Reine Duell Bethany - Author and Illustrator
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Trump in Himself Is Not the Issue

     Four days after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, political anger is engulfing our nation. Massive protests occurred on Inauguration Day; 400,000 Trump opposers descended on Washington DC the day after inauguration, joined by several million more across the United States and around the world, protesting Trump's presidency. All this protestation has brought us -- what?
     These raucous activities are signs of a nation focusing far too much on how each side feels, instead of why each side feels that way and how the divide can be bridged.
         If I disagree with what Trump says, is my quarrel with him, or with the millions who allotted him their support at the voting booth?
     As citizens, our conversation is not between us and Trump; it is between us and us.
     Trump became president because U.S. citizens voted for him. Trump himself should not be our focus. I'm not saying citizens should not directly respond to Trump's words and actions; we should certainly respond, but he himself should not be our main focus. Putting too much focus on Trump is to act like Trump himself is our problem. In reality, he himself is no more than a symptom of our present difficulties with national communication.
       We voters, for and against Trump, need to truly start listening to each other. We might not like what we hear, but unless we stretch ourselves to listen, we will self-divide into warring factions that seek not to benefit each other, but rather, to exclude each other.
     Lincoln said it, quoting Mark 3:25 and Matthew 12:25: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." We, the citizens of the United States of America, have to prevent disastrous division; and no division is ever healed unless the factions sincerely decide to listen. 

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