Mar. 10th, 2017

lydy: (me by ddb)
So, let's talk about adults, for a moment. You know the ones, the ones whose lives are perpetually in a tangle, and in the end, you shake your head and say, "Well, he's an adult."

That guy, that guy who cannot manage his financial situation. He's basically a good person, someone whose company you enjoy and who you would like to see happy. You've done what you can to help. Maybe you lent him money, maybe you sat down with him and developed a realistic budget. Maybe you listened to him describe exactly why it is that he can't seem to keep the whole financial thing together. Maybe you understand why he's making the choices he's making, and maybe you don't. Either way, at some point, you shake your head and say, "Well, he's an adult." You keep an eye out, though. When it's clear he's having trouble getting food on the table, you invite him over for dinner a couple times. Maybe you pay his heating bill, or fix his car. You do little things to make sure that he doesn't end up dead or in jail. But you also protect yourself. You don't lend him money, you don't get involved in any financial schemes he has, and you quietly warn mutual friends. If he's homeless, you put him up for a while, but you set limits and boundaries.

This is not a bad person, per se, but he's definitely making some pretty terrible choices when he could have made better ones. So you stop trying to protect him from all the consequences, just make sure there's enough of a safety net that the possibility exists that things can get better for him. You don't pay attention to his self-serving explanations, and you are really clear that you don't support those choices. Understanding why he's doing this to himself doesn't really change things. You protect yourself, and do what you can for him, but you don't enable his world-view. You probably can't stop him from believing what he believes, but you don't have to buy into it, either. And if you have any hope of him changing, it is in part by refusing to endorse his bizarre justifications for his actions.

Now, let's talk about Trump voters. I am enormously tired of the call to "understand" the Trump voter. They're adults. They made some pretty bad choices. I am going to continue to fight for various safety-nets which will benefit them, because even though they did something incredibly stupid, they shouldn't die of unaddressed medical needs, nor should they starve. But I really don't need to understand why they did what they did. Nor would it help in the least. I am not their therapist. I am just their co-citizen, living in the same world. And I don't think that "understanding" them will make a wet slap of difference. Assuming I did understand the exact emotional structures that led them to want to burn it all down. Then what? I should...let them burn it down? No, that's stupid. So, I continue to fight for a more peaceful and prosperous world, and I stop accepting their juvenile excuses for why they did what they did. They're adults. I think we should treat them like it.

As for winning their votes next cycle... If it is possible, and it may not be, it's going to be by being really clear what the consequences of their last set of votes was. I say, ignore all the think pieces about the resentment and feelings of abandonment that the Trump voters have. Don't care, am not their therapist or their mommy. If they're going to vote for racist policies against their own self-interests, there is literally nothing I am willing to do to fix that.

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lydy

July 2017

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