Thursday, March 24, 2016

Trump doesn't have my vote, but he doesn't have my hate, either.

When it comes to politics, I've always held to the rule that I can support my own candidate, but I won't bash on other ones. I broke that rule with Donald Trump. He's the only candidate I've ever intentionally lashed out against. I could make quite a long list of reasons why, but that doesn't matter.

I was wrong to do that.

Has he said hate-filled things to get people riled up? Yes.
Has he disrespected and degraded entire groups of people? Yes
Do I feel that his personality and character is one that I want representing my country? No.
Will I vote for him? No.

Does that give me the right to lash out at him with the same rhetoric he has used toward others?


Growing up, I was taught that you don't fight hate with hate. I was taught to do good to those that hate you and pray for those that despitefully use and persecute you. Did I always do that? Of course not. But that's what I was taught.

The more I listened to and read about Trump's speeches and antics, the more negativity entered my mind and heart. That negativity came out whenever I talked Trump Politics with people and it got worse every time; negativity feeds on itself. When I would finish reading yet another article at home, the anger said article ignited would linger and make it harder for me to love and play with my children; I would get irritated at innocent mistakes that otherwise wouldn't bother me. I finally decided to stop reading articles and watching videos attacking Trump--not because I support him, but because I don't want his hate or the results of his hate in my life and in my home.

I needed to start doing what I was taught.

Trump has the right to free speech. He can say what he wants in this country and I don't have to like it; the constitution doesn't protect me from words, ideas, and actions that I don't appreciate and even find disturbing. But I also live in this country. I have the right to be hurt by his hate-filled statements. I have the right to use my free speech to react. However, I do not have the right to blame him for the results of my actions. I don't have the right to let my negative feelings about him create a negative environment in my home and in my conversations. My feelings and choices are mine. I am responsible for them.

I'm not saying we can't do things that point out the error of his ways. I've read and watched many things that made powerful statements about the negativity Trump has added to our country. You can watch Turn Ignorance Around and Stop Provoking Violence to see what I mean. But unfortunately, I've also seen many articles and videos about people and groups who are attacking him with the same level of hate that he expresses.

The only thing fighting hate with hate shows is that we're no better than he is. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

A vast majority of Trump supporters are uniting under banners of hate, aggression, and even violence, with Trump joking that he'll pay any legal fees incurred by those who attack his enemies. (Yes, I know he only said it once, but once is enough.) That's disturbing, and I have the right to be troubled by it.

However, I have the ability and opportunity to react without using the same negative antics that he is. I can choose to show him by positive words and actions toward those he attacks that I don't agree with him.

I need to show that I don't support Trump not only by not voting for him, but by showing an even stronger outpouring of love toward those whom he's attacking. I need to show my children by example that we don't say terrible things about people because of their ethnicity or religion.

I also need to remember that when I say terrible things about Trump, I'm teaching my children that it's okay to talk badly about someone if you disagree with them.

Trump doesn't have my vote, but he doesn't have my hate, either.

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