We had a wonderful two-night visit from a cousin we rarely see. She is funny, laid back, generous, a good listener, kind. We wondered what might happen if politics came up, knowing she might be a Trump supporter.
I am not wedded to the Democrats (though generally aligned with them), but I’m decidedly anti-Trump and appalled at his presidency. She is a Republican and will vote Republican, even with Trump on the ballot. In her view, I was interested to hear, Trump is an ass who makes her cringe every time he opens his mouth. However, nothing’s bad enough to scrap the Republican party. We tiptoed into politics, keeping an open sense of humor on the table.
Mostly, though, we talked about our kids, upcoming weddings, grief over lost parents, health, food, dogs, work, life. We have so much in common. Surely this is true of most Americans on both sides of the aisle. How can we bypass the hype and negativity?
Our interchanges were a reminder that the people who disagree with us aren’t crazy or irrational or bad, though media representations often feed that fire. No one likes the in-fighting. Everyone’s troubled and wary of the copious disinformation.
Have we outgrown the two-party system? Maybe it’s time to ditch it entirely. Our system of governance is broken, and its representatives seem to willfully ignore the shared humanity of the people they represent.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 169: 234 words, TOTAL = 27,737; 32,263 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.