(Have a head cold today. Medicated but wanted to get some thoughts down inspired by Dylan's writings.)
Donald Trump is now President of the United States. As far fetched as this statement seemed 8 months ago (or even 3 months ago), this is reality today. I have been stunned and saddened by many of President Trumps actions. It's not so much that I differ from him greatly on many issues. It's more about the rise of incivility and the disrespect for people who are minorities / marginalized in society.
The global Women's March inspired a lot of thinking about takeaways post the inauguration and the march.
My thoughtful friend Dylan Houlihan recently wrote on the things he would like to do to be even more welcoming in his own life. (It's great to see Dylan is blogging). I think he has written a really good list. But, I wonder if it's enough. Dylan concentrates his list mostly on what I could call progressive issues and causes. I also support these wholeheartedly. I also wonder if we need to include an appreciation for issues and causes more associated with conservatism. Issues like government regulation and taxation, free trade, and crime / safety?
Taxes is a good example here. As Dylan notes, citizen is a much more expansive (and better, in my opinion) term than taxpayer. But people are concerned about taxes and the ability to pay. People talk to me consistently about high taxes. This is a very authentic and legitimate concern. It doesn't at all mean that these folks don't care about making the community better. It will always be a balancing act.
We don't have to agree with someone to be empathetic. A lot of people who voted for Trump were people who felt left out / disengaged from the economic and political system. In my view, its important to listen across ideologies and viewpoints and to learn from each other. To be in relationship with as many people as possible. If we are truly try to break down some of the partisan divides, we need to embrace the diversity in our communities and countries. We need to do this in a respectful manner.
So, what I would likely add to Dylan's list is the desire to show empathy, learn, and dialogue with others who have very different views.