The nuclear weapons activist community seems not to grasp one simple political fact.
America is never going to disarm until most people on both sides of the political divide agree that should happen.
Given this reality, as activists we face the challenge of doing everything we can to heal partisan divides and bring the country together. For we liberals, such a process will necessarily involve reaching out to Trump’s base, offering them respect, and acknowledging those cases where they are making a reasonable point. We might start with something like this…
Corporate media is going to cover every utterance of the Trump administration because their business model requires them to focus on melodrama to build audience and ad revenues. Trump gets this. Maybe we don’t.
The media is on the job, we don’t need to help them make Trump even more famous, which is exactly what Trump wants us to do.
If we’re talking privately with a swing voter who might be persuaded to abandon Trump, ok, make the case. But blasting out snarky partisan slogans on Twitter to followers who already agree with us accomplishes nothing other than deepening the divide that must be healed if we are ever to disarm.
Trump wants us to talk about him all day long every day. If we oppose Trump, we should do the opposite of what he wants and ignore him.
Embrace Trump’s Base
One day Trump will be gone, but his base will remain. Nuclear weapons activists will need these folks, so let’s show them some respect by being open minded to some of their perspectives. Here’s a few examples to illustrate the point.
Immigration: The population of America has doubled in my lifetime. It’s not unreasonable for citizens to wonder how far we’re going to go in that direction. It’s not unreasonable for them to reject a political class that can’t even ask that question, let alone come up with any kind of coherent answer.
Abortion: Many evangelicals voted for Trump out of deep concerns about abortion. Whatever our point of view might be on this never ending controversy, can we at least agree that it’s not unreasonable to be concerned about the mass killing of unborn children?
Religious Freedom: Some religious people feel under assault by secular culture and so they vote for people whom they feel will represent their views. There’s a name for this procedure. It’s called democracy. Everybody votes in their own interest. Not unreasonable.
Iran: Why are we not talking about a nuclear weapons deal with Iraq? Saddam Hussein is dead. Problem solved.
It’s not unreasonable for some of us to feel that a maximum pressure campaign which bankrupts an Iranian regime which routinely shoots it’s own citizens down in the streets might be a strategy worth giving a try.
The Genius: Some voters feel that Trump is a political genius. This is not such an unreasonable claim given that Trump came from basically nowhere to defeat every political “expert” in every party to take the highest office in land.
A Liberal Reaches Out
Ok, so in full disclosure, I’m Bernie Sanders type liberal who will never vote for Trump in any circumstance.
But being a liberal doesn’t automatically equal me always being being right about everything. Being a liberal doesn’t mean I can never learn anything from anybody unless they already agree with me. Being a liberal doesn’t make me morally superior to those who, out of sincere conviction and authentic patriotism, pull a different lever than I do in the voting booth.
Dear nuclear weapons experts and activists on Twitter….
Please focus on the fact that we need Trump voters if America is ever to disarm. Tweeting something snarky about Trump every day, to followers who already agree with you, does not advance the cause of nuclear disarmament. You mean well, but you haven’t thought it through.
Whether we are liberal or conservative, we need each other. And if we don’t find a way to come together, we’re all going to die together on the same day.