Trump's harshest critics are sending him messages of support. Here's why they're right.
via US Secretary of Defense / Flickr

It's understandably difficult for many Americans to muster up much sympathy for President Trump right now. As the leader of the country, his downplaying of COVID-19 led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

So to see him fall victim to the disease he helped perpetuate feels a lot like karmic retribution.

He's also been callous when it comes to separating children from their families at the border, sent messages of support for white supremacists, and openly admitted to sexually assaulting women.


It can be a little difficult to feel any sympathy for the First Lady as well. Recently leaked audio shows her making callous comments about children separated for their families at the border.

To be internally conflicted about complex events is to be human. But, in the end, it's always best to be the bigger person and err on the side of decency — as hard as that may be.

As Michelle Obama once said, "When they go low, we go high." Unfortunately, that's not a road a lot of people are taking right now on social media. It may be a big relief for many to post "I told you so" on Facebook or to take a gleeful stab at the president in a moment of schadenfreude.

But all that does is bring you down to the president's level.

I see it already, tweets from supporters of the president saying that all that "we go high" stuff was just a front. That it was just a veil to cover up for pettiness and jealousy.

Gleeful tweets about the First Family's health stand in stark contrast to the reason tens of millions of people have fought back against this presidency: a belief in decency.

We care about people's health. We care about the country's most vulnerable. We care about human decency.

Some of the president's harshest critics have come out to send messages of support to him and the First Lady at a time when it's incredibly easy and satisfying to take a shot. That's because they're living the values that led them to despise the president.

Actress Alyssa Milano chastised President Trump a few days ago for politicizing the virus.


Rachel Maddow has been one of the strongest voices in making the case for impeachment over the Russia scandal.

Trump's opponent Joe Biden recently said he's "downright un-American."


Bernie Sanders accused Trump of attempting to "undermine Democracy."


Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York recently said that Trump "better have an army" if he comes into his city.


Jamie Lee Curtis once criticized Trump for making inappropriate comments about her "Parent Trap" co-star Lindsay Lohan.


Democratic Representative Adam Schiff has been one of Trump's harshest critics and has openly called for his removal from office.

Former Democratic presidential frontrunner Pete Buttigieg called Trump the "least qualified" of all 2020 candidates.


One day this presidency is going to end and, hopefully, it's in a few months. Why not our collective reaction to the health of the president and his wife be one final way to display a decency they never could.

Michelle Obama's words still matter: "You don't stoop to their level," she said. "Our motto is when they go low, we go high." That motto has served as a north star for millions of Americans over the past four years, let's follow it 'til the end.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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