I love watching Donald Trump bring scores of people “into” the Republican tent as the Republican Party flies into a full-fledged panic and attempts to preclude him from doing so. I also love watching the pile-on of Trump enemies and detractors who heap scorn, hatred, contempt, fear and, of course, countless photos of his hair in disarray (photo-shopped or otherwise) on him.
But I hope we do not fail to learn from him as well.
Trump is bringing many people, like it or not, into the political arena and is bolstering political interest and involvement beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. He is not only responsible for people getting involved in the Republican party; he is also getting Democrats and Independents to cross-over their vote (when possible) in an effort to either stop him or nominate him so that he can ultimately be defeated by his opponent in the presidential election. I love it that Trump has also been responsible for Cruz, Rubio, Romney and (don’t forget) Christie to channel their own, inner Rageaholic and project all illness and evil upon “the enemy” while they neglect to mention their own “outsourcing” of love to distant lands because we can’t afford to manufacture it domestically.
Meanwhile, there is a lot to learn from the much-maligned Mr. Trump ~ and I love having the opportunity to learn it by being a non-anxious witness to the phenomena he has created or triggered (your choice).
We don’t always get to choose our teachers. Two of my teachers have been Donald Trump and my father. I thank my violent, alcoholic, racist, career military officer father, whom I deeply loved, for so many valuable lessons he inadvertently bestowed upon me. Unfortunately, I learned very little about how to BE from him; but I learned a great deal from him about how NOT to be. Yeah, to be or not to be: That was the question. My father rubbed my nose in cruelty and injustice and it was from that wicked womb that my dedication to compassion and justice was born.
And so I say to Donald Trump: Love Ya, Man! Really do! Thumbs up! Keep on keepin’ on! Etc. I love you for being a great teacher of mine, although, most likely, not in the ways you intended. Thanks to you, if we so choose ~ our eyes will be opened; our hands will be made steady; our purpose will be solidified; our hearts will be fortified; our compassion will be justified; our pain will be sufficient; our love will be strengthened; and our lessons will be well-learned. And then even more will be revealed.
Dwight Lee Wolter is the author of several books, including Forgiving Our Parents; Freedom Through Forgiving; Forgiving Our Grownup Children; My Child, My Teacher, My Friend and others. He is the pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue on Long Island. He blogs at dwightleewolter.com