One Nation, Indivisible

The problem with the “Trump appeal”; this brash, abrasive, divisive, and deadly weapon of a viewpoint is that it is a threat to world peace and all humanity. Some people praise him and have decided to vote for this “businessman” because he is finally saying what some groups have been wanting to say for the last 8 years…or longer. People celebrate that he insults or obliterate his opponents with childish retorts versus disarming them with facts and solid demonstrated performance. Some seem to admire his celebrity, his wealth, his brand…his one man show. Sadly, these attributes are apparently sufficient to lead these United States. 

Trump is entitled to his views and sincerely held prejudices as an individual and even as a businessman. But not as the President of the United States. We are a democracy of the people, by people and for the people. And as the people, we get to assess whether our government and elected officials are qualified to uphold these inalienable and Constitutional rights. 

Trump is not like you…and he is not like me in the sense that he isn’t working to pay off a mortgage, a car, student loans in the same way that I am. He would be insulted if he was called middle-class. Yet middle-class sometimes feels like an aspirational goal for me and countless others. I have never filed bankruptcy to make all of my debts disappear and retain the majority of my assets and/or wealth.  He isn’t driving himself to work; working in an office. He does not work for anyone. But I do. And more than likely, you do too.  Or you have at some point in your life. 

And to be fair, the same fact is true for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders; or Cruz, or Rubio or Kasich. I don’t care what or how their script writers, interns, publicists, lawyers, advisors or whomever try to spin their political personas…none of these people are like me. Therefore, I’m not voting from that perspective. 

The good thing is, a candidate does not need to live in my community, have the same or similar cultural, racial or socio- economic experience to relate to me and my concerns. You just need to be aware of the shared concerns of the American people regardless of his or her race, nationality, gender, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.   

Race is not the only pressing issue in America but it is one of the main focal points, namely in this current election. And this is alienating everyone. As I said in the beginning, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and views.  I have no more right to discredit your life experiences anymore than you have a right to disregard mine. And though my race frames my experiences, it is not the sum total of who I am or the totality of my existence. 

My issue with this apparent Trump appeal is he is rejuvenating and encouraging a dangerous undercurrent of hate.  The platform in which he stands is not congruent with “One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”  Rather he is pledging to make America “great again.” For whom? And how does he propose to do that by literally building a wall?  To get on the national stage and make inflammatory and derogatory comments, is literally inciting fear and hate which is something that America does not need more of.  

Has anyone stopped to think where Trump goes after he is done with his speeches? Is he going back to one of the five boroughs on the subway? Is he going to work the next day to work side by side with or for the very individuals he insulted the night before? No, he is not. He returns to his life of luxury and privilege.  

Trump is spreading the virus of bigotry among common, working class people, who in turn betray and destroy their own communities. Not his. And not Hillary’s, Bernie’s, or President Obama’s. 

There are plenty of Internet trolls who mask their fear and insecurity behind disparaging comments and name calling all day long. Invariably, these sad individuals are harmless. Many of them  likely lack the emotional intelligence to affect any meaningful change to be a real threat.  They have no access to any lobbyists, political powerhouses or any lawmakers who would dare engage them legitimately.  Talk is cheap. 

Unless of course you are running for and are elected to a public office; a job that requires that you work for the greater good of all people, including those that you do not like.  Therefore what Trump is doing is dangerous as it is egregious.  

If health care reform is the issue; fix it. If war is not the answer, then let’s stop going to war.  If education, immigration, taxes, education, public assistance, and other social programs are the issue, then let’s roll up our sleeves; get some bipartisanship going and make it happen. What does race have to do with any of it in truth? By being inclusive and respectful of all viewpoints regardless of the demographic details of the individual…this is how you truly help America CONTINUE to be great. 

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I need somebody

Why won’t someone do something? Why won’t someone do something about poverty, racism, social injustice, unemployment, illiteracy, sexism, violence, crime, etc.? 

Why am I never chosen? Why don’t people like me? Why am I not getting promoted, recognized for my good deeds, efforts? Why do people treat me so badly? Why do I never seem to have enough? 

The aforementioned are common questions that have plagued each of us at some point in our lives. I know that I have asked several of these questions personally more times than I care to recall.  There is an old song that some who are familiar with gospel music would recognize…”It’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.” Or how about the more secular lyrics, “If you look into your heart…With a positive mind…Take self inventory of your woman and your glory…” These songs or lyrics have specifically enpowered me to seek many of my answers by taking self inventory of my life. Not yours, my parents, my friends, my ancestors, co-workers, or whomever else. It’s always me. 

Yes, we need help in our lives to help us along the way; whether it be academically, personally, professionally or otherwise. No successful person is without debt to someone. And people are inclined to help those who first demonstrate and willingness to succeed and help themselves. 

Some people want to walk around working strictly 9-5…not a second longer but want to know why others do not recognize his or her value. How?! On what occasion would these people gain the necessary exposure to recognize above and beyond contributions versus “just doing one’s job”? I am not suggesting that working overtime is commensurate with quality because it unfortunately is not. It is a fact that there are people who will ride a clock like a bike without contributing an ounce of quality or significant value to the business and/team. 

If you want a promotion, does anyone else know this beyond your Mom and best friend? How would your boss be able to detect in a meaningful way that you are ready for the next level? Most people’s telepathy game is under-developed; people know what you both tell and show them. Often times, the decision makers are being inundated by the accomplishments of the doers anyway. You have to set yourself a part from everyone else in a constructive and professional way.  

It is okay if you are not quite ready or are uncertain about the next steps or do not as feel confident in your next move.  Just know that now is as good a time as any to get ready. Prepare by taking the initiative and start learning what you don’t already know. Become a sponge; ask questions, ask to sit in on meetings to scribe or just to observe so that you become familiar with what the issues the decision makers face. So that you become familiar with the vernacular, code of business and learn the unspoken rules.  If you are serious, figure out a way to offer tangible, actionable suggestions or services to help address key concerns if you are prepared to do so. 

Maybe your present issue(s) are not professional; maybe it is community and social justice concerns. Yes we are in the heart of an presidential election year and like you, I have issues that are near and dear to my heart. However, I do not live in D.C. or the D.C. area, therefore to expect these candidates to have intimate knowledge  about the local issues in my community is a little far-fetche and dare I say somewhat unreasonable. There are 50 whole States, after all.   

My local issues or yours are not by any means less imperative or important; I can appreciate however, that my local issues may take a back seat to the on-going Flint, Michigan water disgrace as an example. Or the police brutality and social injustices happening in cities across the country. What about our international relations? So that being said, as I prepare to vote, how about I also hold to task the elected officials ALREADY in place, to address my municipal, borough and State issues? Right now. Some of these issues cannot wait until January 2017.  

I feel that as a society, we must learn to follow the proverbial chain of command. There are times when it becomes necessary to go over the heads of those who are in position and are inept or ineffective in his or her role.  Until such time that this proven, we need to help everyone to do their jobs by requiring them to do so. It is a bit obtuse to expect the President to care more about issues that say my mayor, governor or State Senator have gotten away with ignoring. Make sense? 

I personally believe in one savior. My Savior is not running for any office. And yet there is still me who is accountable for her choices, decisions and indecision. I need someone to save me. I need someone to fix what I and man cannot.  So when I go to the polls to vote, I am acutely aware that I am voting for an infallible mortal who is no savior of man, woman or child.  This is a person having  far more courage and desire to be responsible for the commonwealth than I. I take my hat off to him or her for signing up for a career in public service.  

Yes, I need somebody too. It seems that in these very precarious and perilous times that we all do.