There are multiple topics being discussed when friends gather in person or weigh in on social media. It’s difficult to discern whether some things are OK to say. And if you lean one way, opposite of another person, is it OK to reconsider after discussion and reflection? And do you dare take the humble approach and admit a change of opinion?
We may “agree to disagree.” That’s possibly true in some situations but probably not in politics and pandemics from what I’ve experienced. It should be OK but it’s not often sincere when stated.
I believe it’s OK to “be OK” with changing your mind. And if you do that quietly, that’s fine too. Suppose you and your family or friends are against getting vaccinated but after seeing the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths related to the unvaccinated, you want the vaccine. Just do it. You aren’t required to tell anyone. However, you might save the life of someone you know if you openly advocate for getting protected and you help change someone’s mind.
I hear people say that requiring proof of vaccination is taking freedom. I disagree. Proof of vaccination during a pandemic will allow more freedom: freedom to travel, work, attend school and socialize. It will keep businesses open. It’s not like vaccines are a brand-new concept. We’ve carried on after the many other vaccines required for public health safety.
Now, is it OK to change your mind about politicians you’ve supported but no longer feel you can? That’s a yes.
Let’s say, for instance that you’ve been a Trump enthusiast since day one. You are now in the minority of Americans as proven by the 2020 election. Do you ever wonder if you chose well? It’s OK to change your mind and disagree with his behaviors. It’s perfectly OK to break away. Just do it. And like the vaccine do so quietly if you must; or be brave and openly advocate for the freedom to go against your friend’s opinion or your party.
If you are a Trump loyalist didn’t it give you some anxiety to hear him say during a rally prior to the election that he “planned to stay four more years in the White House and maybe beyond?” Doesn’t that statement show he doesn’t honor the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1951, which states that a president may not serve more than two four-year terms? Didn’t he take an oath to defend the Constitution? That statement by him is a clue into what his ambitions are.
He left more clues. Don’t forget, Trump has much love and admiration for those who commit violence on his behalf, such as the truckloads of Texans that tried to run the Biden campaign bus off the road. Groups like Antifa and Proud Boys are “his people,” he says. He “loves” the insurrectionists. He recently publicly defended the people arrested and convicted of the assault on our Capital and police officers. Doesn’t that bother even the most loyal die-hard Trump fans? The kicker is that he so blatantly disregarded the Constitution once again. His oath includes protecting America from our enemies, both foreign and domestic. Our domestic enemies include those who commit violent crimes against elected and appointed officials and try to overthrow the workings of democracy. It’s not OK that he wants to overturn the results of our election. I find it ridiculous that the people who call themselves patriots disrespect our nation’s flag by using it to assault people, such as the rioters did on Jan. 6. Our enemies include Trump himself because he did not defend laws, democracy or our Constitution.
It’s OK to change your mind about Trump. But what would it take? I know Republicans and Trump extremists that blame Biden for every step of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and for the chaos that ensued. Also, for the deaths of 13 US service members along with the many wounded that sacrificed. I, like so many others, held my breath from the onset of the evacuation process until the last of our troops returned home. I felt the heartbreak of knowing families were grieving. I also gave thanks for the successes; the thousands of Americans and Afghans rescued.
Truthfully, there’s plenty of blame to go around for what didn’t go well. The evacuees themselves are partially to blame if they had opportunities to leave sooner but chose not to.
But … it was Trump and his Secretary of State, Pompeo, that made deals with the Taliban to withdraw all troops within a certain period. They did not include the Afghan government in the so-called peace talks. Making the deal was a surrender to terrorism, in my opinion. Over 5,000 imprisoned terrorists were released. Weren’t they the ones captured while our troops fought alongside the Afghan army and allies? Didn’t we lose American and allied service members who so bravely fought to imprison them? Yet, those prisoners are now free. Trump dealt with the enemy but had no strategy or plan in place to follow through with his promises to them. What details about the meeting with Taliban leaders are unknown to us? We know trust is an issue from someone who constantly lies.
I find it interesting that Republicans were impressed and in agreement with Trump pledging to end the “20-year war” and negotiating with terrorists to do it. I find it interesting that they are so outraged about our drone strike that unintentionally killed innocent people during the Afghanistan withdrawal. Government officials have openly admitted this was a tragic mistake. The same Republicans said nothing when Trump’s drone strike killed Iran’s general, Quasem Soleimani, affecting our service members. Iran retaliated by bombing a U.S. military base. Trump was televised bragging about his decision to strike Soleimani and casually mentioned that our troops were safe with only 11 experiencing headaches from the attack: a lie. Military leaders later revealed that more than 100 troops suffered brain injuries. Where was the outrage over this? Iran also shot down a civilian plane with 200 innocent passengers. They thought it was another U.S. attack because of the earlier strike on Soleimani at the Bagdad airport … interesting that there was no outrage from the Trump base. You know, there was mention that Trump’s drone attack was in violation of international law. Iran issued an arrest warrant for him and 35 US officials. What happened to that? Trump’s many broken laws seem to be mentioned by the media or Democrats and then forgotten.
President Biden took heat from all sides, including the media, and owned responsibility for a decision he knew would bring criticism. He made decisions about vaccine requirements that he knew would not be popular. He believes in taxing wealthy individuals and corporations instead of giving them all the breaks. He’s trying to restore relationships with foreign countries by using diplomacy concerning global issues. President Biden is bound to make some mistakes while serving. However, I believe he acts on what he thinks will be good for our country, not for personal adoration or bragging rights. He has the fortitude for the job.
I will never understand why Trump loyalists aren’t outraged that they were lied to for the four-year term he masqueraded as president. Why is it acceptable that he applauds those who break our laws to please him and further his agenda? Why not be outraged that he takes their money, uses it for his own gain, and continues to this day under the guise of running for office again? How about the fact that he never showed true fortitude? He didn’t have the courage to accept the reality of a global pandemic and do something to eradicate it here. Instead, he was in denial. He passed that responsibility to state leaders so he would not be blamed for unpopular protocols. He later admitted he “knew” early on the pandemic was severe to an extreme but didn’t want to “scare” people. Translation: He didn’t credit Americans with having enough intelligence to understand what we needed to hear and do during a public health crisis.
Those around him during his presidency worried about Trump’s mental state all along, especially after he lost the 2020 election. Isn’t this fact enough to change some minds or is the infatuation with him more important than recognizing the danger he represents?
When it comes to personal and public health decisions or loyalty to public figures it’s OK to reconsider. Be brave and say so. Just feel free to do it; especially when it’s for the good of all. It would be a step in the right direction for either topic mentioned here. And wouldn’t it be great to stop transmission of the deadliest virus in the history of our country or protect our country from politicians that have proven themselves unfit? Are you going to take part in the solutions or be part of the problem? Please choose wisely.
Author Carol Hartsoe is a Tideland News contributor.