Be brave. Be heard.

Dec 12
2016

I’m extremely uncomfortable writing this article. I hate confrontation in general and there is nothing more explosive than a political discussion. That’s why most of my life I’ve shied away from talking about presidents and policies. I’m afraid of looking dumb and I don’t like being shouted down.

But I’m ready to be heard. I’m ready to participate even though these discussions are veritable infernos right now. I’m ready to speak up, even if my eyebrows burn off, because it’s the right thing to do.

Because the physical safety and civil rights of my friends and family are being threatened by our president-elect and his proposed team.

Maybe you almost stopped reading just now because I revealed my political concerns and they may be different from yours. Maybe you care more about jobs, immigration and national security. I understand. But wait.

This isn’t about me convincing you about my views on equality in marriage, pay, work, bathrooms, religion and choice.

This is about whether our president-elect and his team are truly representing us. All of us.

No matter whether we care about equal rights, the labor worker, jobs, immigration, national security, the establishment or draining the swamp, we must ask ourselves:

Who is Trump and what does he truly care about?

 

He only cares about himself.

I’m not an expert and this is simply my opinion (based on extensive reading – see below), but I truly believe Trump has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Yes, it’s a real thing.

But it is very different from the typical Kardashian selfie-stick narcissism. People with NPD lack empathy, feel a sense of entitlement and lash out when criticized. (Sound familiar?)

Trump doesn’t care about our concerns, issues, lives, jobs, lovers, skin color, belief system, republican or democrat.

Trump cares about Trump. Period. He only cares about what will make him rich, famous and well loved. And that is attention. Endless attention and ego stroking. And, man, are we giving him what he wants. (The people he’s proposing for his team are especially good at it. Hence the job offers.)

Here are some well-written, thoughtful articles on the subject from people who know much more than I do. We need to understand what kind of behavior we’re in for. (Hint: Nothing will change; he’ll remain unpredictable and self-motivated.)

Easily digestible read: This woman has extensive relationship experience with people with NPD. She breaks down NPD behavior into short clear bullet points. If there is one article you read, it should be this one. Great if you only have a few minutes. “Coping With Chaos In The White House

Medium-length article. This therapist puts NPD behavior up against the kind of nuanced temperament that is required of someone leading a country. (Spoiler Alert: They don’t work very well together.) “The Narcissism of Donald Trump’s Candidacy

Dedicated read. Long, but detailed, objective, knowledgeable article from a psychological scientist who has made a career of examining the known behavior of presidents and how they predict their choices while in office. (And he’s looking at the extensive library of Trump behavior, not just his campaign behavior.). Grab a cup of coffee (or whiskey…or both) and settle in.

“My aim is to develop a dispassionate and analytical perspective on Trump, drawing upon some of the most important ideas and research findings in psychological science today.” “The Mind of Donald Trump

Don’t like the label? Think we need to adhere to the Goldwater Rule? I disagree, but this article explains it better than I do.

 

So, now what?

If you didn’t vote for Trump, I hope you’re already fighting and not hiding under the bed in Canada.

If you did vote for him, please know that I don’t immediately assume that you’re a racist, xenophobic, misogynist – because, no, not everyone who voted for him is.

You voted for what you cared about. Perhaps it was national security. Perhaps it was draining the swamp. Perhaps it was creating jobs. Perhaps it was immigration. All important issues.

But now is the time to really pay attention. Can you watch him with an objective eye and see his actions for what they are? Are he and his team good for national security? Are they draining the swamp? Do they really care about your jobs? Are their immigration policies really effective?

Is he telling the truth?

In addition to those issues, I implore you, please pay attention to the issues you may have ignored when you voted for him – especially if you believe that all people should be treated respectfully and equally. Is this man and his team representing all Americans? Or are they inciting verbal/physical violence and discrimination against marginalized groups, including blacks, Latinos, Muslims, women, and LGBT folks?

Whether or not he believed the bigotry and misogyny he spewed during his campaign isn’t the issue. His words have given a giant green light to discrimination. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports a disturbing uptick in hate incidents across the country since November 8.

“But he’s pulling back on his rhetoric,” some say. Too late. No, Trump, we can’t just get along.

If you voted for him, I understand the cognitive dissonance you may be experiencing. He said he would help you, but is he?

I implore you to hold his feet to the fire. Hold him accountable for his actions. Don’t sit back and “see what happens.” He’s not going to change. If you don’t like what he’s doing, speak up. If you don’t like who he’s bringing on his team, speak up. If you don’t think he’s representing you, speak up. If you find racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia and homophobia abhorrent, speak up. If you recognize that he’s dangerous because he is only for himself, speak up.

As I said, this has been extremely uncomfortable for me to write. But I refuse to stay quiet anymore. This is too important. My discomfort is nothing compared to the threat of physical harm and extinguished civil rights of my friends and family. I’m fighting for me and them. Who are you fighting for?

If you didn’t vote for Trump, you may be devastated. If you voted for Trump, you may be feeling uncomfortable. Either way, do what’s right. Be brave. Be heard. Speak up.

 

***    ***    ***

Ready to hold him accountable? Ready to get involved?

I have done several things in the past few weeks I never would have done before. I have contacted my representative, made phone calls, signed up for a call to action email, donated to the ACLU, SPLC, Foster Campbell, Planned Parenthood (not for the first time) and I have encouraged others via social media to do the same. I have even called to thank various people and organizations for their actions because gratitude is as equally powerful as peaceful protesting.

If keeping up with all the issues paralyzes you (and they just keep coming, don’t they?), pick the one that matters most and dedicate your energies to that cause.

  • Here’s how you can find your representative. Here’s another way to get their phone number right quick.
  • Here’s how to make your congressman listen. (Hint: phone calls are better than emails.)
  • Phone shy? Email/letter anxious? Try ResistBot. This brilliant invention helps you contact your members of congress via texts, which are then turned instantly into faxes and delivered right quick. It’s real; it works; my senator has even replied back via email!
  • If you’re one of the over 5 million people all over the world that went on the Women’s March, then sign up for their 10 actions in 100 days to keep fighting. We’ve only just begun. (Also, we made history!)
  • The Liberal Activist Toolkit is a fantastic resource. In their words, they are “a gateway drug to political activism for former armchair liberals.” They have a far more comprehensive resource list than what I’ve started below. Visit them next. Seriously.
  • Stay informed about Trump’s team. GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project is providing extensive links regarding his team’s political views as a resource for journalists. Not limited to anti-LGBT issues.
  • Need help digging the issues out of the chaos? Need suggestions about what can be done? So do I. These weekly emails really help break issues and actions down into bite-sized pieces: re:actMy Civic Workout and Wall Of Us.
  • If you need help explaining to the non-bigoted/non-xenophobic/non-sexist Trump voter that they still voted for racism, xenophobia and sexism, The Cinemax Theory Of Racism explains it well.

 

NoteMy blog, my rules. I’m open to positive, actionable suggestions. Bullying, group-bashing, name-calling, gaslighting, or otherwise hateful comments will be deleted.

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4 Responses to “Be brave. Be heard.”

  1. Diane Charles says:

    Could not agree with you more, Robin. Brilliant article, intelligent discourse and resources, and you end with things everyone can do to fight those things we can't accept. Thank you for taking the time to write and share this. We are aligned in thought and actions, here, and I'm grateful you used your voice to encourage others to find theirs. Bravo, lady!!

  2. Robin Dale Meyers says:

    Many thanks, Diane. Great to know I'm not standing alone!

  3. Jon says:

    Spot on, Sister. Politics is not for the faint of heart, but when there's no where to hide it's time to stand and deliver.

  4. Jessica says:

    I know I'm a little late to the party here, but I could not agree more with everything you touched upon in this article. Thank you for speaking up!

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