Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Living with President Trump

Living with President Trump is not uplifting, instead it is a worrisome affair.

Everyday the news is alarming.

Everyday people are demeaned and discounted publicly.

Everyday we are wondering what is true and what is not true.

The only uplifting moments are those that feature his young son and grandchildren, who like children everywhere, bring smiles to our faces as they go about their childhood ways.

I'm trying to look beyond the headlines.

I find myself researching the laws, his past, and the stories of those he champions.

I find myself reaching out to friends in many professions to understand what's happening from their points of view.

In the classroom, I tell students that we will not talk poorly of the people, but instead debate the issues and beliefs as I know my class represents many points of view as they arise. I tell them that my job as an educator is not to choose one candidate or another in front of the class but to foster respectful discussion when it occurs.

In the teachers' room we talk about this. There I say these are not simple issues--there is so much to digest, figure out, and understand. Have we had an international businessman as President before? Trump's work as an international businessman challenges all kinds of laws and ethics. His material wealth is challenging too. For example is our tax money supporting his Florida resort as he does national/international business there? If he has private interests in other countries, how does that affect his political dealings with those countries? Are his close relatives including his children privvy to national security issues? What is the official role of the adult children of a President?

Also, his extensive use of social media is relatively new. Obama used social media, but Trump is using it with greater ease and less oversight. What do we think of this? I do like to see his words first hand on Twitter though I rarely agree with them. Yet, many of his tweets incite anger and conflict. They don't demonstrate the typical measured respect that leaders of a country show. The way he talks publicly is discourse unwelcome in elementary schools--we can't even share most of his sentences as we would be breaking the elementary school rules about kindness, respect, and caring for one another.

I hope that those in the know in our country and abroad will do the right thing when it comes to the multiple controversies that exist. I hope they will choose the welfare of many over the greed of some. I hope they will not be afraid to tell the truth of what has happened and why it has happened. I hope they will out anyone who is doing our country wrong and breaking the law.

These are worrisome times for our country. I hope true leaders step up and do the right thing to lead our country forward in ways that dignify people and reach for modern day Constitutional fidelity and "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" for all citizens.