My friend Paul, Trump supporter

So I had an experience with my friend Paul who is an ardent Trump supporter which I’m not proud of.  It was shortly after the incident in Charlottesville, VA. There was a free speech rally on the Commons in Boston.  He had gone apparently and I heard him say something that really upset me.

It created a visceral reaction in me.

I said to him “if you support the Nazis we are going to have a problem.”  Now I’m one of the most peaceful anti-violence guys I know, but I felt the need to stand up for Heather Heyer the young woman who was killed, to stand up for my alma mater the University of Virginia, and for the town that I cherish and love.

So after a rather tense exchange, I learn a little of the back story.   While at the event people thought he was on “the other side” and a crowd surrounded him and he literally feared for his life.

However, being an Army ranger and special forces veteran, it wasn’t in his DNA to back down.

Here’s the video of part of the exchange at the event on the Commons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5DqXcp6mmY

At the end of our conversation we hugged each other and agreed that we should talk with each other and then also talk in front of groups together.  That love needed to be the guiding principle as the basis of our discussions and solutions.

When our first date is booked I’ll let people know.

But here’s the problem of what I saw on the video.

Us/Them

The hatred that was there in some pockets against Trump were large  My friend Paul really is lucky that he got out of there without a scratch.  It could have easily been so much more if someone had just thrown one single punch.

This needs to be replaced with love.  Doesn’t mean you agree with everything they do, but at the end of the day, we are all human beings and we should find love in our heard.  Compassion.  Empathy.

The discussion needs to shift from US/Them to We.  What do *we* need to do for *our* benefit?  To sit and talk with each other instead of at each other.  Ultimately most of us want the same things.  Our children to be safe and happy.  To have a sustainable way to make a living.  To have some enjoyment in life instead of the day to day drudgery.  To have our basic means met and keep a degree of self respect.

So my call to everyone reading this is to reach out to Trump supporter or if you are a Trump supporter someone on “the other side.”  Setup a lunch or coffee or dinner.  Sit and talk over food.  “Break Bread.”

I know we aren’t as far apart as we think.

Let’s all come together in Love!

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