An Open Letter to Trump Supporters

Dear Trump Supporter,

This year has been a doozy, hasn’t it? It started with some news about something called COVID way over there in China around December 2019. I know, like you, I didn’t think too much of it. Then Australia started burning. Weren’t you moved by pictures of homeless koalas with charred paws bottle-fed by rescue workers? Me too. They are homeless because their homes—Eucalyptus trees—lit up like tinder in the blazes. So many fires, floods, and other natural catastrophes erupting—quite literally—all over the world. It’s as if something is going on in nature, you know?

By March, the world was locked down. Who’d have ever imagined it? Gyms, bars, nail salons, even churches, etc.—all closed. How badly did you feel about small business owners who lost their sources of income? Employees of larger companies who lost their jobs due to necessary downsizing—I know several of them. I know you do too. There was so much information going back and forth about what we could do to stay safe—I know it’s been confusing.

Someone said we’d be rocking and rolling by summer. We weren’t. It’s November and we still aren’t. But that’s nothing compared to the more than 200,000 families that have lost ones to this mess of a disease. Did you hear Europe is going on lockdown again? Yeah, numbers are going up, not down. Here in America as well.

I know you watched all the protests this summer in the wake of George Floyd’s death. It was the catalyst that tipped the point for a lot of Americans. I think Black lives matter and as a people in the United States of America, they have gone through unthinkable horrors that no one should have to go through. I think you might agree with me on that.

I could go on and on recounting all the things that have made many of us want to cancel 2020. But there’s just too much. Way too much.

But I want to know, after everything—four years of crazy stuff that has been well-documented—by both national and international press, the impeachment, after all the deaths, after the fact that as long as this pandemic goes unchecked our economy won’t survive; after the failure of the president to denounce white supremacy, all the rape allegations, Jeffrey Epstein and that mess, after his infidelity to all of his wives, after his tweeting insults at anyone who doesn’t agree with or worship him, after the way he’s appeared to hijack Christianity to suit his purposes, after the fact that he’s the candidate of choice for the KKK, why did you still cast your vote for him?

I am well aware all Trump supporters aren’t all waving giant flags off in boat parades, insulting people of color at the local Starbucks, or trying to run Biden buses off Texas highways. I know that. Within your political community are people who love their families and friends, value their faith and places of worship, and genuinely want America to prosper and be peaceful.

So, please help me understand your choice.

A lot of the issues that seem to divide us are actually things we can work together on—even under a democratic administration. It doesn’t have to be do or die—there is a way to meet somewhere in the middle. It will take compassion, kindness, patience, and compromise, but it’s doable.

To move forward, we’ve got to understand each other better. So I’m asking you: help me understand.

Sincerely,

A friend

Better Uses of Precious Time on Election Night

I don’t plan on watching anything related to election returns tomorrow or for the next several days. Wolf Blitzer, keep your breaking news beeps to yourself!

And if you think you’re going to need copious amounts of alcohol or anxiety meds to get through the night, you need to shut your TV off, put your laptop away, and hide your phone. Don’t assault your liver or your brain.

So, what can you do instead? I have a few ideas.

Cook an Amazing Meal
No, not a boxed Old El Paso taco kit (though if you love that, carry on!). Find recipes (or turn to trusted ones) for a four-course meal: Appetizer, Salad, Entrée, Dessert. Spend the evening cooking it and set the table for a nice dinner. Even if it is for one! Turn on music you love, relax, nourish, and indulge yourself.

Spa Night
Take a long and luxurious bubble bath with bath salts (of the bathing variety, thank you very much), facial scrubs and masks, scented candles, and turn on a movie that will make you laugh. Or go the music variety and hit up a spa playlist on Spotify. If you have a non-political favorite podcast, cue it up and enjoy it!

Bake Fest
Is it the best idea to drown your worries or anger in a pan of brownies? Not really, but these are desperate times. But you can bake brownies or cookies, or some other favorite treat to share with others. Wrap them in little cellophane baggies and drop them off for neighbors and friends as an unexpected treat and all-around kind gesture.

Netflix and Favorite Comfort Food
Order in any treat meal you desire and watch something that has nothing to do with politics or the state of the United States of America in 2020. So no, you cannot watch Outbreak, Contagion, World War Z, I am Legend, and especially not The Handmaid’s Tale. But I do have some suggestions:

Somebody Feed Phil (travel and food with an all-round nice human being)
The Great British Bake Off (just good times, stunning baking, Britain)
Emily in Paris (full of cliché, great fashion, and food, just fun)
My Octopus Teacher (sigh. Get your Kleenex out)
Crash Landing Into You (This is a long-haul K-drama. You will go down the rabbit hole)
The Big Family Cooking Showdown (British, families, foodie battles)
Challenger: The Final Flight (not light-hearted, but kids of the 80s all remember this)
The Office (Do yourself a favor and commit to the enigma that is Dwight Schrute)

This list by no means even scratches the surface, and we haven’t even touched Prime, Hulu, and HBO Max. But you get what I mean. And yes, my list is clearly tinged with my preferences, but I’m sure you’ll find something good to distract yourself.

Workout, Audiobook and Go to Bed
Get a long workout in and go to bed early. Bonus treat: download a free audiobook from “Libby,” which is a digital book borrowing service linked to your local public library. So, if you have a library card, you’re set. Find an audiobook and tuck in like someone is telling you a story. Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t audiobook Fear or Rage, or Melania and Me, or anything related to the election. Just find a good story and get lost in it. By all means, read a hard copy if you prefer.

Tuesday Night Bible Study or Book Club
If you’ve got like-minded friends involved in Bible study or book club virtually, don’t cancel. Carry on as normal. Maybe make it extra-long. Go heavy on the prayer session, actually.

Just a few things to help you through. Repeat as needed, for as long as needed. We’re all in this together.