Yesterday I wrote an article called Trump’s America: a House Divided.
This piece was my reaction to reading so many polar opposite online comments regarding POTUS Donald Trump on various Facebook, Reddit and Twitter feeds. People seem to be either passionately for or angrily against him. This great division in how we Americans are interpreting Trump’s racist, sexist and selfish behaviors (by either loving him or hating him) reminded me of how fundamentally torn apart Americans were in 1861 over the issue of slavery. The article concludes saying that when these issues of fundamental humanity are at stake, there are no compromises, you have to pick a side – we must now as we had to back then.
Then, glory be, a Facebook exchange happened that clearly illuminates my argument
Attached is the somewhat lengthy back-and-forth I had with a guy named Max Prophet . That’s not his real name, but trust me, he’s an actual dude and the pseudonym fits. Max is a guy I used to work with, and I’ll start by saying he’s not a bad person. He loves his wife, works hard at what he does and in all the years I’ve known him he’s never once kicked a puppy.
He is, however, a Libertarian.
What I respect about Libertarians is that when they say, “Less Government, more States Rights,” they completely mean it. (Unlike the Republicans, who say it but then want to tell women what to do with their bodies, gays how to express their love and lately they want to go back to telling States how to handle their marijuana. But I digress…) In the past, FYI, Max’s arguments demonstrate zero compassion and a 100% loyalty to the free market’s outcome.
Here is the exchange we had regarding Trump’s America: a House Divided:
Max Prophet So you’re saying the division is a good thing?
Mike Lukas Either your reading comprehension is horrible or you’re trolling – either way, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by. Now git!
Mike Lukas Also, in case your question was somehow serious, Max Prophet , I take no more joy in this division than I would have in 1861. I’d way rather write about anything but this…preferably something a bit more silly. And I’d way rather the entire house agreed that all wo(men) are created equal.
Max Prophet But your article is promoting division. There is no attempt at healing it.
Mike Lukas Promoting? No, please re-read. It’s simply calling it out, Max Prophet. I didn’t even attempt to make it humorous for that very reason, IYMK. It’s written with the hopes that whoever reads it begins to see that if they haven’t figured out already which side of these fundamental humanistic issues they are on, it’s time to decide. Although you’re allowed your own interpretation, of course.
Mike Lukas And as for healing, we must illuminate before we can properly eliminate. All in good time…
Quick couple of side notes here:
1) Based on what I know about him, Max has no real interest in ‘healing it’ but is poking fun at what he knows is a humanist goal, and
2) IYMK is ‘if you must know’ – not sure if that’s a real abbreviation, but that’s how I meant it. Anyway…
Max Prophet You’re not “calling it out.” You’re fabricating divisions that don’t really exist.
Also, you don’t “heal” by eliminating the opposition.
Mike Lukas Max Prophet says, “You’re not “calling it out.” You’re fabricating divisions that don’t really exist.”
These divisions DO exist, regardless of little ol’ me. Are you not paying attention to the world?
Mike Lukas Max Prophet said “you don’t “heal” by eliminating the opposition.”
No, not at first. First you have to illuminate the differences between the two sides so you can decide which one you think this country should stand for – racism or equality, misogyny or equality of sexes, justice for all or only the wealthy.
My article in no way ‘fabricates’ these differences, it just points them out. The healing can only happen after we decide which direction we’re going to take. But a lot of people will have to emotionally and spiritually evolve before any of that can start to happen.
Then another friend who must have been lurking chimed in.
MR I bet you’re talking to Max Prophet . I blocked his nonsense, and I’m feeling pretty good about that.
Mike Lukas MR you guessed it. And yes, the battle with Max Prophet is often nonsense, but I try to look at countering nonsense as working a muscle, and that’s something I don’t mind doing occasionally. Funny you picked right up on that! 🤣🤣
At this point, Max Prophet responds to my prior comment.
Max Prophet But that’s what I’m saying, the differences are not “racism or equality.” It’s following immigration law, or opening our borders.
When you reduce it to such a simplistic argument, it may look like there is a rational choice, but there really isn’t. And “healing” requires a better understanding of the opposition not just an ad hominem reduction.
He clearly did not understand the point of my prior comment (probably because it was too general) so I responded more specifically.
Mike Lukas All right, try it another way.
The difference is this: are you okay with a leader who is a blatant racist or speaks with respect to every race, with a leader who is a blatant misogynist or one who shows true respect towards women, one who considers everyone’s needs or just his rich friends. Choosing what you’re okay with in a president is not simplistic unless you don’t understand those ideas and how they affect the direction of our country.
And yes, healing requires a better understanding of the opposition, except when the opposition represents differences which are non-humanistic and therefore unacceptable. I can’t re-write the whole article for you here, Max Prophet , sorry my message is so unclear to you. I do appreciate you reading the article, though. Peace, good night.
At that point I went to bed, and when I woke up, Max Prophet chose his side of the Trump debate.
Max Prophet I don’t believe the leader is a racist or a misogynist. I believe that’s spin, being constructed by the other side as a means to diminish his policies.
Max Prophet I also think that the tax policy he got through Congress, and the regulation reform he’s passing will boost the economy, and help everyone. A rising tide lifts all boats.
This is another friend, KB chimes in. He’s quite an agitator and has a history of agitating Max Prophet. And including visuals.
KB “Rising tide,” huh? Not sure where you got your degree in economics, but the CBO says over -$1 trillion will be added to our national balance sheet. In 2019, the bills will come due. There’s already talk of Chinese banks downgrading the USAs credit rating because Trump raised the debt ceiling past $20 TRILLION for the first Max Prophet e in history.
KB “The leader”? The POTUS is not “the leader”. He is a servant of the People. Back to Civics 102 for you, Comrade.
KB And when your dear leader said you have to treat women “like shit” the issue of his misogyny was settled.
But I don’t think he’s just a misogynist. I think he’s a misanthrope.
KB He even lies about his height.
KB What kind of lunatic lies about his height and weight to back up his original lie about being “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency”?
KB does make some decent, albeit aggressive, points.
I chose to conclude by re-stating the thesis of Trump’s America: a House Divided. I’d already written these points in that article, but I thought it was worth the effort to try again.
Mike Lukas “I don’t believe the leader is a racist or a misogynist. I believe that’s spin”
Okay, we disagree there.
Not enough time to debate THAT argument – he’s obviously chosen his side of it.
Mike Lukas “I also think that the tax policy he got through Congress, and the regulation reform he’s passing will boost the economy, and help everyone. A rising tide lifts all boats.”
Okay, we disagree there too – your ‘rising tide’ spin on trickle-down economics has been proven wrong several times in American economic history, I’ve noticed, but I do hope this time it works.
(trying the same thing, expecting different results, that’s the definition of…anyone?)
But even if by some miracle it does work, that doesn’t change who this man is, and you’re okay with him representing us and I am not. You’re okay with your country being led by this guy, speaking on our behalf, and I am not. We have different values, different philosophies on how to get things done, obviously, and won’t be able to talk the other into changing them.
Your ‘success is the goal, despite how you get it’ philosophy differs from my ‘success is the goal, but not at the expense of our reputation and the values we claim to believe in as a nation’ philosophy. And so it goes, as Vonnegut says.
All that aside, I appreciate having my views questioned, because it forces me to re-examine them periodically and challenges me to back them up, something I have definitely grown from.
Mike Lukas One last note – you accused the differences I called out in this article of being a fabrication, and yet right here in our little debate the exact same differences have reared their little heads. These very real differences exist because Americans fundamentally disagree with how we want to go about doing the ‘America thing’ and the ‘human thing’, and both sides can’t be right.
Thus the house divided.
There could not be a clearer example of what Trump’s America: a House Divided was trying to call out than this exchange. Max Prophet has chosen the side of profit at any cost, and I have chosen the other side of humanity first.
History will decide which one of us picked a winner.
- Mike Lukas
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