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  • Writer's pictureHoward McBroom


Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Around 71 million people voted for Donald Trump in the recent 2020 election. We need to understand why so many people voted for someone who is this unfit for office. What kind of perspective would make a person want to vote for a man who is a known liar and narcissist, someone who has made one stupid decision after another? Why would someone want to vote for a man like that? These are the questions we need to answer. These are the things we need to understand if we want to prevent this from happening again. We cannot afford another four years like this. I think the reason people voted for Trump is because they feel their needs are not being met by democracy. They feel that it is disenfranchising them, putting them down, and not listening to them. They want to go back to a simple America. They want to go back to an age where they could let their children walk around freely without fear that they would be taken or killed. They want to go back to a world that is simpler and more caring. People nowadays feel like they are being put down and being crushed by political correctness. They feel like others don’t care about them. We need to talk about this. We need to find ways to talk about what is dividing our society and how we can do a better job of bringing it together. We have to get people to start talking. And that means knowing how to talk. We need to create something like a town hall where people from all political sides can come together to talk in a safe, nonviolent, and respectful environment. We need to understand each other’s perspective.

I could have been a far-right fanatic. I didn’t end up that way, but I could’ve. My mother and grandmother were ignorant people. They didn’t know much about politics or the world. They would’ve believed anything Trump told them. When I was a child, I remember listening to a strictly right-wing radio station that pushed a lot of those ideals. I believed it; I didn’t know any better. I had good reason to hate, too, because I was being bullied at school, I was autistic, and I was incapable of defending myself. Basically, I had no future coming from the kind of background I did. I could’ve become a hate-filled fanatic. What else did I have going for me? I had reason to hate. I had no future. Why shouldn’t you hate if you know you have no future? So these are the things we need to talk about. We need to talk about why people would want to support Trump, or why people would want to hate others because they are black or Jewish or another minority. We have to talk about these things and we have to show people that there’s a better alternative than hate and ignorance.

Another thing we need to talk about and take more seriously is global warming. If global warming gets out of control, what kind of world do you think you’re going to be living in? You want a better life for your children, but if global warming gets out of control, they’re not going to have a good life. They may not even have a life at all. A lot of people think this stuff is bogus, but it isn’t; it’s grim reality. We need to tell people that global warming and the greenhouse effect are real. We need to talk about these things in a safe, respectful, nonviolent way. And we need to create safe places where people can do that. The advocacy meetings I teach are safe places. People can talk about how they feel about certain topics and I teach them about advocacy, how to stand up for themselves, and how to assert themselves the right way. Hate isn’t the right way to go. We have to teach people how to tell others how they feel. We also have to learn how to compromise. Compromise and consensus. Those are the two pillars of democracy. You can’t make democracy work by burning down buildings or shooting people. That’s not democracy, and somehow, we’ve forgotten how to do that over the past few years. Our politics have become polarized and that has to change if we want to get democracy back. We have to stop polarizing. We have to stop demonizing others. And the only way to do that is to learn how to talk to each other and respect each other. You will never build a successful society on hate and political polarization. Those things don’t work. We have to find out what people think, see the way their minds work, and show them that there is a better way. That’s what happened to me; I found a better way. I found an alternative. And that’s what we have to do - offer people better alternatives than hate.

Hate exists a lot in this world. People often believe things about others that simply aren’t true. For example, some people think that black people are inferior. We have to tell them that these things aren’t true and that there are better ways of dealing with people than calling them names. Black people are human beings like everyone else. They want the best for their children, too. And so we have to start talking. We have to try to understand each other and see each other’s point of view no matter how wrong we think it is. People don’t become racist or haters overnight. We are taught how to do it. But we have to tell people that there are better ways of live than hating other people. We have to find a way to tell people that hate is wrong, that evil accomplishes nothing. Hate does not make a nation great. Racism does not make a nation great. What makes a nation great is caring about people. People need to sit down and talk to one another. We need to really listen, empathize with each other, and try to understand the other person’s perspective.

Finally, we need to learn the skills of nonviolent communication. We need schools and classes to teach people how to talk to each other. We have to teach people not to demonize each other. We have to teach people how to talk respectfully; not a lot of people know how to do this. People shouldn’t trash each other, call each other names, or put others down. Instead, they should respect and listen to each other. That’s where I think it begins, truly listening to each other, negotiating nonviolently, and not making threats. Advocacy is not about making threats, it’s about telling people who we are, where we’re coming from, why we need something, and how that’s going to help us. Those are the skills for advocacy and those are the skills for democracy. Consensus, compromise, respect, and honest negotiation. I think we need a nationwide campaign to do this – to teach people how to see things from someone else’s perspective. We have to stop all the polarization and division. We have to return to democracy and relearn the necessary skills. We need to start now.

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