For over a year now, I’ve been trying to find ways to bridge the divide between the Trump voters in my life and me, trying to quell the anger I feel at the dismantling of much that I hold dear, and struggling with my concern about our country’s and our children’s futures with the new leadership. Try to talk, I told myself. A friend who’d attended the Miami Book Fair said that all the speakers from Chris Matthews to Donna Brazil urged communication with our opponents. My husband’s rabbi, actually, encouraged that, too, offering one approach: “try using these four words: ‘You may be right.’”
Today I heard a movie director characterize the period we’re going through as “the Terrible Twos.” We’re all tantruming out, popping off. He suggested that we never use the words “them” and “they,” but instead say “us.”
I’ve often talked about the barriers between the sighted and the blind, why they exist, and how to leap over them. More contact, more communication, more listening and learning. This seems so workable with regard to these groups. But to leapfrog the barriers with my Trump-Pence friends and family requires that I give up a longstanding policy—the keep it short and superficial formula I’ve mastered. Scrapping that scares me to the core, because the fire and fury that could result could break my heart. You see, unfortunately I love some of these opponents.