Thursday, July 20, 2017

Six Months

Six months, or one half of one year, seems an appropriate time to permit someone some benefit of the doubt. Some time ago I decided to give that amount of time to our president, and I therefore have refrained from commenting on the administration, its conduct, and its policies, on this blog. Is it because I'm trying to save him from my scathing analysis? No. It's been more about me stepping back and trying to gain perspective. 

When one imposes a ban on oneself from commenting politically, it ends up closing down a lot of ideas for writing on anything. Hence why this blog has been relatively silent for a few months. 

So, what do I want to say now that my self-imposed ban of silence is over? Not much. President Trump has done little to surprise me. I opposed his election as president in November. If I were asked to cast a ballot today, I'd still cast a ballot against him. In all likelihood, if he were to run for reelection in 2020, I'll vote against him. 

Yet I imagine his supporters feel much the same way. He earned their vote in November. He'd earn it again today. And there are many who I love as friends and family who cast their vote for him last month. It's possible that by criticizing the president today, I'll be criticizing people I care about. The president, the news, the political cycle . . . they'll all give me chances to critique and pick in the coming three and a half years. But really, nothing has changed since November. 

And that's a shame. 

I find that the media focuses very heavily on the actions of the president, either to criticize him (as many outlets do) or to defend him (as a few outlets do). It would seem as if any major news story covered by the great oligopolies of news media (CNN, MSNBC, and FoxNews on the TV; New York Times, WaPo, and WSJ in print/online) is either directly about Trump or about the healthcare debate, which overlaps heavily with the president. There are many other things of national interest getting lost in this noisy coverage. There is also much of importance at the state and local level on which we are not focusing. The country is much bigger than the president. 

And there is always the business of what we're fighting for in our homes, churches, communities, and workplaces. 

If one is an opponent of the president (but at the same time, one who respects the office of the President of the United States), there is little to do that changes the fact that Mr. Trump is our president until 2020. In the meantime, there is much to do in the arenas where I can make a difference. 

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