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We Are Not The Enemy

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We Are Not The Enemy

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An anti-Trump demonstrator protests outside the venue where Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Anaheim, California U.S. May 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

On the last day of December, this was Donald Trump’s greeting for America — via Twitter, of course:

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”

My immediate response to this infantile tweet from the future president of the United States was to donate to a diaper charity. See? I do know what to do.

Let’s talk about those diapers for a moment. I first wrote about this issue in 2015, after learning that parents — particularly single mothers — who cannot afford enough diapers for their babies are likelier to struggle with depression. The need is great, so please consider donating to one of the diaper charities in your community. They’re growing in number, including at some food banks.

Now, let’s address this unparalleled dysfunction about to take over the White House. It’s a remarkable thing, really, for our future president to identify as an enemy to anyone who didn’t vote for him or who dares to challenge him now.

Let’s all sit with that for a moment.

Once again, I am reminded of the late Rev. William Sloane Coffin’s definition of true patriotism:

“There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad ones are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover’s quarrel with their country, a reflection of God’s lover’s quarrel with all the world.”

Mr. Trump, we are not the enemy.

We are the popular majority of voters — Democrats, Republicans and independents — who wanted a leader, someone who understands that there’s no such thing as a whisper when one is president-elect and that airing one’s many insecurities through petty, thin-skinned tweets and hashtags is as dangerous for this country as it is pathetic.

We are not the enemy. We are the women who wanted someone other than an admitted sexual predator to be our president, a person who doesn’t celebrate misogyny. Your attacks against an anchorwoman inspired so many death threats against her that security guards became part of her daily life for the rest of the campaign. You are that guy.

We are not the enemy. We are the people of color who wanted a president not prone to trafficking in racist stereotypes about immigrants and black and Latino Americans, someone who doesn’t relish working supporters into mobs with coded language that goads them into seeing anyone who isn’t white as the “other.”

We are not the enemy. We are the people with disabilities, which makes us different, not discardable. We are also their loved ones. We all saw the video of you mocking a New York Times reporter with a congenital joint condition. After the newspaper defended him, you didn’t apologize. Instead, you said, “He should stop using his disability to grandstand and get back to reporting for a paper that is rapidly going down the tubes.” If you were our child, you would be grounded.

We are not the enemy. We are the media — the real ones, the journalists, not the propagandists and Russian hackers who helped to make you president. We are the reporters and editors demanding accountability. We are the fact-checkers chronicling your disregard for truth. We are the opinion writers you cannot silence.

In recent weeks, your brigade and too many citizens who are worn-out from the presidential campaign insist it’s time to move on. We should accept that you will be our president, they say. We should give you a chance. As one reader told me earlier this week, it is time to give up the grudge.

Calling out a continued pattern and practice of lies and propaganda is not a grudge match. Resentment does not drive our vigilance in continuing to oppose what we rejected in you as a candidate.

We are patriots, in all our forms. We are committed to championing what already made America great, which includes our First Amendment rights to pursue the truth and say what’s on our minds. We will challenge you as president, as true patriots often do.

We are moving on.

This is where we land.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism.

IMAGE: An anti-Trump demonstrator protests outside the venue where Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Anaheim, California U.S. May 25, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Blake

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Connie Schultz

Connie Schultz is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicated. Schultz won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. She has also published two books: Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths -- a collection of her previously published columns -- and ...and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man, which chronicled her experiences on the campaign trail with her husband, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

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36 Comments

  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 5, 2017

    Again, let me and others reiterate—Trump won on a technicality as a result of an immorally constructed artifice called “The Electoral College”. A popular vote that clearly signaled his unfitness was dismissed and we’ll now have to deal with a man with the mind of a child with great showmanship skill and an even larger ego.
    So, we can continue to dismiss him publicly by ignoring his appearances, rebuke his every childish tweet, dismiss as irrelevant his army of internet toadies and other assorted myrmidons, and let Congress know of its utter absence of conscience in legislating and of its godless misdirection onto a perilous path.
    Unfortunately, the common Trumpist doesn’t recognize the clouds of grave uncertainty building on the horizon.

    Reply
    1. Godzilla January 5, 2017

      Idiot, the Electoral College has been around since the Constitution was ratified. Also, idiot, Clinton won California and New York by 4,5 million votes. California and New York do not get to pick the President, so got stuff your moronic opinion in your ear.

      You freaking LOST, get over it snowflake!

      1. Thoughtopsy January 5, 2017

        Note clever clogs here effectively saying that Votes from State X shouldn’t be allowed to elect the President… while conveniently forgetting what the word “Democracy” actually means.

        The real question is: Who counts as “Real Americans” to IdiotZilla?
        I guarantee he has a list of citizens who shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Just like most of his party.

        He can’t answer this himself because poor delicate Special SnowflakeZilla appears to have blocked me… Obviously my questions were way too inconvenient.
        Feel free to ask him yourselves though. 😉

      2. I Am Helpy January 5, 2017

        Votes don’t count if they’re from the wrong people. Got it.

      3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 5, 2017

        Name-calling is a desperate attempt by a desperate man to say something. We’re not talking about one state, Einstein—it’s about the incompetence of your Emperor.

      4. FireBaron January 6, 2017

        Your guy freakin’ won, snowflake. Get over it.

      5. johninPCFL January 6, 2017

        Odd that California (in particular) pays the taxes that allow the morons in the midwest to balance their state budgets, but those same morons then have more authority in picking the president than the folks who pay for their folly, isn’t it?

  2. Godzilla January 5, 2017

    Oh the hypocrisy. It was Ok when Clinton called all Republicans her enemy and she was so proud of it too! You Progressive dipshits are a hoot, and your losers. Get over it, because Progressives really are the enemy, that should be culled from society.

    Reply
    1. Thoughtopsy January 5, 2017

      Hey moron…
      That was the campaign… and Pres-Elect Tiny Hands did far far FAR worse.

      Remember he’s meant to be everyone’s President.
      Too bad grandiose narcissists don’t understand anything except adoration or hate.

    2. charleo1 January 5, 2017

      I dare you, and your Putin loving asshats to start your, “culling,” Then hide and watch and see what happens next! Coming to my door culling, will be your last mistake!

    3. I Am Helpy January 5, 2017

      I’ll take “things that never happened” for 10, Alex

    4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 5, 2017

      Still haven’t learned how to spell or put together a rational thought. Playing tackle football w/o a helmet was a foolhardy thing to have done, and now it shows in your comments daily.
      As for culling, if you were born in the 1920’s or later, the Eugenics Movement in America at the time would have had you sterilized for showing an unproductive mind incapable of cogent thought. But for now, you would be among the first on the list to be culled based on your comments alone.

    5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 5, 2017

      Progressive? Have you ever looked up the word’s non-political meaning? I suppose you’re more comfortable with being Regressive. Worshiping Partisan Politics is for pagans, Godzilla. Are you a pagan?

      1. I Am Helpy January 5, 2017

        I just want to know when Clinton “called all Republicans her enemy”, because I’m pretty sure that wasn’t this version of reality.

        1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 5, 2017

          You and I both know that didn’t happen. But Godzilla and others delight in making stuff up. We have the Twilight Zone inhabitants interacting with our reality.

        2. jmprint January 6, 2017

          SHe did say it, but like always he is taking it out of context.

    6. jmprint January 6, 2017

      Progressives really are the enemy to who, the RICH? Or to Russia.

  3. Mama Bear January 5, 2017

    Anyone who thinks for one second that it’s OK for Russia to meddle in our election does not get to call himself a patriot. And that includes Mr. T-rump.

    Reply
  4. browninghipower January 6, 2017

    I don’t know when I’ve ver seen folks on the winning side of an election be so completely enraged and direct to much vitriol and spitting drooling invective at the losers. At first I was pissed off; then stunned; then amused; and now reacting as I did when my children were screaming toddlers. I ignored them and I ignored folks like godzilla and others of its ilk. Why don’t you just enjoy your momentary victory and get on with your life? Sheeeeeesh….

    Reply
    1. charleo1 January 6, 2017

      They are a one trick pony. “Enraged,”It is all they’ve got. Mock rage, ranting rage, ignorant, blind, vein bulging, reckless, destructive rage. It consumes them, and now all of us.

      1. jmprint January 6, 2017

        My nephew the Trumpanzee, does not know too much about Trump, Excuses his arrogant mishaps, but will pounce on Hillary’s, uranium, Benzhazi, emails, even though he doesn’t really understand what the emails are all about, and not only with disgust, but from a garnered hate from within about her. Rush and company know how to brainwash people, it’s sad to see.

        1. charleo1 January 6, 2017

          Garnered hate is precisely what we’re talking about. You how it goes… “Give a man something to hate..he”ll hate for a day. Teach a man to hate, and he’ll be a Right Winger for life.

    2. FireBaron January 6, 2017

      That’s because they believe by electing the bigot-in-chief, it allows them unbridled venting of 300 years of hatred of “the others”. It doesn’t matter if “the others” are Black, Hispanic, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Female, etc. If they don’t look like their self image (blond hair, blue eyed, tall and fit – even though 95% of them don’t fall into those categories) then they are “other” and deserving of their vitriol.

  5. Dominick Vila January 6, 2017

    Our biggest problem is not the tendency of our President-elect to communicate via tweet, but the infantile, vindictive, and narcissistic opinions he articulates. We are about to be governed by an over grown child, incapable of thinking like an adult, who relishes on revenge and bullying, and who has no idea what being the leader of the free world, and being within reach of an arsenal that could end life on Earth, really means. Add to this his overt admiration of men like Putin and Duterte, and we better hope for a miracle because the next four years are likely to be like nothing this country has ever experienced.

    Reply
    1. charleo1 January 6, 2017

      Unfortunately Dom, Trump brings not only an unprecedented lack of intelligence, experience, and judgement to the Presidency. But it occurs to me in doing this, he also accurately reflects mentality, the lack of decency, principle, as well as the severely stunted emotional maturity that now rules the day in much of the current American electorate. At least a common enough condition for Trump to win an extremely pivotal Presidential election. At a time where there are so many uncertainties. At a time this President will set the bar for the High Court, and a good part of the Federal Bench. But in case we were wondering if the system works.. We need look no further than the evidence: The Good People of America have spoken…And so, we will have this newly created American leadership team that will reflect a new American face and a brand new set of values. A dumbed down, cynical, often hateful, often paranoid, and scarily unpredictable Twitter Nation with nuclear weapons. Possessing, and determined to make larger the most powerful military ever created. That will, no matter what we may do, or say to prevent it. Mimic the characteristics of its newly appointed Commander in Chief.

      1. Dominick Vila January 6, 2017

        What bothers me the most is the fact that millions of fellow Americans voted for Trump, precisely because he is unqualified for the job, because he is inexperienced, because he is arrogant, narcissistic and immature, and because he is temperamentally unfit to be President.
        Trump, with all his faults, did not try to hide who he is. In fact, he boasted about his unpredictability, and demonstrated time and again, character flaws that should have been enough to disqualify him as a candidate. None of that bothered those who saw in him a Savior, and a man who could say and do what most politicians never address. Those voters acted for the very same reasons we find Trump so offensive and unfit, and that says more about who we are about a society, and it does about who Trump is and the damage he can inflict on all of us.

        1. charleo1 January 6, 2017

          Exactly. It is sad tragic commentary, that collectively Trump is now America. I’d ask God to help us, if I weren’t too ashamed.
          If I thought I could make a case to the Almighty that we by some
          preponderance deserved grace. At this time, I can do nothing but humbly apologize.

        2. Matforce January 7, 2017

          Trump ran on a populous agenda that reverberated with the rust belt and our declining middle class. A class that was once Championed by the Democratic Party of the Working Man/Woman. He’s a salesman, a con artist who capitalized on 36 years of USA decline. Did you noticed, though that he stopped short of decrying the 36 years of “Supply-side (trickle-down) Economics responsible for the obscene consolidation of wealth to our top .01%, and the decline of our middle (not to mention that of the USA writ large). Meanwhile, our compassionate Democratic Party has placed the plight of the USA worker far down the list of easily lampooned social issues like transgender toilet selection to be lofted front and center by the Propaganda Outlets that are the Reich Wing think tanks’ specialty. We’ve been whooped, BADLY, in what should have been the year of highlighting THE issue of our time, which, IMHO, is; the consolidation of wealth to the top, and the declined of the middle class and poor, easily traceable to GOP (Guardians Of Plutocracy) national policy!

      2. Joyce January 7, 2017

        “reflects the mentality, lack of decency, as well as the severely stunted emotional maturity that now rules the day in much of the current American electorate”. Charleo, this is what scares me the most. I see the American people as a television generation who base their values on how they’re played out on the media. I don’t know if this is the reason for this lack of decency and mutual respect, but we should be growing to show compassion and respect for others, instead of this culture of self promotion through the disrespect and disparagement of others

  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 6, 2017

    A tiresome refrain, among many others, from Trump and his supporters has been “Time to move on”. On the one hand, when one has a personal grudge against someone else, it is best to let it go. But when you have demagogues like Trump, La Pen, Putin, political extremists and racists, religious fanatics, and such, then it would be a grave injustice to “turn the other cheek” and walk away.

    When Jesus used that expression, I was made aware after becoming a Baha’i and reading the various Writings of Baha’u’llah and of Abdu’l Baha, that what was meant was the type of response to take against one who personally affronts you, but that that expression doesn’t apply when responding to anyone who rises up to harm another or others, either by speech to incite or attempting to physically assault anyone—especially those less able to defend themselves, and that society as a whole must strongly refute and rebuke by any means necessary to protect the community.

    The institutions of society have the duty to apprehend and, if necessary, enforce a harsh punishment for offenders, but that’s NOT my responsibility as an individual.
    When a man drove through our neighborhood trying to entice one of the children to enter his car, one of us showed our anger and threatened to call the police; a nun from a convent nearby, witnessed the encounter and said that we shouldn’t call and allow the man to drive on. Fortunately for the child involved, we ignored her advice and called the police anyway.

    With Donald, the same thing is occurring where a deranged and depraved man is assaulting and molesting literally and figuratively, but on a national scale that has dire implications for the planet. To just turn the other cheek in the face of the onslaught of the Trumpster, the GOP, racist and nativists, without protest would go against the admonition of Baha’u’llah, which is to refute what is vain, to make sure that proper authorities do their duty to protect all citizens w/o skin color filters or the like, and to directly intervene in the interim.

    Donald’s assault on America is as the assault of a serpent—except Donald wears a suit and tie, uses a different kind of poison that attacks the sensibilities and the soul, and needs to be restrained and put away where he can’t cause further harm. A snake with a pompadour that varies in color depending on the angle of sunlight, has bad breath, uses crude speech, and is able to use twitter, is a strange sort of reptile that belongs behind a glass encasement for visitors to see, and watch him use Twitter.

    Now, that’s an attraction that would make a lot of money for any municipality.

    Reply
    1. jmprint January 6, 2017

      I would pay to see him caged.

  7. Blueberry Hill January 6, 2017

    We are about to have a “President” who hates the American people. Personally, I think he is a Russian agent. All the signs are there. He knew the election was rigged and said so, just didn’t mention that it was rigged in HIS favor. He is such a master liar and a bigot, and all around nasty, cruel, raping, Thing.

    ..

    Reply
    1. jmprint January 6, 2017

      Remember when he accuses someone of doing something, it’s because he is doing it. Many husbands cheat on their wives come home and accuse them of cheating. Trump is what he accuses other of.

      1. Blueberry Hill January 7, 2017

        Yes, I noticed the same thing. He was doing whatever dirty deed he was claiming that Hillary or someone else was doing. It made it easy to know what dirty deeds he was doing as they were the ones he was claiming someone else did, this is a very Crooked Donny. Needs to be gone from our government, sooner the better.

        ..

  8. Dan S January 6, 2017

    That is an excellent open letter to Trump. Why would he tweet to his enemies ? Who exactly is the enemy ? Those of us who are opposed to him as both a future President and not being a more decent human being ? With this infantile attitude good luck to anyone showing two sides to an argument. ????

    Reply
  9. angel fruit January 9, 2017

    If you did not vote because of Hillary’s email or whatever was said,then you got what you asked for and so did I even though I did vote ( for Hillary.) We will all suffer for however long he is in office, so lets all get together and fight for all the trouble that will be put on us.

    Reply

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