Personally I’ve always been interested in politics. At times I’ve been fairly active. I’ve worked on campaigns, protested, and have been very vocal with friends and family. As a therapist, unless a specific issue has to do with therapy or the mental health of individuals, I’ve not been very public with my beliefs. I have avoided making social media posts that take positions about candidates. I don’t want my personal beliefs about candidates to be a barrier to my work with clients.
That’s about to change. As I watch the continual stream of news about Donald Trump I had a realization. I have chosen a profession where I try to help people improve their lives. I see them want to be happier, less fearful, more successful, less depressed, less anxious, and have better, deeper, more connected relationships. I do that by helping them learn to be more in touch with their emotions, to be more compassionate, to have empathy, to be tolerant, to be less selfish, to respect others, to be kind, to be strong but gentle, to be vulnerable, to be courageous, to accept difference, to not be black and white, to collaborate, and to compromise. And I have not seen Donald Trump exhibit a single one of those characteristics.
Instead, Donald Trump preys on people’s fear. He is the embodiment of hatred and intolerance. He shows no respect to anyone who disagrees with him. He can’t disagree without criticism. He isn’t comfortable with middle ground, he’s an extremist. He doesn’t work together, he doesn’t compromise. Instead he tries to get his way with brute force. He is abusive. He is egotistical. He is misogynistic. He is racist. He is everything I go to work every day to help people not be.
Because of that, I can not in good conscience be quiet about Donald Trump. He is an affront to me not only as a person but as a therapist. People talk about how people are disconnected. How people aren’t invested in real relationships. How mass shootings are becoming the norm. How depression and anxiety are on the rise. How domestic violence continues to be so rampant. I deal with those issues every day. And I deal with them by helping people learn to be everything that Donald Trump is not.
If we want people to treat each other better, to be more connected, to have more meaningful relationships, to use less violence, to be less depressed, to be happier, the answer is NOT to elect Donald Trump as our president. It is exactly the opposite. It is to say, “NO! This behavior is not acceptable. We won’t reward, hate, fear, violence, anger, abuse, control, selfishness, bigotry, and misogyny.” We need less of these things in our society not more. We need a leader that can model the behaviors that make us better people. I won’t tell you who you should vote for but I will tell you who you shouldn’t vote for – Donald Trump.
I’m going to put out some challenges –
- If you are a therapist, how can you in good conscience believe that having Donald Trump model the behaviors he does is good for our country, our families, or our citizens?
- If you are a Christian, how can you suggest that the level of hate, anger, criticism, and selfishness shown by Donald Trump is consistent with the teachings of Jesus and the Bible?
- If you are Republican that has ever used the term “family values”, how can you suggest that the traits and behaviors you see in Donald Trump are in any way ones that build family?
- If you’ve ever voiced frustration with the spate of mass shootings in our country, how can you believe that having Donald Trump spread hate, bigotry, misogyny, fear, abuse, and selfishness is the answer to solving that issue?
- If you believe that the way to feel better, be safer, to be happier is to put down others, to use violence, fear, criticism, humiliation, and control, have you stopped to recognize that you are an abuser? Because you are.
I’m not going to stop talking about Donald Trump. It is part of my job.