A few years ago when my daughter was just a toddler she had a plastic "Toy Story" plate she really liked. One day we happen to have it outside and she wanted to throw it like a frisbee. I tried to convince her it wasn't a frisbee, that it would fall and most likely break. But she was determined it would fly like a frisbee, so finally I threw it as requested.
Almost immediately it fell to the hard concrete surface and broke. Never again has my daughter wanted to throw a plate like a frisbee.
By watching the plate break she understood that just because something is shaped like a frisbee does not mean it will fly like a frisbee. Sometimes people just need to see things for themselves to understand why it won't work. Ideas need to be given the chance to fail.
A large part of my frustration over the last several years is that I don't think President Obama really got a fair chance while in the white house. From the beginning the Right blocked, opposed, filabustered, and did everything they possibly could to keep him from doing what he wanted to do. And if they kept him from succeeding it wasn't because he failed, it was because he simply never got to try.
The hope and change I wanted got stuck in congress and because I never saw it break, I'm still convinced it can fly.
Now America has elected a new change, a completely different direction from Obama. Believe me, there is a petty person inside of me that wants the Trump administration to suffer the exact same treatment Obama recieved. Oppose. Block. Filabuster. Refuse to compromise. Make it impossible for him to succeed. Make it impossible for him to try.
But I don't think that's the right thing to do -- not just because I'm trying to be Christian. It's because at the end of 4 or even 8 (gulp) years I want Trump supporters to feel like they got a fair chance. I want them to see for themsleves that the policies Trump and his party endorses are not going to work. They need to see that plate fall and break. And until they see that they will never be convinced to try a new direction.
We can try to stop each and every thing that Trump wants to do. That might slow the whole process down. When enough people get frustrated because nothing is happening the vote will swing back in the other direction. Then we'll start all over again. Oppose, block, flilabuster, frustrate, change the vote. Seems to be the pattern we are comfortable with.
The only problem is we're not getting anywhere. And frankly at this point in time I'm willing to go in the wrong direction as long as were moving. Sometimes you can't tell if your heading the right way until you actually move. And we havn't been moving. We're like two donkeys pulling in opposite directions and never getting anywhere. Maybe a donkey and an elephant would be a better analogy, but hopefully you get the point.
So, as much as it pains me, as much as I'm convinced Trump's tax plan will plunge us further into debt, that every year we ignore the global climat change crises we decrease our ability to deal with it effectively, that until Citizens United is reversed we will have a bought congress...and the list goes on. As much as I'm convinced of these things I believe we need to give Trump's policies a fair and honest go. We need to let Trump be Trump. We need to be willing to let him fail -- or succeed.
I'm not saying give him carte blanche. He isn't King afterall. Democrat congressmen should vote for their conscious -- I know they will. But the game of opposing, shutting down the government, refusing to cooperate and compromise, or to even consider something potentially good because of the source, has to stop. Like it or not this is what the American people elected and trying to block their will is only going to build resentment and anger. Trust me, I know.
I believe some of Trumps policies are downright dangerous. I hope that in the spirit of compromise we can find a way to temper the most harmful and extreme. I realize it's easy for me, an older white middle class woman to say that. But I swear to you I don't know what else to do. I just spent 8 years banging my head aginst a brick wall. Until people are personally effected by the policies they voted for they will never understand. If anyone is convinced it will only be when and if they can see and experience the real consquenses of what they voted for. Consequenses are how we learn. Interfering with those hampers our ability to figure out what works and what does not.
Does the thought of this terrify me. Yes! But I'm clinging to the belief that somehow democracy is resilent enough. That somehow we can self correct. I have to have faith that democracy is strong enough to let us fail from time to time so we can learn.
I readily admit, I'm not being open minded. I think things are going to fail, and fail in a spectacular fashion. But I'm still willing to try. And if I'm willing to do that I think it's only fair that Trump and his supporters own whatever happens.
And you know what, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe that plate is going to catch the wind in an unexpected way and soar. Maybe it will end up being the best frisbee ever, like championship level and all the naysayers like me will say, "Oh my gosh. I was so wrong." And I will.
Either way we are finally learning what works and what doesn't and maybe we can finally move ahead.