Posted by: Patti Dickinson | 01/07/2019

“Don’t Tread on Me”……

32238090I have written this blog dozens of times in my head.  I’ve done a fair share of mental editing as well. But 263 blogs ago, I found my voice. That first blog debuted in February of 2009.  Sometimes my voice shook, sometimes it stuttered or whispered or quivered.  Sometimes that voice was strong.  Today’s voice….hurt.  Angry.

It began with a Facebook post.  A back-and-forth about Trump and his approval rating.  I really should know better. I rarely get involved in what almost qualifies as bait. I am too thin-skinned for aggressive “debate”.  But I am Facebook friends with a handful of people who derive great pleasure in trolling the internet for bad news, controversial articles from obscure news services, posting it, then attacking anyone with an opinion that is different than theirs.  No civil discourse, just arguing for argument’s sake.  It is tiresome.

Her post….

The worst thing about Trump’s presidency isn’t what we learned about him.  It’s what we learned about our family and friends.  Many of us already knew what kind of person Trump was.   We just didn’t know that many people we know are like that too.

I responded…..

Trump represents a set of ideas that about half the country agrees with.They aren’t like him. I don’t support Trump, but boy oh boy you are making an enormous leap here.

And finally, her parting shot,

People who hang a Tea Party flag above their homes for years are leading us into this abyss. Thanks but no thanks.

Thud.  That flag was at my house.  Flying as a symbol of patriotism, it’s original meaning, Certainly nothing else.  Never ever would I put an aggressive comeback above a decades-long friendship. Our kids played together.  We stood together at the foot of a hospital bed when a dear friend lost her life to cancer. We visited an elderly neighbor together at the nursing home for months before her passing.

Imagine me singlehandedlyleading us into the abysss?

This isn’t about Trump.  Or his approval rating.  This is a sort of skewed intellectual foreplay.  Right-fighting, instead of finding common ground.    A verbal jousting that leads nowhere good. What could possibly come from a slam like that? That kind of stuff shuts down dialogue.

It’s all in the delivery.

Peace out.



  1. Patti,The world would be quite dull if we all agreed. Since I tend to be liberal and my mother was a strident, Barry Goldwater conservative, I’ve navigated these waters for a while. I’ve found it helpful to ask questions that ask people to explain their thinking — “what if” questions, such as, “how will we be affected if the government shutdown continues” — and “I’m worried about” statements, such as “I’m worried that the shutdown will disrupt my upcoming flight to go to my friend’s memorial service in Florida.” I recently felt compelled to a foul-mouthed post by Kevin’s niece, focused on the notion that young people are all rude and selfish, and the country is going to pot. I told her I was more hopeful about young people since the ones I encounter, including her two sons, were delightful, considerate, and respectful. She accepted the praise of her sons, but considers them exceptions. I didn’t follow up. Anger doesn’t listen too often.  Chin up, Patti. Betsy 

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

    • Betsy, I agree that life would be boring if we all felt the same way. My point, though, was the way this person chose to get her point across. There was no “space” to ask a question when the approach was so aggressive. I would have liked to have approached our differences as you suggested. But that option wasn’t available. Thank you for being a faithful follower, and I hope you will continue to read and respond to my blog. It’s nice to know someone out there is listening!!! Happy New Year.

  2. I really want to reply to this but it will take some thought. I like reading your articles and glad we are shadow friends on FB.

    • Carol, what a nice surprise to see your response. I look forward to hearing more from you. You have been a faithful fan and that is so appreciated. Happy New Year, my friend.

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