Letter: How bad is your headache in this Trump era?

Abdiqani Farah

Is President Donald Trump bad for the poor and the country as a whole? Let me pose a question a friend of mine who votes liberal asked me last night:

“How bad is your headache in this Trump era?”

With all due respect, this is nothing more than a Manichean philosophy. Those who subscribe to this philosophy always have an enemy handy, and they mobilize people against defeating that enemy.

Here is how one of the leading Democrats is massaging the anger against Trump. Speaking of Trump’s spending budget to Congress, Sen. Al Franken wrote in a recent newsletter, “it’s a reckless spending plan that betrays his promises to Americans by dismantling Medicaid and cutting Social Security.”

In truth, anger won’t win over voters. It might take the opposite effect by helping anger turn into a lack of confidence in politicians, leading to loss of seats in heated elections. In fact, yesterday’s runoff elections in Georgia and South Carolina could be a prime example. For instance, anger couldn’t help Democrats win the 6th Congressional District of Georgia, despite being “the most expensive U.S. House race in history,” according to Ballotpedia.

My point? There is no good in hating.

Actually, there is an antidote to this Trump-is-bad poison. Instead of sticking to an innate, us-versus-them psychology, politicians are better off focusing on what could bring the country back together. Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton suggested a new focus on the future of Americans. “We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent,” he tweeted.

Similarly, David Leonhardt of The New York Times hinted about this in his column (June 2, 2017). He wrote, “passion, righteousness and even anger can certainly be useful. Yet they aren’t enough after a day like yesterday [the day Trump trashed the Paris climate accord].”

Editor’s Note: This letter has been edited slightly for grammar and style.

Abdiqani Farah

Author of “Minority Outcry: for a Dialogue in Education.”