Monday, November 14, 2016

A Plea for civility toward our fellow citizens - Sally Zahav, Dr. Carolyn Tal




by Sally Zahav

"I am concerned by the number of people suggesting Trump is not their president or that the country is no longer democratic".


One of the most prominent features of the election of last Tuesday, besides Trump's surprising victory, has been the reaction to the result. Any gentle person daring to venture into the world of social networks is liable to suffer a trauma from the blind hatred expressed toward Trump voters and the apocalyptic expressions centering around the writer's opinion of the president-elect. The irony is so thick it's almost palpable. These "liberals", who define themselves as being open-minded, tolerant and especially, "inclusive", prove very demonstrably that they are anything but.

A friend, Dr. Carolyn Tal, wrote to me today in dismay after having been exposed to the social network posts of a professional group.  She and I are both American ex-pats living in Israel. Here is what she wrote:
I debated whether to respond; I have not read all the posts on the election results as I am mainly an inactive member of the list. But the little I did read compelled me to address the issue of inclusion, my inclusion.
I feel that too many of the postings regarding the election do not include me, have low interest in including my views, and seem to have low interest in understanding much less including the anger of many of the people that voted for Trump - some while holding their noses and swallowing their bile.
For the first time since age 18 I did not vote in this presidential election. I agreed with most negative things I heard regarding both Clinton and Trump. I believed both were unqualified to be president of the US, for very different reasons. And yet while I was disgusted and embarrassed that Trump was elected president of the US, I was slightly relieved that Clinton was not. And I believe that there are many like me.
I am saddened by the existence of hard-core supporters of Trump, but I can appreciate that their anger may be deeper than mine, or that they have other reasons to judge a man so differently than I do. But I am tired of their and my voice not being included among those who see themselves as being so inclusive. And I thoroughly appreciate that the US is in fact a democratic country, where when enough of its citizens are unhappy they can have an influence one vote at a time into a large collective vote.
I understand Clinton supporters being terribly upset, and frightened. There were many people feeling exactly that way when Obama was elected by less than 50% of voting citizens, and this latter group of Americans is breathing a huge sigh of relief that Obama and his ideological successor are gone. But I am concerned by the number of people suggesting Trump is not their president or that the country is no longer democratic. If someone truly feels that way then they have the right to renounce their citizenship (as opposed to being tortured or killed for suggesting such a thing); otherwise accept the results of a democratic election, done according to the rules of our democratic country. And perhaps consider why so many people were against the very thing you were for. You may never agree with them, but IMHO it would be extremely important for all of us to see each other as disagreeing FELLOW citizens.
And, I am not blue-collar. I am a PhD psychologist and consultant educated at an Ivy League school, with educated and white-collar parents; and I know many others like me with similar political sentiments.
Dr. Carolyn Tal

Sally Zahav

Source: from personal correspondence 

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