I read a story in the Jewish World Review called West Bank Jews invite Muslims over for the holidays to try for some bonding. It was published on October 21st, and describes the mayor of Efrat, a “bedroom community of 10,000 affluent Jews, including many Americans, a few miles south of Bethlehem” inviting “Palestinians from surrounding villages to come to his house and celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkos, the Feast of the Tabernacles.”
A few dozen Palestinians accepted the offer and came. It wasn’t perfect. The Israelis were armed and the Palestinians weren’t. It seems like a good time was to be had but rather tentatively.
I encourage you to read the story because I want to contrast it with what’s currently going on in the United States now that Donald Trump is the President-Elect.
There have been numerous protests over Trump’s win, some of them breaking into such violence that even extremely liberal Portland, Oregon has had enough.
A number of groups feel vulnerable and threatened by Trump including the LGBT community, tech and liberal driven Silicon Valley in California, New Yorkers, College Students, women, Muslims, Mexicans (specifically undocumented aliens), and just about every pundit who can keyboard and has internet access.
The point is, whether you voted for Clinton or Trump, we all have to live with at least four years of a Trump Presidency. It’s one thing to ask what are we going to do with Trump as the President and another thing to ask what are we going to do with each other.
Even in my own little corner of Idaho, some people are upset, although thankfully, the are peacefully protesting rather than rioting.
Feminists have their own theories about why women voted for Trump rather than Clinton. At least according to celebrity Mike Rowe, we should know who voted for Trump and why. And at least according to The Jerusalem Post, Israel is very optimistic about a Trump Presidency.
But that doesn’t solve the problem of the polarization of America. For the past eight years, Barack Obama has increased the racial divide between whites and people of color dramatically. One would expect an African-American President to be ideally placed to promote racial healing, but instead, he did the opposite, and we’ve reaped the “benefits” in responses such as Black Lives Matter.
The liberal press and entertainment industry, which controls most of what we see on television, films, and other media, think that all America is or should be like them. Problem is, the real America isn’t one thing and it certainly isn’t the progressive ideal, which is how it was possible for Trump to be elected.
Of course people with different social and political views are going to disagree, but that doesn’t necessarily have to translate into violent riots, “cry-ins” on university campuses, and the wholesale belief that Trump is going to dial American law and culture back sixty years.
Trump hasn’t done anything yet except talk and the nation has already panicked. What are we all going to do on January 20th and going forward when Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States?
I don’t know.
I know we all need to see some commonality in ourselves as Americans. We’ll never be a united nation as long as any one group expects everyone else to submit to them. We’re supposed to recognize the differences between each other and accept that diversity.
Unfortunately, that’s not happening. Diversity is accepted only as long as it’s on the official “approved” list. Acceptance and unity doesn’t exist unless it includes everyone, even people we disagree with.
In the end, there will be only one King and all this petty bickering will be silenced. Until then, we have a responsiblity to promote peace with our neighbors, even if we don’t like them.