Talk The Talk
Well, the deed is done.
Donald Trump officially is the 45th president of the United States of America, right there in the hallowed annals of time to be immortalized alongside the likes of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and all the rest.
Immediately following his inauguration were perhaps among the largest protests, ever, in the form of the Women’s March on Washington, which, contrary to the name, spread all around the world, including here in Hawaii.
Even if I would have liked to be ignorant of either event, it was simply impossible because social media has been flowering with everyone and their mom’s opinion about both events.
Our new president spent his weekend making his press secretary tell “alternative truths” and repeating, over and over, that he had the best inauguration of all time on Twitter (while executive-ordering halts to as many Obama policies as possible between tweets), so, you know, he’s just being himself. His people also plagiarized a Styrofoam cake, which is personally my favorite story of the past week.
Meanwhile, the march was an unvarnished success that demonstrated the will and solidarity of massive group of people — the diverse America that Trump rejects. Or it was an astounding display of whininess by modern-day feminists, who equalized their suffering with that of women in other countries who have it way worse. Or it was tone-deaf because it excluded pro-life and conservative women from its aggressively liberal agenda. Or it failed to be inclusive toward trans women via its specific and repeated usage of vagina and vulva imagery and language.
The two events absolutely eclipsed all else deemed news-worthy, and while I’ll grant these were extraordinary events, I also think this is the new normal of the Trump era: 24/7 politics.
However, as you, my fellow Americans, well know, nothing sours friendships and opinions faster than seeing what hot takes people are posting on Facebook. And this applies to both sides of the aisle: Being crazy on Facebook is nonpartisan.
So how are we going to survive the next four years? By following these two simple rules, of course:
1) Don’t try to tell other people how they should feel about something.
2) Don’t try to explain why other people can’t possibly feel what they say they do.
You have the right to think that everyone else is wrong and stupid, but they also have the right to think the same of you. There’s a difference between voicing your opposing stance civilly and leaping right in and calling everyone an ignorant jackass. Hint: If at any point you find yourself writing something derogatory, you’re doing it wrong.
A lack of dialogue is arguably the reason we’re in this hyper-polarized era of politics. We’re all perpetually on the defensive. Compromise is out of the picture when we don’t even know how to have a conversation. We’re all a little bit right; we’re all a little bit wrong. We’ve got to admit to that.
And as it happens, Facebook and other social media sites are where we have these exchanges these days. We’ve got to learn to do it right.