That is what the outgoing United States president Donald Trump has tweeted, at least seven times; that is what he claims, that he is the “president of law and order”.
Reacting to the Unite the Right rally, which was full of his supporters, Trump condemned the “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides“, so he refrained to single out the white nationalists, the far-right, the alt-right and related participants. Then on the first days of the protests after the death of George Floyd, as violence in the streets increased, Trump threatened to activate the National Guard (which was done) to quell the protests, which participants he called “THUGS”, and tweeting, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts“. And on the day of the certification of the victory of his rival, Joe Biden, in the presidential election last year, Trump addressed the crowd at his “Save America” rally, saying they were “going to the Capitol“. The demonstrators literally went to and broke into the Capitol, overpowering guards, smashing windows, vandalising, and inciting fear among legislators inside, until they were pushed back.
That is common among many politicians, giving certain statements on themselves which are actually their very opposites. Their behaviours can be changed, but let us focus more on their people: what is bothersome is that their supporters develop a mind that gets harder to close due to the rhetoric of such politicians, a thought that these figures hardly err, if ever, and, worst, help build personality cults revolving the people of power.
I will not be addressing Trump’s attitude; he will carry it beyond Biden’s inauguration (though I still pray for his repentance). Instead, we will be focusing on the behaviour of people like his supporters, like those who invaded the Capitol.
Many, if not all, of the protesters did not gather at DC without a reason. They demonstrated because they perceived the 2020 elections were rigged (such allegations are baseless); they believe, as we do, that elections shall be transparent. So, instead of fighting against them over and over again as I had done before (pardon me), there are other solutions.
The first one is to listen to them, to people you disagree with. In that way you would understand how their minds work, why they got certain beliefs, and how they formed their stances. Furthermore, this will also help reinforce your stances.
Next thing to do is to find common ground with them; most likely you’ll find. The common ground between a Biden supporter and a Trump supporter is that they want a better America. Take note of the First Step Act in the United States: support from the Left expanded to the different parts of the Right, eventually having the bill passed and then signed by Trump. With different parties finding common ground, they (or you) can address challenges easier, faster and more effectively.
In the process, get along with them, while standing by your beliefs. Wait for the proper time, then try educating and empowering them and convincing them to desert their flawed views; do not force them, unless it is an immediate matter of life and death.
There you have it: you gained a bigger circle, a more discerning circle harder to fall into the demagogy of populists. Doing these would help prevent another Capitol riot or the like. Instead, you will find it easier to achieve your community’s goals, or even your own goals.
Goals like preserving law and order.
Article posted on 07 January 2021, 21:10 (UTC +08:00).