenthood some of those traffickers admitted to their crimes. There were some who understood that their asylum case would be fast tracked if they presented as a family unit.

Did you ever hear about the many pregnant women kidnapped and taken along to the border to boost mens chances of getting into the US?

The media does not report on these realities.

I love President Trump and I respect him for his clarity about human trafficking. The first day in office he announced that his administration was going to get rid of it. And they have been systematically working at it ever since.

The Clintons and Bidens both made money from child trafficking. This is all about to come out now. Google Hunter Bidens laptop and Anthony Weiners laptop.

Thanks for being concerned about children. I am too.
Jenny

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Alycia November 4, 2020 - 6:43 pm

Jenny, none of this is true. You are spreading false information that is very dangerous and can get people killed. I hope you will re-think what you wrote because it is actually scary.
If this is what everyone means by looking at the other side, this is a perfect example why that is so hard to do.

Jen November 4, 2020 - 6:53 pm

Gotcha, so the explanation is a conspiracy theory and fear mongering. Makes perfect sense. Smh

KerstinEK November 5, 2020 - 5:06 am

Actually I didn’t mean to discuss individuel topics (just for the sake of it – do you believe that ALL kids were to be trafficked or used for asylum? And that that suddenly stopped after the public outcry (also by the Republican party) was too loud?. However your answer seems to imply that you don’t have to reconcile any of his actions or words. Or do I misunderstand?

Lillian November 5, 2020 - 4:28 pm

The media doesn’t report this because it’s simply not true. A great example of Trump (and QAnon) spreading lies to promote his own agenda and division within two parties.

Michelle November 12, 2020 - 9:19 pm

What are you a QAnon conspiracy person. My word how can you believe what you just posted. I am appalled

Laura November 15, 2020 - 11:47 pm

Alycia you should be ashamed for making such an idiotic statement when you yourself are spreading lies. What proof do you have other than fake news from google and CNN???

Laura November 15, 2020 - 11:53 pm

Thank you Jenny Hatch for standing up to these horrible women that so blatantly lie. They obviously don’t have the maturity to act like grown women with enough intelligence to realize that they are not going to brainwash people with their crazy rumors that they try so hard to spread. They don’t want to believe anything but their own opinions while they trash and belittle yours.

Tracey November 4, 2020 - 8:46 pm

Hi- I really appreciated reading your comment. I could tell it was extremely sincere. From someone who voted for Trump, the one thing that might shed light on why someone would vote for Trump, is to realize that a lot of what we hear in the media is completely false – not just slightly tainted- but outright lies. Please consider clicking on this link from Freedom for Facts to read about why someone might vote for Trump. Every claim is sourced. I can tell you personally that I know many Trump supporters, who are nothing at all like the names we are called. Thanks!
Please check out this Instagram post:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CG09L1oD9sH/?igshid=8vrbxzg3i4sp

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KerstinEK November 5, 2020 - 1:24 pm

Hi Tracey, my comment is sincere, because I really would like to understand.

I have skipped the 140+ fact and while I haven’t checked the factuality, I quickly cofirm that there are good facts by the Trump administration which easily can lead to a vote for Trump. If you tell me that you’re not a gun yielding person who is chanting “lock her/him up” at everyone Trump mentions, I believe you.

What I still don’t get, is the following. Will you look at this?
https://www.instagram.com/p/CHMZeR-p8Rw/
Or this, if you don’t have 21 minutes:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CHJCdF0nxn4/
The dancing like a tortoise on its back, obviously is silly. But don’t you believe the rest? Don’t you have to reconcile major personality traits the leader of the free world should not have, when voting for him?

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Tracey November 6, 2020 - 4:03 pm

Hi! Thank You for responding. I’ll check out the links. I probably won’t be able to respond till Sunday night because the next few days will be super busy for me, and I want to make sure that I give my response the proper attention. I don’t want you to think I’m just ignoring you 🙂

Tracey November 8, 2020 - 8:17 pm

Hi! I have been trying to figure out the best way to answer this, without being too long winded. So, I guess , without commenting on everly accusation, I would say that most things that President is condemned for, fall into 3 categories. 1.Biased reporting . I know that when we hear or read something on the news we should be able to believe it, but sadly that is not the case. For example, one of the links you shared talked about “President Trump Only paid $750 in taxes (referring to both 2016 and 2017) Actually, Trump had been paying taxes throughout the year and paid $1 million dollars in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017 – he decided to roll that against future tax obligations. President Trump is in real estate, some years will be good and others bad. in 2005-2007 he paid more than 70 million in income taxes, other years he had huge losses and didn’t have to pay anything. However, no matter the year, he followed the tax code and didn’t do anything wrong. No one wants to pay taxes, everyone takes the advantages that are allowed in the tax code. Being a smart businessman is one reasons that I like President Trump and why I think he was so successful at improving the financial situation of our country. Another headline in your link was “Trump has bank accounts in China”. Yes, he did. He owns a global business and had bank accounts all over the world. The one in China was open between 2013-2015. It was closed before he ran for President……again, nothing I believe to be a big deal, however the media frames it to make it look like Trump was doing something wrong. I can give countless examples like this, instances where the media tries to twist things to make Trump look bad- and they do it ALL THE TIME. Another example is saying that Trump won’t denounce white supremacy. That is totally untrue, here is a small sampling of proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd0cMmBvqWc However, the media will INTENTIONALLY manipulate and edit video to try and make it look like Trump supports white supremacy. This is one of the main things that has led to all the bitter violence in our cities, and has caused division and bitterness in our country. Another category of accusation is 2. Blaming Trump for things that not his fault. The fires in CA….I lived in CA most my life. Fires come every year, but the ones that occured during his presidency are portrayed as his fault. Same with COVID. I think Trump did a lot of great things to handle this crisis. The case fatality rate in the US is 3.3% which is MUCH lower than 33 other major countries including the UK and Canada. Could he have done some things better? Probably, but that’s not to say another President would have done better. He initiated Operation Warp Speed to see that we find an immunization ASAP, he signed a stimulus package to help struggling families, allocated tens of billions to help frontline responders stay safe. As far as giving rules about masks, and giving mandates like that….I think that falls to the governors of the individual states. What make sense for New York would not make sense for North Dakota. Again, I could give example after example, but I am already writing too much. And the last category would be 3. Actual justified bad behavior. What I mean is, Yes, Trump isn’t perfect. He’s made mistakes, and he HAS done things I don’t approve of on a personal level. Unfortunately, what I have seen is that it is all too common to see bad behavior among powerful people, be it celebrities, athletes, politicians and high powered businessmen. So, while I really wish Trump hadn’t been unfaithful to his wife, or said inappropriate things. I look at Biden as see inappropriate behavior on his part as well and we can look at past Democratic presidents and see just as bad if not worse sexual indiscretions. Anyway, I apologize for the lengthy response. I really tried to be concise. But I just wanted to make one more point 🙂 And that is, for as horrible as the media and democrats have made Trump out ot be, they have been equally horrible to Trump supporters. You said that you would believe me if I said I wasn’t a gun wielding person chanting “lock her up”, which is good, because I am not. I am actually nothing like I am accused of being. For example, since our family knew we wouldn’t be able to go on any vacations this year, my husband and I decided to take our vacation time and money and go to South Carolina where we spent time in a very poor African American community and repaired dilapidated homes. (We contacted a local Baptist pastor to get recommendations). We did this because we read the best way to help the African American population was to give them access to better education and home ownership. Since 2016, when I first heard about the Rohingya refugees I have worked tirelessly to raise money and awareness for these people, because I couldn’t imagine being alive while this was going on , and ignoring the situation. I even started a small non-profit (www.compassiontakesaction.org) to help with the effort. Anyway, the only reason I mention this, is to say that its very hurtful to be called a horrible person, a white supremacist and xenophobic when I feel like my actions clearly show that, that is not the case. I’ve lived in Massachusetts for the last 8 years and I have lots of liberal friends. When they start Trump and Trump supporter bashing, I don’t say anything. I don’t want an argument. However, I think if I told them I voted for Trump they would be totally shocked, because I don’t see/act/talk like what the media depicts as a “typical” Trump supporter. But the thing is, I am not an anomaly, their stereotypes are just totally wrong. If you look through my kids’ social media, all you will see are things to the effect of “If you voted for Trump you are not only a horrible person but we can no longer be friends”. I find it very sad. Are there Trump supporters that act inappropriately – YES.Are there Democrats who act inappropriately – YES. At the end of the day, I am voting for policy. I am voting for President that I believe will help AMericans the most – especially the poor and struggling. I promise, that’s it, I am done typing. Thank you for caring to hear what I have to say.

Jill November 9, 2020 - 9:03 pm

Tracey, I just wanted to thank you for sharing those thoughts. I have never commented much on blogs, and I’m not on social media, so I’m a little surprised how much I’ve felt a desire to join in the conversations on this thread. I have wanted to share my thoughts as a trump voter because I do feel like there are a lot of people really trying to understand who we are compared to who we’ve been painted as, and I appreciate others who are trying to do the same. I’m striving to be humble and learn from others as well.

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Anne November 12, 2020 - 4:38 pm

Tracey, thank you so much for articulating exactly how I feel. We should all be most concerned about the break in social trust. So many Americans today have lost trust in our most basic institutions, including that of having a free and open press. He who controls the information, controls it all. The media is biased and spreads disinformation against their opponents daily. This, not President Trump (he can take some of the blame) has fanned the flames of division.

KerstinEK November 10, 2020 - 2:13 pm

Thank you, Tracey, for taking my question seriously and for responding and explaining! I don’t believe you to be a horrible person (also giving you the benefit of the doubt, like Shawni likes to say, since I don’t really know you ;-)) and I hope to find the time to check out your website.

I want to comment on your third category, because I think there is my answer. To go with your example – I am neither Trump’s wife nor do I expect any president’s behaviour to be morally better than everyone else’s. I don’t care that Trump cheated on his wife (even though it doesn’t make him likeable). What I think to be the bad behaviour which appals me so, so much, is the behaviour that is not average in so many people. Just one example I want to mention is his behaviour after the election – luckily it is not average in democracies. A real democrat (as in someone who believes in democracy/not a member of the party) (and the U.S. president should be one) simply has to accept the outcome of a vote. It doesn’t mean, he can’t demand a recount; but he should have some evidence before demanding. I have chosen this example, because it is the most recent one; there were enough before the election. For a good person to ignore this behaviour, he/she has to relativize it. If you see that Trump has made mistakes, but think it is not uncommon, I think that you relativize his behaviour, because you have been convinced by even legitimate reasons that he would be the better choice.

(I don’t want to belittle you! This is just my conclusion why good people could vote for him. I might be wrong.)

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Sarah November 5, 2020 - 6:41 pm

I thank our European friends for chiming in. This American in New York wants to be very clear that so many – as is abundantly clear from the current election situation –
denounce and reject Donald Trump and everything he represents.

Jenny Hatch, just one example: religious liberty – really? Where were you when he was castigating Muslims, telling white supremacists to stand by, and calling immigrants rapists?

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Hannah November 9, 2020 - 10:15 pm

Sarah – I so agree with you. I just about fell off my chair laughing when I read “religious liberty” from Jenny. I am not religious but support anybody following the religion of their choice and it is STARKLY obvious that Biden is actually a God-fearing and church-going man. Anyone who thinks that Trump remotely concerns himself with anything like that is frankly stark raving bonkers and extremely gullible beyond belief (unless golfing is somehow religious now?) But then after reading her blog and twitter she is a conspiracy theorist so she is lost to the depths anyhow.

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Laura November 15, 2020 - 11:42 pm

I find it interesting that all of you Trump haters love to point out everything you can think of to trash him, yet you ignore the fact that women have accused Biden of sexual misconduct, and Harris said she believed those women!! You ignore all of the videos that show Biden constantly putting his hands on any little girl standing next to him. You ignore the fact that Harris had an affair with a married man for the sole purpose of trying to forward her political career. But hey, you’re right, Trump is soooo bad.

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Michelle Hirdes November 4, 2020 - 4:43 am

Shawni,
I follow your blog and have never responded before. I have loved watching your family grow and your commitment to your family and faith are amazing. Thank you for your words today. I didn’t feel a political pull either way, just heartfelt and kind. We need more words and more people like you in this world.
M

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Shawni November 5, 2020 - 7:28 am

Aw thank you Michelle.
xoxo

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Lisa November 4, 2020 - 6:46 am

Those of us who have experience privilege should probably spend more time learning about the experiences of those who have not than trying to reconcile the position of others like us who are making decisions that go against our value systems.

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:52 pm

Exactly what I’m trying to say…spending more time learning about the experiences of those who come from every different vantage point is a huge part of trying to understand our fellow citizens and where everyone is coming from.

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Eva Timothy November 4, 2020 - 6:55 am

Shawni,

Thank you so much for your words and for your family’s remarkable insight and kindness over the years.

I am so humbled and each day grateful to be here.

I know this land isn’t perfect.

Yet it is remarkable in that no individual at its helm nor any large powerful entity will ever have the power to change, fix and make everything right.

And that is a beautiful thing!

Because it means it’s up to us.

People of every background, ethnicity, race and ideology to learn, to grow, to develop our understanding and to find ways to help make it better working together from whatever place we feel most deeply.

I love your words on empathy. A lot of what makes us better as a nation is truly trying to understand the hearts and lives of those around us.

I love your call to compassion, to deeply care about one another even and especially when we hold different views and ideals. Christ was perhaps the ultimate example of this.

I think it is remarkable that elections take place just weeks before Thanksgiving, a time when we get to reflect as a Nation on what means most to us in life.

Our family has a tradition (which we received from yours) of making and sharing lists of those things that stir our hearts with gratitude each year. In all these years I can’t remember ever including winning an election on that list.

But family, friends, health, freedom, kindness, forgiveness and the light of a new day: These seem to be there every year without fail.

Much love,

Eva

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Lisa November 4, 2020 - 9:34 am

Perhaps it has never been on the list because winning an election has never been so crucial and never has so much been at stake. I hesitate to use Nazi Germany as example and am not comparing the situation in the US to that one, but I am sure the overthrow of Hitler was on a lot of people’s lists. If you were a dreamer waiting to gain status in the US, it may very well be on your list. Or if you were in fear of losing your healthcare coverage I would argue the same. Our lists to some degree are reflective of our status and privilege.

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:58 pm

Love to you Eva! And I agree once again with you, Lisa…our lists definitely reflect what have struggled through and learned from in all different areas of life. When I’m in the grocery store or driving around I often wonder about what others are thinking. What is keeping them up at night? Their realm of worries may be so vastly different from mine. And yes, their “lists” may differ greatly from mine. We all come from different places and carry our secret sorrows and invisible burdens. No matter how we try, we may never get an inside view of how others are doing under their exterior. But we can try. I just think we need to be gentle with one another.

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Lisa November 5, 2020 - 6:01 am

Shawni
It is clear you are warm and respectful person but I am sure you also have a bottom line as to what you feel is acceptable behavior and what is not. What is amoral and what is not, what violates basic human decency and what does not. I am not suggesting you are an apologist for others but there is a danger of that happening when you look for legitimate reasons for everyone’s point of view and to try and feel good and understanding of everyone’s actions. Right now, should the energies of those of us who are privileged go toward trying to understand our privilege and listening to the voices of those who have been marginalized or toward trying to understand those who look like us and experience the same privilege as us but don’t want to acknowledge it?

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Shawni November 5, 2020 - 7:45 am

Lisa, this is off-topic but I just wanted to say I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Thank you for sharing in a non-confrontational way so we can discuss. xoxo. Yes you’re right, I do have a bottom line as to what is acceptable. WIth my kids, with strangers, with those in politics, etc. And I totally see your point that sometimes there isn’t good to be found in the way someone is acting…leaving basic human decency behind. We should stand up and fight against that, absolutely. I just think the way we do it can be better than I see it playing out in the biased news sources and ranting social media outlets. Both sides are screaming to be heard, and sometimes it feels like no one is listening. I don’t think any voters I know are hoping ruin our country, yet they see things extremely differently. There have got to be reasons they are feeling deeply about behind their convictions. And I just think part of human decency is to try to understand before we rant and rave. To be clear, I do NOT think that means we should all agree and have a group hug. I just think sometimes we need to dig deeper to try to find understanding for even those who are vastly different from us.

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Véronique November 4, 2020 - 8:05 am

Shawna, I am a very long time reader (Lucy was probably 2 when I discovered your blog). Let me thank you for this post and for the fact that you allow comments even though, as I can see, it is difficult to moderate as everybody -myself included- really struggles with the whole subject

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 5:59 pm

Thank you Veronique, yes, it is clear that we are all struggling with this. It is a difficult time for sure!
xoxo

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Véronique November 4, 2020 - 8:18 am

It’s Shawni, sorry for the misspelling

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bh November 4, 2020 - 10:08 am

here is a thought if you want to be inclusive and call upon people to vote for peace and harmony -say it just like that and don’t make it about Jesus. For those of us who are muslim/jew/atheist etc, it makes little sense – or it’s annoying that you imply that peace and harmony are Jesus-related.
Signed, an atheist arrogant European (gasp)

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Shawni November 4, 2020 - 6:05 pm

Hi BH, I apologize if talking about Jesus is offensive to you, I really do. Because this is my personal blog and Jesus is an integral part of my belief system I hope you will forgive me for including Him in some of my thoughts. I genuinely love to read anything that involves peace and harmony, and love to hear perspectives from those who are Jewish/Muslim/Athiest, etc., because you’re right, goodness can come from so many different sources!

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Christina November 4, 2020 - 11:25 am

Hi Shawni, I appreciate you calling for peace and kindness, the world can certainly use more of it. But I’ll join the chorus of non-Americans watching the US in shock/anger/frustration, because in any other developed country Trump’s reelection would almost certainly be impossible. This is not a simple matter of two sides when one side has some policy changes they want to make, and the other wants to actively vote to take away others’ basic human rights and dignity. Anyone who truly loves the poor, the strangers, and the vulnerable as Jesus did would know that this prevents them from voting for Trump.

I will share an excellent piece of writing from fellow LDS mom who blogs, Gabrielle Blair. She talks about how Trump supporters, who choose to vote for this man now, after everything we’ve since 2016, do not deserve her respect. I don’t think they deserve ours either.
https://medium.com/@gabrielle_56863/hey-trump-supporters-i-dont-make-content-for-you-17251a58cbd6 She

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Callie Carlston November 4, 2020 - 7:05 pm

With all due respect to you and Gabrielle and this comes with no malice at all… I find her tweets/post as white privilege as you can get. She posts about the problems in the United States from her remodel in France all the while making money off her many posts and tweets. I can respect her views but they are jaded with hypocrisy. FYI, The approach s Shawni takes is opposite of Gabrielle and one that I think helps most people sleep better with themselves at night.

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Christina November 5, 2020 - 4:34 am

Very fair point! I don’t read Gabrielle’s blog as I do find her tone kind of exhausting, and I also don’t think I (as a millennial/progressive/atheist) am the target audience for posts like this. But I do think they could serve to spur some reflection in people who share her faith or are also more conservative, which is why I shared it here. I know, for example, that many conservative Christians would vote for Trump because of his stance on abortion. I think she addresses this and similar issues very well.

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Rachel November 5, 2020 - 6:46 pm

This American – and millions of others – appreciate your perspective and stand with you in this perspective.

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Jill November 9, 2020 - 11:14 pm

I just read another of her articles and was very taken aback by both of them. My comments on the other one were: Not only do I strongly disagree with her political points, but I also strongly disagree with her idea of repentance. I am also a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the blessing of repentance is at the core of my testimony, as is the call to quickly forgive. I felt like she sees both of those things very differently than I do. The messages from the savior’s sermon on the mount, and when he appeared to the nephites are great places I like to go to learn about these things.

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Emily Nicholson November 4, 2020 - 4:52 pm

Thank you, Shawni for this post and for allowing and responding to comments. I appreciate you very much and I have learned so much from your blog. You are a leader and your voice matters. Much love to you, your family and to all of us and our families.

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Constance November 4, 2020 - 7:15 pm

Shawni, I know you speak from your heart as a wife and a mom. And, as such, you know when it’s time to fight for what matters for your family. For Elle’s wedding during a pandemic. For Lucy’s IEP and important services. To make Grace’s distanced-mission service as meaningful as possible. And so on. In a democracy, we must also fight. Against voter suppression. For truth. For inclusion. Against racism and hatred and lies. There are not good people “on both sides” of every argument. Sometimes you need to fight for the right. This election is one of those times. It’s not OK to “both sides” this election. History will judge us. Our great-grandchildren will wonder where we stood at this time. They are not going to be kind. They are going to wonder why we didn’t do more.

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Chloe November 5, 2020 - 6:44 pm

Yes, Constance. This.

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Ruth November 5, 2020 - 8:32 am

I’ve appreciated reading the exchanges in the comments here! Shawni, I admire your interest in understanding why people believe the things they do and having the difficult/painful conversations that many of us would rather avoid… it’s definitely a struggle for me so I look up to people who are more willing to dig in that way. A resource about that work that I’ve been exploring recently is Garrett Bucks’ newsletter The White Pages, which specifically focuses on how white people can talk to fellow white people effectively about racism. Here’s a quote I think might resonate with you, from a message he sent out the other day: “Believe it or not, the work of organizing isn’t the hard part. It’s deciding that you love and believe in people enough to want to organize them.”
You can read more here if you’re curious! https://thewhitepages.substack.com/p/how-we-got-here-how-we-get-out

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Kris November 5, 2020 - 10:41 pm

I must confess, the more I read the comments of this post I have become more and more disheartened by the hate I feel. Before I talk about politics I feel like I need to tell you a little about me. For the last 15 years I have dedicated my life to trying to educate high school students about the humans around the world. As a Human Geography teacher my classroom motto was, “No matter how different we are there is always common ground between us.” I spent summers volunteering for a program trying to increase Latino teachers in our community. We recruited interested Latino high school students, enrolled them in the local university, and put them on the path to become educators. I am now a stay at home mom of 3 children under 4 years old. I still try and volunteer as much as possible teaching a bible class for high school students before school every day. I love people. I love serving others. I try and give as much of my time and finances to those in need as I can. I have a masters degree as well as a bachelors degree in history, government, and geography. I spend an hour a day learning about current events and politics. And I voted for Donald Trump. Until reading the comments of this post I probably would have rolled my eyes at a little bit of Shawni’s post. Although I never comment, if I had commented I would have said, “Wow, thanks Shawni!” But after reading the hatred, anger, and absolute disgust I have felt in a lot of these comments I hope I have changed. I hope the next time I see a Biden sign in someone’s yard or someone celebrating his win (which I am sure he will win whether it was with out without cheating is debatable) on Instagram I hope my heart can be softened. I hope I can look into the eyes of that person and love them a little bit deeper. Because no matter how different we are, there is always common ground between us. And a world of hate, a world of this kind of fighting is definitely not a world I want to live in.

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Constance November 6, 2020 - 6:11 am

Kris — So far, there is ZERO evidence about cheating in this election. Same as usual. There is very little — almost no — factual evidence about cheating in the recent history of American elections. The only person claiming cheating is the current President and his close supporters. He’s also claiming that they wouldn’t let GOP representatives in the counting rooms to observe. That is demonstrably not true. Given DJT’s propensity to lie, I would hope that most thoughtful citizens would take his “disinformation” (aka lies) with an enormous grain of salt. Let’s move this country on to truth, governance and peace and justice for all. I hope we can get there.

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Kris November 6, 2020 - 9:39 am

Constance – I am so sad that after reading my comment your first response was so fight. If nothing else, from this post and comments, this is what terrifies me the most. So badly the human nature in me wants to fight back, wants to show evidence that all of these claims about Donald Trump are false or taken completely out of context. I want to show the court document of the ruling release two days ago from Judge Christine Cannon in Pennsylvania that ruled in favor of Trump with ballot counting violations. Because I love Trump and I pray every day that he can fight against things I view as evil. But that wasn’t the point of my comment. My point was that hopefully my actions and history can show a little bit of my true character. Hopefully someone can look at me and not see me as ignorant, racist, homophobe, or greedy self-serving spoiled white girl. Hopefully someone can look at me and see me as a person. A person that is trying valiantly to leave the world a better place. Because I want to believe we still have enough faith in humanity that although you might not see eye to eye with me politically, I want to believe that we can look into the eyes of another and still see good.

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Jill November 6, 2020 - 10:55 am

I love this!!

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Constance November 6, 2020 - 3:28 pm

Kris, I’m not fighting with you. I could have “cushioned” my comment about mentioning something about your autobiography, but I didn’t have anything meaningful to say about that. I instead pushed back (not “fighting”) on the disinformation you included in your comment. Just because a person corrects you — no evidence, thus far, of cheating during this election regardless of how many cases the Trump admin launches — doesn’t mean they are hateful or fighting. As far as I know, it’s the Trump supporters who are marching with assault weapons, threatening to kidnap the governor of Michigan and shooting peaceful protestors as part of some make believe militia. Don’t get too comfortable seeing “us” as bad and yourself as “good.” We can look into the eyes of another and see good unless those people are doing bad things. This “both sides” thing doesn’t always work. We must stand up to wrong.

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Laura November 16, 2020 - 12:05 am

Oh my! You are laughable!!! Are you forgetting all of the Democrats that stomped and screamed in 2016 when Trump won?? Do you not remember all of the crying about the election being “fixed?” Remember the special crying rooms that had to be set up at a few colleges for the immature crybabies that couldn’t act like adults?? Why is it that the Trump haters can’t ever remember ANY of the bad things that Obama did or any of the abominable things that Democrats do? Very interesting.

Jenny Hatch November 9, 2020 - 6:54 pm

So the cities where 200% of the “eligible voters” voted, and more people voted than live in that county were absolutely legit? And they ALL voted for Biden?

Chuckling.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CHWWmg5BxhO/?igshid=1xvufyoy6w374

Jenny Hatch
http://www.JennyHatch.com

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Jill November 6, 2020 - 7:36 am

I agree with you kris. I’ve realized how naive I have been about the general beliefs of so many who have such strong negative feelings about those who vote republican. Obviously I had heard a lot about it, but I guess I just didn’t internalize (until reading that article you linked Ruth, and even some of these comments) how strong the beliefs and feelings are and that those negative beliefs are about such a large percentage of people. This is not meant to be negative about your comment Ruth because I really liked your comment, and I like the quote and where that article ended, but I’m honestly just surprised that so many people really believe such horrible things about half the country. When I hear “they think we’re all racists” I guess I assumed it was exaggerated. No wonder some don’t want to talk to us and understand where we’re coming from if they really believe we’re so racist and that we’re all(?) white supremacists. I think though, and hope, that what Shawni is saying about understanding where people are coming from, could really help everyone. I know so many on the right that give so much to help the poor and marginalized, we just have different beliefs about what we think actually helps. I think by understanding each other we can work together better and be able to help more people. By not trying to understand it seems to end up hurting those we want to help. I don’t care for trump as a person but the hate from others that has seeped into and twisted everything is even worse for me. I voted for him because although I don’t like him I think his political agenda is the better of the two choices.

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Christina November 6, 2020 - 8:20 am

At risk of letting this conversation go on too long (and I appreciate Shawni for offering her blog as a forum for this discussion), for many of us the issue is not with Republicans or conversatives writ large. It’s with Donald Trump, and anyone who’s supported him. While people like Mitt Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush, etc.. held policy positions many of us would disagree with, they all upheld the idea of American democracy, of fair elections, of respect for one another (watch John McCain’s 2008 concession speech for a great example of this). But from the moment he launched his campaign in 2015 by referring to Mexicans as rapists, Donald Trump has trampled on the norms of decency, democracy, and politics, and debased every American institution he has touched. He has emboldened racists, anti-semites, and violent white supremacists, demeaned women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people, and destroyed America’s international reputation. If you can’t understand why he is different from the other Republicans I’ve mentioned, and why people are so upset about how close he has come to winning this election, I don’t really know what to say.

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Jill November 6, 2020 - 8:46 am

I do understand, and I should amend my comment to say “those who vote republican in this election”, or like you said, those who’ve supported Donald trump (I’m assuming by “support” you mean voting for him). I feel like I had to vote for a republican agenda because it was the better of the two choices, even though it unfortunately included Trump. And although I don’t like trump, I also believe he has been demonized more than he deserves. When looking at someone (who admittedly is hard to like) through a lens of hatred, like the media does, I think it alters reality a little. There have been a lot of things taken out of context, a lot of good ignored, and everything bad highlighted. The opposite is true for Biden. Everything bad has been ignored (I’m not saying he’s bad, but his ideas have been very protected by the media), and only the good has been highlighted. I don’t like defending Trump but when hatred towards him spills onto hatred for everyone who voted for him, and when people won’t listen to the reasons why someone voted the way they did, it creates a problem that’s hard to fix.

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Alycia November 6, 2020 - 9:48 am

Jill, Biden hasn’t been president for the last four years. Trump has. It’s one thing to have voted for Trump in 2016 but to vote for him now is telling the families of the 230,000 + victims of COVID 19, along with women, children, Black people, people of color, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ, the unemployed, military veterans and the environment that they don’t matter. Your agenda is more important than all of those people and the actual planet? You are supporting a grown man who is throwing tantrums on television and may be the first president to not peacefully leave the White House. That makes me very sad and disappointed. We as Americans are supposed to be better than this.

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Laura November 16, 2020 - 12:17 am

Well said Jill!! And shame on Alycia for making such a horrible statement, accusing people who voted for Trump of saying the stupid things that SHE is saying. She has no right to try and trash ANY of us by saying that we are telling blacks and Muslims , Jews, the unemployed, and the LGBTQ community that we don’t care about them, simply by exercising our right to vote as we please!!! She is a horrible person and I highly resent her saying that I don’t care about these families!

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Jill November 6, 2020 - 10:21 am

Believe it or not, the agenda I voted for is the one I think will help all of those people the most. The policies that I think help people are not the same as what you believe will help people, but it doesn’t mean I’m putting an agenda in something else (maybe you think my own self interests?) above people (especially the marginalized), because I’m not. That’s why we have to listen to each other, so we can truly understand the whys behind what we do. Although he hasn’t been perfect, I don’t believe trump and his policies have caused the harm to those groups that you implied he has, but if I were to meet you in person it’s a conversation I’d love to have. And like I said I’m not a huge fan of him and I truly dislike his tantrums and many things he says. I believe he/his antics are an unfortunate part of the package that is best for the country and the people in it. That may be hard to understand without conversations and listening. I do love the conversation though so thank you and thanks to Shawni.

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Christina November 6, 2020 - 12:09 pm

Please listen to the voices of members of those groups before you make decisions like this in future. You may think you know what helps people, but no one knows better than those people themselves. Because despite your or my own experiences (and with a few exceptions), Black Americans, Muslim Americans, LGBTQ+ Americans, immigrants from developing countries, chronically ill/disabled Americans are SCARED. Their own voices and their voting statistics (as much as they are available) will/would demonstrate this with clarity.
Vulnerable people have experienced real trauma BECAUSE of Trump for the last four years and are now having to deal with the possibility that it continues for four more. When you vote for him, you don’t vote for only his economic policies, or his stance on schools, or abortion, or the military. You vote for him, and votes for him led us here, and those votes have caused and risk continuing to cause true harm.

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Jen November 10, 2020 - 5:22 am

Yes! Listen to people from those groups who are overwhelmingly saying, “a Trump presidency has hurt and will continue to hurt me and my family in the following ways”! What other witness can there be? What other truth besides the shared experience of literally millions? If you sincerely want to help people with your vote, top telling people what they need and listen to what they are saying.

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Jill November 6, 2020 - 12:53 pm

Thank you, I will continue to listen to those who come from different walks of life so I can better understand and better love and help. I’m grateful that so many people are trying to do good and I’m grateful for the example of the savior, and his spirit, to help us do that.

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Alycia November 6, 2020 - 3:20 pm

Hey Jill, thanks a lot for listening and sharing your thoughts. I also wish we could sit down and talk about this over a cup of something. Hopefully we can all find these conversations in our real lives.

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Maria November 9, 2020 - 10:55 am

I am several days late to this discussion so not sure if anyone will read my comment..

I think that there are two points missing from this discussion.

ONE – Biden is seriously stricken with dementia. It is painfully obvious when watching him speak. It’s more than a “stutter” – since we demanded Obama’s birth certificate and Trump’s tax return – can we get a doctor’s note from Biden’s personal physician certifying his mental competence?

TWO – everyone is so upset that Trump is not a nice person, that he is an SOB, and immoral. I agree. But are we voting him in as our BFF? I think we are voting for him to do a job, be the President of the United States.

Example: If one of your kids needed a heart transplant and you have a choice of two doctors… one is a real SOB, cheats on his wife, cheats on his taxes, disrespectful of women… but he has a 99% success rate in heart surgery and was top of his med school class… the other choice is a really nice, albeit goofy old man, with the best of intentions, but not much skill. He’s a very moral, religious person, never cheated on his wife, and loves dogs…. but 50% surgery success rate, bottom of his med school class….

Who would you choose to operate on your child? It makes absolutely no difference what this man’s morals are… can he do the job better….? That is the question.

If we made morality and kindness be a job qualification to be President, we would have never had one, all the way back to the founding fathers. Most were philandering, nasty slave owners back then, and more recently, look at JFK – slept with women while President in the White House under his wife’s nose.

People need to get real and elect someone competent who can do the job. Not become your best friend.

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Constance November 9, 2020 - 11:33 am

Maria — it is patently NOT nice to say that someone has dementia unless you are that person’s doctor. (And then it’s an illegal HIPAA violation.) People who voted for Biden did not vote against Trump because we think he’s a bad person (although the facts seem to tilt that way). We voted for Biden because we hate what Trump has done to this country through his tax breaks for the 1%, his taking breastfeeding babies away from their mothers with — in 600+ cases — no tracking methodology for reunification, his dismantling of our diplomatic corps around the world and on and on. It is insulting to many of us to state that we have not thought this through. We’re not tenth graders voting for Class Flirt. Don’t dismiss us. (BTW, in your analogy is Donald Trump a heart surgeon who graduated at the top of his med school class? Now THAT is a wacky bit of fan fiction, right there.)

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Maria November 9, 2020 - 11:39 am

Ha! No, Trump is not a heart surgeon, but thanks for totally missing the point of the comment.

And not nice? Seriously? Have you not seen any of the times he has totally not known what was going on? He said at one point that he was running for senate. He could not think of the word pandemic, virus, etc. Kept saying “that thing, you know that uh… bad thing…..”) It’s not being mean, it’s really sad. He had to be escorted off from one speech because he was truly not making sense.

The rest of the world is laughing at this man…. and some are probably going to take advantage of his illness.

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Christina November 9, 2020 - 11:50 am

Maria, you have the freedom to believe whatever you want, but the rest of the world is not laughing. We’re sighing with relief. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/08/huge-relief-and-trumpism-lives-on-world-media-reacts-to-biden-win.html

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Maria November 9, 2020 - 11:59 am

Yes, but in the hopes of an intelligent discussion… any thoughts on his appearance of not being totally “all there”…. ? and any thoughts on not voting for the personality, but on the qualifications..? Sigh all you want…. I think you’ll be awakened when something happens and he is flustered and doesn’t know how to react…

Constance November 9, 2020 - 12:25 pm

I understood your point, Maria. Totally got it. Biden is 100% more compos mentis than Donald Trump. He’s also not an obese junk food addict. You see things through your own lens and I couldn’t disagree more. I’m not sure what “qualifications” you think that DJT possess that makes him a competent president: failed businessman, failed husband and father, failed dealmaker. He’s impulsive, ill tempered and illiterate. He’s lazy, failing to read the most important security briefings that are given to him every day. He golfs instead of governing. He’s a racist. He has surrounded himself with grifters and cheaters. How many of his “associates” have been indicted? (Answer: lots.) He has given up on this pandemic, deciding that it’s not worth fighting. From 2017 until today, our national deficit has grown 36% to almost $27 TRILLION! He has been an absolute terrible president by almost any metric. Thank god we’re almost out from under his enormous bloviating shadow.

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Hannah November 9, 2020 - 10:27 pm

Constance, your words absolutely sooth me and put language to my feelings.
How anyone can think that Donald Trump speaks better than Biden is frankly CONFOUNDING!!
And how anyone can hold up his “policies” as reasons to vote for him is just mind boggling.
From a New Zealander where I can safely say we are looking forward to America no longer being the laughing stock of the world and regaining it’s sense of pride and respect.

Laura November 16, 2020 - 12:22 am

Save your breath Maria. I agree with you 100% but most of the haters on here can’t get past their fake story of “Babies in cages” They’ve been telling this lie for so long that they actually believe it!!! LOL.

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Christina November 9, 2020 - 11:46 am

Constance – most of the rest of the world is with you, and we’re sorry for your country and what it became since 2016. (Data from Pew Research here for anyone wondering https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/09/15/us-image-plummets-internationally-as-most-say-country-has-handled-coronavirus-badly/).
I know not all Trump voters are uneducated, but I’m more critical of the ones that are, because it takes some serious cognitive dissonance to ignore the harm he has caused and promoted (see: literally any rally and its terrifying crowds cheering blindly) and vote for him anyway.
And if your best argument is “well, other presidents owned slaves, so it could be worse” then….oof.

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Maria November 9, 2020 - 12:02 pm

It’s not about them owning slaves…. wow. That was an example of …. you know what, never mind. The cognitive dissonance is on your part, not even trying to understand my examples.

And look at all the Trump supporters out looting and rioting because they lost…. OH WAIT… that didn’t happen… but if it had gone the other way…..

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Constance November 9, 2020 - 1:08 pm

Christina, we have a problem with low-information voters in this country. Like Donald Trump who has access to ALL the personnel and information yet refuses to ingest any data, we have voters whose minds are made up without bothering to read newspapers or keep up with reliable news sources. Frequently, they are the ones who tag peaceful protestors as “looters” (an easy and lazy slur). Heck, we don’t blame all of them for attempting to kidnap the governor of Michigan just because some Trump-loving nutcases decided their group of hillbillies was some sort of militia. The lack of interest in fact is a serious problem. I don’t see a solution.

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Maria November 9, 2020 - 1:27 pm

The “peaceful protests” in my area pulled down a confederate statue on someone’s skull leaving them paralyzed. I don’t call burning down businesses and running out of Walmart with TVs and tennis shoes peaceful. Do you?

Alycia November 10, 2020 - 6:43 pm

Maria, Steve Bannon called for Fauci to be be-headed. One of Trump’s sons called for a war, and there is a sheriff in Arkansas who posted on Parler that all Democrats should be lined up and hung in the gallows. All while Trump and the GOP actively work to undermine and destroy democracy.
On a personal note, my street in Philadelphia is mostly made up of like minded progressives. The reason we know this is because the three Trump supporters won’t stop harassing our neighbor who posts messages on her garden wall. They have threatened to shoot up the whole block of liberals, including my baby, while screaming and defacing property. So please spare me on this idea of peaceful Trump supporters just waiting the election out.

Beth November 9, 2020 - 12:20 pm

The problem with the comparison of a heart surgeon and the President is that the heart surgeon goes and does his job – fixes your heart. The President directs moral policy in this country (like it or not, it’s true). We as a country need to think about whether we want to be the kind of country that is ok separating children from parents at the border, that is ok letting people suffer and die because they don’t have access to healthcare, that is ok having a police system that unfairly targets Black people and other people of color, that is ok gutting our public school system, that is ok treating women with the utmost disrespect. I’m not ok with those things. Do I think Biden is a super duper best candidate with a perfect track record? Nope. But I do think he’s better than the alternative. President Trump unfortunately showed us his character time and time again and it has done real damage to our country. And if nothing else sinks in, let me add my personal experience to the mix. I’m married to a Jewish man and have a Jewish child. Until President Trump’s election I never worried for their safety because of their religion – since his election, I’ve had racial slurs yelled at us (when my daughter was with me), our temple was vandalized, and of course, the atrocity in Pittsburgh changed the way we attend services forever. Trump may not be a racist (I don’t know his heart), but he sure empowered them. Leaders need morals.

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Kara M November 9, 2020 - 11:16 am

Like Maria, I’m a little late!! I’m reaching to today’s post to where Shawni quoted President Elect Biden concerning uniting. Oh do I ever dislike that phrase!! I didn’t research this but it seems every president says that. I just don’t get it!! I theory, just less than half of the voters lose every election. The winning team seems to indicate that s/he is the solution to uniting. Is President Elect Biden being realistic thinking unity can happen merely by uttering the phrase considering over 70 million people purposefully chose to not vote for him? I don’t intend for this to be about Biden or Trump, just the thought that whenever we have a new elected official, the winning side seems to indicate they are the key to uniting. Our “sides” are just as decisive and distant as they were on November 2. The process of uniting is the key, not the election winner. What can supporters of each side do to show unity??

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Beth November 9, 2020 - 12:22 pm

I also don’t understand the unity thing – unify over what? Other than perhaps some fringe issues, there are two groups of people in this country who have fundamental disagreements over basic principles. Could and should people be more civil? Return to at least pretending to treat one another with respect? Absolutely! But unite? Never going to happen.

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Kara M November 9, 2020 - 3:21 pm

Thank you, Beth. I agree but posted this in the general comments hoping others would read it.

I’m quite disheartened by the conversation thread from today based on Maria’s comments. My observations are the that those who disagreed with Maria are being negative and putting Trump supporters down, not trying to unify. Examples: 1. Christina says the world is sighing with relief that Biden was elected. What about the 70 million voters for Trump? Are you concerned with their feelings at all? 2. Constance belittles Trump’s weight and says he’s illiterate. I don’t really know what to say about calling him illiterate but using the word obese doesn’t make it better than calling him fat. Calling people names and saying they are incapable seems to be something that Trump gets called out for (deservedly) quite frequently. 3. Christina says crowds were blindly cheering for Trump. Does she know this for a fact? There are people who have done research and cheer for him for a reason. 4. Christina also says Trump supporters must have serious cognitive dissonance and thinks their primary argument for support is that past presidents have been slave owners. Hmm…I’ve talked to “lots” (a quantitative term Christina also used) of Republicans and none of them brought up slave ownership.

Not one of these comments answered Maria’s question about President Elect Biden’s mental capacity; all the answers deferred to negative attributes of President Trump.

It’s not very fun to read things where people call you out show you the fallacy of your logic.

I don’t think people are ready to unify. We’re more interested in showing why one side is right and another side is wrong. If people who voted for Biden and/or against Trump can’t be kind, unification won’t happen. I regularly think of the Michele Obama quote ending with, “when they go low, we go high.” It’s time to go high and extend a hand to those who were defeated. Of course, those who were defeated need to be willing to reach for support.

And, before people jump my case, my household of five adults (my husband and our three young adult children) carried a 3 to 2 vote. I’m not telling you the winner but will say I’m proud that all five of us made an informed decision based on facts.

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Kara M November 9, 2020 - 3:23 pm

Thank you, Beth. I agree but posted this in the general comments hoping others would read it.

I’m quite disheartened by the conversation thread from today based on Maria’s comments. My observations are the that those who disagreed with Maria are being negative and putting Trump supporters down, not trying to unify. Examples: 1. Christina says the world is sighing with relief that Biden was elected. What about the 70 million voters for Trump? Are you concerned with their feelings at all? 2. Constance belittles Trump’s weight and says he’s illiterate. I don’t really know what to say about calling him illiterate but using the word obese doesn’t make it better than calling him fat. Calling people names and saying they are incapable seems to be something that Trump gets called out for (deservedly) quite frequently. 3. Christina says crowds were blindly cheering for Trump. Does she know this for a fact? There are people who have done research and cheer for him for a reason. 4. Christina also says Trump supporters must have serious cognitive dissonance and thinks their primary argument for support is that past presidents have been slave owners. Hmm…I’ve talked to “lots” (a quantitative term Christina also used) of Republicans and none of them brought up slave ownership.

Not one of these comments answered Maria’s question about President Elect Biden’s mental capacity; all the answers deferred to negative attributes of President Trump.

It’s not very fun to read things where people call you out show you the fallacy of your logic.

I don’t think people are ready to unify. We’re more interested in showing why one side is right and another side is wrong. If people who voted for Biden and/or against Trump can’t be kind, unification won’t happen. I regularly think of the Michele Obama quote ending with, “when they go low, we go high.” It’s time to go high and extend a hand to those who were defeated. Of course, those who were defeated need to be willing to reach for support.

And, before people jump my case, my household of five adults (my husband and our three young adult children) carried a 3 to 2 vote. I’m not telling you the winner but will say I’m proud that all five of us made an informed decision based on facts.

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Constance November 9, 2020 - 6:58 pm

Kara — since you mentioned me in your comment, I will respond one last time. I did call Trump “obese” in response to asking Maria not to claim that Biden has dementia when she’s not his medical professional. Since she continued to go down that path, I stated some obvious facts about Donald Trump. He IS obese. Clinically. And he admits to not reading. And not wanting to be given written briefings because he doesn’t read them. These are not mean; they are data points of fact. Until we all deal with FACTS (not rumors, guesses, conspiracy theories) it will be difficult for this country to unite. As a way of moving forward, though, I hope we can all accept President Elect Biden’s challenge to wear masks and stay socially distanced during this difficult time. Baby steps, but staying alive is a good way to begin anew.

Beth November 10, 2020 - 9:07 am

I don’t think any of us can speak to the cognitive abilities of either Biden or Trump. I happen to believe both men are well past their prime and that it is unfortunate we don’t, as a country, seem to be able to find younger candidates to run for the highest office in our country. I also want to note that I think many people find it difficult to maintain a respectful dialogue when President Trump himself so frequently turns to personal insults. I am hopeful that with a new administration, while we may not unify over policy, perhaps we can at least return to a more respectful tone.

Christina November 9, 2020 - 3:41 pm

Hi Kara, I had planned to let these discussions wrap up as I don’t think they’re productive, but since you mentioned me by name multiple times I just want to refute those points.

1. My comment on the world sighing with relief was based on a previous comment that the world was laughing at Joe Biden. Concrete evidence (cited above) demonstrates how the the approval rating for the US in other countries has plummeted during Trump’s term in office, and the second article I shared showed newspaper covers from around the world expressing relief. Those are just facts, and that is how hundreds of millions of people feel. I’m sorry that in an election some people will be disappointed because their candidate didn’t win (it happens even more here in Canada as we have 5+ federal parties), but I don’t sympathize with people whose votes, had Trump won again, would cause direct harm to vulnerable people.

3. I definitely don’t know for a fact the mentality of every one of the thousands of people who have attended a Trump rally. I’m sure many of them had a list of reasons why they supported him. But as anyone who has studied history knows, they are reminiscent of events from authoritarian regimes. In every video of Trump rallies, the candidate speak, spouts a mix of policy positions and then incoherent statements about his own approval ratings, people he doesn’t like, how he’s feeling, etc. Much of what he says implies the need for violence, or jailing an opponent, or other generally undemocratic topics, and the majority of the crowd cheers. At best I think these are an unproductive form to communicate ideas, and at worst I think they are forums for spreading conspiracies and delusions (and, you know, COVID-19).

4. I definitely don’t think the US history of slavery had anything to do with most Trump voters’ decision-making (if it had, they might have gotten more behind the Black Lives Matter movement which recognizes the intergenerational trauma and economic harm slavery has caused). I was expressing my skepticism at Maria’s suggestion that Trump was better than many presidents because they were slaveowners or “philanderers.”

I’m sorry to Shawni for this conversation getting so long but I’m honestly disheartened. I’m not sure what the solution is to getting people to see that their actions have consequences, and that it’s important to care about the well-being of others. I hope as the winter starts up and people are inside more we will all take time for reading, learning, and thinking critically.

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Kara M November 9, 2020 - 6:46 pm

Hi Christina,
Thank you for the reply. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it’s important to care about the well being of others. Unfortunately, you contradicted yourself from a statement earlier in the same post where you said you can’t sympathize with Trump supporters. Just my interpretation of your statements but it doesn’t seem like you care for their well being.

I believe that people are helping with unity or they are not. In my opinion, you’re not helping. You’re telling me why Trump supporters are wrong and Biden supporters are right. We have a new president and have to find a way to stand behind him as one country. I don’t know Maria but I’m guessing you didn’t say anything to help build a bridge towards unity or answer her question. You instead increased the divide by bringing up more issues. I intended for my examples to show that by going on the defense and attacking Trump and his supporters, unity will never occur but I guess I wasn’t clear enough.

Christina November 10, 2020 - 6:26 am

Maria – I care about the well-being of Trump voters just as I do all Americans. I hope for all Americans that they never experience getting shot by police, getting unfairly incarcerated for legally seeking asylum, getting separated from their children, having to forfeit healthcare because they can’t afford it, and the list goes on. In the richest country in history, there’s no reason that everyone can’t thrive if people work together.

I just don’t feel sorry for them as a group that they are sad their candidate lost. Those two things are not contradictory. All voters are adults capable of making their own decisions, voting is an action, and actions have consequences. If your vote is causing harm to people, I’m not sympathetic to the emotion you are currently feeling. I would like you to sit with that feeling, and try to understand the other side and their genuine worries.

I hope the GOP does some serious soul-searching. While I would never vote for them (if I were American), I think there is room for positive bipartisan discourse. I just don’t think it involves Trump and his attempted authoritarianism. I think Americans could really benefit from looking at other countries and seeing their differences, and why we don’t have things like frequent mass shootings or go-fund-mes to raise money for cancer treatment. Without the ability to learn from others (and yes, that includes liberals learning about Trump supporters), the US will continue to lose its global standing and reputation.

Christina November 10, 2020 - 6:27 am

Sorry, that last comment was obviously replying to Kara M.

Molly November 9, 2020 - 4:40 pm

I’ve pondered this myself the past few days. What does unity look like? Are we ever really united in a country that seems decidedly split into two factions? Sometimes I think unity is too lofty a goal.

However, I disagree with the assertion that each group is miles and miles apart on core issues, values and beliefs. I think if you were to ask just about any person on the street what they value, the answers would likely be very similar. Family. Freedom. Education. Love. Good health. Financial independence. Our kids having better opportunities than we had. I know these values don’t often translate well into political positions, but I simply refuse to believe that at our core we are all that different. I personally believe that the majority of those who are of a different political party than I am want the same things I do, we just believe in different paths and policies to get to those things. The problem arises when we begin to raise our voices and lower our humanity to try to tell others that their path is wrong and ours is the only way.

At the risk of criticism, I do feel I have to add that this particular president raised his voice and lowered his humanity far more than any president I’ve ever seen or read about. I think this will make whatever chance we have at unity all the more difficult as we try to remember what kindly respecting others’ views looks like.

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Kara M November 9, 2020 - 6:52 pm

I couldn’t agree more!! You’ve eloquently written how I feel. And, I agree that President Trump lowered humanity more than any president in my lifetime. I need to read more about some of our past presidents as I feel my education was definitely skewed to highlight accomplishments.

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Jen November 9, 2020 - 10:12 pm

Molly, I agree so deeply with what you’ve said. I have often thought that while most people agree that it’s a beautiful thing to love your neighbor, we all have such different ideas about what love can and should look like. We have a shared vocabulary but different definitions. I have no idea how to mend this divide.

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Shawni November 10, 2020 - 1:28 pm

I am late over here too, and I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll just say I agree with so much that has been said, especially those who are genuinely trying to understand. I have learned so much more about where people are coming from. Kara M., I have always loved that quote from Michelle Obama (“when they go low, we go high”), and I love that you mentioned you have a have five voters what all made educated yet different choices. There are so many good people on both sides of the fence. And I so agree with Molly’s thoughts, thank you for writing them so beautifully, Molly. In many ways we are not really ready to unite yet. We see this in the anger still pouring out of both sides. But can we get there? Maybe I’m optimistic but I believe we can. At this point isn’t it the best thing we can work our tails off to do? I believe most of the anger coming from both sides is what’s highlighted in the news and on social media. THat’s what gets the spotlight. But I believe there are so many more who are quietly doing the work of building bridges. I believe that the majority of America is ready to heal. We just need to somehow block out all the anger that gets all the spotlights and get busy with the business of loving our neighbors. No matter how different we are. I know many have said, “I just can’t.” But isn’t that the whole purpose of life? To humble ourselves enough to see where others are coming from? To learn from those who are most different from us? It’s easy to join with those who think like we do. It’s natural. But the real growth comes when we reach out of that realm of comfort as so many are doing here on this thread.

I LOVE this quote from a Richard Rohr meditation last week:
“To be ONE, we don’t need to be one party, one program, one set of policies. What could be duller, more stagnant, more destructive of the soulfulness it takes to create and preserve the best of the human enterprise than such a narrow-minded view of planetary life? What we need is one heart for the world at large, a single-minded commitment to this “more perfect union,” and one national soul, large enough to listen to one another for the sake of the planet — for the sake of us all.”

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Shawni November 10, 2020 - 1:33 pm

I should have mentioned that yes, the thought of a “more perfect union” almost seems laughable in so many ways with the turmoil going on in our country, but turmoil brings growth and i hope that all this chaos will lead to that! In order to heal and understand we may have to get a little huffy with each other and of course we’ll disagree. But if that is for the purpose of understanding that’s what it’s all about!

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Constance November 10, 2020 - 5:12 pm

Shawni, thanks for letting this conversation go on for days. I also love Richard Rohr and I love this quote from him in October: “The evangelical support of Trump will be an indictment against its validity as a Christian movement for generations to come.” Fr. Rohr is 110% opposed to Donald Trump’s brand of “Christianity.” Like Fr. Rohr, it’s up to every one of us to roll up our sleeves and work for that “more perfect union.” It means we need to read more and listen more and learn more. Don’t be taken in by QAnon conspiracies and propaganda. Work hard to find what is real and true. It gets harder every day with social media, but that just means we have to work harder. Back when I was in school, we didn’t talk about “reliable sources.” Nowadays, kids are reminded to check their sources. Maybe they are better at this than the adults. It’s not enough to “both sides” our current situation. When our children get into squabbles, we don’t “both sides” the situation. That’s patently unfair to the injured party. What does it say to that child? “It’s ok that you were pinched.” “Don’t complain.” “Don’t protect your body.” No. We need to redirect the pincher (“you hurt your brother”) and affirm the pinched. It’s not OK to hurt others and it’s appropriate to speak up when you have been hurt. Same as in our political arena. We need to stand up for right and affirm our commitment to work toward this more perfect union. Children in cages is wrong. Withholding toothpaste and blankets is wrong. Regardless of how they got there, being cruel is wrong. “What so ever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” That’s truth. Fr. Rohr would agree.

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Jill November 9, 2020 - 9:44 pm

Molly I’ve loved all of your comments because although you believe differently than me, your comments are kind. I’ve wanted to answer your first question about how loving people can vote for trump, but I knew it would take more time than I had. I just gave it a go though and then somehow lost what I typed before I was finished. I’ll try to write it out again but it’s too late tonight…

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Molly 2 November 9, 2020 - 10:15 pm

I should probably clarify that I’m just now noticing there are two Mollys! I only wrote one post today, November 9th, at 2020. A different Molly asked a question about loving people voting for trump. Didn’t want to take credit for someone else’s carefully thought out words!

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Jen November 9, 2020 - 10:06 pm

I’m already a bit late to the discussion and I wondered if I should just send you an email with these links, but I want to leave them here so that other people can see them as well. I don’t often comment on blogs but I’ve followed you for many years and I think that you sincerely seek to understand and will read and reflect on all of these comments. You have real influence on your platforms and I know that you take that responsibility seriously.

I don’t like overstating things and being dramatic. I don’t like it when people call Trump “Hitler” because only Hitler is Hitler and the comparison isn’t helpful. I say this because I don’t want what I say next to sound crazy, but after four years of trying to understand, I think that many of the people that voted for Trump are in the same situation as people who have entered into a cult. They “did their own research”. They “read the news”. They “consulted multiple sources”. And ultimately they chose a version of reality that serves them the most under the guise of “serving everyone” despite undeniable facts to the contrary. They refuse to step away from Trump, probably can’t step away, and I have no idea how to help them. As someone with loved ones that fervently support Trump, I worry daily about what else they will believe or support if it falls under the pretense of “making American great again”.

I truly believe that Donald Trump did not want to be president in 2016. He ran for office for the same reason that he had always run for office: to promote his name which is also his brand. But he stirred up something in Americans and he saw a way to keep himself in the spotlight and here we are. His presidency has been harmful, disorganized, and chaotic and no amount of “biased media coverage” claims can hide it. The rest of the world and most Americans can see it. If you think that the majority of American media sources as well as nearly all international media sources are repeatedly and (in the minds of Trump supporters) intentionally wrong, there is no way to argue. You can’t talk someone down from that mindset. No amount of facts will matter. Two people can look at the same child taken from their parent and one sees a horrific act and another sees a conspiracy to make Donald Trump look bad? Where do you go from there? Where? What kind of middle ground can you possibly find? I sincerely believe that you could drive someone down to the border, put them in front of a woman who has had her child taken from her (can you even imagine?), and see no change in understanding or opinion. You could put the same person in front of an African American woman who tells you repeatedly and honestly about her experience of racism in the US and see no change in attitude. “You have your opinion about your experiences and oppression and I have mine.” I no longer have time or emotional resources for that type of thinking.

These are the most validating and helpful things that I have found on the Internet recently:

Design Mom- How Do You Approach Forgiveness and Reconciliation (I like that it’s from an LDS perspective)
https://designmom.com/how-do-you-approach-forgiveness-reconciliation/

Four years spent trying to understand Trump supporters (an excellent Twitter thread)
https://twitter.com/kristincake/status/1325783261998702592

Is Everyone Really Equal? (this book is worth its weight in gold and I highly recommend it as a book club reading despite how academic it is)
https://www.amazon.com/Everyone-Really-Equal-Introduction-Multicultural/dp/080775269X

Four years ago I sought to understand where my Trump-voting family was coming from, what would lead otherwise loving and intelligent people to do something like this. I love my family and I can’t imagine a time where I would not want them in my life but their reality is so warped that I sincerely worry that our relationship has been permanently damaged. I am no longer trying to understand people who voted for Trump regardless of their reasons. My time is better spent understanding the experiences of the people who have been, and will continue to be, hurt and even killed because of what he and his supporters believe, allow, and encourage.

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Christina November 10, 2020 - 12:20 pm

Thank you for these, Jen, and I’m sorry for what sounds like a challenging time with your family. You may also like this op-ed “The Virus of Trumpism and his infectious moral failings” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-virus-of-trumpism-and-his-infectious-moral-failings
I go back to it every once in a while when reading about Trump supporters makes me feel like I might be losing my mind.

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Jill November 10, 2020 - 12:48 pm

I’m sorry, but I have to mention one more time that as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I do not agree in any way (especially religiously) with the article from design mom about repentance and forgiveness. For that article alone I feel a need to stand up and speak out about my beliefs.

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Jill November 10, 2020 - 1:38 pm

Jen (or other people who believe the same), I’m curious what you think people who voted for trump believe, support, and encourage that is causing people to be hurt and killed?

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Maria November 10, 2020 - 2:36 pm

I’m curious about this too. In my area, as I said earlier, Biden supporters pulled down a large, heavy statue of Robert E Lee after spray painting it and writing vulgar things on it. What should have been a peaceful protest ended up with the statue falling on a man’s head – a black man who was there for the protest – and almost killing him. He is now paralyzed. So the Biden supporters made their point, and critically injured one of their own.

Jen November 10, 2020 - 4:51 pm

Thank you for your question, Jill. I think that people who voted for Trump believe, support, and encourage him to be the president of the United States and during his presidency over 200,000 Americans have died of covid. Trump didn’t invent the virus but he has done so, so little to stop its spread. If anything, he has encouraged it by holding campaign rallies that disregard basic safety protocols and by mocking Joe Biden for wearing a mask. He put his ego and financial interests before American lives and so many people have died unnecessarily as a result. A good friend has a daughter that was doing a semester abroad in France and when her program was cancelled due to covid, my friend originally thought about sending her daughter to stay with her grandparents in Florida. This was the point at which Trump was claiming that covid “wasn’t a big deal” and was a “democrat hoax”. My friend bought a ticket for her daughter to Florida but cancelled it when she saw Angela Merkel’s speech encouraging people to avoid contact with the elderly. Would her daughter have infected her grandparents with covid after a flight from France? Who knows. But leadership informed by care and science, not ego, can save lives.
I also think that people die when they don’t get the healthcare that they need. Trump and other republicans are trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and other similar programs despite it being widely liked and helping so many people stay healthy. I think that healthcare is a right not a privilege and you don’t need to live in a socialist utopia in order to guarantee that people won’t die in debt if they get cancer.
I’ve re-read my comment from earlier and I can see the pain and fear in my own words. I can not stress enough how much love and concern I have for my family. They refuse to wear masks in public even though at least one of my family members is asthmatic. I think that they would take any covid drug if Trump endorsed it. I sincerely worry that support for Trump will kill people that I love and am trying so hard to understand why they believe anything that he says after four years of lies, misinformation, and chaos in the White House. I wrote that, “I am no longer trying to understand people who voted for Trump regardless of their reasons” but after a night spent tossing and turning out of concern for and frustration with my family, I think that this can’t actually be the case. I’m always going to try to understand them because I love them but it is so emotionally draining that I wish I could stop.
Jill, do you think that a national leader can have an effect on health outcomes during a pandemic? People will always make their own choices regardless of what a government leader says or does, but do you think that Donald Trump’s behavior has encouraged health and safety?

Jill November 10, 2020 - 9:08 pm

Jen, thanks for answering . I definitely don’t like trumps narcissism and I don’t agree with some of the things he personally did and said about COVID. You made good points about how his words could bring harm, but I believe there were very few people who died of COVID because of him. And if some did, the same could be said of the words and actions of some of the governors and leaders who are democrats. Should the president have set a better example? Yes. Did he do a good job letting the governors lead their own states as they saw fit? I think so, and I think that’s one of the good things about him. I also think he got the supplies to the states that they needed and did other good things. I don’t think anyone “got it right” and I also don’t think anyone had malicious intent…at least in regards to life. It was new and everyone was trying to figure it out and the general lack of knowledge caused people to die as well as the fact that it is a terrible and highly contagious disease.

Laura November 16, 2020 - 12:38 am

You are truly a vile and mean hearted person Christina. And after reading your ridiculous comments on here, I can see why this election has caused so many people to turn into evil, sick people. Like you.

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Jill November 9, 2020 - 10:23 pm

Haha…I loved both of your comments. They were both kind and respectful and genuine.

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Jill November 10, 2020 - 12:35 pm

In reference to the two Molly’s.

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Terri November 10, 2020 - 11:40 am

Hi Shawni…it looks like I am a little late to the party. I have been following your blog since September of 2007. We both had babies. It has been an absolute pleasure (and actually a honor) to follow your beautiful family. It has brought me encouragement on some really hard days and good laughs when I needed cheering up.
I know that one reader certainly doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and I most certainly will get many comments on how ridiculous this comment is, but I think I will be done reading your blog now. Recently reading your blog makes me feel like a complete freak of nature.
I do not understand where people are coming from, and I ponder daily after reading your blog and comments if I seriously am a terrible awful person. I find myself asking questions like did absolutely everyone sleep during American Govt. Because the current conversations that people are discussing have absolutely NOTHING to do with policy. People are discussing feelings and warm fuzzy’s. Why are people voting on warm fuzzy feelings (so dangerous) and not policy.
Which brings me back to I must be a complete freak of nature or is it because I am married to a political science major who actually knows the constitution inside and out.
I am sorry…I cannot and will not be ok with my child coming home having had their government teacher (mind you I live in a very conservative state) tell them it doesn’t matter what you are born with between your legs it matters what is in your heart and mind. I am happy to have that conversation, but in no way shape or form does that belongs in an American Government class. Before all of you go nuts on me…plenty of diversity in my family and I love and respect them all.
I guess mostly I just wanted to tell you Thank you Shawni. It has been a pleasure following along, but it has been increasingly clear to me that my one time encouragement has been replaced with feelings of me not being a good person. In fact, it has made me question if I even understand my own faith or if everything I have learned my whole life is wrong.
I am sure there will be plenty of you who respond to my comment with hate…funny thing is you are the ones who voted for Biden because you do not like Trump. It is so backwards.
Anyway…signing off from this blog for good. Wishing you all the very best (and I truly truly mean that)

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Shawni November 10, 2020 - 1:44 pm

Terri, I don’t know if you’ll get this but wanted to tell you I think it’s very wise to not follow things that discourage you. I’m so sorry that you have felt like you’re not a good person when reading here. Sending lots of love to you and your family.
xoxo

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Maria November 10, 2020 - 2:24 pm

This is a really cop-out reply, Shawni. After this woman poured out her heart to you, it’s like you say, ok see ya later, bye. Sorry I make you feel that way. Not any further discussion, nothing. TYPICAL.

But…. Terri. She is right. If this blog makes you feel bad about yourself, give it up! HOWEVER, NEVER stop questioning “everything you’ve learned from childhood”!! That is exactly what the LDS church (or whatever they are now calling themselves now) does NOT want you to do. Take everything at face value, know that even if it seems horribly wrong in your gut …. it will be sorted out later …. NOT TRUE. Just like your gut is telling you to forgo reading this blog….listen to it when it nags you that something may not be quite right in the belief department….

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Constance November 10, 2020 - 5:16 pm

Maria — To defend Shawni a bit (not that she needs it), I found Terri’s comment a little hard to follow so maybe Shawni did as well. In which case, her “wishing you well” comment may have been the best she had to offer. I get that.

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Melinda November 10, 2020 - 6:37 pm

what was so hard to follow? I can’t speak for someone else, but she sounded frustrated. Instead of teaching government in the kids class they were teaching a topic that is not government.
My niece has a government teacher that calls Trump a fascist on the regular. A teacher can think whatever they want, but those opinions should not necessarily be shared in the classroom.
I guess I kind of agree with Terri. Shawni and her blog (and her family for that matter. did you see where her sister said on instagram that she was excited for the sick man to be out of office. classy) are different then they used to be. Not saying that in a bad way. I could see how someone that leans conservative would be conflicted.

Maria November 10, 2020 - 12:20 pm

I agree with you about voting policy and not warm fuzzies.

I think you are being prudish and silly about the comment from the government teacher. How is what he/she said wrong. You think it matters more what sex/gender someone is more than what is in their heart and mind? Or were you and your husband just mad because it was said in a government class?

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Jill November 10, 2020 - 1:05 pm

It’s not whether what the teacher said is right or wrong, it’s that it is a conversation that isn’t/shouldn’t be the job of government employees to have with our children.

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Jill November 10, 2020 - 1:25 pm

Although I was talking about “comprehensive sex-Ed” topics. At face value the comment by the teacher could not have been about that at all, and thus a pretty innocent statement.

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Maria November 10, 2020 - 2:19 pm

I think it meant more along the lines of not to judge someone by their gender alone and make generalizations based on that, make sure you look at them as a person to see what may be in their heart and mind. I see nothing wrong with that at all.

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Jill November 10, 2020 - 12:38 pm

Why I voted for trump. There was a time early this year that I was on the fence about if I would be able to vote for him again. A number of things that happened after George Floyd’s death influenced my decision to vote against the agenda and policies of the Left. I spent a lot of time trying to research and listen and understand where people were coming from and what could actually be done to help the black community. I listened to both sides. A lot of the things I noticed were really frightening to me. One was that black people do experience injustices and some racism but the story being told by mainstream media was counterproductive to helping them. The big example of this is with the police killings. The narrative was that black people were being unjustly killed by white police at such a high rate that it was hardly safe for a black person to go outside. This isn’t true and by focusing on this as being the problem, it led to the solution being to do things like defund the police. My mom is liberal and is a social worker in Seattle and even she and her coworkers were very opposed to defunding the police and sending social workers in to some of the situations, but because it didn’t fit the agenda, nobody wanted the information from their point of view of why that wasn’t a good idea. Another big media outcry was about systemic racism. The problem was by using the phrase “systemic” the problem was so big that it was hard to understand what specific laws we could work together to change. So the result was the idea that America is fundamentally flawed and they evil is so big that the things to do include attacking the founding of the country and the framework of which it stands (this is a problem when I believe gods hand was largely in the founding of this country). Then there was the narrative that all white people are racist and the result of that was cancel culture and everyone apologizing for and feeling guilty for their privileges and being hateful towards anyone who didn’t spout the right slogans (including that this is all trumps fault and if you vote for trump you’re an evil racist). I didn’t like the idea that anyone who tried to give any other thoughts or reasons had to be silenced because, among other reasons, we weren’t black so we couldn’t talk. And it wasn’t really about being black because black people who didn’t say the right things that fit the political agenda were silenced also. I don’t believe that silencing people’s thoughts is good for anyone. The result can be seen by this pre and post election hatred of everyone on the right from many people on the left. The phrase “by the fruits you will know” has popped in my mind over and over and the fruit of the examples I mentioned is hatred and division instead of the love and unity that Christ taught. I’m talking as a population, not specific people. There are definitely people on the right who are just as guilty of this, and people on the left who are not guilty of this, but there isn’t a widespread call to not listen to or demean those who voted for Biden. I appreciate those on the left that aren’t calling everyone who voted for trump racist and refusing to listen. It was sad when my 9 year old son came home from school (we live outside of St. Louis so it’s a red state but a somewhat diverse area), saying that someone (who was white) called him racist because he wanted trump to win- he said they must not know what that means because “I wouldn’t like my friends (who are black) if that were true”. I understood his confusion. I grew up being “bussed” into the Seattle inner city schools where I was largely in the minority and I was sad when we moved and I had to leave all my friends. It’s sad to me and I think it’s dangerous that children of all races are hearing that all white people are racist. Anyway, this is too long and I didn’t even cover most of the things I wanted to say (or explain thoroughly what I did say) but one point I was trying to make is that the agenda being promoted by the left and mainstream media is wrong and causing harm and by focusing us on the wrong things, it makes it really hard to be productive in helping those who need help. I love hearing opposing thoughts especially from those whose didn’t only have the mainstream media as their media source. For those who actively listened to the other side (including respected sources from conservative media) and tried to understand where they were coming from, I love hearing how they interpreted these things differently

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Maria November 10, 2020 - 2:29 pm

Very well said. You have put into words what I have been thinking and trying to say for a long time. Thank you.

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Melinda November 10, 2020 - 6:39 pm

I agree with you Maria. Very well said, Jill!

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Anne November 12, 2020 - 8:12 pm

Thank you Jill! So well said! Exactly!

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Melissa November 10, 2020 - 5:47 pm

Something I keep sharing, because I believe it is key to this discussion, is that people complaining about “fake news” are very often consuming it and sharing it. There is no such thing as fake news – information is either factual (news) or dishonest/distorted (not news). Everybody needs to find a reliable news source and stop the extreme narratives. I have a degree in journalism and 20 years experience in publishing. PLEASE consider the following list:
1. News is factual.
2. Opinion is not news.
3. Skewed analysis is not news.
4. 24-hour broadcast “news” outlets are not delivering news 24 hours a day – they are filling time by over-covering everything and offering a lot of #2 and #3.
5. Personality-driven “news” shows and websites are not providing news.
6. If the source is trying to shock or scare you, it is not providing news.
7. Yes, there are liberal and conservative leaning newspapers. They are all required to label opinion pieces. Choose a paper that fits your comfort zone. Do not choose one that takes an extreme position while it accuses the opposite side of doing the same thing. I recommend Christian Science Monitor and NPR. And read your local paper, if you have one.
8. Choose a newspaper that prints every day and subscribe for paper or online access (yes, you have to pay for real news). If they print every day, they have to fact check, proofread, provide data, name sources and follow laws regarding libel and fair coverage of elections. News agencies are also held to these standards.
9. There is so much garbage out there (distortions, lies, half truths, propaganda, extremism posing as truth). Avoid it. Look at the extension on the link. Do not take images at face value. Compare coverage from more than one legitimate news agency (Reuters, CNN and the BBC).
10. Social media is absolutely not a safe place to find news.

If you vilify legitimate news media, you prevent yourself from being informed.
If you don’t trust news sources, it is because you are not consuming news, but are actually consuming non-news from non-news providers.
Undermining the news media only serves those who wish to deceive.

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Jill November 11, 2020 - 7:40 am

I’m sorry if I’ve said too much on this thread. I thought about your words though Melissa and again, I want to share another side that I also think is key to this discussion. First of all, I think of news and media as overlapping but different- so what you said about news I mostly agree with. The most unbiased news is definitely the printed material that you have to pay for. If you look on media bias charts though, printed newspapers still have a bias that is unfortunately not only limited to the opinion articles. Sometimes that bias is best seen in what is left out. If there are people who don’t know which way their media is slanted, check out a variety of the media bias charts, not just one. CNN is always on the liberal side. BBC is usually labeled as liberal although some of the charts do have it in the middle. (If these were my only news sources it would be slanted). The reason the difference between news and media is important is because you’re right, real news is becoming increasingly harder to find but that doesn’t mean all media is harmful. Especially with all these social issues, we collect information from many sources. The news may be one source, but people’s thoughts and opinions have a place in information gathering also. So we gather information from hopefully a wide variety of sources- talking to people, social media, church, blogs, political commentators, mainstream media (I define that as the media you’re inundated with without searching it out- Apple “news” that pops up on my phone, CNN that is playing on the restaurant tv, and like it or not in many schools). Most (all?) mainstream media is on the liberal side of the media bias charts. There are also “legitimate news agencies” that are conservative like Fox News (different than the commentary parts as pointed out). I feel it is important to not avoid media that is bias toward “the other side” in order to see and understand the other side, as well as it helps you to see the bias on your own side. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the extremes. Again on the media bias charts you can see what is most close to center and what is far out there. When I look through the Apple “news” headlines there are dozens of articles that have negative headlines about trump, and zero positive articles about anything he’s done. If I search out respected conservative media I’ll read about some of the good things he’s done. I personally come away with the conclusion that he’s definitely a narcissist, but not evil. At the risk of offending many (because his name is disliked in the liberal media) I’ll through out the name Ben Shapiro to make some points. He is a political commentator (notice the lack of the word “news”). I don’t know that I would listen to his show on my own but I do when I’m with my husband (who is very good at listening to and understanding both sides). Ben is a religious (orthodox Jew), family oriented guy who makes fun of the other side too much in my opinion but also makes fun of his own side (mostly trump- he’s not a huge fan). He is definitely conservative but compared to many does a good job of sharing the whole picture. If I only listened to him though I wouldn’t be able to pick out when he is showing bias- luckily opposing media is super easy to find. It’s the balance that is important. In that balance you can understand and “de-vilify” the other side while calling out media that is bringing harm. The sentence “Undermining the news media only serves those who wish to deceive” is not true in my opinion. It is unfortunate that it is so hard to find news that does not support a political agenda, and so it takes a lot of work to sort it out but I believe it’s important work, and the media is all around us so it’s essential that we figure out how to do it.

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Jenny Hatch November 11, 2020 - 9:13 am

Jill,

I always go check out who is being banned and ghosted out of the marketplace of ideas because there you will often find a bit of truth.

That being said, I read everything. I am a 52 year old disabled grandma who has spent most of the past fifteen years in bed. I am a news junkie and podcasting blogger. Next week I am going to have Larry Sinclair on my podcast.

Everyone reading today should find out why Larry was messed with by Joe and Beau Biden. It is a clue about how he will probably behave as POTUS.

Chilling.

I had him on my show seven years ago.

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Melissa November 11, 2020 - 9:31 am

@Jill. I hear what you are saying. #7. Yes, there are liberal and conservative leaning newspapers. Choose a paper that fits your comfort zone, but centrist coverage is best for everyone. Try NPR or Christian Science Monitor – they don’t over cover the news either, so it is much easier to stay informed without being overwhelmed. Please don’t take recommendations to seek out “banned” content – there is a reason why it is banned. I stand by #3. Skewed analysis is not news – whether you are reading it or providing it. Unfortunately, many people are basing their decisions on misinformation.

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Jenny Hatch November 11, 2020 - 9:57 am

Melissa,

The news companies are largely funded and owned by the people who own the pharmaceutical companies.

There is some bias towards allopathic medicine in our newsrooms.

I have been shadowbanned and ghosted all over social media for my online work. Do you believe I am a liar as a content creator? Do you have any proof of the lies I have told?

Here is my interview with Larry Sinclair from seven years ago. I believe my many blog posts and this interview are some of the main reasons for the whistleblower banning I have experienced as those in power have tried to silence my voice.

Can you point to any lies? Shooting the messenger is third world and monarchical behavior.

It has no place in a free republic.

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennyhatchradio/2013/08/09/lawrence-sinclair-on-the-jenny-hatch-show

Jenny

Melinda November 11, 2020 - 10:32 am

Jenny,
I think you and I both know that these conversations will not go anywhere. It will continue to go on and on, and then somehow we are the problem. Clearly, if you speak the truth your voice will be silenced. You keep digging and doing your work. I appreciate people like you who are willing to get in the trenches to uncover the ugly.

Jen November 10, 2020 - 7:27 pm

Everyone should check out Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown! So perfect on this topic. Ultimately I don’t agree 100 percent with either faction, so I went with Biden because he shares my values more than Trump. I don’t think I share any values with Trump and I would be acting outside my integrity to go with him. Biden is more center left and has bi-partisan team player governing history. Trump actively incites division and sometimes violence. He preys on fear and divides us further. We don’t need any help dividing ourselves.

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Melinda November 10, 2020 - 8:03 pm

I find this so interesting. Biden has been in office over 40 years. He has flipped flopped around on many many policies and topics to fit his need at the time. This is the problem here. We have people voting for people that they think they like. Do you know what his policies are Jen? Do you understand completely and fully his economic plan? and more importantly how that will affect your life? We have some very outspoken Venezuelan refugees in our community who BEGGED people to vote for Trump. They see the writing on the wall. Here we are washing our constitutional freedoms away because we freaking want to feel good.
When was the last time you heard about ISIS in the news? It’s been awhile. Why? because we currently do not have a president that bends over backwards.
Buckle up and this is not based on fear this is based on fact. Things are about to get real bumpy.

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Jen November 10, 2020 - 8:23 pm

I’m a CPA. I have a masters degree in taxation. I understand more than most the economic policies that create socialism for the rich and rugged capitalism for the poor. I refuse to accept the all or nothing thinking you’re suggesting. I can recognize the humanity in my Republican neighbors. People have different life experiences and read different books and listen to different media. I can see how a person with the same values as I do might end up voting for Trump. Can you recognize the humanity in your Biden supporting neighbors? Or are we all “Marxists” or ignorant?

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melinda November 10, 2020 - 9:00 pm

Actually Jen most of my friends who DID NOT vote for Trump in 2016 voted for him this year. I have a few family members that voted for Biden, and of course I recognize their humanity. You’re putting words in my mouth who said anything about marxists or ignorant.
Again, the Venezuelan refugees. People that were wealthy in their own country that had everything taken or stolen from them. Talk about a true tale of people who get it.
And also I would hardly call Biden center left. But I will give you that one. His running mate couldn’t get further left if she tried. I sure would love to sit down over lunch and pick your brain on how you think this whole economic thing will go down. I see things falling apart, I mean if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.

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C November 11, 2020 - 1:06 am

Here are a bunch of my thoughts. This talk/speech/article has great insights. It’s title is “Moral Discipline.” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2009/10/moral-discipline?lang=eng Our system of government can only stand firm on virtuous principles, lived by we, the people.
I think we have had a diminished opportunity for good/better choices (by our choices!) But I like to look at what both are advocating for… What is their intent? What are their policy plans? What are they aiming to protect and what are their motives for doing or not doing something? How will their plans effect all of us? Is it in the name of political siding and spite? Or is it in the name of safeguarding and furthering freedom? I am not for or against either option fully, and I think a lot of people feel that way… but I think that is why so many voted… people are trying to look deeper than the candidates to what is really going on in our country…

I disagree with some that say Biden will restore the government to what he saw it rest on for the years he served. I think times have changed… people have changed… integrity in the nation and in our reps have changed… I think his plans point to throwing it farther away from the original intent of the founders of our government and I don’t trust his integrity based on some of the things he has said (or not said!) and done in recent and past times… one simple example. He said he wanted a federal mask mandate. Then he said he thought a federal mask mandate would be unconstitutional when he was talking out loud about it. Over the weekend just before the election, he changed his tune and said on day 1 he would institute a mask mandate. If he’s willing to force all Americans to wear a simple mask… what else is he willing to force us to do? A whole lot more… Let’s check out this infringement on second amendment rights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4bFl0SLKQQ Let’s check out this infringement on religious freedom: 
On the Biden Harris website, they say:
“The Equality Act is the best vehicle for ensuring equal rights under the law for LGBTQ+ Americans, and will guarantee that LGBTQ+ individuals are protected under existing civil rights laws. Biden will make enactment of the Equality Act during his first 100 days as President a top legislative priority. Biden will also direct his Cabinet to ensure immediate and full enforcement of the Equality Act across all federal departments and agencies. In addition to enacting the Equality Act, Biden will take action using his executive authority.” Here is one Gay person’s perspective on the imbalances of the equality act: https://www.usatoday.com/…/lgbtq-equality…/3731197002/ And here is one prominent Church’s stance on the Equality Act, and how it is unbalanced and a direct threat to religious liberty. https://www.deseret.com/2019/5/13/20673121/read-the-church-s-full-statement-on-the-equality-act This Church and this gay person’s stances are FOR a better act that better balances equal rights for all, but the Equality act Biden and Harris want to put in, not only reverses safeguards put in place by past Democrat presidents, but it is disproportionate to its call for equality, and does not protect religious liberties, which in turn truly protect ALL other liberties … 
Let’s check out the great threat we are seeing on the electoral college system: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-movement-to-skip-the-electoral-college-may-take-its-first-step-back/
(As the article says: “the compact has still only enlisted states where Democrats have had free rein to pass legislation”) 
 Biden’s lie shared that infringed/attempted to “redefine” The Constitution…Biden and his comments on The Supreme Court: https://justthenews.com/government/white-house/biden-botches-constitution-again-americans-get-choose-who-they-want-supreme
The presidential oath of office that is prescribed by the U.S. Constitution (Art. II, sect. 1) makes it clear that the President’s supreme responsibility is to “…preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Biden tried to give himself credit for knowing/teaching the constitution and then totally shared a falsehood re: the courts as in the above article, and if you watch the first presidential debate. The Constitution gives the president the power, “by advice and consent of the Senate,” to nominate judges of the Supreme Court. Obama nominated Merrick Garland in the 2016 election year, and the Senate was held by Republicans. Thus, there was a deadlock since Garland did not have the votes to be appointed, and the Senate did not consent. This year is different, obviously, because the president and the Senate are both the same party. If anything, to avoid the bad look of “hypocrisy,” the Republicans could have given Garland a hearing in 2016 before voting no, but that seems like it would have been a waste of time and it became an election issue instead. The president was elected in 2016, in part, because of his promises about nominating judges, and in 2018 the Senate became even more Republican following the Kavanaugh hearings, so filling this seat is allowed under the Constitution and the people have weighed in. The Democrats only have themselves to blame for starting to filibuster appellate nominees in 2003 and then by eliminating the filibuster for appellate nominees in 2013 (thanks to Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer). Now appellate nominees require a simple majority, which results in the recent deadlock and politicization of what used to be routine. Scalia was confirmed 98-0 and Ginsburg 96-3.
Re: Packing the court, Biden said this in the past… :https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/09/19/how-democrats-could-pack-the-supreme-court-in-2021-418453
And additional thoughts: https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/judicial/520287-why-the-supreme-court-must-be-kept-at-nine-justices
and  further thoughts about the President’s responsibility in protecting the Constitution: https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2011/06/pres_responsibility/

As for accepting money from foreign powers: I think much more needs to be done to insure that we aren’t trading American liberties to foreign powers.  
The fact that this story below has been greatly censured (possibly via means of dark money filtered to media and tech companies) re: Hunter Biden and “The Big Guy” (Joe Biden’s) reception of millions of dollars from China while the VP, and leading up to Biden running for office, is something we should ALL investigate as Americans.
Everyone should watch the interview of Tucker Carlson with Democrat, Tony Bobulinski, the Business associate of Hunter Biden, who has verified that he did meet with Joe Biden twice even though Joe has denied knowing anything about Hunter’s business dealings or that he has taken an ounce of money from foreign countries. He confirmed that Joe Biden vetoed Bobulinski’s plans to have stricter governance over the company. Joe Biden has lied about his involvement in his son’s business dealings and the Media and social media are not covering this story to protect Joe’s candidacy. Bobulinsky is a credible witness and is sharing the story because of the media and Adam Schiff saying this story is nothing but Russian disinformation. He said he would not share the facts if Adam Schiff would recant his lie about Russian involvement which he did not do. Bobulinsky is a DEMOCRAT, and a former Military officer with a high security clearance. In his First Presidential campaign many years ago, Joe had to withdraw as a candidate for plagiarizing speeches. Now we see that he has lied about selling his influence and access to China, Russia, Kazakhstan and numerous other countries. Bobulinsky shared emails, texts, documents and voice recordings of information about the Biden family corruption. If this story were about any Conservative leader, it would have exploded over every media outlet immediately. We do not have an honest or fair media. When asked how are you guys getting away with this, Jim Biden, Joe’s brother laughed and said, “Plausible Deniability!”

Bobulinsky said: “I think the American people should be demanding that this is investigated…there should absolutely be no scenario that this isn’t investigated. Read pages 65-87 of Senator Johnson’s report, and form your own conclusion…” Joe will owe quite a lot to China if elected… The voice and power of the people is more important than money, media, and trading in our inheritances! Here is the full senate report! Worth reading!: https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/media/majority-media/johnson-grassley-release-report-on-conflicts-of-interest-investigation
Here is the full interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z4FyhdQJd8And another interview here: https://www.foxnews.com/…/hunter-biden-why-obama-didnt… 
 
And lastly an article about the cost of Biden’s plans: https://american-herald.com/…/19/the-cost-of-bidens-plans/
I don’t agree with legalizing Marijuana. I don’t like Biden’s plans to raise taxes that will ultimately raise the prices for everyone. I’ve also seen firsthand in my community how raising the minimum wage forces businesses to let go of workers and shut down their businesses… I’ve also seen those businesses that stay open raise their prices, and explain that this is due to rise in minimum wage. The high taxes and larger amount Americans will be forced to pay, and this happening during a long term economic recession due to shutdowns from a pandemic, is going to push us to a devastating place, that will trickle to all people… I’m absolutely for keeping fracking and keeping/increasing jobs growth in the USA and big businesses putting more of our own people to work to pull them out of poverty. I believe black lives matter. As I said above, I believe education over marijuana legalization and gun control is important. I believe we need to have sensible police reform… who ever did a better job for being demoted?? We need better training and de-escalation practices but we need to respect and defend the law in each situation. If you look up the website for black lives matter and see the founding of it, they declare themselves to be a Marxist organization. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgVszfP_c-A 
I don’t agree with Marxism. It leads to Socialism which leads to Communism. We get conflicted with the name because it appeals to all people as truth and the cause to help each other is just. But pushing for equality by treating other unequally is not okay, for anyone who is doing that. Punishing based on perceived “belief” but not punishing based on “crime” keeps us all unequal. I’ve lived in Ukraine, and have seen how the devastation due to dictatorial governments is utterly evil. Biden has largely stayed silent on calling out the violent protests by combined forces of Antifa (who believe in violence) and violent members of BLM that have killed & injured many innocent people and businesses. This lack of stance to uphold our rights to life, liberty, and property, and/or the pushing from a Tyrannical Marxist agenda only leads us to devastation for all, not liberty and justice for all. Same for any white supremacists. We need to listen to each other and help each other, recognizing the differences in situations that uphold the law and that do not shove everything into two divisive boxes. Another example of this: The wall. Read this article: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/tom-homan-biden-will-reverse-trump-immigration-border-wall The founders made our government a government of laws, not a government of men… the success of which lies in the virtues and moral discipline of its people. We need leaders who uphold these laws that protect EACH person’s rights, instead of pushing for their own agendas/control/doing things out of spite at the sacrifice of our very safeguards.  

Another thing we should all agree on!: investigating any voter fraud. We all need to study the constitution 👍 The original alarm came from people outside of legislatures (the only legal body authorized to make election laws) overstepping their bounds in the name of covid. Thus the struggle to ensure the right counts today. And yes, there’s def. a media show. I also agree that we need to unite both sides. Unity comes from all people seeking understanding. And not overlooking what might be more than meets the ear or eye (or the media’s ear or eye) for the good of ALL.
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/04/07/danger-moving-vote-by-mail-168602

Look up the top body language experts giving their professional analysis on the Biden and Tara Reade interviews… they analyze both individually… very interesting.

I don’t like Biden and Kamala’s use of “identity politics” to manipulate votes. I don’t like the demeaning comments Biden made saying if you don’t vote for him “you ain’t black.” And he didn’t apologize, he just said “I wish I wasn’t such a wise guy.” He deliberately said those racist comments to manipulate hearers. Here is an article about that, also enlightening: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/05/25/joe-biden-you-aint-black-racism-trump-column/5254434002/ Here are more examples of targeting/manipulating in the name of groups to sway votes that have bothered me…Kamala Harris visited Jacob Blake in the hospital. Joe Biden met with Jacob Blake’s father. Media largely did NOT cover Jacob Blake’s story leading up to his shooting by police. A woman had a restraining order against Blake, that he violated. He raped/assaulted her, took her keys,  
 then resisted arrest in front of his children in the car, grabbing for what they saw was a knife in the vehicle as he resisted. I have often thought, Police truly could take measures to hold back/de-escalate better, but I’ve never been in their position or in Jacob Blake’s position. Kamala said “I’m so proud of you.” The media also did not share that she was referring to his recovery. She said she was proud of him and his family… She said “they’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders.” This puzzled me that we can group all of the incidents together into a pack of one message. YET. When two police officers in Kamala Harris’s senate district did nothing legally wrong and were targeted in their vehicles in an area where they were assigned to monitor to try to keep the peace, both were shot in their heads, while sitting quietly in their cars. Kamala Harris said NOTHING. No visits, no recognition, no sorrow, no statements. In HER OWN SENATE DISTRICT. Yet, she flew to Wisconsin. I kept wondering why Trump didn’t go visit Jacob Blake too. His family refused the visit. I think Trump was trying to stand up for obeying the law and leaving it up to law enforcement to do their job under that law. I don’t condone or excuse 7 shots fired against him. And truly this is such a tragedy going on in our nation right now. Just up the street from my home we had a domestic violence situation. A father had abused his wife and 13 year old boy, then went outside asking neighbors for a gun so he could commit suicide. Police arrived and he held out what looked like a gun and multiple police shot him and he was killed. They found he was holding up a glasses case. They went inside the home and found his wife and son critically injured, rushed to the hospital and both died this week. Where’s the outcry for this man? Were police justified in shooting him? He’s dead, his wife is dead, their boy is dead, and the 11 year old sister who escaped to a neighbor’s is without any of her immediate family now. Terrible!! I understand the outcry is pointing out injustices to minorities but I think we can’t cram every incidence into one big package of identity and need to look at incidents through the lens of the law as well. Another example of recent political behavior… Kamala Harris taking pictures in CA wildfires with the governor on a property she had no permission to trespass on and talking about climate change and how important it is… What about visiting with the families of the people who were surprised to see their home base that no longer existed for the first time on the news, used as a political statement? What about visiting with and helping the people in the devastation rather than using it as a political point for climate change. I was so appalled and worried about Trump using tear gas on peaceful protestors so he could visit the church. I understood the worry about being attacked as he walked across the street and think there were different/better thought-out methods that could have been used instead.  
Kamala Harris, when she was running for president, did an interview on the breakfast club. Charlemagne Tha god said “They say you oppose legalizing weed?” She responded “That’s not true… and look, I joke about it.. half my family’s from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?” She then proceeded to share how she has smoked marijuana “and I inhaled, I did inhale” then laughed hysterically about it. The former attorney general of CA laughing about doing something illegal and trying to get some traction and sway for votes for it. And then her Dad, Donald Harris, (from Jamaica), an Economics professor at Stanford University, came out and publicly spoke against it… “My dear departed grandmothers, as well as my deceased parents, must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation, and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not, with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker, and in the pursuit of identity politics. Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically disassociate ourselves from this travesty.” Kamala’s campaign had no comment. This really damaged her credibility when she said this… and when she did that with Jacob Blake but not with police officers in her senate district.

I agree with Biden’s statement in 2010 when he said he believes Marijuana is a gateway drug. I’m sure he’s speaking from experiences he’s had with his own sons. In terms of policy, I don’t have to hold onto the 66% majority of people in this country who believe marijuana should be legalized. I can have my voice about it. I think it’s unfortunate that the war against drugs has turned into a race issue. Poverty is associated with drug use, but much more importantly, early education. The solution to the problem is not legalizing an illicit drug and normalizing its use to all people, it is to focus policies on strengthening families and increasing access to education for those who are at risk of not obtaining it. More funding for the unbiased parts of Teach for America, and similar educational support, more policies that support keeping fathers invested in their families, etc. I don’t agree with free college education for all… who pays for that? We all do… and I don’t agree with socialized medicine from personal experience with it’s effects both in Canada and in the Ukraine. I don’t have to hold onto whatever amount of people’s voices who want to do away with the electoral college, or packing the courts, to create a super legislature… when I truly believe that checks and balances were put in place in our country so that we could hear ALL VOICES and so this identity politics and manipulation can be cut through quickly and controlled before it becomes “the law of the land.” That is not liberty and justice for all. We need to learn to compromise and understand each other again and that is true for ALL sides…

Dallin H. Oaks said… “The Constitution and laws contain no invitation to revolution or anarchy. All of us—police, protesters, supporters, and spectators—should understand the limits of our rights and the importance of our duties to stay within the boundaries of existing law. Abraham Lincoln was right when he said, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.”12 Redress of grievances by mobs is redress by illegal means. That is anarchy, a condition that has no effective governance and no formal police, which undermines rather than protects individual rights.The United States was founded by immigrants of different nationalities and different ethnicities. Its unifying purpose was not to establish a particular religion or to perpetuate any of the diverse cultures or tribal loyalties of the old countries. Our founding generation sought to be unified by a new constitution and laws. That is not to say that our unifying documents or the then-current understanding of their meanings were perfect. The history of the first two centuries of the United States showed the need for many refinements, such as voting rights for women and, particularly, the abolition of slavery, including laws to ensure that those who had been enslaved would have all the conditions of freedom. Two Yale University scholars recently reminded us: “For all its flaws, the United States is uniquely equipped to unite a diverse and divided society. …“… Its citizens don’t have to choose between a national identity and multiculturalism. Americans can have both. But the key is constitutional patriotism. We have to remain united by and through the Constitution, regardless of our ideological disagreements.”13Many years ago, a British foreign secretary gave this great counsel in a debate in the House of Commons: “We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and these interests it is our duty to follow.”14That is a good secular reason for following “eternal and perpetual” interests in political matters.”  

 

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C November 11, 2020 - 1:12 am

Another thought… Someone was referencing one candidate being “moral” and the other “not.” I think we have a problem with both… Biden and his wife had an affair, that is how Jill Biden’s first marriage broke up. There are contradicting statements between Jill’s book she wrote and what they’ve said in the campaign about how they first met… Kamala Harris also had an affair with former San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown, who was married at the time, to gain political prominence.

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Constance November 11, 2020 - 8:45 am

When Kamala Harris dated Mayor Brown, the mayor had been separated for over a decade. Jill Biden met Joe Biden in 1975, a year after her divorce in 1974. If you have credible sources that refute either of these points, I would be happy to take a look.

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Melinda November 11, 2020 - 9:18 am

Constance, the credible source would be Jill Biden’s first husband. He has been very vocal about this, but why would anyone believe him. He must be a liar or worse. Why is it people believe every story told to them about Trump (not saying he is perfect. See there how I said that Constance the man has made and said plenty of ridiculous things) but every liberal canidate has never ever done anything wrong. Seriously, this one sided thinking never ceases to amaze me.
The longer this string goes on the more clear it becomes that people don’t investigate and do their due diligence.
If everything were only rainbows and unicorns.

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Alycia November 11, 2020 - 11:05 am

Melinda, no one has ever said that Democrats or liberals have never done anything wrong. We just can’t believe that the supposed “moral majority” Republicans who constantly try to legislate as though we were in a theocracy would stand behind a man with five kids from three wives that he has publicly cheated on. If you found out your kid’s teacher or basketball coach or maybe your pastor or bishop lived this kind of life, you would have him thrown out in a second. Why not have the same standards for president? The same man that is actively trying to stage a coup so he can stay in power. How is this okay with you?

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Melinda November 11, 2020 - 12:04 pm

The only perfect person that walked this earth was the Savior. Having said that if you want moral perfection EVERY politician should be gone.
I guess what you’re saying is you think the election was totally legit. I want you to know my Dad died two years ago. My Mom received a ballot for him in the mail (mind you surprise surprise she lives in a blue state) she called to report it and they acted as if it was no big deal. We trust that you will dispose of it properly. Which she did. I might also add that she had called the proper authorities TWICE to make sure she would NOT receive a ballot in the mail for him. She still did.
If you for one second this is an isolated case you are wrong. I am done with going back and forth with people like you. It is a waste of my time as nothing will be solved. I wish you all the best the next four years. I am sure there will be many occasions where you will be able to eat crow, but you will come up with some narrative or excuse as to why it can and will be blamed on Republicans.
And oh…the same Dad that died two years ago had many problems. Infact, he did have an affair. We did family counseling when I was a teenager for two years. We made a commitment as a family to work together and work thru his bad choice. I didn’t “throw him out in a second” So don’t pretend like you know me so well, Alycia. SMH…
I am leaving this string. This is getting ridiculous.
Final and last time I say it. Dig deep people. Do not believe everything you read and hear. Joe Biden has been a politician for over 40 years. He has flip flopped more times than a person can count.
And lastly Alycia just chalk me up as one of those right winged wackos. It is a lot easier to do that. Have a beautiful day, Alycia.

Alycia November 12, 2020 - 11:31 am

Melinda, I never said I wanted moral perfection from politicians. What I said was I don’t know why Republicans/conservatives expect the citizens of the US to be incredibly moral (no sex before marriage thus no need for sex ed or birth control or abortion) while not doing the same. Is this really that hard to understand?

I am sorry your father died. I am not sure why it is up to the election board to figure out who died before sending out mail in ballots. I get all sorts of mail for people who used to live in my house, some who are probably dead, and guess what I do with it? I throw it away.

I do think this election was fair. I think it would be pretty insane for the Democrats to pick the most widely watched election with monitors from both sides to try and fix. And forget to fix it for the Senate too! If this election is such a sham, lets start recounting all the states that Trump supposedly won.

Melinda, I hope you learn how to be a gracious loser. My party lost in 2016 and I was very upset but I didn’t discredit the election, even though we know Russia was involved. I worked really hard to ease the pain of this administration in my community and am proud of how hard people worked to make things right, including by electing Joe Biden. Now it is your turn to accept the results of a fair election and hopefully lay off the conspiracy theories. Best of luck to you.

Anne November 12, 2020 - 8:34 pm

Alycia… wow…. You siad, ” I am not sure why it is up to the election board to figure out who died before sending out mail in ballots. I get all sorts of mail for people who used to live in my house, some who are probably dead, and guess what I do with it? I throw it away.” Really? Let me ask you a question: If you felt that the sitting president was a fascist, a threat to our democracy, what wouldn’t you do to have him removed from office? Based on comments I have seen everywhere for the past 4 years American citizens felt this way about Donald Trump. Let the legal system play out. In the current political climate, and with a race this close, this is the logical and normal thing to do. AND.. it has been done before. KNOW this.. if after ballots are recounted and checked over and Biden wins, you will see support for him. ATLEAST, Republicans .. aren’t out smashing up things and setting everything on fire and screaming, “NOT MY PRESIDENT” ad nauseam, like you all did 4 years ago. Don’t worry.. we will play nice. Will you???

Melinda November 13, 2020 - 1:41 pm

Anne…yes, YES And YES!!!!!

Alycia November 13, 2020 - 4:18 pm

Hi Anne and Melinda, who I thought was done with this thread! The American people have spoken and voted Trump out of office. It’s been a long time coming, and if you want to support something that wastes time and tax dollars so Trump can lose twice, go for it. I’m not the one who complains about paying higher taxes.
Maybe you didn’t see it up thread, but I mentioned that I live in Philadelphia, on a small, pretty progressive street. The reason I know this is because when the three Trump supporters come around to vandalize my neighbor’s garden wall, we all come out to support her. And listen to the Trump supporters threaten to shoot us, including my four month old baby. Are you telling me that when Trump officially loses again, they will play nice and take back their threats? You complain about property damage while I am complaining about death threats towards a baby. Please justify that.

C November 13, 2020 - 1:14 am

If you read Jill Biden’s memoir, she talks about meeting Neilia and Joe, in 1972… They knew each other before they got married and before she got divorced. She reached out to “help” him and especially his children, after Neilia died. The campaign stuff about first blind date in 1975 is bogus/untrue, yet convincing of course! Here is an article that also quotes the description Jill gives of Neilia from the memoir… https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a28198287/joe-biden-wife-neilia-hunter-naomi/

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Laura November 16, 2020 - 12:52 am

Constance, so it’s ok for Harris to screw around with a married man to further her political career because the man and his wife were separated for 10 years???? WOW!!!! I didn’t realize that meant he was actually divorced. LOL. Yes, lets excuse her behavior for that. My my, what a wonderful example for our young daughters!!!!!

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Laura November 23, 2020 - 8:28 pm

Constance, since when is being separated the same as being divorced? So what if he and his wife were apart for 10 years. Harris knew she was sleeping with a MARRIED man. Why can’t you except the truth that Harris was sleeping with a married man to further her political career?

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C November 11, 2020 - 1:16 am

Kamala Harris also voted twice to deny aid to babies who survive abortions. This bothered me. The Bill never passed because of the status quo in most states and hospitals to require giving that aid, but she still voted no to give the aid.

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Melinda November 11, 2020 - 7:47 am

You’re correct on both points. I was going to mention the both of these, but figured it would cause an uproar. Thank you!

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Nichole Barney November 11, 2020 - 2:49 pm

I happened to get an email with a picture of this blog post and so I clicked on it. Shawni thank you for all the good you are trying to do. I love and appreciate you so much! I didn’t get a chance to read every comment but enough to make my stomach turn. Makes me sad to see all the division in our world. We are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs which is so important. It is sad though to see how our emotions have gotten the best of us a lot impart by false information on every side and not being willing to listen to others. My husband as you know has been heavily involved in politics and works every day with people that have different views and perspectives than he does. I have never heard him speak negatively of another view point but instead it has helped him open his eyes a little and try and understand people. If we are so closed off that we can not see that good people sit on all sides of this election then we really need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves some questions?? I really think media has damaged our country. It will take us as individuals to bring it back. I think we all want the same things! We might have different ways to get there which is totally okay but we need to soften our hearts and try and understand each other better.

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C November 13, 2020 - 1:51 am

Nichole, Amen! Thanks! And to Molly’s comment above, amen. I think we are not miles apart. The Media has put us there. We are a govt of laws, not of men. This govt of laws gives voice to ALL. We all need to do our homework to see things as they really are and as they really will be, and then bring some clarity to issues that cut past “sides” but that take real stances on vital truths and most importantly, what will safeguard the freedoms of all. It takes listening to ALL sides, and listening to the laws set up for our balancing of these “powers,” so that one voice never takes over as the “ultimate!” to the punishment of the rest! We must come to learn and understand what will safeguard all sides. Thomas S. Monson said: “When we safeguard (the heavenly virtue of freedom), when we honor it, when we protect it, we will walk with Washington, we will pray with patriots, and we shall have peace on earth, good will to men” The key is those three rights!, endowed by our Creator… then asking, how do these policies safeguard these rights and do they justly apply to all involved? (I highly recommend to everyone to study the Constitution and the great founding of our nation!)

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Jenny B November 11, 2020 - 9:26 pm

I just want to say that I share your yearning for a time when we can replace some of the division that exists within our country with empathy and a little more understanding. How often have I told my own students that we probably won’t always agree with each other, but through respectful discourse, perhaps we can learn to understand and appreciate different perspectives?

I long for a leader who will search out commonality instead of difference, who will work other countries to seek out not just what is best for our country but what is best for the planet, who will initiate open dialogue where difference occurs, who will listen to the opinions of others with the understanding that there may be many ways forward – not just one, who will inspire me by setting an example of what a true leader can be….

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Maria November 13, 2020 - 10:42 am

Shawni, this blog is getting way too political. Can we go back to how to curl your hair with socks and how to cook frozen Costco fish filets, please?

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Melinda November 13, 2020 - 1:35 pm

Maria!!! I love you…I second that!

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Marc December 5, 2020 - 3:49 pm

What great comments all around. It was a tough one. What changed my entire view, about the political landscape, is watching this documentary on Netflix, “The Social Dilemma”. Wow. I mean WOWIE. That one film is an education of what is REALLY happening to society around the world due to the phones we stare at every day. Turns out it has less to do with one side, or the other, but rather the AI that is running the social media. (Be it faceB or Insta or Youtube.) The AI is doing EXACTLY what it is designed to do. Get people’s attention by inciting deep emotional reactions to get them to keep looking…then reinforcing it over and over again! It shows:
-what creates and cultivates extreme left-wing and right-ring thinking
-how conspiracy theories can grab hold of normal, logical thinking people
-how current social media business models increase profits thru cultivating controversy and division amongst their users thru AI and algorithms.
-how something as noble as ‘connecting’ people to each could have such negative consequences on our mental health and democracy
>>>It’s interviews with those who actually made these systems and how horrified they are at how it is unraveling whole societies AROUND THE WORLD as it is here!<<<
The software that runs these platforms is changing how humans view other humans all by working off of the very inner workings of humans emotional reward systems.

I truly wish everyone would watch that documentary. It will change your ENTIRE view of what is happening in our world because of these AI driven software systems.
FYI – if anyone can provide information showing the opposites, I'd love to read/watch that too.

I personally feel our world is not as bleak as so many would have us believe. Most people are good and have empathy for their fellow man. The key is self awareness and emotional intelligence… and realizing when our emotional instability is being driven….by social media.

Thank you for posting this Shawni! Such an important discussion.

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Shawni December 6, 2020 - 9:21 pm

Agreed, the Social Dilemma is fascinating. And I also agree, the world is not as bleak as we may believe if we only view it from a social media perspective. There is so much good in the world! Thanks for this perspective, Marc.
xoxo

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