Bill Larsen: Our country needs reconciliation, not hatred |

Bill Larsen: Our country needs reconciliation, not hatred

I am dismayed by those telling fellow citizens to stifle their criticism of Donald Trump. All I can say is that, in my experience, those who say “silence is golden” usually have the gold before they say it.

Or not.

And that’s the interesting thing about Trump supporters. So many don’t have the gold, but continue advocating for policies that are clearly not in their best interest. Do you honestly think the Republican health care plan and tax giveaway to the 1 percent is going to benefit you? This plan would kick more than 20 million people off health-care insurance, but that doesn’t seem to bother you, does it?

So, let’s take a look at who “you” are. According to the California Department of Health Care Services, roughly 25 percent of Nevada County residents are eligible for Medi-Cal. Moreover, over 60 percent of our county’s children aged 0 to 5 depend on Medi-Cal. State-wide, 33 percent of the population is enrolled in Medi-Cal (as are, 50 percent of the state’s children 0 to 18 and 21 percent of seniors ages 65 and up). Also, insurance premiums — for those who can afford them — are projected to sharply rise under the current plan.

We live in the most complex of times, and it’s understandable why Trump supporters demanded a change from “business as usual” (As did Bernie Sanders).

Are you getting the picture here? Simply put, the folks being threatened with this health-care disaster are not them; they are us (i.e. you).

But maybe you can afford your own health insurance. Pretty cool, huh? Well, it would be if the Earth were cool. But it’s not. It’s getting hotter and hotter, and scientists around the world predict an accelerating climate crisis within the century. Huge icebergs the size of Rhode Island are dropping off the Arctic shelf, as rising sea levels gobble up Florida faster than realtors did a generation ago. Even the Pentagon says global warming presents a looming crisis to our national security. But Donald says no, and continues to strip away critical environmental regulations (i.e. protections), thus acting in opposition to virtually every other civilized nation on earth.

Stop kidding yourselves. There are clear and compelling reasons for the outrage against the Trump administration, and recent polls show that half of those who voted for him now regret their choice. Donald has taken up residence in the swamp he vowed to drain, and has magnified both its pernicious greed and intellectual paucity in ways that truly do threaten our world.

And that’s where our voice comes in. I’m sorry if you’re offended by the rhetoric used responding to the president’s insidious policies and behavior. There has been too much harshness coming from both sides, and we do need to humanize the debate. However, observable facts stand alone, and the actions of both the president and the Republican majority defy both logic and compassion.

I wish you were as upset by the president’s attacks on people and the environment as you are about uncivil language. But it seems you’re not, so the clear answer from your fellow citizens, who do recognize this looming crisis, is “No!” We will not surrender our right — our Jeffersonian duty — to rise up against this would-be tyrant. Doing so would be a disgrace.

But really, shouldn’t Donald be the one told to shut up? The man’s 3 a.m. tweets illustrate a fragile, disjointed ego that is crying out for help (Dude, chill out, get some sleep.). Please, don’t enable this poor fellow. He’s obviously a sick puppy who needs emotional support and humane care.

Honestly, I bear no hatred toward Donald. In fact I wish him well. I’d love to see him be given a private room decorated in cheerful colors, with soft music piped in through the padded walls. Smiling nurses (preferably male) could bring him plant-based yummies and herbal tea, and give him tender massages to appease the inner demons driving him to such destructive behavior.

Hatred is the problem, not the solution. Eventually, sanity will prevail and Donald’s devastating agenda will be defeated. What needs to happen then is not the “gloating” that one misguided writer expressed.

We live in the most complex of times, and it’s understandable why Trump supporters demanded a change from “business as usual” (As did Bernie Sanders). It is essential that, when the shift occurs, progressives reach out to those Trump supporters who realize their mistake, and work together to bring rational change. Otherwise, we’ll just begin another round of ever escalating political hatred driving us deeper into the quagmire of raging discord.

And that would be a shame because what our country needs is not more hatred, but reconciliation.

Bill Larsen lives in Nevada City.

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