…with  Nicholas Kristof and Nelson Mandela.

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

-Nelson Mandela

Whatever we think about @realDonaldTrump and what is passing for governing in DC now, we must be strategic in our responses. As Nelson Mandela conquered Apartheid by talking to his enemies as humans, so must we treat followers of @45 as human, or we will never convince them of what needs to be done in 2018 and 2020. Trump knows that by fanning our anger he will gain more support by those who still hate liberalism, even more moderate Republicans.

That is part of HIS strategy.

This must be part of ours. Mandela exhibited six capabilities that are especially important for visionary leaders (or anyone for that matter) facing deep uncertainty and turmoil. They are the ability to (1) anticipate, (2) challenge, (3) interpret, (4) decide, (5) align and (6) learn. (Paul J. H. Schoemaker)

We don’t need to anticipate much as we already know the stance Trumpsters take. They tend to dig in their heels. We have to challenge them intellectually, not emotionally. We have to interpret what they say detached from our own emotional reactions. We need to try to get them to align more with our points which we know are true and supported by evidence from multiple sources. And finally, we must learn more about who they are and WHY they are Trumpsters. It is the WHY that will lead us to the how.

“As a rule, strong feelings about issues do not emerge from deep understanding,” And here our dependence on other minds reinforces the problem. If your position on, say, the Affordable Care Act is baseless and I rely on it, then my opinion is also baseless. When I talk to Tom and he decides he agrees with me, his opinion is also baseless, but now that the three of us concur we feel that much more smug about our views. If we all now dismiss as unconvincing any information that contradicts our opinion, you get, well, the Trump Administration.

-from the “Sad” New Yorker Magazine


Let’s talk:

You can’t build
a country by subtraction 
and division-
(tried that and how did
that work out?)

You can’t make a country
one nation
when you keep talkin’
about “ them”
and keep pushing folks
out of the tent
and taking the squares
out of America’s quilt.

You can’t unite a country
Just talkin’ to the people
you like.

– B. Keller