Over the past few months I’ve been publicly called out by two people simply for liking Donald J. Trump‘s Facebook Page. First of all, few things get under my skin more than when people presume to know my opinions or beliefs before they ask me, but that’s beside the point.
I grew up in a conservative evangelical family, As a Kid, my brother and I volunteered twice on Dino Rossi’s campaigns. We were even taught US History by none other than conservative talk show host and one time chair of the Washington State Republicans, Kirby Wilbur. In fact I once asked him what his opinion of Hillary Clinton was, to which he replied “I don’t have many strong opinions about her other than I think she is the sum of all evil.”
That was the general sentiment of everyone I knew growing up between the 90s and 00s.
When I was 16 I was appointed as Chief Justice (long story) of Bellevue College where I later also became Student Body President and had the wonderful opportunity to be mentored by Faisal Jaswal. While performing that duty, and also while working on legislation for higher education, I had the opportunity to meet people like Christine Gregoire, Rob McKenna, Rudy Juliani, Madaline albright, Congressman Jim McDermott, and Maria Cantwell. But the more impactful people was the diverse student body of my school. I learned that it’s the duty of a politician to always listen, and that compromise is NOT a dirty word, in fact it is the greatest tool of progress.
Around that same time, my dad’s boss and mentor came over to my parents’ house from time to time for dinner. He was the first person to introduce me to President Jimmy Carter‘s books. One day he came for dinner and said he had a very interesting meeting with a kid named Barrak Obama, who was running for Illinois State Senate. He said he expected him to be like any other politician and show up with an agenda designed to garner his support. Instead, Mr. Obama showed up with nothing but a pen and a blank notepad and explained he didn’t just want his vote, he wanted his insight and wisdom on the economy. “Just watch” my dad’s mentor said “That man will be President one day.”
My takeaway from my first two years in college wasn’t pride for my accomplishments, which all came two years early, but rather a profound sense of intellectual humility and a realization that I really knew far less about this world and more importantly, people, than I thought I did. That is why when I transferred to the UW, I chose to joined the Comparative History Of Ideas program. It was a quest simply to understand the world with an open mind. That was when I really began to understand that this world is very nuanced. History has shown us time and again that when political decisions are made out of prejudice, presumption, anger or fear it not only always debases the better part of our human natures, but more suffering soon follows it.
Right after graduation, I was moving out of the house I was living in with the assistance of a friend and his family. Hillary Clinton‘s book fell out of a box, and his dad commented “Why would you own a book by THAT woman.” That was the first time I was able to articulate the very same reason why I liked Donald Trump’s Facebook page. I simply replied “I do not believe I can disagree with anyone I do not fully understand in their own words, first.”
The beauty about elections though, is there is a time for open mindedness, but there is also a deadline to make UP one’s mind, and that is tomorrow– Or in my case, today, since I just finished my ballot.
I do not intend this post to, and will not appreciate any comments that debate the merits, policies, or reputations of these candidates. This post is to simply say, that now that this election is called to a count, I no longer feel the civil duty to listen to another word Donald Trump has to say again, unless the results of November 8th turn out differently than I suspect they will.
So, Mr Trump, I am now officially un-liking your Facebook Page. Hopefully, forever. It’s been an, um… experience.