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writing for godot

David Hogg is Teaching Us How to #ResistGracefully, Not Coming From a Place of Hate and Years of Pain

Written by Todd Telford   
Thursday, 05 April 2018 10:19

David Hogg, the most visible survivor of the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is demonstrating so much more than courage every time he’s on screen or tweeting. His pleas for logical gun restrictions are not partisan, anchored in party rhetoric or pent up venom. He shows us the purity of untainted youth, able to see the issue of gun control without the filters of political posturing. He didn’t fall for the bait of calls to repeal the 2nd Amendment altogether. He simply sees what needs to be done. He presents a perfect example of what “doing what’s right” should be.

Here are a couple of tweets that demonstrate this levelheadedness in the face of unbelievable pain:

“Focus less on fear and more on facts. Then we can save lives in this country together.”


“Can we please not debate this as Democrats and Republicans but discuss this as Americans? In the comments if you see someone you disagree with do not attack each other  talk to one another, this applies to me too. WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO SAVE OUR FUTURE.”

Notice that he says, “…this applies to me too.” In that he acknowledges that we all have an instinct to fight on issues and apply the absolutes of the battlefield, and that resisting those inclinations often takes a conscious choice.

That is not an easy thing to do for a young man suddenly in the spotlight after unthinkable heartbreak. But it is actually much harder for those of us who have been on the front lines of politics for years, even decades. Eighteen years of jaw-dropping atrocities inflicted mostly by #CORPservative Republicans and a handful of corporatist Democrats have left us raw. Our worst fears keep on being confirmed, with universal avoidance from the right and hair-pulling from the left.

The ledger of GOP malfeasance is long, and entries can’t get any uglier than the blind echoing of the desires and demagoguery of their huge campaign donor, the NRA. Rage from the left is justified. But notice how that emotional charge is largely absent from the Parkland, Fla. kids?

This is a dynamic where we have to take the strengths of young Mr. Hogg to heart. For us what started years ago as frustration became anger, and to be truthful, then escalated into some degree of hatred. And hatred feeds itself by sustaining absolutes. But, be honest now, isn’t there a part of that that feels good? That’s the ego crowing, justifying itself by clinging to a sense of justice.

We have to learn to stop hating. Stop the negative reflex that pegs the meter in a heartbeat. This century’s #RepubloFascist politicians and media tools got us into this mess, and they are fundamentally different than those who obediently follow them. The former conspire to deceive, and have created a world view twisted to substantiate blatant lies as a foundation for hatred and division. Those that bought into all this, despite a willingness to fight us with both barrels, are in essence victims unaware of how they’ve been played. We need to find a way to have them see the light rather than pit our darkness against theirs. And even if they will in fact never see that light, can we at least remain open to that potential?

Keeping that in mind should allow us to see even those we disagree with as individuals that may in fact be nice some of the time. They might be dog lovers. They might be fans of the same team as you. You’d humanize them in those instances, right?

As Democrats, we fight for the betterment of virtually every one we see in daily life. We want higher wages for them, no threat of educational or medical debt. We want their kids to be safe. And, due to Fox propaganda and GOP lies and manipulation, most on the toxic right never get a chance to connect those dots. Whether it is at church or at the bar, liberals are the OTHER, not to be trusted for there must be devious plots underneath that altruism.

While they may be hungry for a fight, we have to let that notion just sail right past us.

We have to be big enough to abandon our own inclination to hate when hated on. Pushing back may seem like the manly thing to do, but it feeds a fire not of our own making. Sometimes each of us must #GetYetGhandiOn and turn that other cheek. Please pardon the thoroughly mixed metaphor. But that is how we emerge from political conflicts the least affected. Rather than wade in the vitriol, was must walk right over it, not take things personally, and even listen a bit.

That’s a lot easier to do when you’re not carrying decades of political baggage. Here is where the freshness of youth gives us a glimpse of what our hearts are capable of.

Notice in this tweet how Hogg focuses on the key issues, presenting elements of compromise with a tone steeped in commonality:

“That people with a criminal history, a history of domestic violence and a history of mental health issues are not able to get guns while law abiding citizens can still exercise their 2nd amendment rights sound reasonable?”

Yes it does. Yet for saying things like that Hogg is mocked, belittled, even threatened. But he is wise enough to know that this all comes from a political agenda and differentiates between that and rational judgement up front. He asks that dialog needs to focus on the gun issue itself. Nothing is achieved by getting personal.

And that perspective is winning. When attacked by Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham, who out of left field mocked Hogg for not getting into UCLA despite a 4.2 GPA, the young man put up a list of advertisers on her show. Many have dumped her for this callus dig at him. Yet Hogg hasn’t issued a sneering retort.

Also, what you see in advertisers jumping her ship is that they want their money and branding to follow a more positive theme. Telling the truth will soon be something a network can make monstrous profits out of once the breaking point on Trump has finally come.

Democrats need to learn from all of this. Don’t be vile. Don’t reciprocate ill will. State the truths and let them speak for you without denigrating your private sector opponents. And don’t see those opponents as devils incarnate. They, once again, are victims of a propaganda machine well versed in avoiding crucial facts, framing things with hatred, contempt, and division leading to a sense of superiority.

Find within yourself that openness of youth, when we believed all were capable of goodwill, all were subject to the powers of reason. Yes, that may seem like naïveté on steroids. But it’s less taxing on our souls to start from that point than from the easy, satisfying opposite place of full-on hate where nothing ever needs to be questioned.

For our species to survive, we have to find a way to get there. your social media marketing partner
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