William J Conner

  • commented on Going Forward 2016-11-21 14:28:34 -0800
    Amy, 61% of Utahans voted for Trump … not necessarily 61% of your fellow church members (though I understand the extrapolation you’re making). Trump didn’t receive my vote. And Utah was definitely not a significant factor in Trump sweeping the electoral college. There was a fundamental problem facing ALL voters nationwide, regardless of race or religion or political affiliation. BOTH major candidates lied. Frequently. BOTH have a long history of corruption … Hillary arguably even more than Trump (if you really study her past, including how she vilified and lied about women whom her husband sexually assaulted). In their greed-driven quest to attract more viewers/readers, the media loves to focus almost exclusively on the sensational. On the exception, rather than the rule … including highlighting stories of people who are bigots or racists. Yet none of my family members, and friends, and associates across the country are bigots or racists or misogynists. And undoubtedly some of them voted for Trump.

    Though I did not vote for him (and yes, I did vote), I was surprised and encouraged by Trump’s acceptance speech where he expressed a commitment to be the President of ALL Americans. Since then, his impending cabinet choices have been much less promising.

    Regarding you feeling that your “fellow Mormons” are not aligned with your desire for all people to be treated compassionately and fairly, I would suggest (because of the reasons listed above) that in many cases, they are more aligned with the feelings and aspirations of your heart than you may think.

    Barring impeachment, it looks like Donald Trump is going to be given the next four years to prove whether or not he really cares about the needs and rights of ALL Americans. After that, it is the opportunity of BOTH parties (Democrat AND Republican) to select in the primaries a candidate who truly stands for their values. A candidate who has demonstrated integrity and who people can realistically trust. NOT, as just happened, a couple of candidates who leave voters with the difficult challenge of attempting to decide which candidate is the lesser of two evils.

    During the entire election process this year, not once did my church, or any of my fellow church members, suggest who I should vote for. Or pressure me in any way, either overtly or subtly. I never once heard any of my friends promote Donald Trump at church. No doubt it occurred - just as some undoubtedly promoted Hillary inside a church building - but not around me. I applaud your determination to choose your own path when it comes to choosing a political candidate. Everyone should! Additionally, I believe it would be awesome if our next President is a woman, be she Democrat or Republican.

    But don’t you think we’ve been divided and polarized as a country long enough? Isn’t it possible that reaching out, and believing in the innate goodness of most Americans, will heal the divide far more rapidly than more divisiveness will? I’m disheartened that so many are looking for someone to blame for the results of this election. And even worse, for a ‘side’ to be on. Shouldn’t we all be on the same side? Regardless of religion or the color of our skin or whatever some people would use to divide us? Shouldn’t we all be working, as the literal sisters and brothers that we truly are, to become united? Easy words to say, I realize. More challenging to accomplish. But if we don’t begin now, when will we begin? We can’t change the results of this particular election. But we CAN begin to listen to and care about and try and understand the feelings of the people around us. To look for commonalities (including the basic goodness of most people) instead of differences. To refrain from stereotyping. To look for ways to build bridges, rather than widening the divide. Only then is there any hope of a unified and compassionate nation. And it’s up all Americans on both sides of the current divide to set the example. Contending with and blaming each other accomplishes nothing … exception further division. And a house divided against itself can not stand.


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