Thank you everyone who responded with comments to the “Should I Vote for Trump” post. Many of your contributions were intelligent and position-swaying. Others were idiotic.
Here’s my responses to your responses…
“As a (mostly) fiscal conservative, I can support your consideration of Trump by noting my lack of enthusiasm for him. As best I can tell, Trump is not someone who cares about controlling the size of government or the regulatory/bureaucratic state, he merely thinks he should be the one running it. Take a look at his views on eminent domain. Not exactly the stuff of which a libertarian is made. So, I say you can take solace in Trump’s poorly articulated but still evident statist leanings.” – R.F., New Orleans
I.S.: What R.F. is referring to here is Trump’s practice of using legal means to force sale of property from private individuals, for the sake of his larger real estate developments. Imagine the owner of a single house is refusing to sell to a large planned development that has otherwise secured all the necessary property in order to build. Trump, as a developer, has, in the past, used the courts to force the sale of that single home.
While eminent domain abuse is arguably socialist (the statist control part is, the abuse of the commoner is not), what R.F. is articulating here is something that many smart Republicans realize, which is that Trump is not a Republican. As R.F. points out “Trump is not someone who cares about controlling the size of government or the regulatory/bureaucratic state.” Traditional conservatives want small government and low regulation. While Trump has promised to deregulate Wall Street, in other ways, like his promises to build infrastructure and raise tariffs, suggest a larger government.
I understand the fear of the bureaucratic nightmare. Indeed, in my travels to Cuba, I found that socialist bureaucracy is a dire threat to freedom. However, I see the institutional oligarchy of the United States as almost equally bureaucratic. We have the same long lines, the same ridiculous rules, the same constant outside interference, and the same lack of ability to be independent that they have in nations with oversized governments. The only difference is that it’s banks and corporations, in combination with the government, exerting control. So, I would ask R.F., what’s the use of small government if the private sector is just as bureaucratic, if not moreso?
“Listen to your mother. Then closely examine the list of eleven Scalia clones Trump says he will consider for Supreme Court nominations, and try to imagine the seven best of them on the bench. (Yes, the next President could have that many appointments. Look at the ages of current justices and do the math).
If you still want to vote for Trump, perhaps your former girl friend is right;~}”\ – M.D., Marin County
I.S.: What I like about Trump’s Supreme Court picks is that 1) they do resemble Scalia and 2) very few (if any?) of them went to Ivy League schools. The court is about BALANCE, something people seem to have forgotten, and Scalia, besides being the most entertaining writer on the court, provided a much needed populist balance to a team weighted very heavily with justices who buy hook, line, and sinker into the kind of extreme neoliberalism that dominates the thinking at Ivy League schools (where all the current justices went, besides Stanford, which is more of the same). My favorite Scalia dissent is one in which he acknowledges that everyone on the court has been brainwashed with a certain liberal mentality, as they all went to the same three law schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford), where that kind of morality is drilled in. We don’t need more P.C., “safe space”-type thinkers on the court. We need people who recognize the rest of us, who do not agree with that kind of dogmatic nonsense and who are willing to hear opposing thoughts.
Wacky. Take me off this mailing” – P.G., my step grandmother, Cleveland
I.S.: Screw you gramma!
“Isaac, I totally agree with you. Trump is a persona. Yes he’s an egotist, but he is also a master marketer. Hard to believe, but skilled well beyond what our political theater is used to. He created himself in the image of the last 20 years of right wing talk radio in order to sell his candidacy to them. He’s far more liberal than conservative & a very pragmatic businessman. He knows that to truly sell a product or service & grow your business you have to grow your markets. In order to grow his markets he has to expand the number of people able to buy. He sees growth as being something organic. It’s the same tactic he’s using as he runs for office. Start with an easily accessible target market looking for your product. Once you have sold to them expand your market by changing your message. Hillary has tried to do that too but she has no style. She is the personification of the politician/insider/panderer that everyone is done with.
I truly don’t think Trump is the mysogynist or racist some want us to believe. I say look at the positions of responsibility they have been given. All of his exes have been strong women who have gone on to live independent productive lives. Hell even Amorosa talks well of him. Lol
People give me crap all the time cause I’m not appalled by him and am ardently opposed to Hillary. I won’t vote for her and will probably write in Bernie. But in reality the game ain’t over for Bernie cause all those super delegates she has been counting on could jump ship as she polls worse & worse against Trump. The one thing about the 2 party system is that it is like a sports competition where neither side is willing to give up home field advantage.” – S.M, Chicago
I.S.: “Start with an easily accessible target market looking for your product.” Could not agree more S.M.! Trump, as I argued in my last piece, may be just as much of a socialist revolutionary as Sanders is, with a more deft method of achieving power. The liberal, corporation-friendly media wants to gut that power, so they paint him as a racist/sexist in order to distract and divide us common people. It’s unfortunate that it’s worked so well so far, but you can’t fool everyone all the time.
“Why vote for Hillary?
She is 1,000 times more qualified. She’s pro-choice, in favor of raising the minimum wage, inclusive. She understands the world, and America’s place in that world. She’s perhaps more hawkish than I would like, but she’s credible.
Why not Trump?
He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He wants to ban muslims from entering the country, build a wall on the Mexican border, withdraw from world trade, default on the US debt. He’s an orange-haired clown that would make all Americans look stupid for voting for him. Did I forget to mention, he doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing? Also, he’s erratic. Very, very erratic.” – S.J. New York
I.S.: The “he would make Americans look bad internationally” thing is a valid critique, and it’s why I voted for Obama (because Bush made us look so terrible). However, at a certain point, you can’t be worried about the thoughts of others. Things have gotten so bad within this country that we have no choice but to isolate ourselves and grow our own wealth for awhile. We are a country of debt slaves. Even my upper middle class friends making upwards of $100k a year can’t afford to buy a home. The center of the country looks like Syria due to loss of jobs and wealth so greedy corporate CEOs can inch up their margins. The establishment has shirked its responsibility to the American worker. It’s a dire situation, and Hillary is not only not going to do anything about it, she is funded by the people who caused it.
2) If you care about the American worker, maybe stop importing third world slave labor.
3) Jack London would want you to.
4) The Democratic Party hates you because, in the words of AIDS Skrillex, you’re a fucking white male.
5) Hillary is a warmongering cunt.
6) Trump is not beholden to cultural conservatives.
7) Trump’s tax plan will soak financial parasites.
8) Tired of shrieking PC crybabies? Me too.
9) Trump has said he will take proceeds from the Keystone pipeline and put them into the treasury.
10) Anyone equally hated by conservatives and liberals has to be great.Happy to go back and forth with you on this. I’ve been on the Trump train from day one.” – N.P., Los Angeles
I.S.: I’d love to go back and forth with you as well N.P., but unfortunately I’m in total agreement. There isn’t a bullet on this list that I disagree with. It is time to exterminate the brutes. And Trump is a start.
“I think you should write an article titled: Is Trump a Socialist?” – H.S., New York
“We met once, last year… you seemed like a nice, intelligent, and reasonable person… I receive your emails and am stunned by your most recent email, “Should I Really Vote for Trump.” I’m responding purely out of a sense of personal responsibility as a citizen and my grave concern for the future of our country. You most resemble a lemming, defined as “a person who unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially a headlong rush to destruction.” (Exactly.)
I’m unable to find a single reason to vote for, or any redeeming qualities for this thin-skinned, mean-spirited, unstable, small-minded, utterly incompetent, xenophobic, racist, no-nothing–a narcissistic misogynist bully, with no qualifications whatsoever to lead the world’s only “Super Power”. He’s one of the most repulsive, amoral individuals I’ve ever heard of. A money-grubbing, power-hungry opportunist, who takes every side of an issue (for about 5 minutes) and who’s only “talent” is to command attention through repeating the same 3-5 words over and over again, somehow mesmerizing a nation that’s addicted to being entertained
.I’m sorry, but last Fall, when journalists started talking about the Presidency of the United States in the context of entertainment, I said “enough!” Stop!So when I come across “intelligent” people happy to discard their critical thinking skills to embrace the possibility of Trump becoming President, I see red and take the time to respond, even when I have better things to do.
I repeat: YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!
We’re talking about the leader of the “Free World”, not a beauty contest or reality TV show! This man has no interest or experience in public service, is anything but a philanthropist or thinker, cares not a bit about applying rigorous thought to the serious, life-and-death issues of the day, or serving people in need, or bringing people together. Gimme a break, Isaac!!How much longer can we collectively endure his endless, vapid slogans, the insults and slurs and never a word about “HOW” anything will happen. “Trust Me, ” he says. I say, “Journalists, do your jobs! Ask probing followup questions that reveal that the Emperor has no clothes and a hideously disfigured body.
Are you really taken in by “Make America Great Again” and “I’ll be the greatest jobs president of all time” and “Mexicans are rapists”, and “Ban All Muslims”, and “Crooked Hillary” and “Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren”, and, and, and? He’s seems to be good at just one thing–repeating the same words over and over again in rapid succession so they stick in people’s minds. There’s never anything of substance, or a plan, or a vision. “Trust Me.” (The hell I will!) It’s akin to “magical thinking” but far too dangerous and insidious for that label to apply.This man is a menace and that ought to be enough reason for people to disqualify him and exit his sick, little echo-chamber. He’ll take this country on a path through fascism to ruin.You can go there if you like, but don’t suggest I go along with you. Uh, uh.And on this Memorial Day weekend, spend some time thinking about how to honor those who gave their lives for the freedoms we hold dear.” – E.R., Los Angeles
I.S.: A few brief responses here. I get the “I thought you were nice…until you supported Trump,” argument a lot, even though it’s not really an argument. This type of emotional response, that is about 80% name calling both of me and Trump, is understandable (these things get people riled up), but ultimately unhelpful. There are tens of millions of people, reasonable, non-idiot people, who support Trump. If you cannot empathize with those millions in even the tiniest amount, then it is you who is doing the “othering.” N.P. above made a convenient list of very good reasons to vote for Trump from a practical perspective.
One other thing. The only thing Trump has ever done that I am staunchly against is the “ban muslims” proposal, as it is anti-America and anti-religious freedom. So I’ll agree with you that that is abhorrent. He did not, however, call all Mexicans rapists. That’s a media creation.
“Been staying away from this for awhile…my answer is NOOOOOOOO! And it concerns me that you’d even have to ask. National politics affect so many less fortunate then us and you have to understand and accept the idea of moving in a better direction in increments for the sake of the most people. Sure it’s incredibly irritating and not at all sexy or entertaining to think in these terms but its what needs to be done to avert really, really bad things happening to many more people with a much greater frequency then they will with a traditional democrat, a pol, Hillary in office. People live or die. We all want a better mouse trap, a better box or better envelope and Hillary’s assertion that she’s a team player with her heart in the right place, knowing how to work in the very limited and rigged and corrupted box ( she’s part of the problem) is not at all reassuring. BUT it’s always the lesser of two weevils or evils in American politics. She’s a flawed friend,Trump is truly an enemy, of you, me, all the people really. Think about really poor kids who need school lunches, women who need abortions, kids needing relief from college loans– hey, how about the environment, the survival of the planet no less. With any issue you choose to consider there is hope with Hillary that she’ll land on the right side of the issue, her experience is not necessarily a disqualifyer AND she’s not a narccistic self serving frat rat, con man, hustler, actor, with no empathy, and no experience who could really be America’s first true fascist president.
It will be disappointing to all of us Bernie supporters when she inevitably wins the nomination but Bernie’s candidacy has had a very positive affect on the language and discussion in American politics ( How about decriminalizing and de demonizing the term Socialism for starters) and will affect the Demo platform, pushing it to the left, which is not nothing, far from it.The difference between Bernie and Hillary is vast— say earth to the moon but the difference between aTrump presidency and a Clinton presidency is massive…from our solar system to infinity and beyond!I can’t emphasize enough how destructive a Trump presidency would be for the country and the world and how wrong headed voting for Trump is.” – P.D., Marin County
I.S.: I detect two arguments here. 1) that Trump will ultimately be so disastrous to the system that it will disintegrate into war and/or an apocalyptic state, and 2) that American politics is always the “lesser of two evils” and Hillary is the lesser. As for 1), you may very well be right. As I’ve said before, I want to watch the world burn, yet I’ve never really been burned myself, so perhaps it is a naive desire. Nonetheless, I’m ready for the current establishment to burn. I’m tired of the hamster wheel. I’m tired of being judged as hostile because of my gender and the color of my skin. I’m tired of the debt. I’m tired of my hard-working friends being betrothed to banks and corporations every step of their lives. I’m tired of participating in a system that uses me up and throws me out so a select few can live like Gods. So I’m ready to take the risk on seeing it burn, if that’s what it takes to end the current “corrupted box” that we live in. Re 2), call me an idealist, but I honestly do not believe that “the lesser of two evils” is the way that is has to be, and the way that it always has been. This election, we have not one but two inspiring leaders, that, for the first time in my life, I’m actually excited to vote for.
“This is good shit. So much to talk about.How do you see Clinton as bourgeoise and Trump not? I think they’re both elitist and deeply connected with financial institutions/money markets.” – B.M., Los Angeles
I.S.: Trump is definitely as bourgeoisie as Clinton, not denying that. He is also connected to our financial overlords, and indeed was one of them for awhile. Yet I believe that this is the very reason why he’s such a compelling candidate. It’s like he really was one of them, but was too weird and non-subtle to ever really fit in. Like he wasn’t ever able to totally accept his role as a shadow ruler, as he was more interested in a more old school, flashy sort of power. So ultimately he rejected the establishment, and they rejected him. They just didn’t realize he would become a demagogue.
“Short answer: No, you should not vote for Trump, nor support him in any way. The reasons are obvious; you’ve heard them many times. He appeals to the fascist constituency in America with an explicitly cruel and racist agenda. He is ignorant about law, people, economics, war, and world cultures. He surrounds himself with advisors who are career crackpots from the extreme right-wing. He is unable to control his ego or his violent impulses. He boasts about the size of his penis.
Next short answer: The vote on president is often an individual’s least important political act in US democracy. That’s because the choices usually are so dismal, the act itself is massively diluted, and one’s impact on the larger system is nil, regardless of which candidate wins. Much more important is each person’s actual, day-to-day role in articulating political/economic alternatives and consensuses. We can discuss details about alternatives if you like.
Another way to look at this: Think of this discussion as a message you are sending to people ten or fifteen years from today. Consider that you are making an implicit claim that you will ‘outsmart’ an oppressive political system by supporting a someone likeTrump. But you already have had plenty of warning that his rule will end in tragedy, most likely bloody.
I’m fine with ‘zigging’ when everyone else is zagging. However, supporting Trump is a poor way to do that. Your critique of Hillary is not a reason to support Trump, and vice versa.” – C.S., Washington, DC
I.S.: I completely agree with your second and third points. Indeed, the presidential choice is overrated, and ultimately has very little impact. Thus, this is mostly a symbolic discussion. But I would ask, isn’t that all the more reason to vote for Trump? If his impact really won’t be that great, isn’t is most important to at least support the symbol of the destruction of the ruling elite that has buried this country in debt slavery and dissatistfaction? As for tragedy and blood, see my above answer. Perhaps that is what is needed. “Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.” – Edward Abbey. Maybe I’ll be singing a different tune once the reality of that comes my way, but I’m ready to accept that risk in order to destroy the hamster wheel.
As for your first point, his so-called “ignorance” and penis-referring don’t bother me. I have always had an affinity for the common parlance, and I don’t mind that he uses intuition, instead of a team of Ivy Leaguers, to make his decisions. Intelligence is important, to be sure, but I don’t think he isn’t intelligent, I just think he’s a non-obnoxious kind of intelligent. Also, he is not a racist. All naming him that does is attempt to invalidate him by insults, which is facile.
“Not sure if you are doing this for attention or if this is really…
Please remove me from this conversation/email/thought. I dont want to see any of this.
Its appreciated.” – A.T., Los Angeles
I.S.: This is really me.
“I admit that it is possible that my views on this subject are wrong. However my personal belief is that Trump is a fascist and not temperate, thus ineligible to be president.Trump is the very type of leader that our founding fathers feared would ascend to the presidency. He has authoritarian tendencies, advocating for the deportation of millions as well as the banning from our country of millions. He promotes changing the constitutionality of freedom of speech and also has stated that we would break laws promulgated by the Geneva convention. No leader in the history of our world has ever had the type of rhetoric Trump has and not become a dictator.Trump has a large amount of support because he’s “anti-establishment”. The situation in our country is that people will vote for an “outsider” candidate just for the sake of voting for an outsider, even if the candidate is a person they do not understand or don’t care to understand.Trump says he will tear down trade agreements. Economic experts believe Trump’s policies will lead to a trade war with China and even other countries. Multiple foreign policy experts, including Democrats, Republicans and military leaders believe that Trump has very little understanding of foreign policy and international stability. Many campaign insiders and others who left the campaign say that Trump is not really being advised. He makes his decisions based on his own logic, without listening to others.I believe we are in danger of losing our democracy. Trump has no ideology. He has no positive message other than making America great again. The problem is how he would do it.” – J.S., Atlanta
I.S.: Trump does have an ideology, and it’s “America First.” You say he’s against trade agreements, and you’re right. These free trade agreements that have gutted our economy and destroyed our wealth structure. They have turned the Rust Belt into a post-apocalyptic landscape. They have indebted the middle class of an entire nation. Here we have a simple disagreement of policy. You believe in free trade. I do not. There’s not much more to say about that.
In terms of fascism, this is the number one critique of Trump. The words “fascism” comes from a latin word meaning “bundle of rods,” which refers to the notion that together we are stronger than we are apart. Right now, America has never been more divided. We hate each other on the basis of class, race, gender, and sexuality. The people who were supposed to bring us together in spite of those differences, e.g. Obama, have failed to do so. Thus, the only direction to go is in the opposite one. It is to establish a singular American identity, and foster a love and respect for that. If that’s fascism, then so be it.
“Isaac, I must tip my hat to you for having the courage to go out on a limb here toward supporting Trump.My favorite thing about his candidacy is that he has totally upended the contemporary Republican cart. He’s exposed a lot of bullshit for what it is and he’s not a fucking nut job religious zealot or a psychopath (a la Ted Cruz).Also I don’t see him as an evil or racist demagogue and I seriously question the wisdom in labeling him as such. It’s the typical “boy-who-cried-wolf” overreaction of the left that makes liberals so fucking annoying (with full acknowledgement of my own left-leaning convictions and imperfections).That said, I don’t think he’s up to the task of governing this country; and I have little faith that he will suddenly develop or reveal the personal and intellectual capacities needed to sensibly govern in time to forestall the havoc his presidency may reap.It’s kinda like letting your blind friend Kevin drive the gang home from a heavy night of drinking. Kevin’s always wanted to drive. He can push the accelerator and turn the wheel. But if you give Kevin the keys odds are he’s gonna crash the fucking car.That said, I have serious issues with Clinton too. Not the least of which is her continued adherence to the corrupt neoliberal economic ideal that is distroying our country. The ideal that has fostered gross wealth disparity and given rise to the social tensions that attract people to a bombastic “fuck-’em-all” candidate.My chief concern though, and I hope it’s something you’ll stew on, is that the next president will appoint the swing vote on our Supreme Court. Take a look at Trump’s prospective nominees. If he’s elected and another conservative ideologue takes the bench, well it’s like Kevin just turned the wrong way down a one way–I’m concerned we may be headed for disaster.” – Commenter requested to be anonymous
I.S.: Thank you for this thoughtful and well-reasoned response. I do address the Supreme Court nominations above, but to continue that line, I think the court is due for some much needed balance. As a straight white male, the necessity of social liberalism (nay, marxism) that the ultra-liberal Obama appointees possesses is not of great import. I would even say that forced social equality (Title XII, etc) is a bad thing that impinges everyone’s freedom. However, with more conservative justices, also comes the risk of more Citizens’ United style decisions, misguided attempts at financial freedom that merely give more power to the oligarchy. So in that sense, I agree that this could be a dire consequence of a Trump presidency.
As for your Kevin analogy, I accept that as well. The difference is that I am a risk taker. I crave risk, as I equate it with freedom. I’m willing to accept the risk of crashing the car, if it means we have a chance at crushing the hamster wheel.
“Alright, happy to help out here. In my view, I think people should vote for who they like. Which means we should examine why one might like Trump.You stated above that you think he’s a secret socialist and that you are not alone in that thought. While that may be true, the question that one must ask next is how effective will a secret socialists policies be within the republican establishment? Nothing is getting passed into law without their consent if you run for president in their platform. Especially now that they’ve had 8 years to refine their gridlock politics techniques.
You’ve also stated above that you’re a “fiscal socialist” slightly obsessed with the well being of the commoner . Trumps build a wall policy is going cost upward of $100B of tax dollars. There’s nothing fiscally socialist about this……nor is there any fiscally socialist about raising tariffs on imports by double digit percentage points as tariffs are passed on to the consumer, the commoners that wanted the cheaper products in the first place so that they could of them. As it’s the drive for cheaper prices that’s really hallowed out our country and contributed to the meteoric rise of a company like wal-mart to become the worlds largest and most influential company. The market (meaning the people) can’t suport that type of business model and expect jobs to stay within this country.
There’s a whole host of other issues regarding Trump from my view but since those things were not mentioned above and some of those things (such as his temperament, the fact that his wife has naked playboy photos floating around out there, etc..) can be viewed as positives by some and I can understand that point of view.As for Hillary, I agree with your assessment and her families policies have really really fucked over black communities in America. But from a political perspective I’d say she’s at least predictable in that she will maintain the status quo established under Obama for good or for worse. But I’d say really examine what that status quo is before you knock it. Obama has made some incremental changes in some big areas where if those agendas were carried forward the country would be moving down the right direction in my opinion versus having any republican in office (from an establishment perspective).
Just my two cents. “- J.S., Los Angeles
I.S.: I think your initial argument, that Trump may not be able to get anything done, is a deft one. There is a potential that, like Obama, he will be blocked so hard by one (or in his case both) parties in congress that he’ll be a total lame duck outsider, somewhat like Jesse Ventura was in Minnesota. There is another possibility, however. That possibility is that the Republican and Democratic parties are both sheared in two, and that the more fiscally leftist members of both parties cleave to Trump and leave their party establishment’s behind. I think there’s enough of a chance of this happening that it’s worth the vote.
I’m sorry, but your statement that tariffs are anti-socialist is just wrong. Tariffs and economic protectionism are arguably the most socialist policies in existence. Remember, socialism is fundamentally about working class control of the state. The ultimate price of goods, while arguably a secondary part of the equation, is not practically a socialist concern. In a successful socialist economy (which doesn’t exist, btw), the workers don’t need to worry about the price of goods, as either they can easily afford them, or they are distributed without monetary transaction.
As for your black communities stance, let me be clear. I do not care about black communities because they are black. I care about black communities because they (some of them) are poor, and the poor ones are the ones I care about. I am not black, and thus I leave the plight of black people to black people. I will stand aside, promising never to judge an individual black person based on the color of his or her skin. That is, in my view, the only way to truly not be racist. I am, however, poor, and as such I drive to gather together with my fellow poor, indebted people, without complete disregard to skin color, in order to crush those that possess freedom that is rightfully mine.
“Why are you a fiscal socialist?” – D.A., New York City
I.S.: I am not truly a fiscal socialist in the sense that I believe we should live in a purely socialist economy. I realize that socialism, as an economic structure, does not work. However, the sort of capitalism that we have right now doesn’t work either. Socialism does work as a central principle. When I look around at countries with the most freedom for the average man to live independently, while deriving what he needs to compete from his state, I see those that are founded on a socialist ethic. One of civil pride and mutual support, where it is acknowledged that, as importance as independence is, humans are ultimately community-based creatures that rely heavily on one another.
“Voting for Trump delegitimizes the US, especially internationally, would be incredibly regressive (banning Muslims, abolishing the recent environmental agreement) and I really don’t know how he could be a socialist (have you seen his tax brackets??). Electing him sends a message to our country and the rest of the world that it’s okay to treat everyone who isn’t a white, Christian man like shit (which would really ruin your identity politics stuff because there are COPIOUS videos of him being disgusting to women and POC).” – G.W., Winnetka, IL
I.S.: Ok two things here. The tax argument is a good one, because it is admittedly my weakest point on Trump (here’s a link to the brackets). Trump’s tax plan will lower taxes, which is not socialist. That does not mean, however, that it isn’t a good plan. Indeed, the founding principle of the plan is that it will be paid for by “Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.” Furthermore, it will relieve the bottom 25% of any tax liability, which they currently owe. Thus, he is effectively redistributing wealth.
As for your identity politics argument. I reject it wholesale. Again, it is those that were supposed to unite us regardless of race, e.g. Obama (who I voted for for this reason!), that have divided us more than ever. Our students are being ingrained, almost religiously from birth, that they are victims at the hands of a white history. True or untrue, it isn’t working. We hate each other more than ever, and opposing views are increasingly censored, not the opposite. The only way I foresee to move forward is to move the pendulum back in the other direction. To create a singular American identity of which we are all a part. Bickering over identity must end. We have learned the hard way that the more we focus on it, the worse it gets.