By Ken Trainor
Those of us on the losing side of this election have been told we should reach out to the other side, try to understand who they are and why they voted the way they did. I can't help wondering why the onus isn't on the winning side to reach out to the losing side, but, as ever, we seem to be held to a higher standard.
Democratic Congressman John Lewis, speaking about what he learned during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, said, "You try to appeal to the goodness in every human being. And you don't give up. You never give up. Hate is too heavy a burden to bear."
In a spirit of honest dialogue, therefore, assuming the best in the other side, here is a list of questions we invite you to answer:
Do you see any possibility of common ground between our two sides?
Do you believe our polarized nation can ever be united?
Do you see us as the enemy?
Is there anything we can agree on?
How about economic inequality? Has your life been impacted negatively by economic inequality like ours has?
Do you agree with us that the wealthy elite has profited excessively at the expense of the average American?
Is it possible for a billionaire real estate magnate to reduce economic inequality and create an economy that is more just and fair for everyone?
If we oppose what President Trump does and says, does that make us disloyal Americans?
If so, were you a disloyal American when you opposed President Obama's actions and words?
Do you support Republicans refusing to hold hearings for an entire year on Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, even though the Constitution requires Congress to "advise and consent"?
Would you have supported President Trump nominating Merrick Garland, respected by Republicans and Democrats alike, as a gesture to help unify the country?
Or do you consider stealing a Supreme Court nominee from a Democratic president "just good politics"?
Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by less than 1 percent of the vote in each state. If 1 in every 100 voters in those states had voted for Clinton instead, she would have won in the electoral college 273 to 258. As it was, Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million. In spite of this, do you believe President Trump has a mandate?
If Trump had won the popular vote and lost in the electoral college, would you still defend the electoral college?
President Trump makes many statements that fact-checker websites show to be untrue, most recently his claims about the size of the crowd at his inauguration and alleging that massive voting fraud prevented him from winning the popular vote. If his supporters criticized President Trump for saying things that aren't true, do you think he might be more careful and considered before he speaks?
Are you willing to criticize him for saying things that clearly are not true?
Does President Trump act in accordance with your Christian beliefs and principles?
Is his recent ban on Muslims from various Middle East countries — and giving preference to Christians — in synch with your Christian beliefs and principles?
Does it make you uneasy that you voted for a man who was enthusiastically endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan?
Is it OK for Mr. Trump to brag about groping women — even if it isn't true, even if he thinks his comments aren't being recorded?
Do you agree with the old adage that a person's true character is revealed by the way he behaves when he thinks no one is watching?
Would you support President Trump if you found out he broke the law multiple times in his business dealings?
If he cheated on his wife — or former wives when married to them — would you still support him?
What are the chances of success for any president when well over half of the women in America are supremely pissed off at him?
What must he do in order for you to consider him a successful president?
How would you assess his performance as president after his first 10 days in office?
Should President Trump lift sanctions against Russia in spite of their incursions in Ukraine?
Do you support Russia's involvement in upholding the Assad regime in Syria after Assad used chemical weapons against his own people?
Which is more important: Improving relations with Russia or supporting NATO?
Do you object to the Russian government's attempts to influence the outcome of our presidential election?
What should be done about it?
What do we need to know about Trump supporters that goes beyond stereotypes?
Was your vote more for Trump or against Clinton or against the Washington establishment — or all of the above?
Did your vote truly reflect your values and your vision of government?
What is your vision of government?
Have you made any effort to reach out to Clinton supporters and find out more about them?
We look forward to hearing your answers to these questions and getting to know you better.
Answer Book 2018
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2018 Answer Book, please click here.
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