Sunday, July 24, 2016

Why Are People Voting for Donald Trump?

I've thought a lot about the question, Why are people voting for Donald Trump?

Name Calling and Negativity
I wonder how people can support a candidate whose rhetoric likens that of an elementary school student who is learning to use words well rather than name call or demean others to get what he/she wants.

Yet, I know that his background as a media star has taught him that catchy, negative, repetitive sound bites and alliteration are memorable and evoke strong emotions, and when strong emotions match people's needs, desires, or frustration, there can be very powerful response. Thus the name calling and exaggerated ideas.

Simple Narrow Solutions for Complex Problems and Issues
Name calling and exaggerated ideas infer simple solutions to complex problems, and one challenge of today's world is the amazing complexity we face--it's not a simple world as we learn about issues and events far and wide on a second-by-second basis via social media and other resources. The complexity we observe, experience, and hear about in every area of life is overwhelming at best now that information and expertise is everywhere, and for many, to listen to Trump's simple solutions and quick judgement is attractive--he's taking the great complexity of the world and blaming it on a few while providing a number of simple, ready solutions.

Nostalgia Over Reality
He's also siding with the many that feel disenfranchised and who are angry about this complex world. He's basically telling them, "We can make it simple again, " and "We can return to days of old." It's a comforting solution for many, but not a realistic solution.

Do As I Say, Not as I Do
Donald Trump himself does not follow the dictates he supports. For example, while he demeans educators and education, it's clear that he and his own children have had the benefit of an education.

He also sides with the average and working class, while he lives a lifestyle that most of us can only dream of--one of tremendous wealth.

While many of us who make a decent wage pay a good share in taxes, he won't share his tax statements which infers that he paid less taxes than most of us if any at all. His lack of transparency in this issue demonstrates his lack of willingness to be true about who he is and what he does. Do we want a leader like that?

Ignore Experience, Tenacity, Time, and Commitment
He has chosen a couple dramatic issues in Hillary Clinton's tenure to focus on--issues that are complex, and issues he has chosen to illustrate with negative sound bites and name calling. It's remiss of any American to judge a person by a few issues, when her experience, perseverance, and willingness to face adversity has been amazing. She's a mom, wife, and grandmother who has served our country as First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, and two-time candidate for President. She knows what's going on and can start serving our country on day one with strength and ability.

Hate is the Answer
I think people want to vote for Donald Trump because he makes it seem easy--he has used media manipulation to get people going and to believe his "fairy tale" about who he is and what he'll do for our country. He's given people permission to name call, demean, and think that complex issues can be solved with simple solutions rather than the deep, thoughtful, inclusive and sensitive diplomacy, collaboration, policy, and laws it takes to build a good government, make good decisions, and support all of America's people, not just a few.

As I talked about this with an acquaintance, I knew he craved the simple solutions, hateful rhetoric, and narrow mindedness of Donald Trump. This acquaintance is disheartened by our changing world--he desires an old time, simpler America--one with less people, less complexity, and more opportunity for people like him.

Success for A Selected Few, Not All
Yes, we would all like it to be easier, but frankly there's no going back in time to a less densely populated, interrelated, and knowing world. It is a new age--an age where we readily know about inequity and can't deny unfair practice and unjust treatment. In years past this same injustice occurred, and many profited from it, but it was unknown to so many that no one talked much about it and only some worried about it. Now we can't deny unjust practices because we can so clearly see those practices via social media and what they do to people. This undeniable recognition of injustice across the globe cries out for thoughtful, inclusive, and collaborative action, not simple, exclusive, and inhuman response--the kind that Trump declares.

Also, in times past, there were "winners" in our society, and those "winners" were generally white men. Still 3/4 of the Presidential/Vice Presidential nominees are white men--but today, we are in a world where all people, women and men, all races, cultures, economic classes, and sexual orientations want and rightly deserve a place at the table, a table only reserved for some in the past. This is a critical issue we have to sensitively deal with. How do we create opportunity for all? How can we shift culture so that people believe there's room for everyone to have success, not just some? If we don't deal with this issue and think creatively about it, anger will grow, and that anger will result in unfortunate events. I believe that we can create more vital, dynamic communities that maximize the potential of the digital world to create opportunities for deeper, better living in naturally beautiful and caring communities. We can make more jobs by doubling staffs in schools, health care facilities, nature preserves, and child care centers to create a higher quality of life for people throughout the Globe. Rather than competing against one another for limited resources, we can turn our attention to the careful and targeted use of resources, energy, time, and human passion to serve one another.

Exaggerate, Avoid Honest Conversation
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ". . .hate begets hate," and the hateful rhetoric that Donald Trump has used has inflamed our country and resulted in growing acts of violence. We don't need more hate. Instead we need intelligent, thoughtful, collaborative decision making. We need decision making that acknowledges that the world has changed, but that doesn't mean a change for the worse. In fact many facts and figures that truly portray our world in ways beyond sound bites demonstrate tremendous positive growth in many realms. Just think about the medical inventions and how lives have become better for so many because of this. Think about the tremendous potential new technologies have provided for living and learning. There's much to be grateful for and excited about.

Don't Think Too Much or With Depth
As humans, we tend to like easy answers and quick solutions. We want to get on with life and typically not have to think too hard. So a Donald Trump appeals to many for just that reason--he's taken our complexity and simplified it to a small number of sound bites that appeal to many because he infers that he can solve our problems quickly with easy solutions. He's going to get rid of the "bad guys" and make life better.

Deny the Collective Potential for Good
If we truly take the time to think deeply, we know it's a changing time for our world, and we know we live in a diverse, interconnected, complex society that has to come together to think deeply about how we're going to live as a people together on Earth. There's no simple solutions, but there's tremendous potential for good if we make the time to elect competent, inclusive, and thoughtful leaders. I'm voting for Hillary Clinton. Like all of us, she's not perfect, but she's done the hard work, faced adversity, continued on and she will make a strong, collaborative leader who doesn't value a solution because it's easy, but instead works for the solutions that are right and good for all people in our country. I hope you'll join me in voting for Hillary too.