To The People I’ve Lost Over This Election

Dear Friend,

There’s a good chance you won’t see this, as at some point over the past year you either unfriended, unfollowed, or physically disconnected from me—or I from you. There may have been a decisive severing or a slow drifting apart, but the resulting space between us is the same. Still, I’m hopeful that somehow these words will reach you, because there are some things that you need to know; things that I need to say, if for nothing other than my own sanity.

The first thing I want you to know is that I don’t celebrate this separation. The distance has come with a great deal of grieving. It’s come with heartbreak at the realization of the impasse we reached and the fractures that resulted. This is not something I take lightly or rejoice at all in, in fact it is a profound loss and defeat—and certainly not what I’d have planned or preferred a year ago.

Having said that, I also want you to know that I can’t fully regret the present distance between us either, because in many ways—it is simply what has to be. There are truths that we have learned about each other this year that are too elemental to dismiss or overcome right now; things at the very core of each of us that feel incompatible, and as much as I regret that I’d regret my silence even more.

You see, it has been in the finding and raising of my voice about the things that mean the most to me that these fault lines between us formed, and for that reason I’m grateful. As I stepped more fully into the most authentic version of myself, there were compromises I used to make that I was no longer willing to, and unfortunately we were the collateral damage. This year I suppose I stopped apologizing to anyone for my truth—including you. 

That isn’t to say that I don’t hope for some sort of restoration between us, or the rebuilding of some of what’s been broken—I truly do. Whether the distance between us is tangible or emotional, I’d like to believe it can be bridged. But there are non-negotiables that I must insist on for those having proximity to me:

A working belief in the inherent value of all people.
Agreement on the common dignity everyone deserves to be treated with regardless of their religion, skin color, orientation, or nation of origin.
A baseline of empathy for other people’s pain.
A commitment to facts that transcends ideology and emotion.

These are hills worth dying on for me, even if our relationship is one of the casualties. There is always a price to pay for speaking and a price for silence too—and I have chosen the former because that is how deeply these convictions run. 

I know you may believe this disconnection is about politics, but I want you to know that this simply isn’t true. It’s nothing that small or inconsequential, or this space between us wouldn’t be necessary. This is about fundamental differences in the ways in which we view the world and believe other people should be treated. It’s not political stuff, it’s human being stuff—which is why finding compromise and seeing a way forward is so difficult. 

There may be a day somewhere in the future when we will be able to navigate some of the minefield separating us, and that would be a joy. But if not, it will be because I will not allow the work of equality, diversity, and justice to be derailed, simply to broker an uneasy peace that allows me a small bit of comfort. That would be a disservice to so many who have been made profoundly uncomfortable by the events of the past year.

So, friend, while I may miss you, respect you, or even love you—I may have to be okay doing it from a distance for now.

Order John’s book, ‘A Bigger Table’ here.

 

325 thoughts on “To The People I’ve Lost Over This Election

  1. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    I haven’t unfriended you and know you only through this site. You say many things that are true and need to be said.

    But you do not take up the banner for the working class. You note some of the hardships they must bear. But you do not step outside partisan politics to address the class basis of the attacks that are made on the working class.

    Blessings!

    • Please elaborate on “stepping out of partisan politics to address the class basis of attacks on the working class” for which you referenced in your response. I really do want to understand.

      • Dear Tracy:

        By this, I mean that John remains firmly attached to our binary [Republican/Democrat] political system. As I see it, both frequently cooperate in bipartisan attacks on the working class.

        Blessings!

      • Shorter answer: John voted for Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders, which means he and all others like him (including me) must be cast out.

        • Oh how ridiculous. I voted for Bernie in the NH primary. When he lost the nomination I knew what I had to do and that didn’t include a protest vote. If you voted other in protest then you can blame yourself for giving us Trump. I’m not interested in a response. Thank you.

          • EXACTLY! Thank you for responding to a question with an all too obvious answer. I guess we are still beating this horse.

          • No, Tom…you can thank a corrupt DNC for pushing a weak candidate whom they knew couldn’t win on her own. Your theory is comparable to serving rotten chicken and then chastising the people who refuse to hold their noses and eat it. Good lord.

            The DNC knew she couldn’t win…and let me tell you something. If you have to guilt trip and force and berate people into voting for a candidate, you have the wrong candidate.

            The Democratic party had a winning candidate whom polls showed would clearly crush Trump in the general election, but the DNC and corporate whores insisted on the D behind Clinton’s name and the ignorant party voters needed a vagina. You can thank them…not the people who were MORE than willing to vote for a strong candidate. Don’t you dare get on your high horse and chastise people who held their noses. That’s not democracy, and you should be ashamed of yourself for berating people for daring to be democratic.

            Good day, sir.

            • Well clearly the “high horse” named Delusional is still riding. A “winning candidate whom polls showed would clearly crush Trump in the general election” is a myth and clinging to it now even more puzzling. The notion that Trump voters out for blood would have voted for Bernie is worse than denial, it is indeed delusional.

            • I do not believe that your assumption regarding Bernie Sanders crushing Donald Trump is correct. Also keep in mind that Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat.

            • Thank you Kim, I left the Democratic party specifically for their weak offering of candidates and then focusing on fear of the opposition. I’m over voting against things and being berated by those that feel I’m the week link for wanting something better and think I caused Trump, not pretend progressives.

            • I’d appreciate a well thought out response to a well thought out post. Specifically one that does not have to rely on references to physical anatomy to get the point across.

            • Blah blah blah blah, you’re part of the problem because you voted third party! End of discussion. You can try and clap back with whatever “witty” post you want about being “Daring” and “Democratic” but the fact of the matter is that if you didn’t vote Blue, you helped screw us all. Stop trying to make people feel bad for telling you want you need to hear. Grow up and stop being such an entitled, whiney bitch!

          • I agree! This article is insulting and presumes anyone who voted for Trump is not compassionate! I voted for Trump because of the damage Clinton would do. I tire of hearing about facts and compassion when science says the unborn are human beings too. As to race etc, Clinton and the dems have done nothing but enslave them to their party in hopes of getting something from government. I could go on but it probably would fall on deaf ears

            • Could not agree more. You spared me a lot of typing.
              John and likeminded others
              are so embedded in a sense of moral superiority they cannot fathom a viewpoint that includes compassion AND accountability.

            • Poor you. It turns out the “damage Clinton would do” literally did not occur at all, and of course can never top the damage of Trump’s first 220 days in office.

              But I’m glad you still feel good about your choice. That just means that at some point, you still might have the opportunity to learn from it.

              Sorry you found the article calling for treating people like human beings to be insulting.

            • The damage she would have caused? A statement beyond ridiculous at this point. Stop with your fake Christianity and pretending you care about unborn children when your Racist Kind have no compassion for others!!

              • Trump is an absolute monster and the country is worse off for him being in power. There is no way to sugar-coat that. Unfortunately, Hilary Clinton is equally monstrous, unethical and unqualified, and that has nothing to do with the stupid e-mail scandal.

                Both candidates were horrible. One of the saddest days this nation has faced in the last 40 years was the day it became a certainty that we had to accept one or the other of them as President, when neither one should be allowed anywhere near the seat of power.

                • 98% agreement, the 2% disagreement is about Hillary being unqualified. Hillary is exactly what the two big parties want in their candidates.

        • Seems like you cannot win. Anyone who didn’t vote for Trump should get over it all and move forward together to rid us of this vermin. . We should consider new candidates and one day perhaps, we will have a 3party system or a re-invented party. Until we remove the corruption and crazy money, elections will still be ahorrendous, corrupt exercise.

    • John does speak for the working class…he speaks for humanity which includes all human beings. I’ve been through some mighty hard times, losing my husband/high school sweetheart to cancer after 25 years of marriage then being diagnosed with breast cancer, having to give up my home, and a lot more that followed…during that time I lost faith that there was a God, after all, why would he want anyone to suffer so many losses. Reading what John writes has made me remember who I was before those losses. I am a part of the working class you speak of and I feel as if he is speaking directly to my heart and also sad that you don’t feel it as well.

      • Barb,
        I am so sorry for your loss and all you went through. How incredibly tragic and heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing. Much love to you.
        Julie

      • Barb, I am sorry for your loss and your illness. I know many believe God “sends” pain as well as blessings but that would make God much too petty and more like the people who claim to believe in him. We are not all on some giant chess board being played as God sees fit. “…He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”. (Matthew 5:45)

        God is with us in despair and he is with us in joy. May you always have that strength and faith in that relationship.

        • True words about God and His word!

          I understand John’s perspective. It’s human-being stuff, as he states, but one cannot totally separate the politics (policies) from it.

          • If there is agreement on the basic beliefs of valuing our fellow humans, politics wouldn’t be important enough to be so divisive.

      • Dear Barb:

        Sorry to learn of your situation — a husband, your health, your home, and struggling to believe. You truly are a modern day Job. I can’t begin to understand or explain why you have suffered so many losses. Platitudes are no help here, and many who pass off ‘encouragements’ to ‘keep trusting’ themselves might well lapse in the face of such calamity.

        I hope that you have people in your life who come alongside you simply to weep and be with you. I will only add that lot is a high calling from God, that God seems to bestow these things on those who are able to bear them. My prayer for you is that God will one day show all who suffer that the afflictions of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed.

        As I said, John does say many things that are true and need to be said. And I said that he does address some [actually, many] of the hardships that the working class must bear. My point is that John does not address the class BASIS of the attacks on the working class. That is quite a different matter.

        Class Analysis

        ‘Class’ concerns our relationship to the process of production [of goods and services].

        Some own.
        Some invest.
        Some work.

        The point of wealth is that one needn’t work. The wealthy don’t work; they [the 1%] own [factories/properties/businesses/etc.]. Their wealth works for them.

        Less privileged social layers [the other 9%] invest in factories and businesses. They make their ‘money’ not by working but in dividends on their investments.

        The working class [90%] toils for its livelihood. Whether for a $250,000 annual salary, or working 3 jobs for a pittance, the working class works for its bread.

        As I see it…

        The 1% and other 9% cooperate to organize society for the legal extraction of the value of labor

        The 1% and other 9% cooperate to organize society where the value of labor is legally extracted from the working class. However the 1% and other 9% alliance is a rocky one as each covets what the other has. Their differences play out under the banner of partisan politics. But in that arrangement, NEITHER the 1% NOR the other 9% TRULY represents those who must LABOR. THAT’S why I say that the ‘Repubocrat’ false dichotomy must be rejected, and the working class must enter directly into political process. Without that, the bipartisan assault on jobs/wages/benefits/pensions/healthcare/food_security/education/arts_&_culture/public_services [transportation, communication, water, energy, etc.] will continue whichever party controls the administration.

        What class analysis means for you …

        All these above named areas [and more] are currently owned and administered by the 1%, with the aid of the other 9%. They OUGHT to be administered and run by the 90% who actually do the nation’s work. Through local elected councils, all your husband’s necessities and your own should have been guaranteed to you at each point in your journey.

        Class Analysis and Faith

        While we will never have a utopia on this side of eternity, I am convinced that social reorganization by the 90% would represent an immense improvement over our present parasitic system of privatization in which human life is reduced to a financial resource which, like all resources, is plundered to service the greed of the 1% and other 9%.

        Imagine a place where the weak, the sick, the injured, the aged, the deformed but also the young, strong, healthy and thriving have all the care that they need. God’s kingdom is like that. I believe that John would desire this vision. I think we all would. But while empathizing with the 90% in its plight, John does not that I can see break with the 9%. So far as I can see, he speaks for the liberal/progressive other 9% as it vies with the 1% as the ‘true’ representative of the 90%.

        I differ in that I say that the 90% must reject the class interests of the 1% and other 9% and become its own voice and mass movement. The 90% will never have that under the present organization of society. It must insist of representing itself.

        May God’s people stand near you; may you know the warmth of God’s loving arms through the brokenness of a community which is itself experiencing healing in Jesus Christ. Yahweh bless you and keep you. Yahweh make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. Yahweh make his face shine upon you and grant you peace.

        gdd

          • Dear David:

            Thank you so much for this.

            I realize that class analysis can seem very out of place in reply to the tragedy that Barb has seen.

            But if we hold our lived experiences beside that analysis, what was ‘dry as dust’ socialist analysis takes on flesh and breath. It comes alive.

            I believe that God is honored by a system of political economy that facilitates thriving families and communities.

            And I also believe that this pictures far more accurately what God’s kingdom is ‘like.’

            Blessings!

        • That sounds all great and stuff but how does electing Trump change that. Instead of taking a step forward versus the 9% and 1%, the 90% took two steps back. In other words, the 90% are now royally screwed – more than ever before.

          • Dear Raul:

            As I see it, Donald Trump’s elevation changes nothing. Under Republican and Democratic administration, the disenfranchisement of the 90% has been ongoing for nearly five decades. As I see it, we were equally ‘screwed’ regardless of what Nov. 8 did. For 90%ers who back the other 9%, that’s hard medicine to swallow. As I see it, the core issue is the unity of the 90% behind its OWN program.

            NO to Republicans!
            NO to Democrats!
            NO to Big Money!
            YES to the 90%!

            What is critical for the working class [90%] to see is that UNLESS or UNTIL it UNITES to ENTER DIRECTLY into political process with its OWN working class agenda, working class fortunes will change NOT ONE WHIT! NOTHING changes UNTIL the 90% takes responsibility for it and becomes the change for which it is waiting.

            Blessings!

            • Trump has stripped health care from a lot of Americans, stripped rights from people based on their race, sex, religion or nationality, has plundered our tax money, lied repeatedly and create a culture of bigotry and violence

              with respect, at that point, your saying Donald Trump’s elevation means nothing seems kinda disingenuous. It’s changed a lot of things for a lot of people in two months and many of those people are living in fear

              at that point, diving into the party system is missing the point. this is about how we treat other as individuals and your argument kinda moves away from that. It feels like you’re using this article for your own purposes as opposed to being here for this coversation

              as a working person whose friends and family are also working class, I care first about a country where they’re safe, our rights are respected and we’re led by someone who deserves to lead , regardless of how many parties there are

              • This is so true. I worked till I was 75. Now I worry about medicare and social security. Didn’t I pay for about 60 years?

                • Dear Shirley:

                  You did!

                  From the SEP Platform:

                  ‘The solution to the health care crisis lies in putting an end to the privately owned health care corporations, which rake in $200 billion a year in profits from human suffering, and establishing socialized medicine. This means an end to medicine-for-profit and the establishment of free, high-quality state-run health care for all. This must include the right to preventive care, prescription drugs, mental health care and advanced tests and procedures, as well as the right to an abortion, which is under attack throughout the country. A multi-billion-dollar program must be launched to train new doctors and other health care providers and establish new facilities in order to meet the needs of all. Existing personal debt accumulated through massive health care expenses must be abolished.’

                  I realize that abortion is a sensitive issue, and I disagree with the SEP on that point. But I won’t hide the issue or my dissent from it. That said, medicare and social security are yours by RIGHT!

                  Blessings!

              • Dear Catherine:

                As I see it, President Trump’s 2 month assault [only beginning] doesn’t change but DEEPENS ruling class attacks on the 90% [the working class]. For 150 years, workers defied hunger, thugs, police, guns and dogs. They struggled, bled and died for their rights. But for decades, the ruling class has fought to roll back all the gains won by the blood of workers.

                This summary from Patrick Martin’s excellent, 2 page article [US Ruling Elite Moves to Repeal the 1960s] shows that many Presidents prepared the way for Donald Trump. http://tinyurl.com/m937ewo

                1] Jimmy Carter began curbing social welfare spending and targeted striking coal miners for government intervention under the Taft-Hartley Law [limiting union activities].

                2] Ronald Reagan smashed the PATCO air traffic controllers strike, initiating a decade of corporate union-busting/wage-cutting/federal social spending cuts and began a record military buildup.

                3] Clinton’s welfare bill ended benefits to families with dependents, effectively dismantling the 1930s ‘New Deal.’

                4] Bush’ ‘No Child Left Behind’ [co-authored by Edward Kennedy] was the first step toward privatizing Medicare.

                5] Elected on a ‘hope and change’ platform, Obama did not reverse but intensified these decade long attacks with ceaseless wars, job cuts, declining living standards, and erosion of health/education.

                Today, a shared history of attacks on the working class conveniently allows each party to promote itself merely by pointing cynically to the sins of the other.

                Each party blames the other for social misery, while both parties POSTURE as the true champion of the working class. NEITHER faction ACTUALLY upholds or defends working class interests.

                Hard as it is, this must be affirmed as a starting point a working class offensive against the upper-class austerity agenda.

                While it is true that we are individually responsible to deal honestly and decently with others, it is also true that we are responsible to do this socially as well. And you are correct to note that our rights should be respected regardless of who is in office. Agree 100%.

                Unfortunately, the attack on social rights is NOT individual but class based, and it is interwoven with our system of political economy. THAT is why we must have a working class [90% response] to the ruling class austerity agenda.

                Hope this helps!

                Blessings!

                  • Dear Kateko:

                    Very seldom! However the link at http://tinyurl.com/m937ewo which I posted [above] gives a URL where you can follow this type of analysis 6 days a week.

                    Post your Facebook URL and I’ll send you a pm. If you’d like more conversation, we can certainly do that.

                    Blessings!

                • NowThisElection shared a video of #Republicans praising #BernieSanders for his “honesty”.
                  https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1135361666495322&id=908009612563863

                  That’s suspicious… until you research his hypocritical and contradictory record:

                  -Voting for the same crime bill he attacks Hillary on, who did not have a vote.
                  -The fact he voted against immigration reform.
                  -Voted against same-sex marriage equality until fully supporting in 2009. As Mayor of Burlington, he signed off on an evangelical-led ‘We Believe in Marriage Week’ in 1982 – defining marriage as between a husband and wife.
                  -Voted for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act.
                  -Voted against auditing the Federal Reserve Bank.
                  -Voted against Amber Alerts.
                  -Voted against the Brady Bill five times.
                  -Voted against CDC research on gun violence.
                  -The fact that the NRA helped finance Bernie’s re-election campaign in Vermont.
                  -Voted to dump nuclear waste in Sierra Blanca, Texas and Barnwell, South Carolina.
                  -Jane Sanders sits on and profits from the Compact Commission that oversees the transfer of nuclear waste from Vermont to other states.
                  -Voted for countless acts of war, including the bills that set up and financed the Iraq war (HR 1585) and continued financing (HR 4613, HR 563, HR 2863). Later approved increased troop deployments (HR 2647) that Hillary voted against. Approved of the summer long assault against Gaza (S 498). Voted for regime change in Libya (S Res. 85) . Bosnia troop deployment resolution (H Res 247). Voted for Iraqi Liberation Act (Saddam Hussein regime change) in 1998 (Hr 4655 and H J Res 114). Approves of air strikes against ISIS, etc. etc. etc.
                  -Voted against the closure of Guantanamo Bay.
                  -Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight (HR 5020).
                  -Has 6 SuperPACs backing his campaign (that we know of), of which 3 are GOP SuperPACs.
                  -Implies Hillary has control over the SuperPACs backing her campaign, which is factually false and illegal for a campaign to coordinate with a SuperPAC. Same with those supporting Bernie’s campaign. A candidate has no control over SuperPACs, they are free to endorse and support any candidate they choose, even multiple.
                  -The fact he does take corporate contributions and he has received millions from all the entities/and employees he attacks Hillary for.
                  -Has been cited for campaign contribution violations three times by the FEC.
                  -Claims endorsements that actually endorsed Hillary.
                  -Bernie’s campaign has stolen campaign data from Hillary.
                  -Filed a frivolous lawsuit against the DNC over the theft of data his campaign stole, which he admitted to and fired his campaign staffers involved; illegally broke the DNC rules and campaign laws.
                  -Bernie’s campaign staff illegally posed as union workers in Nevada.
                  -Inflates caucuses.
                  -Wrote a rape fantasy essay.
                  -Claims Donald Trump’s remarks on abortion and punishing women is a distraction from “real issues”.
                  -Bernie claims to have a more progressive record advocating LGBT and Womens Rights, actual record and accomplishments prove otherwise, Hillary Clinton is more accomplished on both accounts.
                  -Claims the Human Right’s Campaign and Planned Parenthood, even civil rights hero’s like Congressman John Lewis are the “establishment”.
                  -Claims to poll better against GOP candidates than Hillary, Politifact.com rates claim as False.
                  -Claims Hillary would lose to Donald Trump in the general election, RealClearPolitics.com shows this claim to be false by all reputable polls (over 20).
                  -Claims he is the “People’s Choice” while Hillary is ahead in the popular vote by 3 MILLION votes.
                  -Rails against Superdelegates as “establishment corruption,” in which his top advisor Tad Devine was the architect of the very Superdelegate system in the early 1980’s, then claims he will win by “persuading”/stealing said Superdelegates from Hillary.
                  -Tad Devine also represented Monsanto, Phillip Morris, Pfizer, Verizon, Microsoft, as their attorney.
                  -Pays his wife Jane Sanders YUGE for her work/role in campaign, while refusing to release tax returns as everything is in Jane’s name, not his.
                  -Claims Hillary is dishonest, yet cannot provide a single example; Politifact.com has rated Hillary Clinton most honest candidate among all presidential hopefuls in 2016, including Bernie Sanders.
                  -Claims Hillary is an establishment politician, while he has been in elected office for a total of 35 years, Hillary only 12.
                  -Claims to be a candidate running on progressive, revolutionary change, however, throughout Bernie’s 35 long years in office there is no instance of revolutionary change. (And somehow he believes 35 years was not enough time to accomplish any of his current grandiose proposals, and believes he will be able to implement all of them in a short span of 4-8 years.)
                  -Continuously references Denmark as an exemplary model for his proposals, yet Danes and the Danish Prime Minister reject his comparisons.
                  -Grotesquely understates the cost of his proposals, as shown by all economists not directly involved in or sought out by the Sanders campaign.
                  -Claims to be running a positive campaign, though is not.
                  -Has a campaign that is fueled by hypocrisy and manipulation.
                  -Uses regurgitated Republican propaganda, misinformation, and blatant lies as a campaign tactic against Hillary Clinton.

                  Yes, Bernie is real “honest, transparent, and sincere!”

                  Not to mention, when you have a horde of dishonest Republicans endorsing you, praising your “honesty,” it seems very disingenuous. LMAO. Every “liberal and progressive” commenting in the comment section of the above video, cheering their praise, has attacked each and every one of these Republicans as obstructionists, extremists, and terrorists. Though, of course, since it is praise towards Bernie Sanders they think these endorsements are “honorable.” Imagine for a moment what these same “liberals and progressives” would be saying and claiming if all these same Republicans praised- #HillaryClinton.

                  Revolution? I want no part of this “revolution”.

                  • Dear Justin Michael:

                    Thank you for the work you have done here. Difficult [and infuriating] as it is for many to hear, Senator Sanders is a charlatan. He has supported about every supplementary spending bill on on which he has voted. He is an economic nationalist who pits American workers against their counterparts in other nations. Much more can be said, but you can pursue well over 100 articles here:

                    http://tinyurl.com/mtfsrpt

                    Blessings!

              • Dear Catherine —

                You wrote: “Trump has stripped health care from a lot of Americans….”

                Last time I checked, the repeal nor any new healthcare bill actually passed the congress or was signed into law. As such, ACA/Obamacare remains in full force and effect. What any future bill may be is just guesswork.

                You also wrote that Trump, “…stripped rights from people based on their race, sex, religion or nationality, has plundered our tax money….”

                Did I miss some Executive Orders or new laws? As far as my research shows, the Bill of Rights still stands, the Supreme Court rulings on the interpretations remain in effect, and the prohibitions for such discrimination are still outlawed by our Constitution.

                And so forth.

                I recognize that you hate Trump, but if you want to be an effective critic, you have to get back to reality. There’s a lot of false stuff floating around the Internet these days and, given what people think might happen, much of it seems believable.

                I don’t hold it against you to post these things, I even think it is your right and duty to oppose policies and actions with which you disagree. However, it is important, if you are going to be successful in heading off the very events that you condemn as if they’ve already happened — when they haven’t — that you stay up to date.

                • Actually defunding Planned Parenthood under the guise of abolishing abortion did strip health care from millions of low income women. When I was young (1980s) and just starting out, PP was all I could afford for contraception, yearly pap and breast exams and if I got pregnant, prenatal care.

                • Thomas, you really cannot deny that Trump et al wanted to strip away our heath care. The only reason that did not get the votes is because the Freedom Caucus did not find it draconian enough and didn’t strip away enough.

                  “You also wrote that Trump, “…stripped rights from people based on their race, sex, religion or nationality, has plundered our tax money….”

                  “Did I miss some Executive Orders or new laws? ”

                  Yes, you missed what they did on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) website.

                  “This week, language on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) website – which assured the public that the agency would protect individuals from sex discrimination in health care – was surreptitiously removed.”

                  http://nwlc.org/blog/a-possible-sneak-attack-by-the-trump-administration-to-undermine-nondiscrimination-protections-for-women-and-lgbtq-folks-nwlc-is-on-it/

                  So despite your condescending, mansplaining, patriarchal, and patronizing tones toward Catherine, what she wrote has merit, as I have proven to you.

              • Catherine, thnk u so much for breaking it down as simple as it can b broken. To me, your analysis speaks with common sense and human compassion; not partisanship. This is about human decency; not Demo r Repub. That man in the White House represents everything that is counter to human decency and empathy for those not like him; be it minorities, women, or econo challenged. He simply has displayed that he just does not care, and this article speaks to people who support him, yet claim they do care about the aforementioned, which for me is kind of hard to discern how you can support him as my friend, w/o supporting what the evil and unkind rhetoric that he spouts about others….repeatedly & with such fervor!!?? Peace n respect, Catherine!!

            • Sir you have done a phenomenal job with Intro to Economics 101 with a common vocabulary for beginning a conversation.
              However, it is important to note that everyone you describe as being in the 90% who has a pension at work, an insurance policy, a mortgage, SS, and other various investments is indeed invested along with the “other 9%” in reliance upon investments in healthy corporations and economic drivers of wealth. It is the recent conflation of individual people with rights with corporate entities having rights that is driving us to the brink of collapse as the working class becomes less and less essential to wealth creation. Vote buying is no longer necessary. voter fraud is no longer necessary (though that straw man still exists). Privatization is code for profitization. A corporation exists for the sole purpose of making profits. free market economics can never provide for a common good beyond its basic structure. But if you want to retire, if you want to issue bonds for infrastructure, you need to tinker some with your percentages.

              • Dear Meta:

                1] Jobs, wages, pensions, benefits, worker rights etc. have been attacked since the 70s. So no — ‘Citizens United’ isn’t the point here.

                2] The working and ruling classes have nothing in common. As a shrinking economy eliminates pensions, insurance policies, etc., even the appearance of ‘reliance’ upon the other 9% will be shed.

                3] Money is made not by production but by speculation, buyouts, asset stripping, mergers, quantitative easing, interest rates, fictitious capital, and other questionably lawful policies. Under such conditions, workers become ‘irrelevant.’

                4] The percentages with which I would tinker are budgetary figures. That requires another economic system. Our total military expenditure should be slashed by 85%. These funds should be invested in a massive infrastructure project with cutting-edge, clean technology the likes of which hasn’t been seen in the modern world. On this plan, America will make steel like never before. Integrate the bulk of our military back into civilian life to work alongside civilians and build an infrastructure system that will serve us for the next 100 years.

                5] Employ these people at union negotiated wages, with unions run not by companies but by rank-and-file committees. Do these things and people actually may be able to HAVE retirement. At present, discussion of retirement seems moot since this system has no option but to move toward raising the age of retirement to 67, or 70, or beyond.

                Blessings!

              • Dear Kerri:

                When it hears…

                Right to a livable income!
                Right to decent and affordable housing!
                Right to a safe, healthy environment!
                Right to utilities and transportation!
                Right to education!
                Right to high-quality health care!
                Right to a secure retirement!

                … the 90% [working class] knows what that means.

                When it hears…

                Owner!
                Investor!
                Worker!

                The working class knows which it is.

                When it hears…

                Austerity!
                Sacrifice!
                War!

                The working class knows what these mean and who will bear that burden.

                We doubt working class potential because bipartisan process represses class awareness. By raising class awareness, we restore working class understanding. Class understanding means class unity which means class strength.

                NO to Republicans!
                NO to Democrats!
                NO to Big Money!
                YES to the 90%!

                When working people hear that, they see the point.

                You say that the 90% cannot understand class analysis.
                I say that the 90% can’t understand what we have now.
                But when it hears class analysis, the 90% understands.

                Some own, some invest, some work. The first two run the system for their own greed and in opposition to worker need. As class is explained, the 90% comes to self-awareness. It sees the system as it is, and sees itself in the system’s clogs, it embraces a program for social change.

                We need only explain how class drives everything. The 90% will undertake the rest.

                Blessings!

            • These individuals, videos and articles being produced by far-left extremists attacking all Democrats as, “the establishment too disconnected from the working people,” is an insult to us [the people] personally. These Democrats have done more throughout their careers, than U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has throughout his entire 35 long years as an establishment politician. Which, none can name any mentionable “revolutionary change” implemented by Sanders, which he speaks about ad nauseam.

              If we do not stand up for our leaders who have dedicated their lives in service to us, not all, but many who are under attack by false leftist “purity;” then the far-left will continue to divide our party and the left in general. We will be worse off in 2018, 2020, and beyond, than we ever were in 2016. Republicans will only become stronger [the exact desired outcome of this assault]. These extremists are driving us into a bleak future with their irrational demands, inept logic and reasoning, and refusal to acknowledge facts, only wishing to steer by emotion.

              I’m not saying many do not have great ideas, even Bernie. However, their bullying tactics to demand everything, and demand it “NOW,” is not how you govern 320 million individuals. All while refusing to collaborate or compromise. They have no desire to work with us, or our elected officials, they want to completely take over the Democratic Party. That cannot happen. They do not get to demand a seat at the table by forcing everyone, anyone, they wish to falsely label as “establishment” to vacate their seat. Either have a seat with us, or elsewhere.

              Hillary Clinton is not the establishment. She has dedicated her life to public service, has more accomplishments, incomparable to most, and is one of our greatest politicians of all time. She has a proven record based on fact and action, not rhetoric. She ran a 38 plus point platform that was inclusive to every single American citizen on the left, and to those on the right. Thirty-eight policy proposals spelled out in over 125,000 words, compared to Trump’s seven policies and just over 9,000 words; of which most were repetitive soundbites and catch phrases. We know them well, “build the wall” and “make America great again”. We all knew, and know where that is heading. Bernie on the other hand, not Clinton, was the flawed candidate. Opportunistic in every sense and incompetent to the point of embarrassment for someone with a career of 35 years in an elected public office.

              For those who call themselves “progressives and liberals” that wish to work with us, instead of attacking us, we should welcome them. For those who only wish to be divisive and destructive, we cannot afford to even entertain their irrational demands. The next four years will be a dark stain on our country’s history. If we do not demand the truth, the facts, and allow ourselves to succumb to extremism breeding on the left; we will continue to fail. We will find ourselves in a nationalistic theocracy, ruled by fascism.

              Those who refused to vote, voted third party, etc., are now watching all our progress being eroded in a single day. They are outraged over women’s rights; civil rights; LGBT rights; immigration; healthcare; responsible gun legislation; climate change; education/student debt; minimum wage; Flint, Michigan; Standing Rock; the Supreme Court; ethics; corruption; obstructionism; demagoguery; tyranny; etc. However, if they all would have meant their feel-good slogan of “#USNotMe, we would not be in this position.

              *Make no mistake, there is and will be from here on out, right-wing propagandists, even foreign influence trying to dictate the divide in hopes of growing nationalism and fascism. By an onslaught of trolls, fake news, and every means possible. Just as Russia has done in England [Brexit], recently here in the US [our election], now Germany [with their upcoming election], and all across the globe. This is not just the work of far-left fanatics, they are also being influenced unwillingly, unknowingly, and some even refusing to admit, by outside opposition.

              We have two years; not even. We must unite together for the greater good of our nation, and root ourselves back in reality. Not for the greater good of singular individuals, or groups, or issues. For all of us. It truly should be about “us, not me,” but we have to mean it and live by it. That will progress us towards Equality. Some will feel left out on the journey from time to time, as not everything will be resolved instantaneously. However, we will keep advocating these issues until they are resolved. Not overnight, not under one President, but together we can get there. Yes we can! Yes we will! #DemandTheTruth #FactsOnly #StrongerTogether

              • There is purity and there is practicality. Thank you, Justin, for your insight into the problem. We indeed have very little time to come together to fight off the present neo-fascist threat in our country and galvanized the rural people against this threat. The survival of the America we know of is at stake.

            • Anyone wishing to “advise” or even suggest that we need to stop criticizing U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, can save their time and energy.

              Hillary Clinton is now a private citizen, until she decides otherwise, which is her right and only her right. Bernie is still a seated Senator. He has the ability to draft legislation to actually make a difference. (If he wasn’t so concerned with selling books. Ironically, after he attacked Hillary for making her money off books and speeches.) Bernie is a public figure, an elected representative; it is our duty to hold him every bit accountable and to the same standards as any other elected official.

              Sanders will continue to be the topic of conversations and criticism as long as he is an elected representative. So you can save the “primaries/election is over” tripe. If Bernie is speaking, in office “representing” us, he is current and relevant.

          • For many of us, it has been liberating — we have really found who we are, and once discovered, we have developed friendships we may have never found. I am old now, but I can tell you — you are not defined by your job, or lack thereof — you are defined by your humanity and your respect for Planet Earth. Ultimately, we all die penniless, because there is no use for money. Spend our time on what expands goodness — to give; not to take away.

        • Never have I heard an explanation of our “class” culture explained in a way that I fully comprehend.
          Thank you, GDD. You have the heart and soul of a kind, understanding, and loving teacher.

          • Dear Franchesca:

            Thank you for these kind words. I am very much a learner.

            I think it is important to keep the 1%, other 9% and 90% categories before us. Unless we refer back to these, we will NEVER understand the source, direction or intent of the many political slogans/campaigns/attacks to which we are continually subjected.

            As I see it, to understand these three classes is to begin to move into political literacy.

            Blessings!

        • You should be a little careful about how you categorize people into classes. By the standard definition based on income or household assets, I and many of my friends are in the 1% or solidly in what you describe as the 9%. But everyone of us worked very hard our whole lives, doing things you depend on or benefit from, as engineers, doctors, managers, researchers, etc. Our incomes and savings arose through good fortune, some talent, and a high degree of effort for many decades. Luck played a big role- where and when and to whom we were born, the career path we chose, the details and timing of where we worked. I don’t claim superior virtue of any kind. But it’s also important to recognize that the results were not the consequence of exploiting the 90%. I’ve watched those around me, and myself, try to create opportunity for others, share the rewards broadly, and contribute voluntarily to those in need. We have also paid a very large part of the bill for the safety net the government provides, and done so willingly. More so than my neighbors in the 90%, I have voted taxes onto myself, because I believe it is the right thing to do.

          My colleagues and friends overwhelmingly deplore the actions that are undercutting the ‘90%’. We are vocal, and active in our opposition.

          I write this not because my feelings are hurt, or because I’m defensive. I write it because people make a serious mistake assuming that the ‘1%’ is the enemy- many of us are allies, friends, and committed to the same things you are. We also have resources of money and influence that you should be using, not rejecting.

          Be careful about miscategorizing your friends as enemies.

          • As long as you are breaking it down for us- consider this- if you are white in America then you have not truly “earned” anything you have gotten or accomplished. Everything, I do mean Everything whites have in America is tainted and must be viewed through the prism of racism. Whites whose families may never have owned slaves included. Whites who never discriminted in their lives included. This is the fact of the matter. Period. Until you renounce all of your accomplishments and give away all of your assets, if you’re white you will remain on the wrong side of morality. You got nothing to say that changes this reality. All wealth, all accomplishments of whites in America were gained and are therefore tainted by this reality, which I doubt will get much agreement here, despite it being the absolute truth.

          • Doug, we desperately need more people such as you and Rosalind, who has not posted for a couple of days, who are people of privilege and who understand the need to redistribute the wealth.

            Thank you.

          • Dear Doug:

            1] Through labor, talent and ‘good fortune,’ some indeed acquire savings. And yes, the 1% and other 9% harbor some who concur with socialist analysis. Despite my working class position, I live a comfortable ‘petty-bourgeois’ lifestyle.

            2] I referenced class not on the basis of income but social relations to our system of production. My ‘$250,000 annual salary, or working 3 jobs for a pittance’ reference identified the 90% in terms of its necessity to present for labor.

            3] Class concerns not disposition [to share positions/opportunity, etc.] but property relations. It isn’t the measure of money, but how one’s money is made. Social class changes as property, investments or labor replace each other.

            4] Dividends presume investment in ventures that are profitable. Profit is the extraction of surplus value labor creates. Capitalism without exploitation is impossible; Capitalism IS a system of exploitation.

            5] During economic expansion, healthcare, pensions and other benefits can be offered. As economies shrink, profit margins dwindle, competition goes cutthroat and systemic crisis nears, all such concessions must be withdrawn.

            6] The ruling class failed. No more should be sought or expected of it. Capitalism can postpone collapse only by a third world war to secure materials, cheap labor and markets in Russia/Asia. Protectionism/military_buildup prepare for that.

            7] The expropriation of banks/financial institutions, and the nationalization of major corporations with by worker control over them is imperative – not only for workers to direct their future, but to prevent WWIII and thermonuclear holocaust.

            8] Where did I use adversarial language of ‘the enemy?’ Was your admonition to ‘be careful’ a thinly veiled warning lest the working class unite to frame, articulate and demand its own program? Would that constitute the 90% your ‘enemy?’

            Blessings!

        • You are a communist then? I don’t mean that as a slur; it is a belief in a political system expressed by what you envision.
          It has not worked the way you would like it to. Human nature being what it is.
          The place where i feel your argument goes off track is the rigid categorization of your 1%, 9% and 90%. In the US we are not assigned to castes as in many other places and our class system is fluid. I am working-class, but by living frugally and listening to advice i was able to save money, then buy investments, then afford a house and car. Capitalism does not rigidly enslave; it also emancipates, and it creates wealth along the way. Economies are not a zero-sum game; the enriching of one worker does not mean everyone else gets less. Only socialist and communist economies work that way.

          • I am sick to death of the sheer unmitigated ignorance of undereducated people who think communism and socialism are synonymous terms.

            They aren’t. Learn the difference.

            The UK is a socialist country. Canada is a socialist country. The USA is a socialist country.

            Because it is what works.

          • Dear Kristy:

            I believe that our society increasingly resembles a social cast system in which position is increasingly fixed. Notice what you say, Kristy:

            ’by living frugally and listening to advice i was able to save money, then buy investments, then afford a house and car.’

            This says much of where you are in life. Not unlikely, you were able to help your offspring with education and/or home down-payment[s]. But for many young people, these are luxuries they will never have. Our youth graduate with huge debts and no prospects for a job to pay off their loan. Owning a home isn’t even a consideration. Corporations have such power that in some places, they require youths to work for nothing to acquire experience which may lead to a job.

            It is imperative to recognize that the ongoing political attack on working communities and families will only deepen. Balzac’s adage that behind every great fortune stands a great crime is certainly true today. From Enron to the subprime mortgage racket, vast wealth was gleaned by thoroughly destructive and blatantly criminal methods. Yet how few corporate criminals are made accountable! Most get off scot-free.

            It is imperative to grasp that this does not indicate system breakdown; this is the system functioning as intended! Throw off the regulations! Go from exploitation to super-exploitation! Capitalism is a system in which workers create wealth which the ruling class expropriates for itself.

            Blessings!

        • Boy, do I wish it were that simple. I think Jesus’ words saying “the poor you will always have with you” sums it up. As difficult as this is to say, I don’t believe the 90% want that kind of equality. In every organization I’ve worked (and even in families), the few do a lot of the work, take control while the others prefer to be guided and told what to do. I see it in church, school, business, community activism, and most every place where human beings gather corporately. Not everyone wants to bear the same level of responsibility.

          You’ve heard the adage “20% of the people do 80% of the work”. After 60+ years of life, and trying to show friends and family how to be more independent and not struggle, it’s the small minority who take the advice. Very small. Smaller than 20%

          Not everyone is cut out to do the same thing, which is why we have the different levels. How we behave in the 90% or the 1% is what counts to me; not that everyone is the same.

        • But the working class is not nearly 90% There are those that don’t work and rely on assistance and government programs and the charity of others. Where are they in your equation? With this omission , are your other numbers truth? Or are your just guessing? Certainly not as simple as you describe. You could also add the retired, which might have previously worked, but now rely on investments. Research your numbers and then your message might have some meaning.
          Yes the Bible says to care for the poor and I believe that as a Christian nation we should have safety nets in place for those struggling. But the Bible also says reap what you sow…and our programs have done more harm that good for many families in America. We have taken away the incentive to move up because the leap is too great and families lose too much to jump off the assistance net.

          • Dear Laura:

            ‘But the working class is not nearly 90% There are those that don’t work and rely on assistance and government programs and the charity of others.’

            This equates ‘working class’ with ’employment.’

            ‘Working class’ doesn’t concern ‘numbers’ or ’employment;’ ‘working class’ refers to material and social relations.

            The ownership/investment/banking/finance class is sustained by its property and wealth work. The wealthy don’t work; their wealth works for them. Employed or not, the working class is that layer of society with nothing but labor to sell.

            Class is based not on employment but the fact or absence of material assets.

            Affirmations Behind Raised Issues

            1] The ruling class must have masses of workers ready to appear on the market daily to operate the manufactories and factories that sustain its class privilege. The privileged class decides the terms of work. The more desperate the workers, the more workers competing for jobs, the more meager the compensation, and the wealthier the ruling class becomes.

            2] Thousands upon thousands of factories – often representing many thousands of jobs each – fled to Mexico, Sri Lanka and everywhere else seeking cheap labor, and escape form safety regulations/taxation, and more. Many don’t work because there is none. Worker desperation rises, wages lower, and the wealthy become ever wealthier.

            3] As Marx said, Capitalism can afford neither to withhold nor to offer programs/assistance. The programs and reforms of the 30s and 60s intended to forestall working class unity/uprising in the depression/war years. ‘Struggle’ is resolved NOT by assistance but by justice. Employed or not, let the whole working class unite and demand economic justice.

            4] Justice means that all who need work can work. Corporations/companies that desert the communities that host them must face a 100% flight tax. Creation’s good assets belong to their local communities to be developed by them through local elected councils of leaders, professionals, worker families and students. Thus workers are God’s earth keepers.

            ‘We have taken away the incentive to move up because the leap is too great and families lose too much to jump off the assistance net.’

            5] Justice is NOT a ‘move-up’ reward for sufficiently gratifying 1%/ other 9% greed. Biblical justice oppositely flows downward like water, like an ever-flowing stream. THAT drove MLK’s Dream [Amos 5:21-6:14]. The assertion that ‘our programs’ have done more harm that [sic] good for many families’ must be tested against this injunction:

            ‘…you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood.’ [Amos 6:12].

            In closing, there will always be those who, because of laziness or indifference, refuse to work. It is the responsibility of the working class to address this – rather than to attack scurrilously the whole working class as ‘lazy.’ That reply comes to us from the lips of Pharaoh. That became Egypt’s downfall. It is becoming our downfall.

            Blessings!

        • Wow. I am really impressed with your letter to friends which says so well what I have gone through. I dream about those I had to “un-friend” – it disturbs me still that I thought I KNEW these people and had not a clue their true hearts. Politics is a word that, now that I’m 61, simply means: LIFE.

        • John is a blogger who can write about what he wants, trying to school a writer in what they need to be writing on is not cool. How about writing your own blog and working your butt off for years to get an audience? Maybe send him an email and ask him to cover the topic in private instead of dogging him out in public for what you see as his shortcomings.

        • gdd, You’ve assumed that David and voters dont understand the dynamics and divide of the two parties. Also, God has nothing to do with politics. You have a lot of words but they are irrevalent to the reality, which is that Democrats and Democratic politicians, for the most part, do want to help the 90 %, the exact workers in your analogy. So the issue is not that both parties should be thrown out with the bath water. The issues that matter that some voters don’t understand are really pretty black and white. The Rebublican politicians represent your 10% and the Democrats represent the 90%. My comment is not a blanket endorsement of all Democrats, but it should be obvious to voters that it breaks down to right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, fact vs. fiction, life vs death, love vs. hate, acceptance vs. ridicule, healthy vs. sick etc. I’ve read many rants blaming both parties and most the time they are Republican supporters. Maybe now you can make better decisions in the future.

      • Barb, sorry isn’t enough but I am not sure what is. I won’t insult you by saying I know how you feel, I don’t, or that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, God didn’t give you this, all I can say as a fellow human being that my heart hurts for you and that I believe God’s heart hurts for you. May you find peace and joy.

      • I too am a member of the working class. Raised on a family farm in Kansas and now work construction as an independent contractor. It is my hope that America embraces its multiculturalism. To allow all persons the respect that I feel I deserve. The right to live without fear. This administration only creates hatred, fear and mistrust. The above article speaks to that very point. Thank you for writing it and putting it out there.

      • Barb
        I LOVE your response… but you also touched my heart with what you shared about your loss, not only of your husband but of the other things in your life due to the devastation of what that illness brought to you and your family. Is there any way we can speak offline?

      • Barb
        I LOVE your response… but you also touched my heart with what you shared about your loss, not only of your husband but of the other things in your life due to the devastation of what that illness brought to you and your family. Is there any way we can speak offline?

      • Barb, I too am in the final stages of helping my husband of 36 years fight cancer. We are in our last 60’s early 70’s and John’s writings hit home. We have lost friends over this and those losses certain add to the stress already present. Fear of the unknown with this presidency at this point frightens me deeply.

      • This election had nothing to do with the working class. It was about hatred for women and other races and religions. Period.

      • Barb, I am sorry for all that you have been through. I’d does give us pause in our belief to deal with such hardship. I am so glad that Johns words have helped you. They’ve touched me in much the same way. I have had my share of tough times too. Hugs from a fellow cancer warrior/survivor.

    • I am sorry that you lost folks John, but you have gained me and others. You have helped me so much because you are very honest and not afraid to tell it like it is. Your recent post sent me to my knees. You are right in saying that 45 is not our problem and that we as Christian’s are responsible for what has happened in our country. You thanked 45. That was very hard, but you are very right. If my people will will humble yourselves and pray, than I will answer their prayers and heal their land. Thanks so much. For me you have been a light in a great darkness and a darkness that we caused because of our casual reponse to follow Godliness with all of our heart mind and soul. Many thanks for those leaders of of faith who helps me too. Max Lucado, Paul Metzger, Tony Complallo my pastor Rick Mckinley and my Christian counselor Dr Murl Silvery
      are some of those folks. I am very sad for your loss, it is hard to be called to follow God to speak the truth in love and to be a voice in the wilderness
      .

    • Those attacks on the working class are made almost exclusively by Trump, Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party so what exactly is your issue with John Pavlovitz?

    • Sadly, one of the problems is many who consider themselves the “working class” have lost a “work ethic” and are quick to
      blame others for their situation. There is a lot of education and self reflection needed.

      • Anonymous
        You wrote:

        Sadly, one of the problems is many who consider themselves the “working class” have lost a “work ethic” and are quick to
        blame others for their situation. There is a lot of education and self reflection needed.

        I do understand where you are coming from.
        However, Blaming others for one’s situation has always existed in our country. Feeling like one deserves more based on race, gender, and class is as American as apple pie. These behaviors are not about a lack of work ethic. They are ideologies.

        It is pretty late and this post may not come out exactly as I wanted.
        Peace to all

      • Agree with the writer above – there needs to be much more education around what is happening to our country and heartfelt self reflection needed. I have always been a proud American and before retiring was a social worker. The folks that needs us the most are being case out. My heart breaks for them.

    • Huh? Where did that come from? This guy, unknown to me previously, said nothing about class, unless you have a preconception that working class is something far more complex than a synonym for Republican. Just who do you think cleans buildings in blue States? Builds roads? Works at Walmart? This isn’t about the working class, is about inclusionary vs exclusionary values.

    • I wish it were as simple as you suggest. For me, it was not the Republicans in my life who went away — there were few of them left anyways. It was my old gang; the friends I grew up with, and family, the worst loss of all being my sister. She couldn’t listen to my painfully researched truths about Obama and the Democrats: The kill list and the drone program, his “Deporter-in-Chief” duplicity, years of TPP advocacy, the NDAA passage, letting the banksters off scott-free (which pretty much incentivizes the same behavior and guarantees another financial debacle)… She believed the smooth-as-silk lip service being paid repeatedly to our common dreams and the myths of democracy and decency. No, while she was mesmerized by his beguiling words and charm, I was analyzing his policies. She didn’t want to know about him, and then didn’t want to acknowledge that Hillary was in bed with the Neo-Cons. Neither did many of my friends. It seemed then — and still seems — a common theme among the “liberal class,” as Hedges would say. Hedges pointed out years ago that the liberal class is itself a zombie, as well as those trusted institutions that might have put the brakes on our relentless slide down the proverbial slippery slope. It’s these losses I mourn the most, and our ability to discern what’s real and what’s an illusion, never mind speak it aloud.

    • The working class is most of us. And a many many of us believe what John does. The working class has to be educated and it has to vote in favor of its interests and not in favor of the corporatists (i.e. GOP) that hurt us.

  2. Thank you for this post. Tears are falling as I type. For the life of me, I find it so hard to believe my conservative Christian friends voted for Trump. Thank you for your perspective. Blessings always…

    • Dinah, the club is large and growing. It is not possible to reconcile following Christ and voting for Trump IMHO.

    • It is truly one of the most bizarre and misunderstood things in my 37 years of living.

      There are people, some in my family, whom I considered decent and loving humans who voted for and still support Trump. I still can’t believe they support such an evil spirited person. I am at a profound loss as to understanding what they are thinking. And every time I ask them their responses have been hollow or shallow. It has really made me question my own judgement on having misread these people’s true self being.

      With that said, like John, I have also come to know who my real friends are and who share the same vision of peace and respect towards others. So that’s the good thing. The hard truth in all this was that we realized we were naive when confronted with the fact that there are very selfish people all around us. Some of whom we love/loved.

      • Dear Raul:

        This slug-fest/election disillusioned many. But disillusionment can be the hard jolt that shocks us to face the stark reality that was there all along. Your loved ones are no less decent or loving. But they are exhausted, confused and disoriented by decades of vicious political attacks. And where it ought to have fielded a candidate to beat Trump by 50 points, the Democratic National Committee backed the most detested corrupt/insider politician in many decades.

        The ‘stark reality’ which we are loath to face is that by proffering the candidates it did, our political system revealed that it is in terminal crisis. It has abandoned its people. It is unworthy of their public support, and it is closed as an avenue for political evolution. It’s time to set aside the United States Republic. It’s time to consider the Second Republic. Perhaps we can learn from the lessons of the past. If we CAN do better next time, we should.

        Blessings!

        • gdd., you should see what the British reporter Johnathan Pie’s rant on YouTube about why Trump got elected, in spite of his deep loathing of Trump. You may not agree with his rant but it is entertaining and has a kernel of truth to it.

      • You just shared what I am going thru right now. I don’t know how to handle it actually. So many have overlooked much of what this man has said.

      • “The hard truth in all this was that we realized we were naive when confronted with the fact that there are very selfish people all around us. Some of whom we love/loved.”

        Well said, Raul.

  3. Hey John,

    You’re speaking to my soul. Thanks so much for writing this. I’ve been struggling a great deal with the loss of a friendship over this election and your writing helps. Prior to the election, we had only talked about politics every once and a while, and it’s clear her and I differ quite a bit. That was always a rub, but not enough to end the friendship. Since the election, we’ve talked once, but I found it hard to be authentic when what I really feel is fear, anger, outrage, sadness, etc. I teach in a diverse place where many students are personally fearful because they worry their families would be deported. One of my student’s mom was deported already. After the election, she acted as if life was OK… because for her, it is. I have been personally devastated. Your writing resonates with me. I’ve arrived at a place where I simply cannot go back to the friendship, but I miss it a great deal.

    Thanks for your writing.

  4. Many Times the cares of life get in the way of the friendships of life . So Much Information overload.
    Working in the Communications Industry , Life seems overwhelming and taxing my resources at its best. Long Hours, Long days, Long Months.
    Just because I don’t respond does not mean I don’t read, care, appreciate your site. It just means life has taken my time to the pt of taxation.
    To those who work very hard you understand, to those who don’t well you have a lot of time to ponder and seek out God, His Best, His Saving Grace and Peace thru Jesus Christ who gives liberally to all those who ask .
    Spend what you have with one thought in mind.
    Life is short, as a child i believe i have the world ahead of me , As an Adult I am consumed with the cares of daily Life . As a senior I am confronted daily about the Time Factor. When, How Long, Who gets left behind.
    My Friend , Acquaintances out there . YOU only get the life span allotted to you By God, that is right we must all Die, Be Judged , and Give an Account of what we did with what was given. ( Time, money, people in our life.
    Today is the Day of Salvation , I m Sorry always has more weight than , I Was Right.
    No chance with life. God, Sent Jesus to Pay for all Sin and make a way of escape and a way to intercede with God. Unholy Man , With HOLY God . The Holy Spirit is the Comforter until that time as death has come.
    The Question is what will YOU do with the short amt of time you have been given. and Friendships given to lead to Jesus Christ , For Salvation of the Soul .

  5. I, too, only know you through FB posts. I just wanted to let you know I am not a believer in “God”. But if you lived in my town, I would probably go to your “church” just to listen to your words. You are so inspiring.

  6. I voted independent. I read you religiously. After the election you became obsessed. We have all lost elections but we prayed for and supported our president. You are the blight of duplicity. Please remove me.

    • If we are obsessed, it’s because of a man who is the sitting President who is saying and doing everything he can do to destroy democracy as we know it in this country. He does not care about anyone but the wealthy and a very dangerous man.
      Maybe when he messes with your life and pocketbook, you will know.

    • Jerry Cook, it is your job to do the removing and being part of the problem, that would be what you should do.

      You can pretend you did not help elect Trump, you can pretend that this was just like any other campaign and this is just like any other new administration as you like. Millions upon millions of Americans know better. The disapproval polls prove this. The loss of the popular vote proves this. The pain and anxiety in our society proves this.

      Denial is more than a river in Egypt and the “unfriend” and stop following buttons are yours to use.

    • Jerry, The rhetoric you just spouted is EXACTLY what he is speaking of. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, It is NEVER ok to treat ANY human as subpar for any reason, including difference of opinion. Our new President treats minorities and women as Non- humans. It IS a human issue. We simply cannot respect a man who treats ANY citizens the way he does. SO, yes, it has SOMETHING to do with politics because of the president we now have. But in the overall scheme of things, it is Simply a matter of how human treats human. I cannot support ANY president who rules as a dictator and does not do what is best for the people, and lies like there is nothing wrong with it. My “friends” who are OK with that behaviour are not my friends, as each human being, regardless of gender, color, age, or distinction DESERVES respect- Period.

  7. “A bridge to nowhere is a bridge where one or both ends are broken or incomplete and does not lead anywhere.”

    And one has to give, make adjustments, reach, forgive-more.
    One has to do the demolition work-more.
    One has to slave over the “architectural” drawing board-more.
    One has to do the rebuilding, remodeling work-more.
    One has to have faith-more.

    JP- let that one be you. In the Spirit, with the materials you’re blessed with, be the one to build that bridge to somewhere. Your readers need your example.

    • He IS being our example. He is working through this just like we are. He is leading us all in the direction of some form of reconciliation and peace. You just cannot see that through your defensiveness. No surprise there!

      • Sandi, I’ve read your comments; many I agree with. Many of JPs posts I agree with. I voted for HRC. I’ve experienced the same division with family and friends that many have spoken of here. But I will not let this election, Donald (temporary) Trump, or (everchanging) politics come between myself and the ones that I love. I will give more (and give in more). And that’s not to say it changes the core of who I am, except with reconcilliation, I pray I’m the better for it. Resistance isn’t always the battering ram. Isn’t always about being right and divisive. It IS about bridging with commonality and sometimes we have to work harder than the other to find it and skip the bricks that are imperfect.

        • You take your path, I will take mine. I am not willing or interested in building any bridge with the Christian Right Trump supporters. While he will indeed be “temporary” his damage may last generations.

          There are many groups I choose not to build bridges toward because there is nothing to be gained by meeting them on it or at the end of it when they choose not to make a step in my direction or the direction I see Jesus pointing us toward. Among them are racists, criminals, bigots, white supremacists, con-men, neo-confederates, misogynists, these are people I no longer make any effort at converting or conversing with. You do you and welcome to it.

        • If you choose to continue to be friends with people who support a racist, misogynist, potential rapist, tax evader, assaulter of women, wife cheater, etc etc then go ahead. Do as you wish. That is your choice. Have a wonderful time.

          Some of us realise we don’t have time to put up with people like that. We don’t have that kind of time, life is too precious and short. So we will go our own way, and you will go your way, while remembering that we are who we protect, what we stand up for. Good luck to you.

          • Shane dear, your reading comprehension really needs some work. You are so wrong it has become comical. Try actually reading my comments.

            I am NOT “friends with people who support a racist, misogynist, potential rapist, tax evader, assaulter of women, wife cheater, etc” also known as Trump.

            I realized long ago I didn’t “have time to put up with people like that”. I fully agree that “we are who we protect, what we stand up for”. Which is why I am not Christian Right, not a Trump supporter, not a Republican, not a conservative. Does that finally clear this up for you?

    • “Be on good terms with others, without surrender.”
      JP had been on good terms with others, until they insist on his surrender of his core values: equality, justice, and inclusion. I don’t know if they are all Biblical values, but I don’t worship the Bible, nor Paul, nor the rules of Bronze Age Levites, but I would think Jesus would approve.

  8. Whether my guy or gal wins or loses, I’m not obsessed by the outcome of an election. I understand others might have seen things differently than I did and even if I don’t understand how someone could have supported a particular candidate, I give them the benefit of the doubt, and expect the same in return. There’s no reason anyone has to “lose” anyone over an election. It seems that those who do are very closed minded and cannot empathize.

    • I respectfully disagree. If our differences pertained to differing views on where to vacation, how to repair a car/house, I can accept that as trivial enough to maintain friendship. But if our differences pertain to the value of human life and we are basing that on where we were born or who we love, then sacrificing a friendship is worth making a stand for equality for all humans.

    • “Whether my guy or gal wins or loses, I’m not obsessed by the outcome of an election.” Well, maybe you should be. Because this election, this “guy”, is nothing more–or less–than an all out attack on anyone who is not 45 and his cohorts (the VERY wealthy; there’s a reason a lot of people use the term “obscenely rich” because it IS obscene). He’s not the worst, but he is certainly trying to be. He is happily following the GOP’s agenda of de-funding and destroying every part of the Federal government that protected our citizens.
      We are waiting to see just how many of our safety and regulatory agencies he will dismantle: EPA, OSHA, FDA, our national parks, and so on. He is bringing back coal, for gods’ sakes. Whether you believe in climate change or not, you can at least agree that there is no such thing as “clean burning coal”; it causes smog–you know, air pollution.
      45 is also making it easy–and acceptable, which is worse, for the haters to express their phobias and “isms”–xenophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, basically anyone who is not a white male. John P has said it before, I agree and will repeat: not every person who voted for him is a Nazi white supremacist. BUT by voting for him, they have shown that they condone this hate, they are willing to have it sitting in our highest office and spreading the diseases of hatred and oppression of the “others”–as long as it doesn’t affect them. Or as long as they can pretend that his “virtues” outweigh that hatred. I’m waiting to hear what his virtues are because I don’t see any.
      If a person lays down in the mud, they are going to get dirty; no matter how clean their clothes were before they got into it.

    • You can claim that all you like and there is a chance that for you personally it is even true, but for the 9 years that President Obama was a candidate and our president, the Christian Right was daily churning out the most hate-filled, racist, lying, memes and insults that social media has EVER seen.

      And for you all to keep trying to normalize Trump, his campaign and his presidency as just another election only proves what Reverend Pavlovitz and others have said all along about your brand of “Christian love”.

      No, they did not give us “the benefit of the doubt” for the last 9 years so yes, you will get that “same in return”. The same as we had to see daily, the same as we saw never let up, the same as you knew was hurtful. And claiming you are not what you accuse, “very closed minded and cannot empathize” is not borne out by the facts in evidence.

      • Sandi, I’d like to know why, when someone offers a valid opinion on our new president, you would jump to Obama. He no longer sits in the chair. Rather than deflection, which seems to be an ongoing thing with Republicans, I would absolutely LOVE to have you give me definitive stats and concrete evidence that THIS president has done any good for this country in the time that he has held office. I respect your opinion, and would like you to share information with me (from NON-right wing leaning sources) that prove to me that I should respect this man. No bringing up Obama, Clinton, or ny past anyone. I have never YET gotten ONE Trump supporter who was able to- so I would really be interested to see what you have.

        • Well Sam, I am happy to explain “why, when someone offers a valid opinion on our new president, you would jump to Obama”. Simple really. Nothing happens in a vacuum. I am sure the Christian Right would love to forget their behavior toward President Obama and Michelle Obama too, but that is not going to be allowed, because it matters. It has bearing even though President Obama “no longer sits in the chair”.

          Explaining how awful the animosity, hate, racism and insults to President Obama were is not a “deflection” in any way. It is the reality of what happened. And it is why the hypocrisy of the Christian Right asking for us all to “just get along” is so galling!

          LOL, I would dearly love to tell you “definitive stats and concrete evidence that THIS president has done any good for this country in the time that he has held office” or in the time he campaigned. It would go miles in allaying my own fears for the future, but alas, there is nothing. Nothing at all.

          I think you have totally misunderstood my post if you think I am here to praise Trump in any manner. I have never been a Trump supporter and never will be.

    • Sorry, but given the title of your post, I was hoping for a humane/Christian perspective – one that stood up for decency, morality, humility, honesty, basic human kindness, looking out for the weak, the sick, the lonely, the destitute.

      Instead you say that we are wrong for wanting these things? Are you for real?

  9. As a life long social justice advocate, coming to terms with the two party system meant speaking out in support of something different. I’ve been outcasted by many in the community I have been an integral part of for years. Heart breaking. A friend sent this post to me today. Says so much, thank you.

  10. Thank you John. Your blog gives me hope that those who identify as Christian can embrace and accept the rest of us as God’s children. The belief in Chosen Ones exists in all paths and it is this extreme belief that I’m right and you’re damned that divides our nation and our world. I have pulled back from conservative and liberal friends who are pounding their fists on this particular podium. I was there with them until I realized what it was doing to my heart, my mindset and my soul. That quiet still voice within persistently reminded me that there is a power greater than all of us at work in this world and my commitment must always be to that strive to reach beyond that place beyond all of our beliefs, opinions and even terrible actions. So, I am standing in that divine power, refusing to cower, taking thoughtful action, praying for the good of all, including those who demonize me. I can’t allow myself the luxury of hatred and I absolutely refuse to give in to fear. I’m not perfect, not peaceful every day and indulge in SNL ridicule in small portions. I’m glad to know that my faith in the goodness of others regardless of their Christian orientation has merit.

  11. You, sir, are a rare gem. Your eloquence and your clear mind are going to be a beacon to many in the coming months and years, when the work of cleaning up the colossal mess of Trump World has to be done. Sadly, I don’t think you’re going to be able to reach his supporters. Their minds are not only closed, they’re nailed shut. As for me, I’m grateful for your existence, and doubly grateful that I’ve found you here. Thank you.

  12. Thank you again for being the balm for a weary soul! So many lack the ability to articulate the separation we feel or why it is necessary and you do it so well.

    We should be more like the haters and just move on, but the truth of our testimony is that it is painful, it is hard, it is not something that makes us feel better, just safer and less likely to be hurt by people we believed were our brethren.

    This hate, division, bigotry, racism, ignorance, media (and Russia) fed problem is not going away, we all have to deal with it. Maybe they miss us too, who knows. What I do know is that they are not willing to look in the mirror, not willing to see what is happening and their part in it and that means the separation is permanent and new friendships will be harder to form because of it.

    Thank you! Just thank you!

  13. You know… this kind of stuff wouldn’t have happened if conversation was not a lost art having been replaced by the art of the debate. Oh well welcome to the new millennial mindset. What a lonely isolated and embittered path social media has wrought for many. But at least there is the satisfaction in knowing others are morally wrong, dim, unfeeling, plain wrong or unreasonable and dispensable. I think severed connections should be mourned. They sever us from the best parts of ourselves as well.

    • Well Chig, that might make sense if in fact this nation had not had worse division and tragedy long before “conversation was not a lost art” and “the new millennial mindset” was even imagined.

      There have been many things in our past, not even all that distant when there was no “lonely isolated and embittered path social media has wrought” at all. Just hateful, vengeful people who deemed themselves the arbiter of all.

      I can only imagine how you can see any “satisfaction” expressed or implied “in knowing others are morally wrong, dim, unfeeling, plain wrong or unreasonable and dispensable” as Reverend Pavlovitz and the rest of us clearly mourn the loss and division. The separation was self-preserving and freeing, and did not “sever us from the best parts of ourselves” at all.

      • Joe—dangling bait. Remember the gray cross quilt icon. WordPress does not assign that icon to every new person who shows up here and “chig” is short for “chigger.” Chiggers suck blood—just like Joe.

          • Tell me why you think he’s correct in his every “Joe sighting.” You believe it just because he says so and because he is on your side?

            I can tell you one thing. He’s NEVER been right. There’s nothing to keep up with.

            It’s a clever way to change the subject, though, isn’t it? A point is made, but “hey it’s Joe,” so then it isn’t addressed.

              • No they don’t. Many get that same icon.

                Look at the content and style. They look the same?

                Regardless, I think the issue should be the content of the post, and not playing along with Charles’ silly games and his seeing “Joe” hiding behind every tree.

                • You are right ACP/Joe this icon is the default one. I challenge anyone to test it.

                  1) hit reply
                  2) make a comment
                  3) make sure the name and email space is blank
                  4) click ‘post comment’

                  you will see the comment come up as anonymous with the same quilt

                  sincerely, Myth Buster

                  • With regards to the comment above, I didn’t write Anonymous in the Name field. But , if I fill in a name without an email the quilt will not change and the name will

                    see?

                    • However if I add an email without a name filled out the icon will change and the name will automatically be assigned as Anonymous

                      see?

                    • I don’t believe ACP/Joe is every Anonymous commentor or every detractor of JP and the only way to know the difference between those making comments is if we fill in an email address because no one can reproduce that.

                      So my question to ACP/ Joe is why did you stop doing that?

                • Oddly most with your same gravatar do talk like you or closely align with you. Odd how yours is the only one that repeats for others out of all the hundreds of gravatars available. It is not tied to your name, you know? Give it up.

              • That would mean that Kate GC is “Joe” as well…

                I’m self-employed and have work to do. I don’t have time to play complicated games.

                    • Not sure I should thank you for all this “useful” info but you did prove how easy it is to use several entities by one person.

                    • Yes, that is true.. in ACP/Joe’s case he is saying he is not that commentor and there is a possibility he is telling the truth

                      Personally I don’t want to call someone a liar over and over again when there is a possibility it is a false accusation.

                    • Agreed Anony, I do not want to do that to anyone either. There are plenty of actually provable lies and distortions to argue over.

                  • Well OK, a Catholic Perspective, you proved me wrong! I sincerely apologize for accusing you of being so many other people.

                    And I learned something!

                    • Yes, I get that now. I apologize to anyone I accused of being someone else. It never occurred to me that you could leave the email or name “blank” or what that would show up as. It is sadly too convenient for those intent on mischief but I will not be falsely accusing anyone else.

                    • Yeah, best to call out the comment itself rather than impute the comment to the wrong person.

                      Have a great day 🙂

  14. Thank you, John! You’ve calmed and acknowledged a part of my soul that I thought had died. This paragraph is perfect, bottom-line understanding:
    “I know you may believe this disconnection is about politics, but I want you to know that this simply isn’t true. It’s nothing that small or inconsequential, or this space between us wouldn’t be necessary. This is about fundamental differences in the ways in which we view the world and believe other people should be treated. It’s not political stuff, it’s human being stuff—which is why finding compromise and seeing a way forward is so difficult. ”
    I am so relieved to see the coming together of the Religious Left. It is what I believed spirituality and Christ was about all along.

  15. Thank you; you help me face my day. Yours is the first thing I read in my morning and I need the hope that you are sharing.
    Our people were already divided in so many, many ways. We did not, do not, need our President to increase the division. Although it would seem that we’re really two groups: those who are living in fear and anxiety because of what 45 made as his campaign promises and the Executive Orders he’s already issued and those who aren’t, either from being rich or ignorant of just how all of his actions will affect them eventually.
    And if they voted for him, or if they think that he’s doing okay, they will not hear our concerns, our fears or our anxieties. The irony abounds: for 8 years, the GOP and their ardent followers stonewalled/obstructed/bemoaned/and denounced Mr. Obama. The Congress was one of the most intransigent, do-nothing legislative bodies in our history. And now that “their guy” is in the office, the rest of us are supposed to “get over it” and accept 45 as “our” President. No thank you.
    They didn’t want to win this election to help the American citizens. This is a revenge and retaliation plot, which incidentally allows them to put their ideas into our government. The last time the GOP held all 3 legs of government, we had this little thing called the “Great Depression”. We’re going to have a “Greater Depression” and this time, we’re taking the world with us.
    I do not believe that we are the highest lifeforms on this planet. The gods know we’re not the smartest, the wisest, or even the kindest.
    We need you, John P. I am thankful that you share your words with us because some of us sure appreciate the flame in the darkness.

  16. On the day after the election I thought I was experiencing feelings and having thoughts that were my own. I felt the abyss with people I hadn’t felt that way before about. Discovering your writings and the community being created from it has made me feel less crazy. I am still struggling with the differences I see now but also finding my own voice – which I thank you for.

    Peace & Blessings,
    Sharon

  17. When you say “who you are” and express what is essential and non-negotiable to your way of life, you will attract those who welcome your voice. I for one (of many). Thank you!

  18. Thank you John Pavlovitz for giving words to my emotions. This election left me with monumental feelings of grief – grief that so many of my friends, family, neighbors and half our citizenry had a totally different set of values than I have, a totally different set of values that I believe lifted us from ignorance and distrust of others to higher level beings. It struck at my very being that I could have been so wrong about so many. I questioned my own observation abilities. This election has jolted me out of complacency into a need to make my beliefs known as I fear silence is acquiesence. Each of us must stand up and show the world that we will not sit by and let “man’s inhumanity to man” become the new American way. We are smarter than this. We are kinder than this.

  19. The timing of this post is stunning. I just wrote a post like this two days ago on my FB page. All you said really resonates with me and my experience. I needed to hear this right now. It’s comforting in more ways than one. Thank you!

  20. What about the people who doubt, question and wonder about your message, are they not included in that group?

    “For us, a community of people all along the spectrum of belief is good.
    It’s honest. It’s authentic. It’s real.

    You can belong here even when—maybe especially when—you have religious doubts. We are a Christian community, but have discovered in our Christian heritage more ways to be Christian than we once thought. Doubting, questioning, and wondering—these are part of the journey.”

  21. John Pavlovitz said:

    “I know you may believe this disconnection is about politics, but I want you to know that this simply isn’t true. It’s nothing that small or inconsequential, or this space between us wouldn’t be necessary. This is about fundamental differences in the ways in which we view the world and believe other people should be treated. It’s not political stuff, it’s human being stuff—which is why finding compromise and seeing a way forward is so difficult.”

    I agree. This is not about politics per se—and never has been. For me, just as for you, this has always been about Jesus, his words, his commands, his deeds, and ages-old, bedrock Christian principles that are being trampled on today by a horde of Christian fundamentalist, conservative evangelical, and RWENJ barbarians who claim to follow Jesus Christ—but show few signs of really following him in their words and deeds.

  22. Thank you John for your words. I am no longer on Facebook because I didn’t want to be a part of the animosity with my long time friends. Facebook turned into a hateful space. I am not angry with those whose views are different than mine. They are still my friends. It was just easier to remove myself.

    I am just sad. In my own inept way I try to reach out to find a bridge. I often fail. I am afraid. Maybe this is because I am old. Politics was never a big subject with me or my friends until this election. I have friends that I have known literally all my life. I never knew how anyone felt about abortion or guns or politics until this last year. No matter who was President it just was never discussed. I was totally surprised how many agreed or disagreed with my feelings.

    Somehow this election brought out ugliness that I never expected. I do not want enemies. Life is too short.

    Many times I have doubted myself because how can I possibly see so much danger in Trump when other people see goodness. Why do I think his lies are beyond the pale and have only caused hate and chaos to grow in my beloved country? I even miss Bush I and II. You could always see the love and tenderness they felt with their wives and family. That speaks to me of the goodness in them.

    As much as I hated the Iraq war, I see Bush II’s paintings of soldiers as his way of doing penance for that war. It won’t make up for the lives lost or forever changed but I feel compassion for how he might feel today.

    In my heart I still cannot find one admirable thing about Trump or one thing not to fear. I have to rely on what is in my heart, not someone else’s.

    Anyway, it takes work almost every day to find joy now. Luckily I have a wonderful husband and a 2 year old Grandaughter who is with us a few days a week to bring laughter in my life. I will always prefer laughter over sadness.

    Peace and Strength

    • Thanks for sharing your heart Joanne. I get where you are coming from. I can’t find the good in Trump, as President, either. I remember how I felt about Bush, Cheney and the Iraq War, when most of my family and friends were for the war– in comparison Trump with Bannon is much scarier and more threatening.

      You would think people could learn from history. I hope more people will come around to see that. The good thing about the #Resistance is the efforts to tell the truth. I admire people for that. To keep loving is the hard part. In some cases we have to protect ourselves from being coerced and tempted to hate. I can only take social media in small doses. But I am encouraged by those who can be strong and resilient in the face of all the division.

      Personally I think the world is going to need gentle souls and healers during and after the division and fighting. I hope those who are healers don’t lose their gift of understanding and compassion.

  23. Please, former friends and family members—those of you who don’t understand the extreme magnitude of grief and anger I feel toward this occupier of the white house, this devil, this satan, this minion of darkness—he who loves to kill poor souls who want nothing more than to eat and breathe clean air from Mother Earth. Please understand that I must shun you because you voted for this orange-haired hitler. it’s nothing personal, but I must obey my pastor, the prophet John the overwrought in this matter of letting my political preferences become paramount of loved ones. this is my calling, this is my mission. speak words of life, O’ overseer of my soul, John P the magnificent.

      • SS. i was wondering what part of above was blasphemous? (speaking sacrilegiously about God.) thanks. I was reading it as sarcasm against John P. But, i know it’s hard to catch some meanings sometimes, with everyone having a different style of writing.

        I think John’s inability to maintain relationships with Conservative voters is a over-wrought. That level of disdain is something I would hold for a child molester, or a serial rapist, but not for someone that voted for Hillary. I understand that he sees Trump misogynist and racist. (I disagree with those assessments).

        • Really? “Grab her by the p**sy” wasn’t misogynistic? His comments about Hispanics and Arabs haven’t been racist? What planet do you live on?

          • Even my guy-friends were like, “wow, that’s pretty awful”. The things he said on that bus with Billy Bush were downright awful. It turned my stomach.

        • LM, I am sure God gets the sarcasm and sacrilege too. Maybe even appreciates it, who knows. Maybe we should all hope irreverence is not frowned upon.

          I think the Christian Rights folks with an obsession about what they see as “John’s inability to maintain relationships with Conservative voters” is the only thing “over-wrought”.

          You are free to find your own level of disdain for everyone. We call get it that you cannot accept or admit the level of danger and damage we see from Christians putting their political positions ahead of their Christian duty. Who WOULD want to admit or accept that they did that? Oddly, I am willing to bet that Reverend Pavlovitz and the rest of us would be much harder on and disdainful of “a child molester, or a serial rapist” who claimed they were doing God’s work or upholding their version of Christianity too.

          The level of danger seen in this nation choosing someone like Trump and the people he is putting in place goes so much farther than just misogyny and racism that is it really hard to take you seriously when you try to downplay what we all see playing out in front of us.

          The near desperate influence of a known enemy of America being so widely embraced as to change the Republican Platform should concern even you. The defense of that known enemy no matter the cost to credibility should concern you. The connections and millions made from Russia, should concern you. The fake news disseminated and taken as fact to the point some fool shot up a pizza joint should concern you. The lack of knowledge about Trump’s vast holdings, debts and entanglements should concern you. The insults to Islam and our Muslim friends that we need to win the war on terror should concern you. The crazed people in charge of energy, education, and the EPA should concern you. The nepotism should concern you. The anti-immigrants already here with families established should concern you.

          I say all of that should concern you because of the dire need the Christian Right expressed to see President Obama’s birth certificate, college transcripts, income and connections. The crazed need to lambaste his friends, supporters and acquaintances both before and after both elections. The disdain for Valerie Jarrett, the disdain and insults to our First Lady, Michelle Obama and so many other awful things you all “demanded” and condemned for the entire 8 years of President Obama’s term and suddenly nothing about Trump could ever shake your confidence much less cause you to admit concern…just rings off the charts for hypocrisy.

  24. The crux of the article is this, “I will not allow the work of equality, diversity, and justice to be derailed…” This is the compulsion for writing the article. I would venture that the majority of people from whom John Pavlovitz is distancing himself would agree whole-heartedly with his non-negotiable, “A working belief in the inherent value of all people. Agreement on the common dignity everyone deserves to be treated with regardless of their religion, skin color, orientation, or nation of origin. A baseline of empathy for other people’s pain. A commitment to facts that transcend ideology and emotion.” Where he and his distanced friends might disagree is how equality, diversity and justice operate. In the United States of America, we are all equal under the law. Justice is the upholding of that law, applying it regardless of diversity. What is also non-negotiable, whether it is emotionally or ideologically satisfying to Mr. Pavlovitz, is that the United States is a nation of laws. It is not justice that some come into the country legally after a long process and others come in illegally, burdening the education system, medical facilities, and welfare system. Neither is it justice for the citizens of the United States to be subjected to the possibility of under-vetted terrorists gaining entry into the country as refugees. While upholding the law and holding law breakers accountable is not pleasant, most of us, that’s MOST of us, would agree that the process should recognize the inherent value and dignity of each person, regardless of their religion, skin color, orientation or nation of origin. Mr. Pavlovitz didn’t name specific grievances. I’d be interested to hear them. Those who might offend his sensibilities, causing him to distance himself from them, most likely have reasonable and humane underpinnings for their stance. Distance might not be merited.

    • Judy Koepp, I do not doubt the Christian Right that Reverend Pavlovitz speaks of and to actually does believe they “agree whole-heartedly with his non-negotiable, “A working belief in the inherent value of all people. Agreement on the common dignity everyone deserves to be treated with regardless of their religion, skin color, orientation, or nation of origin. A baseline of empathy for other people’s pain. A commitment to facts that transcend ideology and emotion.”

      But that belief is not evidenced by their behavior, posts, meme sharing, talking points shared, bashing of President Obama and support of Donald J. Trump.

      THAT is where ‘the rubber meets the road’ for everyone’s belief system and faith. Believing is proven in living it.

      Living it would not create an unbridgeable distance in “how equality, diversity and justice operate”. It is just not factual that the justice system proves “we are all equal under the law” or that upholding the law means it is done “regardless of diversity” (though I am not sure what you even mean by that).

      Living it would not create an unbridgeable distance in agreeing “that the United States is a nation of laws”. While , “it is not justice that some come into the country legally after a long process and others come in illegally” it is also not justice that those with money or connections can come in legally quite easily and those without it cannot. Regardless of value or need.

      Living it would not create an unbridgeable distance in seeing that it is not “justice for the citizens of the United States to be subjected to the possibility of under-vetted terrorists gaining entry into the country as refugees” even as that has not been any kind of real and demonstrable issue, but the death, suffering and need of the millions of refugees we and our policies have helped create is both.

      Living it would not create an unbridgeable distance in “upholding the law and holding law breakers accountable” and I think MOST of use can agree that the process does not “recognize the inherent value and dignity of each person, regardless of their religion, skin color, orientation or nation of origin”. We see that daily.

      You assume, even as you acknowledge not knowing, that the “grievances” the Reverend Pavlovitz speaks of are trivial and blown out of proportion even as the news of every day for the last year has proved they are not.

      Over and over we see that the Christian Right, driven by their connection to right-wing media and the hubris of how they interpret the teachings of Jesus, do not “have reasonable and humane underpinnings for their stance”.

      Distance is merited for far more of them than is easily brushed off. Even if you are not a person of faith.

  25. I have taken a different approach, believing that as a Christian it is my job to love first, before standing on principle. It is never in anyone’s best interest to “divorce” over issues. It is not our job as Christians to decide who needs to be tossed into the outer darkness because of their beliefs. We always have a chance to speak truth into someone’s life that will cause conversion. If we stop communicating with them at all, how can that happen?

    During this horrible election, I have done by best to listen to my evangelical friends and understand their point of view. I have also hoped they would listen to me in return. After awhile, I just rested my case and decided to wait and see what happens. My hope is that eventually they will see I was right to be concerned about Trump. But even if not, I want to still be there to continue to gently remind them of the truth.

    There were prophecies that Donald Trump would be elected. Some of my evangelical friends believed the prophecies, and they turned out to be accurate. Who am I to say this is not a move of God? I have been clear in telling my friends I believe it could be for judgment rather than blessing. Time will tell who is correct.

    Only one person unfriended me because of my anti-Trump stand. I did not unfriend anyone. The rest of us still love each other, even though we don’t agree.

    • I am sorry if you were under the impression anyone was telling you the “approach” to take. Your path is yours, their path is theirs, and Reverend Pavlovitz’s path (and many of ours) belongs only to us. You may well feel yours is the path all should take. I do not agree. Reading the posts and comments here is totally optional.

      Who am I to say this is not a move of God? Someone who has never read the Bible as a big chess match our Lord controls us with and moves us as it pleases him to do. Is that who you think God is? You think God sends disease, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, cop killings, pedophiles and corporate regimes to Congress too?

  26. Thank you, John, for helping me understand myself while I am trying to put some perspective on my feelings. A couple of months ago I unfriended everyone on my FB page. We moved to a new city and state in 2014 to be near our daughter and after the election I began to realize that I just could not emotionally stay connected to the extreme differing opinions. And I must admit my opinions and feelings are pretty extreme, also, but when a cousin who lives in Florida told me that he has his Bible and his gun and he’s not going to allow anybody into his home who doesn’t share his values, I knew I had to quit. I’m a caregiver for my husband who has dementia and a peripheral neuropathy which means he has extreme difficulty walking and I can’t deal with what I consider the irrational hate for everything and everyone who you see as “different.”
    I understand your grief and sorrow because of the disconnect from friends and family, but I also understand the necessity for the preservation of your own life values and the need to be not constantly defending those values to those who WILL NOT try to understand.

    • Wow Kathleen Marie, you really have a lot on your shoulders. I am right there with you in removing the ones that harm and offer little to nothing, family included and I have yet to regret it.

      May God give you peace!

  27. Last year I stopped following a friend on Facebook. We had been actual friends; having met about 20 years ago. We had stayed connected mostly through email and telephone over the years. I didn’t realize he was so right-wing, until the previous couple of years, when he posted anti-Obama rants almost every day on his Facebook page. For me, the final shot came when he stated something to the effect that people who voted for Obama were proof that illiteracy was alive and well in America. As much as I despised George W. Bush, I never said people who voted for him were stupid and uneducated (although some were.) I have friends and relatives who voted for Bush (as well as Trump), and they’re certainly not stupid.

    So, while I stopped following my long-time friend on Facebook, I didn’t actually “un-friend” him. Still I don’t need to hear the constant drum beat of negativity and hate thrown at me every day. Hell, I’ll watch cable news shows to get that!

    On the upside, I think some people saved a lot of money on Christmas presents because they stopped talking to friends and relatives over the election.

  28. Pingback: To The People I’ve Lost Over This Election — john pavlovitz – biblebeltsite

  29. John, I completely understand what you’re saying. I’ve said these same things to so many after this election, and the sadness with which I’ve said them has been profound.

    I don’t usually obsess over elections. Yes, I follow politics, but I usually accept the outcome, then advocate for what needs to be done.

    This election was different. There was, and is, so much at stake for me, my family, and people like me. My rights, not just as a woman, but as a transgender person, have been systematically eroded, and continue to be so. My stepson’s rights as a disabled person are eroding. My marriage is in danger of being invalidated. Our health care is in jeopardy. This is all far too much to simply ignore.

    So, when I saw friends or family of mine voting for Trump and spouting off the right-wing rhetoric, I had to cut ties with them. Fortunately, that was a very small number of people, but some of them I had known my whole life, and that hurt.

    Love to you and yours. ♡

  30. Once again you write and make sense of all the thoughts that roll around in my head and all the sadness that is in my heart. My sadness comes from the fact that I really did not know some people as well as I thought. I find for my own survival I have to separate from them. I wish them well, just somewhere else. The fact that I have avoided Facebook like the plague has been a good thing. No one unfriended me and I didn’t have to unfriend them. I think we have just all decided that for the time being we are in different places in our lives and we want different things. It is sad but I have decided that if I was ever going to make a stand this was it. If I am to be able to look my grandsons in the eye now was the time to take a stand. Most of what happens won’t affect me as much as it will affect them, so sitting on the sidelines for the sake of people who do not believe as I was not acceptable. Peace, Love, Persist and Resist.

  31. To John:

    You need to grow up! Stop whining and behaving like a spoiled little brat! Stop playing partisan politics and start really embracing the truths, even the hard truths, of the Scripture. I never unfriended you cause I never friended you! Most of your writings are filled with anger, bitterness, hatred, and ugliness. I hope this little piece don’t hurt your feelings, cause it seems to when others write what they do!

    • Wayne, here is my take.

      JP is angry that we will have a government that will actively work to curtail and deny civil rights to the groups Trump vilified, mocked, or put down.

      JP is bitter because the people he thought were allies in helping the people thought of as “less than” to Conservative Christians have instead justified their prejudices.

      JP hates injustice, especially the injustice that is starting to happen to these “less than” people.

      JP ugliness is pointed directly at churches who are actively trying to deny civil rights to certain groups of people, or being silent about it, instead of following Jesus and fighting for justice.

      You know what Wayne, so am I.

      • When I voted for Trump, I voted against a great injustice that JP supports. He’s not all about justice “for all.” In his world inconvenient life does not deserve any justice, though he uses some tortured logic to blame it on those who stand against it.

        • Still touting your single-issue voting, I see. Nothing else matters except that one issue, right? Screw the elderly, the disabled, children, minorities, the poor, LGBTQ people, the working class, and women, as long as we ban abortion, affordable birth control, and specialized health care for women by shutting down Planned Parenthood, we’re winning, right? Who needs affordable mammograms, my tax dollars shouldn’t go to that, right?

          That’s about as small-minded as you can get.

          • Small minds of unborn are loved by God, he was present at their conception! …and he has great plans for them.

            Valuing Life is the #1 tenet, that all others follow from. So, that ‘one issue’, really is foundational. It cannot be separated out.

            • If you really valued life, you would also be against the death penalty, you would be against cutting medicaid and medicare (programs that help the disabled, elderly, and poor), you would be against cutting food stamps, you would be against cutting Meals on Wheels (which millions of seniors rely on), and you would most certainly be against cutting the VA.

              Where are the pro-life advocates when someone like me gets murdered just for existing? Usually, they’re protesting the funeral (if there is one, since most churches and funeral homes won’t allow them), saying we got what we deserved. Where are the pro-lifers when a kid in the inner city is starving to death because of an abusive home? Usually saying “it’s not my problem”.

              You’re not pro-life. You don’t care about life at all. You care about birth, sticking your nose into women’s lives, and legislating your version of morality onto other people. Pro-life? Not hardly.

              • Well said, you speak truth. Thank you, They are pro birth and that is not the same as pro life. They should be part of the whole cloth.

                • How on earth did this conversation get hi-jacked onto the subject of abortion already?

                  People, we have got to stop picking up the red herrings.

                  This blog post is about a profound loss so many people in this country have experienced, I am certain there are conservative right people who could give expression to the feelings John P writes about.

                  I would hope that we would find common ground, but nope off onto the abortion subject. Again. Honesty, none of us have anything new to add to the conversation. What’s the point of repeating ourselves? We aren’t going to change anyone’s mind.

                  • That’s why I went off on Les lie the way I did. I’m so sick of her and ACP defaulting to that tired argument. Not that they’re paying any attention to my retorts, I’m one of “those people”. *shrug* Oh well.

                    • Point your fingers at the prolifers as much as you like, but the fact remains that JP supports abortion rights. He wants an abortionist to have the right to kill a baby in the womb. Is that someone who wants justice “for all” or “for the least of these”?

                      We’re not talking about small numbers here. It’s well over 50,000,000 since Roe v Wade.

                    • And every one of those numbers corresponds to a woman who was desperate, hurting and making the decision that she believed was right for her. What have you done to help any woman feel supported enough to choose life? Just punishing women by banning abortion is not justice for all. You claim to value life but only some life and that is sickening not Godly!

                    • Joe ACP, you never answered my previous questions about your laser focus on making abortion illegal at all cost and you never will. You, Leslie, Ted, and Wayne have your opinions and I have mine and that is OK. When you all trying to act on these by defaming, by laws, or by violence, then I will stop you all by any means necessary. Remember that turning over tables and driving attackers away from their victims by violence, as it may be the absolute last resort, is not out of the question.

                    • Oh, Caitlyn Anne, you are a beloved child of God and that’s the bottom line.

                      I have refused to enter the abortion discussion because I will not be manipulated by anyone on that subject which is always off-topic here.

                      I ignore them and do not allow their poisonous screeds from finding root in my mind.

                    • Gloriamarie, Most of the time I am there with you, but you know once in while something happens and you end up saying something. Then I wish I hadn’t. We would all probably be better off if we ignored them and most of the time. I have lived with foot in mouth all my life. Anyway how is your mom doing and how are you doing. Peace,

                    • You don’t know me or what I am. You presume I only care about fetuses and want everyone else to drop dead because that fits your narrative which is a marvelous deflection. What does it matter what I am or believe? A baby is killed by an abortion. Is that just or not?

                      What if I quote Mother Teresa who sacrificed her entire life helping the poor and needy? She walked the walk. Would that change your mind and would you then defend innocent life in the womb?

                      It’s interesting that Gloriamarie, who won’t discuss this issue because it exposes her hard-heartedness and her rebellion against her own church, says that this topic is “off limits” when the previous post mentioned “pro-life” in the headline.

                    • Quote anyone you like, I have no doubt you and Mother Teresa are in agreement on the importance of suffering. It changes nothing. Being pro-life involves much more than just being anti-abortion and YOU do not walk that walk. You already admitted your effort is just your pitiful vote for those who would outlaw and punish desperate women.

                      You are not pro-child, pro-family, pro-love, you are just anti-abortion. Shallow, ignorant and in the end, worth nothing because the God I study is not going to check the box for ‘voted against abortion’ and move for admittance. Not how it works!

                • Kathleen B. I agree with you and here are my thoughts. To me they are saying life in the womb is more important than a woman’s physical and mental health and sometimes their ability to care for other children they may have at home.

                  If we are successful in reversing Roe v Wade we understand that it only makes abortion illegal for those who cannot afford to pay off a doctor or a plane ticket to a place where a safe abortion will be performed. There has always been abortion and always will be but safe ones will only be for those who can afford it.

                  Who cares if poor women suffer and die along with the baby in their womb. We know babies in the womb are still going to be aborted and we do not care.

                  YEA WE WON.

                  That is what those slutty women without enough money who couldn’t keep their legs together deserve. As for the men – what men?

                  • You must be clairvoyant because you read my mind. The only thing I would add that most of them don’t want women to have birth control either. And I suspect it is the last word, control, that really matters.

            • Really leslie m? “Valuing Life is the #1 tenet, that all others follow from.” Oh really? So by that whole message of love even those who “don’t deserve it” was only about “valuing life”?

              How then does punishing women desperate enough to seek an abortion value life? How then does punishing or excluding the LGBTQ community value life? How does shunning and refusing desperate and destitute refugees value life? How does banning and deporting desperate struggling immigrants value life? How does supporting the military industrial complex value life? How does cutting vital safety net programs value life? How does refusing to feed hungry children value life? How does denigrating liberals who seek a better way for all value life? Lady, you are a joke!

              • I seem to be in your Amen corner today. You are on a roll. Keep it up. I do wonder if by her first sentence she must believe that when a woman gets pregnant by rape that God must have ordained it. That ticks me off for God. Peace.

            • God has plans for the unborn except for the unborn that are spontaneously miscarried, except for the unborn that the pregnancy will kill both the mother and the unborn. Except……

              If this is what believing in God means I would rather be an atheist and join my atheist friends in trying to help and advance humanity by love, kindness, and service to all. If Jesus insists on following a bunch of harsh rules, putting down people, and giving him credit for my efforts then Heaven is not for me.

            • Leslie M.,
              Is God there at conception when a woman is raped and becomes pregnant? At a time of violence and hate? Personally, I don’t think so but I am only human so I cannot know. I ask you because you seem to have some insight that I don’t have.

        • And again I ask, what exactly have you done, do you support, have you spoken out on, that would even mitigate this “great injustice that JP supports”? YOU are clearly “not all about justice “for all” either, so why berate him when you do nothing but seek to control and punish women who become pregnant?

          In your world, “inconvenient life” deserves “justice” even if by government force. And by your own admission, that is ALL you demand, support, work for, and vote for, so who is the one using “tortured logic” in this case? The man in your mirror.

          You ONLY “stand against it” you do not stand for the kind of education, help, support and safety nets needed to actually have and raise a child. HYPOCRITE!

          • Pro-birth instead of pro-life. Thanks for saying what I’ve been trying to say. Now let’s ignore them, because they’re never going to let go of their talking points and have an actual discussion. That would be too revealing for them.

        • If fighting for equality for all and justice, and expecting those that say they do the same crow in their superiority over “the sinners”, is indeed “injustice” then I have pity on you.

    • You must work in a theater, because you’re a master at projection. Seriously, in two posts, you insult gays, minorities, women, and anyone else who isn’t a straight, white, cisgender male,and then you post again and blame John for all of it. That’s some serious cognitive dissonance, the kind only meth heads get.

    • You’ve just described every single Trump voter and Trump himself The “whiney little spoiled brat” and dumbest, most inept and most corrupt President by far in American history.

      • Absolutely. Between the nepotism, the blatant ties to Russia, the outrageous policies, and the lack of any direction on foreign policy, it’s a disaster.

  32. Jesus says there are many rooms in his house. When I think of a mansion I picture a dining room, kitchen, living room, bedrooms, an entertainment room, a laundry room, a bathroom, a mud room, a den, perhaps a play room for children. Each room has a different purpose. I see this blog as one of those rooms. There is a purpose to it but it is not the whole house. So we are all on different paths or working in different rooms– working for the purpose God has called us to.

    In addition, we desperately need the people on the sidelines. They are our encouragers (“You can do it!) , exhorters (keep your eye on the ball! “ You are going the wrong way !” “Shoot the ball!”) and they are the coaches ( “take a deep breath” “ Focus on the play” “Keep Calm and Carry On!”)

    There is more than one instrument in this orchestra, and every once and awhile someone steps up and does a solo performance but the orchestra is there, the conductor has a purpose and the audience is rewarded.

    As a young woman my mom watched the news daily during the civil rights movement. She never was able to participate directly but she hoped for and prayed for those who were in the thick of the danger. My mom taught us from youth to respect all people regardless of race religion or sexual orientation. She did her best with what she had.

    Be thankful for the hands you have that work, for those that clap, for those that hold other hands, for those who reach out their hand and for those folded in prayer— each of us is playing a part right now.

  33. I guess it never occurred to John P. – that his “so” called fiends – are not concerned or personally devastated because he simply can’t have a real or imaginary relationship with them anymore.
    Yup, I would bet, a good portion of them are relieved – as accommodating foolishness and immaturity grows tiresome after while…..yes, the neon light of “good riddance” is lit but that matters little in John P’s universe of “unfriended, unfollowed, or physically disconnected” – as if no one else has a choice in these matters.

    • Yes Anonymous, “accommodating foolishness and immaturity grows tiresome after while” and yet you all keep coming back even when not welcomed and respected so who exactly is saying “good riddance”?

      We cannot seem to be rid of you no matter what method. If he has “unfriended” you, or “unfollowed”, you are still allowed on this blog, you are still allowed to follow him and comment on his posts on Facebook too. Though how much influence an anonymous post could have is kinda laughable.

      PLEASE, do us all a solid and just go away. That IS what “unfriending” is supposed to do. Even if you do not like it.

      • Sandi, I fear he will never go away unless he is 100% ignored and that will never happened because there will always be some new person to come to the blog who will attempt to have conversations with him.

        If one watches long enough, one sees there is a repetitive pattern in the way he engages with people until people start begging him to go away. I think such begging feeds his ego and makes him think he is being persecuted and he really gets off on that.

        Just my opinion.

  34. Heartfelt, John P, heartfelt.

    Unlike many other people I know, I have not lost any relationship over this election. But my heart goes out to those who have suffered hard losses. I have shared this where I believe they will see it.

    As there are 127 comments already for this post, I will not make any attempt to catch up.

    Bless you and thank you for writing this.

  35. Observing Donald J. Trump brings me back to a point in life, 10th grade, when I was extremely bitter over the constant racial insults and slights I suffered growing up as a black female in Philadelphia.
    What rescued me from endemic bitterness was discovering the works of Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitysn – I read ‘One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich’ and could not put it down – I could not believe that WHITE PEOPLE had been put through such things. I read everything by Solzhenitsyn I could find, as well as writings on the Holocaust, Armenian Genocide, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Pol Pot, Khmer Rouge – and I came to understand that black people did not have an exclusive corner on being oppressed.

    What I saw in Solzhenitsyn’s writings was the Cult Of Personality surrounding Josef Stalin – and I see the same surrounding Donald J. Trump.

    Donald J. Trump could run over a grandmother in a car stolen from a disabled veteran with an impaled baby on the back seat on his way to drowning a litter of puppies – and his supporters would think it was just fine.

    The oh-so-soulful and simply gorgeous Michael McDonald put it this way: ‘What a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away, what he thinks he sees, is always better than nothing at all’ – there is no logic and reason with dedicated members of the Trump Personality Cult, and many are finding the only way to peace within is to put such people at a distance – regrettable, but necessary.

      • I’m going to go slightly better than that ar 2.5:1 pending the outcome of the Russia investigation. If that shows what it looks like it’s going to show, the odds drop to 1.5:1 or better, almost a sure thing. If not, then they start to climb based on whether the Dems find a way to capitalize on the growing poor opinion of the president.

    • Charles, as much as I would love to see the walking cheeto hauled away in handcuffs, it would mean Mike Pence and I don’t want him either. If Pence is impeached it means Paul Ryan and I don’t want him either, or Orrin Hatch or anyone in the Cabinet behind the desk in the Oval Office.

      The problem is not Trump but all the venomous poison associated with him.

  36. John. Thank you for your words. So many of your words speak directly to the passions I deal with each and every day. My relationships have changed as have yours. And, they need to change. I cannot live my life, and specifically Christian life, pretending to support a theology and lifestyle that does not line up with my deep Christian and moral beliefs. I truly love Jesus and others. However, I love Jesus more and must move in a different direction. Again, my quote “Doing what is easy is not always right. Doing what is right is not always easy.” Have a great day!

  37. This is written with so much emotional intelligence behind it. I am going to taylor these words for a letter I need to write to family from whom I have had to separate myself from emotionally…oceans apart. Nothing to do with politics…and I have done it with silence…only because I didn’t have language that wouldn’t continue to reflect anger or blame. This letter helps me greatly in that way:-)

  38. Are the love of money and the love of power the same thing? Both loves enable one to achieve his ends. Both can be addicting. Both can be corrupting.

  39. John, you’ve spoken my heart, as you’ve done so many times before. I’ve lost my entire extended family, some fifty-odd people I love very dearly – two of them my sisters.

    I posted your essay on Facebook. Here is how I introduced it:

    “It’s about moral and intellectual integrity, not politics. So, even as I grieve so much that I wonder how to go on, even as I stagger under the weight of knowing my last days will be spent alone rather than surrounded by the fortress of my family’s love . . . I can do no other and still call myself a follower of Jesus Christ.

    This is the hill I will literally die on, bowed down by sadness.”

    • Leigh, first let me say I pray you peace. Years ago, my brother and I were on “opposite sides” and while we were never estranged, we were at odds and arguments did break out. Over time, he came to see what I was saying was what was happening and we are not not just family, we are totally in sync politically. It is a precious thing. Maybe your family will have the love and grief you feel too and will make an effort to see what you mean and repair the breach. It can happen.

      Either way, I respect and applaud your courage and determination. There are indeed hills we need to be prepared to die on or we are not true to our heart and what we believe Jesus instructed. You are not alone! I am more than ready to face God with the record written on my heart.

  40. Thank you John,

    Every word applies to my situation which sounds like yours. For too long I let things I found unsettling slide for sake of my deeply right wing family and hoped that they might eventually hear me but I found that this sadly would not be true.

    You are right it’s not politics but so much more, an elemental way of looking at life. I could no longer compromise my beliefs for a relationship.

    I would add one more plank to the immutable principles and that would be good stewardship of our planet rather than the current model of exploitation at the expense of all life.

    Thank you for always saying what needs to be said.

  41. I guess there are so many of us in this situation. Really makes you prioritize what/who is important in your life. This is the letter I have sadly sent to both former friends and business associates —

    “It really has nothing to do with democrats, republicans, or our long relationship, as my very heritage (Iranian), husband’s heritage (Latino/Bolivian) and profession (immigration attorney) is under assault. My husband was also, for many years, an undocumented immigrant. My decision is based on my inability to have a relationship with anyone who would support a monster who rejects my essence as a person.

    You have no clue how it feels to walk in my shoes right now, where everyday I wake up to some other nightmare that directly affects my life, my health, my resilience, my sanity. I spend EVERY DAY with citizens and non citizens alike, trying to comfort them, to console them, and I can’t even tell them that everything will be ok because so far it has been the complete opposite of that. This President has created a climate of fear that reminds me of the autocratic regimes from which many of these refugees and immigrants have fled, and I am appalled that this can be happening in our country. He is now even attacking our judicial branch. Last time I checked, we were a democracy with checks and balances, not a nation where the tweets of one man are the truth or the law. You don’t see it because it doesn’t affect your daily life, but it has devastated mine.

    You, and many others who refuse to denounce this man (and, in your case, who even VOTED for him), only add to the problem, although that is your right. Only you can answer whether the racism, misogyny, and xenophobia he displays on a daily basis is worth the policies that you think he will deliver on. To me, no policy is worth sacrificing basic human decency, respect and values because without these we have NOTHING. I ask that if he talked about groping YOUR daughter, if you would be OK with that? I ask if he banned YOUR family from the United States, if you would be OK with that? I ask that if he demonized YOUR hardworking clients if you would be ok with that? I am not. I CRY VERY SINGLE DAY but must remain strong for the families I represent who do not deserve such inhumane treatment or to live in such fear.

    And I don’t blame him per se, as he was up front about who he was and what he believed (heck, he’s even on video saying all these things). I blame those who voted for him, 100%. Maybe you will someday look into yourself to ask what you truly stand for, what values you cherish, maybe not. Maybe you already have decided that some things are more important than basic human decency. I am not here to debate these issues, just to explain how strongly I feel about what is important to me. It is very sad that it has come to this, I agree. But there are some things that I will not compromise, that are too important for me and my husband and the example we want to set for our children and their future.

  42. After reading all of these pros and cons on this conversation, I believe this goes much further back than merely this election cycle. Many evangelists like Franklin Graham, Pat Robinson, Charles Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Jr., and others led evangelicals to believe that Trump was God’s anointed one who had been sent to right the wrongs and sins that are happening in the world today. They used examples from the Old Testament like David, an adulterer and murderer, Samson, Esther, Raahab, and others to prove their point as to how God used the wanton to accomplish his deeds. It was like sheep being led to slaughter as having a film over their eyes and not able to see. They ran this race as if this was the correct thing to do. This is how the Christians who voted for Trump saw as an example of what JESUS would do. THAT IS NOT WHAT MY JESUS BELIEVED OR ACTUALLY DID IN HIS LIFE OR HIS TEACHINGS HERE ON EARTH! We are living under “grace” not the law.

    As I said that I believe this goes back much further than this election. People have been unhappy with their elected officials for quite a few cycles. When Obama was elected, McConnell and at least two others in Congress said they would do everything in their power to stop Obama from accomplishing anything. It turned to be a do nothing Republican Congress fighting Obama in everything he tried to do. Really, it goes deeper than that as to why people voted for Trump. Our way of life had gone downhill. Health care costs, medicine, food, and the general cost of living had increased tremendously. Why? Our Congress and leaders have been bought and paid for by special interest groups. The top 10 percent own us and our leaders. Racial shades have never completely gone away. Racial tension reared its ugly head. People finally were fed up with all of this and wanted a change. They grasped for a lifeline and thought they had found it when Trump came onto the scene with all of his bluster and false bravado. For a lot of people including Christians, Trump seemed like an answer to a prayer. And a lot of them still believe in him even though he did not drain the swamp but filled it with alligators. Trump is favoring the rich and taking away from the poor. One of my friends said that anyone who voted Democratic could not be a Christian. Needless to say, they are no longer my friends on FB. I have had to pray intensely that I would not become bitter towards them. I pray that God will enlighten them as to what Trump and his whole administration are and what their intentions are that will destroy our democracy. John Pavlovitz, please continue to keep us informed and may God fully bless you!

  43. Ha!

    I had to think over my first response as I was a bit conflicted. Then I read through all the responses and another refrain rang through – HATRED.

    Hatred of those who voted for Trump. By all means, go back up and re-read how much bile is dumped upon those who chose to vote for Donald Trump as President as opposed to … Hillary Clinton … from the very beginning of this blog post until post 222.

    Hokey Smokes, how you hate us. How you revile us, demean us and think us the lowest of the low, the meanest of the mean and the dumbest of the dumb. There could be no other explanation for what we did except some willful, or ignorant, embracing of EVIL for this outcome to come about.

    I am sure there are some truly horrible folks who voted for Trump hoping for a horrific outcome. There are a few in any crowd. I’m pretty sure there are those who would have voted for Hillary Clinton even if Old Nick came up and endorsed her too ~ fanatics to the bitter end.

    62 million hateful, ignorant fanatics though …

    Pastor John’s argument does ring true – to abandon your family and friends because they conflict with your ideals. It is sad and it happens. It is, indeed, rather tragic.

    Of course, neither you, nor Pastor John, nor any of your ilk holds the ‘Moral High’ ground. We in the ‘Opposition’ to the ‘Resistance’ see no reason to surrender it to you over a battle of narratives and word-definitions.

    There is no argument to be made because you consistently refuse to argue.

    Compromise is a ‘dirty’ word because you are blindly assured you are right and the others are fatally flawed and/or inherently wicked.

    That appears to be your ONLY explanation for events and how things turned out the way they did. We are the ‘Bad Guys’ and you have become ‘Noble Crusaders’ in an uphill struggle against … pick your poison. Please ignore the vast resources at your disposal, your allies in the media and multiple players still in the political theater.

    By all means, spew your venom, blame us for the rifts in our relationships and retreat to wherever you feel ‘safe’. To us, your ‘resistance’ is neither noble, justified, or all that sympathetic. We were not your enemies, but you have made yourself ours. So be it.

    Our Democratic Republic functioned as it was supposed to. You refuse to live with that verdict. We see that now. As we are not racists, misogynistic bigots and didn’t elect such a person to the White House. Your endless, repeated accusations won’t make it so … though you will undoubtedly keep at it because that seems to be all you’ve got (as opposed to actual proof of Trump acting out on any such ‘impulses’).

    ***

    President Trump won’t become a dictator. It is ludicrous to even think so – as he doesn’t have the support of the Armed Forces (which would act with force AGAINST such an attempt), any part of the judiciary nor does he have a loyal nation-wide, entrenched political machine to make such an attempt possible. At least read up on how dictatorships and fascist governments come into being. Read up on how the GOP operates on both State-wide and on a nation-wide level.

    ***

    To gdd,

    Very good to see you keeping the faith.

    I must disagree with your premise based on two factors:

    1) We have done this before. It was called the Soviet Union and that didn’t turn out so well. You cannot organize a nation on a local level and the higher levels of organization will demand ‘loyalty’ from the leadership cells beneath them. I am unsure how you would expect for this ‘not’ to happen. Eventually the person, or cabal, best able to keep the loyalty of the most subgroups will obtain power and not want to give it up. Worse, the subgroups will be nearly incapable of overthrowing them.

    2) Believing workers will automatically become inspired to be honest, forthright and diligent is a … pipe dream. Worse, when guaranteed employment, workers work ‘less’, not ‘more’, so your overall productivity declines.

    Even worse, your system requires people to actively and consistently act intelligently and in their own best interest … which hardly ever happens. People respond to charisma and clever ideas far too often which means less equipped minds come to control your ‘worker collectives’ after a given amount of time.

    3) My hope is in a third way which doesn’t have ‘Labor’ and ‘Capital’ at one another’s throats. Clearly Capitalism causes massive inequality and hardship. Communism is no better. Socialism creates the same conflicts within the governmental structure with the added complication of the political class doling out benefits to guarantee voting blocks in perpetuity.

    4) Your healthcare idea’s main problem remains open to the pull of the ‘best and brightest’ to other countries where they can still be paid more for their expertise. Cuba has tons of doctors … and lousy healthcare.

    5) Gutting the military … well, I guess that answers the question of what happens the next time anything bad occurs around the Globe and what the US response will be. We won’t be able to do a damn thing. Sure, we can still scare the crap out of Mexico and Canada … and much of the Caribbean, but after that, we’d be powerless.

    Some people are okay with that. As long as we understand other countries will be more than happy to solve their external problems with guns and bombs streamed live to our mobile devices via CNN and Al Jazeera. No more humanitarian hand-wringing on our parts because we might as well be Luxembourg for all it matters.

    Taiwan will cease being democratically-inclined, or independant … but, eh ~ screw em, right?

    I’m sure the South Koreans will remain capable of defending themselves … until the North gets a nuke … then its ‘lights out’ in Seoul … but, eh, that’s not Seattle, right?

    And ‘YES’, a reduction of 85% would mean the end of the of the US Navy as an effective deterrent force thus our ability to project power beyond 1000 km from our shores. Look up the ranges of our F/A-18’s, F-15’s, F-16’s and F-22’s … unless you think sending B-52’s and any number of in-air refuelers & AWACS anywhere without escort is a ‘good idea’.

    ***

    Basically I trust individuals more and crowds, groups and all-such less. Certainly if someone unfriends me because of my vote for Trump ~ by all means. If you want to know ‘why’ I voted as I did, I’ll happily explain it to you and my various, peculiar political stances.

    If you want to call me Evil, misogynistic and/or racist … you are not my wife so I don’t really care. If my wife calls me ‘evil’, it can occasionally be a good thing. If she calls me a misogynist, it is probably because I forgot something important and she’s angry with me over it. If she calls me a racist, it is a prelude into a rant of hers on NPR and what they’ve said which has really peeved her ~ it is the only radio station they let her listen to at work.

    If my children call me ‘evil’, I mock them for their youth ~ they are both teenagers. If they call me a misogynist, I make sure they know what the term means first before going into a discussion of why they used it. If they call me a racist … we discuss some aspect of our family’s 300 year history in the Carolinas including the high and low points.

    • Dear James Dosher:

      1] The Stalinist bureaucracy which presided over the Soviet Union illustrates state-run capitalism, and it was all the failure the far right claims — and largely for those reasons. In 1936, Trotsky explained where this would lead and six decades later he was vindicated.

      2] It IS difficult to conceive democracy on the scale I’ve suggested. That’s telling! This discussion is too important to let organizational issues derail it. But separating spheres of influence and locating the power of decision among those who must live with the decision may be a good starting point.

      3] Socialists recognize that workers must be educated. But given that all we produce now are smart-bombs and Twinkies, production can’t drop much.

      4] Capital IS conflict. Marx’ term for ‘capital’ was ‘worker blood.’ Moreover the working class is the proper political class. [Again, we can’t conceive so much democracy].

      5] Highly trained professionals can be very adequately compensated under socialism. I know of no socialists who object to the idea of a physician making $250,000 per year. But I know of none who don’t protest when plumbers or teachers make less than $50,000 per year.

      6] Since inception, the Pentagon/military existed as the coercive power of the ruling class. And while Mexico/Canada generally comply with US demands [our satellite regimes want trade benefits], our policy in Latin America has largely collapsed now. We are the most destabilizing power on earth. But what ‘wars’ have we ‘won’ since 1945? Disaster looms in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Conflict zones in these areas threaten to broaden into one, massive conflict that no power on earth can control. Our attempts to destabilize Syria and overthrow Bashar al Assad failed. Our proxy fighters are defeated. US desperation is seen in the increasingly reckless attacks on human life. Airward.org reports up to 420 dead civilians in Mansoura. This massacre recalls the criminal history of the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Along with Iraq and Syria, we expand our relentless bombing of civilians in Yemen. Open threats of confrontation with Iran are hosted in the Pentagon with no public debate, and with full complicity by the Democrats. We keep sending a few hundred or a thousand or so ‘advisors’ into Afghanistan because we’re losing there also.

      Yet no matter what the West/US has done in the past decade, it cannot break the Russia/China/Iran troika. The ruling elite is furious and is hell-bent on war. It demands that our allied regimes arm for coming conflict with China/Russia. The UK’s Great Repeal Bill is a bonfire of worker rights. Japan’s ruling party openly calls for acquiring offensive weapons in violation of its constitution. India has is upgraded to a ‘frontline’ state in war plans against China. Advanced surveillance teams are training the Sri Lankan military for confrontation with China. The US has an assassination team in South Korea. We also demand that Australia support our aggressive stance against China. And Trump’s trade war agenda returns to the very measures that were so disastrous in the 1930s even as he prepares to sign anti-privacy measures into law.

      We have no money for schools. Flint Michigan can’t have safe drinking water even though it is less than 100 miles from one of the largest fresh water resources on the planet. 1 in 8 college students in the US is homeless. Our infrastructure is collapsing. Our billionaire education chief touts Uber as a model for ‘school choice.’ Hunger and social catastrophe face America’s youth and nearly 13% of the population is food insecure. More than half a million are homeless in the US. Los Angeles’ homeless population is exploding. One-third of San Diego residents lack basic needs. New York schools are overwhelmed by homeless students, even as the city intensifies attacks on the homeless. Unemployment rates for 20-24 year old Chicagoans are staggering. Nearly half of all millennials have not $1 of retirement savings.

      How does our Capitalist system address these issues? The Senate committee hearing blames Russian ‘information warfare’ for social discontent in the US.

      We have money to spy and collect data on every person in the country. Every year, we shell out just shy of 1 trillion dollars on our vastly bloated military. Trump says that social programs must be slashed to free up money for the military. But the social discontent is somehow Putin’s fault.

      I’m not going to toss names at you. But at some point we must face that the interests and needs of the working class can find no expression within the existing political system. The defense of freedom, justice, equity and social rights must necessarily assume the conscious form of a socialist movement against this entire system. It has failed. It has nothing to offer but War, Famine, Pestilence and Death.

      Blessings!

      • 1) The very reality that Stalin ‘won’ the struggle for the Soviet, Socialist and Communist leadership after Lenin’s death is, to me, the lesson to be learned. Soviet leaders voted for short term, or personal, gains as opposed to what was good for their people in the long term – and they were the educated ones.

        That is also why Stalin couldn’t let Trotsky live safely in exile despite the fact Stalin had all the power – he’d won … in everything, but the battle of ideas. Trotsky WAS RIGHT so Stalin had to have him murdered despite the fact a living Trotsky was no longer a threat to his regime. The ideas Trotsky championed, on the other hand, were and still are, so he got axed.

        2) The moment your leadership becomes unreachable on a daily basis to their constituents, democracy has a ‘problem’. Two things begin to ‘infest’ your system – politicians and bureaucrats. Both, in a way, are necessary. Both also become invested in their very existence as opposed to the existence of the democracy which gave them birth.

        I have no answer to this conundrum.

        3) Socialism and education … doesn’t explain a whole host of very educated right-wing thinkers who view socialism as cancerous. Also, socialist countries have marched off to war right along with their monarchist opponents … so again, neither socialism nor education is ‘the answer’ to creating the ‘responsible citizen’.

        4) The wife and I talked about this a bit. What happens if you call ‘capital’ ~ ‘inheritance’? What happens to highly successful parents ‘helping’ their offspring along an otherwise even playing field? Do you expect parents to not help? Honestly?

        Psychologically speaking, children of two-parent households have an intrinsic advantage over children of single-parent, or Foster Care households in matters of future success. How would you plan to ‘even that out’? Or, would you?

        Lastly, have you noticed how in countries with advanced social programs and high levels of education, birth rates plummet? Often to beneath replacement levels? Worse/better, people are both live longer and surviving otherwise fatal yet crippling calamities in such societies … which means those social systems are going to have fewer people paying in and more people relying on them.

        I bring this up because in your system you have this problem of a ‘glut’ of older people working their way through with the corresponding greater and greater pressure being placed on the producers.

        In your system you wouldn’t be economically elevating that many people because of that problem ~ especially as I don’t see your way working on anything but a global scale. Without any means of international finance, the US couldn’t survive with the technology presently available and the host of needs you would be seeking to fulfill … and, face it, the impatience of the populace.

        5) Sadly, I have talked to several Marxists who do feel that physicians should be compensated the same as teachers and plumbers. The thinking being if you compensate one group more you create elites and thus head down the dangerous road to inequalities … ugh.

        The premise being everyone is contributing to the best of their ability and shouldn’t be penalized for not being able to do less than those more capable for whatever reason. If you pay the physician more, you are telling the teacher and plumber they are valued less … and so on. Since everyone has an equal vote and is expected to defend the community with their very existence they are all equals.

        If the physician is richer, does his/her vote matter more? Does his/her life matter more than any others?

        Sigh.

        6) What wars have we won since 1945? A few, but like so many other things, they have been fleeting as the world has turned. Nothing is permanent.

        We overthrew the Soviet-friendly government in Iran and installed the Shah as a tyrant. For a while that worked for us as a bulwark in the region.

        Later we ‘won’ at Camp David and brought Egypt and Israel together.

        We lost Iran to the Ayatollahs, but they still aren’t Russian pawns.

        We supported insurgents in Afghanistan who drove out the Soviet Union … only to have that insurgency turn on us.

        You say our policy in Latin America is a failure. Is it? Is there a single Communist dictatorship in Latin America now? Stopping communism was our goal. Even when we ‘lost’ Nicaragua, we eventually ‘won’ as they agreed to free elections, lost at the ballot box and respected the outcome. Go Democracy!

        Cuba and Venezuela … are both in horrible shape. We screwed Cuba while Venezuela screwed itself. Both are object lessons though.

        Sure, the rest of South America likes to take pot shots at us, but even after they took off to the Left, they rest never went to a one-Party Communist rule which we had witnessed ruin so many other countries.

        Costa Rica has NO MILITARY and that wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for us.

        El Salvador wouldn’t have a massive gang problem if it wasn’t for us either.

        Since 1945 … we could count Greece and Turkey as wins … kinda – sorta. Again, we kept the Commies out. For decades Greece had one of the hottest economies in Europe … and now they are a mess. Turkey was our good friend … until a few months ago. Things keep changing.

        ***

        Capitalism, like Communism, is a good idea which Mankind has used and abused until it is as dangerous as it is helpful. Unlike you, I feel ‘capital’ is a good idea.

        I DO NOT feel that people are equal and that is why socialism will always fail ~ it seeks to undo nature.

        I) People who can and do contribute more want to be rewarded more.

        II) People want to pass on some level of their benefits to their offspring.

        When you beginning messing with those two principles you run into trouble.

        If you guarantee everyone a job, the incentive to work hard falters. Lenin proved it. Even when offered a reward, some people will simply do the minimal work required while others will work for that reward. Remove the reward and you remove that incentive to produce more.

        Of course, those who were rewarded turn that reward around and invest it in some manner to improve their lot in life.

        We see this in Capitalism as well. Even among self-employed people, some work the minimal amount to meet expenses and nothing more. They are content. Others work their butts off, build upon those successes to enlarge their business, make more, accumulate more rewards and so on. It is Human Nature.

        The difference is Capitalism encourages people to work harder because it is both heartless, so failure to work up to a set standard carries penalties, if some hope of reward exists, you can improve yourself by working harder. Socialism struggles to treat all people as equals no matter what you do thus reducing the incentive to over-achieve.

        **

        Face it, in your world, my medical plan will be just the same as the physician. My children will be educated in the same schools no matter what I do. My retirement plan will be the same as well. Even if you give the physician a slightly better house, a slightly better metro pass and a slightly better set of choices for a vacation, I’m getting pretty much everything as those over-achievers who have earned that MD.

        And when that stressed-out physician sees me and my happy-go-lucky lifestyle … s/she is probably going to start wondering why they are busting their hump on a daily basis as well for the relatively minor variations s/he is earmarked.

        Their kids are going to the same school as mine.
        We’ll be in the same Waiting Rooms for our doctors.
        They will be retiring right beside me when our ‘lucky day’ arrives.
        We’ll even be cremated and buried in the same mausoleum most likely.

        And, for some reason, you think they aren’t going to resent that … just a little bit?

        ***

        Essentially, as I see things, if you give the 90% the resources of the 1% they won’t act any more rationally, energetically, or reasonably than the 1%. They will have the resources and ~ lose their freaking minds.

        You expect the 90% to remain exactly like they are now – but why? Why won’t they start acting like the 1%ers instead? You know … sitting around & doing nothing because they don’t have to because they’ve got all the resources now?

        Making them ‘richer’ will not make them ‘smarter’, or ‘more rational’. They are the ‘Boss’ now and responsible to no one but themselves … and the other workers, but they don’t have the power to ruin their ‘good time’ [aka ‘fire’ them] so … I repeat, the Workers will not suddenly become enlightened.

        62 million will still vote Trump (as an example). They will not develop a cohesive identity either. They will not be cooperative ~ as witnessed by the ‘Resistance’ (another example). Just witness all the ‘parties of the Left’ in Europe ~ who do not get along … and they are technically all Marxists.

        Sigh. I wish Humanity would listen to its ‘better angels’, but we aren’t there yet and I don’t see us getting there any time soon.

        • Dear James Dosher:

          Thank you for the effort. This post has pretty much run its course, but the effort you put into this ought to be recognized.

          I’m going to overlook much and come to this point:

          You wrote: I DO NOT feel that people are equal and that is why socialism will always fail ~ it seeks to undo nature.

          Several questions need to be asked.

          1] What does ‘equal’ mean? What ‘seeks to undo nature’ mean? Does ‘equal’ mean value, makeup, disposition, worth, humanity, etc.? Does it mean equal social value, spiritual value, all of these, some of these, some combination of things or something else entirely? In context, ‘equal’ might mean work habits and/or expectations from it. And does ‘nature’ see humankind before or after the ‘fall?’ That matters because if it refers to something prior to the fall, then it belongs to creation and is to be affirmed as what is natural by creation. But if it refers to something post lapsarian, then what we call ‘nature’ belongs to those things from which Christian theology believes we must be redeemed.

          2] I’ve already said that I have no problem with a trained researcher taking home more than a ditch digger. And it does seem that greater labor implies greater reward. But is my ‘seeming’ something which belongs to nature by creation, or is it a post-lapsarian [sinful] attitude that I ought to fight? I’m not sure. Still, socialism as I see it isn’t violated if my dental surgeon takes home 200,000 a year whereas my car mechanic takes home 60,000.

          3] We differ not only in our respective takes on socialism but also on Capitalism. Capitalism can’t pay labor for the value it creates. It gives but a fraction in wages. This is rationalized by pointing to the cost of machines, processes, raw materials and the like. But there is no intrinsic reason for which those machines should be [essentially] rented to workers for access to make money for the owner[s]! As I see it, exploitation and extortion are integral to Capitalism. And while wages/benefits/pensions/etc. are slashed and CEOs are paid bonuses in millions or even tens of millions, I would contend that this is not Capitalism gone awry; this is the next stage of Capitalist development.

          Much more could be said but I have things to which to attend.

          Blessings!

  44. Pingback: To The People I’ve Lost Over This Election – Epopcover

  45. Pingback: How the Hell Did This Happen? | Necromancy Never Pays

  46. Please explain what you mean by “A commitment to facts that transcend ideology and emotion.”

    What are these facts and who decides what they are?

  47. I appreciate your comments. I believe they have been said in love.
    I am a Canadian, and it is quite amazing how much the politics in the US have caused concern and a lot of disagreement here among people of Faith. One of the notable areas was the invitation to Franklin Graham to be the keynote speaker at Vancouver’s “Festival of Hope – 2017.” A number of church leaders, after prayerful consideration, made known their concern to the festival organizers http://bit.ly/2mri2M1
    The story was leaked, and then came the reaction and then reponse to the reaction. It was heavy duty, and saddening. It was followed by an open letter by one of the city’s respected senior pastors. Your post brought it to mind. http://bit.ly/2nQ1ZHY
    I though you might be interested. God’s grace be on you, and great wisdom in navigating the rather perilous situation in the US today.

  48. I appreciate your comments. I believe they have been said in love. I regret the divide among people who call themselves “Christians.”
    I am a Canadian, and it is quite amazing how much the politics in the US have caused concern and a lot of disagreement here among people of Faith. One of the notable areas was the invitation to Franklin Graham to be the keynote speaker at Vancouver’s “Festival of Hope – 2017.” A number of church leaders, after prayerful consideration, made known their concern to the festival organizers http://bit.ly/2mri2M1
    The story was leaked, and then came the reaction and then responses to the reaction. It was heavy duty, and saddening. It was followed by an open letter by one of the city’s respected senior pastors. Your post brought it to mind. http://bit.ly/2nQ1ZHY
    I thought you might be interested. God’s grace be on you, and great wisdom in navigating the rather perilous situation in the US today.

  49. Everything you said I have felt,and that includes your comments.Thank You ,John.I appreciate the loss of good friends and the bitter tears that come with trying to explain to a blocked wall that Christ was not a man of judgement, but could find himself throwing over tables because judgemental people had decided to make money off the poor, rather than lend a hand.

  50. And then there are many people you have “found” as friends… like minded individuals who are also wiling to stand up. And to that I say “amen,” or as a child interpreted the word, “I’m in.”

  51. Maybe you have lost some, but I found you and follow your words now. I agree with you and have told many friends of similar thoughts about you. Do not be disheartened. Thank you for your insights and the courage to speak the truth.

  52. If you believe the main stream media and what they have said about Trump than you are clearly not worth having as a friend.

    Wikileaks proved that the DNC and MSM LIED about every single thing , none of what they continue to say about Trump was or is true.

    Documents proved it , those woman who accused Trump were paid over $350,000 each , yes thats is a fact but liberals never bothered to educate themselves .

    Clinton threatened Bernie Sanders wife if Bernie did not drop out , thats another fact that the liberal media will never reveal .

    Trump has personally helped over 50 close black friends including allowing Jennifer Hudson to live rent free at Trump Tower for many months after her tragic losses , nope, media won’t admit that either .
    Trumps tax cuts have NOTHING to do with the rich , they are for the people suffering the most , media won’t tell you that of course but the poor will get the biggest cuts .

    Trump is finally offering school choice for African American children , something the dem’s never have offered and will never offer in the future either .

    Todays democratic party is the party of Saul Alinsky , google him and read his 8 steps , thats what todays democrats are all about , it’s about controlling the poor NEVER freeing them which Trump is fighting for .

    How so many listened to the media when they said ” it’s illegal to read the Wilkileaks documents” is beyond insane.

    It is not illegal , the reason they did that is because reading the truth about the dem’s would of revealed that their goal is a Saul Alinsky society that will NEVER be acceptable in this country .

    The democrats refuse to even use the word “God” anymore and have fought to remove that word in American society , Saul Alinsky’s steps reveal why .

    Liberals need to educate themselves because not knowing this stuff is unforgivable , people this ignorant are the reason an anti American Islamic communist was elected Pres , it’s insanity .

    This is the USA , if you are too young to know what that means go live in the hell on earth that is Socialism.

    Liberal professors who have always hated the USA are the reason for this , schools these days teach these clueless youngsters to hate the USA .

    Trump has to undo all the damage Obama did because he almost succeeded in turning this once great country into a 3rd world hell hole.

    Everyone admits this current generation is by far the most uneducated embarrassment the USA has ever had .

    All those bogus factcheck sites like Snopes , Factcheck.org and Politifact are bought and paid for by George Soros himself , that is a fact .

    George Soros is the leader of todays democratic party , he is a Nazi war criminal who to this day has an international terrorism warrant on him .

    He is the sole creator of the fake BLM movement , he instructs them what to do and who to attack . G. Soros is the one that pays anybody willing to protest $35.00 to do so and transports them to different sites throughout the USA .

    All those protest were run by Soros , they are not real but uneducated people think they are , Soros admits to this day that his goal is to completely destroy the USA , bet you didn’t know that did you ?

    Of course not the hard left wing media will never tell you that . Nothing wrong with choosing a political side but when you do it based on 100% lies that is the main stream media’s mission thats a big problem.

    Former main stream media employees have said for years it’s 100% controlled by G. Soros and ALL stories must be approved by G. Soros first .

    Get a clue people

    • Solos and Alinsky are both Jewish. Check who owns the MSM, the banks of America, and re-think your “Muslim” position. It’s clear what’s going on, if you have the eyes to see it.

  53. “Having said that, I also want you to know that I can’t fully regret the present distance between us either, because in many ways—it is simply what has to be. You really, really shit the bed this time, and I really needed some time away from the stink.”

  54. Thank you John for always putting into words what I cannot.

    I’ve actually found myself scrolling through someones FB page before I accept a friend request from them. I’m all for different points of view, but in todays world I find it much less stressful to just leave them out of my life. Just to much hate for me.
    I was also a Bernie supporter. I ended up voting for HC because that’s what Bernie said to do and it’s what I thought was the right choice given the other real choice was Trump. My husband and I are also blue collar working class. I don’t know what planet some people are living on, but last time I checked it was the Democratic platform that brought us work regulations, better workers pay, infrastructure, civil rights, voting rights, the EPA, better health care and Social Security, just to name a few. How could anyone have voted for Trump knowing what the Republican platform is about.

  55. This sounds much like the heart of my wife. Torn because of friends that have distanced themselves from her because she chose to stand for humanity, much as you did, and could not be silent. She longs for those friendships again, but like you, is not willing to compromise on these so important issues. This is good.

  56. You replaced God with politics, you ended friendships over the election, and you have the audacity to pretend it’s good and right to do so. You need therapy.

  57. Bravo John. I haven’t spoken to my father in law in over a year, nor have I spoken to one of my closest friend since 12.31.15. Thee words should resonate with both sides of the aisle…..try to walk in the shoes of someone whose vote wasn’t the same as yours. “This is about fundamental differences in the ways in which we view the world and believe other people should be treated. ” There’s a fairly good blog dealing with this and a couple of other topics, the irony of the website still makes me giggle. http://www.fakenewsandalternativefacts.com

  58. THIS is why I follow Pavlovitz. He cuts to the crux of the matter…and his posts usually relate to something deeply meaningful, profoundly personal, that many people seem to be unable to articulate well because it is so emotionally bound to us, who we are, and the values we hold dear. This separation is about much more than politics. It’s about finally standing for those values, and until those people we are separated from can see that, it will be very difficult to come back together again.

  59. Whether you want to call it “politics” or not, at the end of the day it is still a matter of ending a friendship over someone having a different viewpoint than you, which I find somewhat silly – no matter how important that viewpoint is. The reason it is silly is because that friendship does not have any actual effect on the issue. For example, while I probably will never end up being friends with someone who believes slavery should be legal, if I had found out that an existing friend held that belief I would not end the friendship over it, and nobody would say such a view is “just politics”. I would see no need to end the friendship because it would not affect the chances of slavery becoming legal in the slightest. And frankly, if a “commitment to facts that transcend ideology and emotion” was a prerequisite for my company, I would have few friends indeed, including the one person I love most in the world – my wife.

    That being said, I can see the wisdom in not starting a friendship with a stranger who holds certain beliefs if those beliefs make it probable that it won’t work out. For example, if someone is a rabidly pro-life creationist, the chances of me getting along with them are slim. But if someone I *already* get along with turns out to have those views, it wouldn’t affect the friendship in the slightest.

  60. This is one that hits especially close to home. I had read it months ago while I was still hopeful my 25 year marriage could recover from the divide that began even before the election. But with my husband (for reasons my children and I cannot understand) still steadfast in his allegiance to the President and his staff and cabinet members–and the ugly agenda they represent , I have resolved myself to the fact that the moral divide is just too wide–and well beyond the length of any bridge I can build.

    Another commenter on this post asserted that ending a relationship because of different viewpoints is “somewhat silly”. But for me, this is not as simple as an ordinary difference of opinion upon which people can agree to disagree. The issues that divide here offer no gray area, no room for agreeing to disagree. They are the difference between good and evil — the difference between being a decent human being who recognizes we are all equally God’s children and a purveyor of hate fueled by bigotry, selfishness and greed clothed in false righteousness.

    As humans we are bound to have differences of opinion. But especially when it comes to those closest to us, sharing the same basic moral compass is imperative. I’d argue that sharing the same fundamental sense of right and wrong is a prerequisite for any a healthy relationship.

    Later this month I will drop my youngest child off to start college. Next month, with a heavy heart, I shall file for divorce and begin facing my new reality. As the finality of what I believe I must do draws closer, I find myself wondering how many other marriages and relationships have fallen since the election. I wonder how many others are facing the reality that there was so much ugliness lying just below the surface of a loved one they thought they knew.

    I hope you know John, that your words are helping me and so many like me make it through these difficult times. Funny thing: I am Jewish and my husband is a “so-called” Christian. Go figure that I am the one taking comfort in the words of a pastor while my husband could not be more pleased with all of the ugliness this President has brought upon our society and all of the pain he has caused and will cause to others.

    To so many of us — of all faiths — who are suffering, you are truly a messenger of God. Thank you and may God bless you.

    • El – I know this is a personal question, but I am really curious: how far were you leaning towards divorce before Trump came into the picture (i.e. before he even announced he was running)? I mean, 25 years is a long time, so I *really* hope the decision was basically made already (even if only in the back of your mind). As awful as Trump is, it would seem tragic for a 25 year old marriage to be ruined by him. I have a hard time fathoming such a thing. But then again, I would have a hard time fathoming my wife being a Trump supporter, so who knows…

      • That’s an interesting question. My pre-Trump marriage was by no means perfect and my husband and I had our differences over the years. I always knew he leaned a bit farther right than I, although we are both lifelong Democrats. In truth, a fleeting thought about divorce had run through my brain a few times over the course of our marriage, but fleeting thoughts in the heat of a disagreement were all they ever were. In fact, I was always certain my husband (who I will call “Rob” for the sake of this response) and I would make the most of our empty nester years because the stresses and responsibilities of parenthood sometimes seemed too much for him. Every time I opened the refrigerator and saw the bottle of Champaign that has been lying in the perfect horizontal position since our wedding day, awaiting a 25th anniversary uncorking, I looked forward to reaching that next phase of our lives together.

        But as Trump began to get media attention during the campaign I began to see a side of Rob he had never revealed during our years together. He consumed the Fox News propaganda as if it were the elixir of life itself. He openly celebrated the ugly things Trump said about Mexicans and building a wall. He categorized Trump’s treatment and groping of women and teenage girls as “no big deal” and found reason to agree with or justify virtually everything that came out of Trump’s mouth. And he was aggressively vocal in his new point of view.

        After the election Rob jumped on every ugly bandwagon. He was thrilled with the Muslim and refugee bans; he suddenly took the position that global warming was “fake news”; he justified Trump’s allegiance to the Russians and willingness to share classified information with them. When several Jewish cemeteries, including one just 20 miles from our home, were vandalized and Trump suggested the vandalism may have been perpetrated by Jews trying to make him look bad, Rob’s comment to his Jewish wife and kids was, “He wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t true.” When Betsy Devos was confirmed and promised to cut billions from public education and I voiced my disgust, Rob’s response was, “Why should I care, our kids are almost done school.” And when I pushed back that it mattered for all of the children still in school and the generations to come, Rob started angrily chanting, “I don’t give a ‘GD” about anyone else’s kids” and then he literally chased me out of the room with a level of aggression I had never seen before and that my daughter and I feared would culminate in him striking me. (Thank God it did not.)

        When I tried to talk to Rob about the horror of 26 million people potentially losing their health insurance so the wealthiest Americans could get tax breaks, he said, “I don’t give a ‘GD’. I have great health insurance.” When I reminded him that not everyone is lucky enough to have “Cadillac health insurance” through their employer, and that some people would be priced out of the market due to pre-existing conditions or age, his response was, “That’s too ‘GD’ bad. They should have taken better care of themselves. It’s not my problem.” Rob’s new-found, callous disregard for the health and welfare of anyone other than himself could not even be softened when I reminded him that our own daughter suffers from a chronic condition that could make it impossible for her to get health insurance when she reaches age 26 and can no longer remain on his plan.

        The son of a 40 year Navy vet, Rob sees nothing wrong with the President of the United States and his closest aides colluding with the Russians. (His father would be outraged if he were still alive.) Rob is giddy about the official discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. His opinion about North Korea is that, “Trump should nuke ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.” And this week, after Nazi and white supremacist terrorists attacked the very fabric of who we are and killed and injured innocent people, Rob, in support of Trump’s comments, told me that he too knows “plenty of KKK members and neo-Nazi’s and most of them are “pretty decent guys”. This he said to his Jewish wife!

        Suffice it to say that today’s Rob is not the man I married or the man I thought I had been sharing my life with for nearly 25 years. I truly feel like I am living with a stranger – and the children feel the same way. Perhaps it was always there just below the surface and I never wanted to see it. But I don’t think Rob could have hidden his current level of hatred and disregard for human decency from me for 25 years. Rather, I think he was the perfect, gullible canvas upon which Trump and his propagandist friends at Fox News were able to paint their ugly American dream. Rob is now is so entrenched in this administration’s ugly circle of supporters that the President could in fact shoot someone in cold blood in Times Square and Rob would be his staunchest defender.

        Yes. 25 years is a long time and leaving my marriage, especially at this stage of life, is something I never imagined and do not take lightly. Frankly, it terrifies me on so many levels – not the least of which is having to tell Rob our marriage is over. I have tried to find and bring back the man I married– to help him see reason. But
        Rob has built an impenetrable wall of hatred and has adopted a moral code with which I can no longer coexist. At this point we simply live under the same roof. We no longer have conversations beyond talk of the weather or our days at work. I find myself staying late at the office, just to avoid being home with him. And when I am home, he sits in the family room, glued to Fox News and I retreat to my home office. I am a prisoner of this relationship—trying to get through this horrifying period of American history without the support of the person I should be able to bear my soul to and upon whose shoulder I should be able to cry. So, after nearly a year of this journey I have come to the conclusion that if I am to emerge from these dark times with my sanity, I must do so as a strong single women – with the support of my children, friends and fellow resistance fighters.

        • Oh my dear, I grieve for you and this loss. But people actually DO change. Shockingly sometimes. Life has a way of adjusting a perspective in ways we never thought possible. I do believe though that all the hints were there in the beginning and your words confirm that. Stay strong on your path to happiness. It does exist out here!

        • Wow, El, that is indeed heartbreaking. While I am the one who said it is “somewhat silly” to end relationships over politics, in your case I can see it is not *nearly* that trivial. It’s not so much that he has views that you find distasteful; it’s that, knowing how you feel about it, he seems to be unable or unwilling to restrain from throwing those views in your face. In a very real sense, it is not you ending the relationship because of politics, it is him: he seems to value Trump’s “ideology” more than the marriage. So for what it’s worth, it is *his* behavior that is an example of what I find “silly” (though that is certainly an understatement in this case).

  61. Pingback: To The People I’ve Lost Over This Election – The Internet Yard

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  63. I saw this article for the first time today, and so much resonated with how I feel and what I have experienced since even before the election.

    I supported Bernie Saunders. He was different. He said things people didn’t want to hear, he offered things people didn’t want to give. He was charismatic, similar to what Obama was like 8 years earlier. I once loved Hillary. She was a go getter, had amazing ideas, energy, she was incredible. I was in love with the Hilary who ran against Obama. Very much the Hillary we’re seeing now on her book tour. But something changed. Maybe it was working as Sec of State, I don’t know, but she became an insider like everyone else, indistinguishable other than she was a woman. She seemed tired. People didn’t trust that Hillary. They also didn’t trust the process, because she was pushed down our throats as the one and only candidate. People don’t like to be force fed anything. The DNC disenfranchised a sizeable portion of their base.

    On election day, I voted for Hillary, the horror that was Trump scared me more than my disappointment over the Dems. My husband is a Republican. He too thought Trump was a freak show. He actually went to an early Bernie rally and really liked what he saw and heard. My republican husband would have voted for Bernie, but neither hell nor high water would have gotten him to vote for Hillary, so he voted third party.

    I have pretty much lost my entire family because they are such ardent Trump supporters. So much so, they frightened and disheartened me. I have only seen or talked to any of them once since November 1, 2016. I agree, the fractures were already there, it took the Trump sledge hammer to break it open wide. This is what seems to have happened all over the country, and the bile is flowing like a tide, but it was always been there, festering under the surface.

    I personally think a great good will come from this horror. Trump and his bile filled followers have awakened the sleeping giant that is the vast majority of this country, a majority that is more liberal, but complacent, a majority that in’t going to stand for this crap anymore. So we must stop being afraid to own the term Liberal. The democratic party has tried to please too many by taking a moderate stance. Start taking a liberal one! Be different, bring back your base.

    I saw a great meme on Facebook. Boiled down it reads, “I am a liberal and damn proud of it. If you think that makes me a snowflake – then winter is coming.”

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