It’s not him enforcing immigration law as…well, you know…the law. It’s not him treating terror-sponsoring nations as greater threats than American coal miners. And it’s not even Judge Gorsich, that human barrier to the lawless Supreme Coven envisioned by Obama and Clinton.
What I love most is Trump’s simple, underlying theme, which is, “Relax.” In other words:
· Stop measuring every word and phrase. Be yourself.
· Stop blaming America for all the world’s ills. Love your country.
· Stop demanding total wins in every deal. Negotiate.
· Stop hiding in safe spaces. Listen, learn, and grow.
· Above all, stop telling others what they must earn, pay, sell, believe, say on campus, subsidize in healthcare, or justify with mountains of government paperwork. Control your life, not theirs.
Trump wants America enjoyed. That’s right; it is no longer a sin to like this place. So don’t be offended by every stray word. Don’t label disagreement as “hate.” Breathe in, exhale, repeat, and relax.
Man, I love Trump’s America.
And yet, Trump doesn’t always make life relaxing, right? Riled by media bias, our President fights back, often leaving us debating tweets rather than advancing our agenda.
This problem intensifies in my home Arapahoe County, where Trump lost by 13.8%. Like every president, Trump’s style plays better in some places than others (just ask Rust Belt Democrats how they feel about Obama…). It’s inevitable. Here in Arapahoe, people with concerns want to be heard—taken seriously. Until we do this, they can’t “relax.”
So...okay…how do we help these people relax when they’re hyperventilating over Trump?
Answer: We share perspective.
If people get frustrated by our President’s latest comment, tweet, or perceived “scandal,” they’ll fixate, heaping importance on that issue. Our job? Broaden their scope. Put their eyes back on the forest, not the one tree that has them angry.
Step 1: Affirm. Rushing from their complaints—changing subjects too quickly—is a big mistake. For instance, if we say, “What Americans really care about is how our President is creating jobs,” people hear, “Your concern is stupid, and I’m uncomfortable discussing it.”
Remember, they’re fixated on one tree. They’re mad. So before they’ll see the forest, they must feel affirmed for their one concern—lest they dig in and fixate even more:
· They think Trump said something offensive? Say, “You like a more respectful tone? Me too.”
· They think Trump is hiding facts? Say, “Hey, we all want more transparency. I respect that.”
Notice we’re not agreeing with their concerns. We’re just taking their best motives (like desiring respect and transparency), and affirming them. Is this lying, or manipulation? Not at all; we really do admire those traits. And by affirming their motives, we create in them an instant release. Now they’ve been heard. Now they’ll cling less. Now they’ll hear more.
Now we can talk about the forest.
Step 2: Broaden.
So what is that forest? Well, it can be a lot of things. For instance, if someone fixates on a Trump comment, I might explain that tree in the context of Trump’s whole statement or life’s work.
Here’s a common example: Trump’s most explosive quote was, “Grab ‘em by the p----.” He was referring to beautiful women, and it was a vulgar comment. Critics still mention this to me.
So what do I say? Simple. I affirm their concerns, then broaden their view to the wider context:
1. (Affirmation) I’m glad you don’t want women spoken of that way. It’s wrong.
2. (Context of Trump’s life) But that comment was made in 2005, when Trump was supporting Democrats. I’m more interested in what he says today, supporting my Party.
3. (Context of statement) And even back then, he was talking hypothetically, referring to how some women will allow a star to do anything.
4. (More context of Trump’s life) Here’s the bottom line: Is there any evidence our President is grabbing women? Of course not. While Clinton spent 8 years with a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the Oval Office, Trump has been a perfect gentleman. Let’s keep perspective here: Trump’s comment didn't foretell how he’d act as President.
5. (Challenge them to see the forest) So let me ask you this: If someone keeps harping on comments like that, do they want you focused on things that affect you, or things that don’t? Are they trying to serve your needs, or use your emotions?
No, you don’t have to say all that; choose what works best. But do you see how you’ve turned a problem (the tree) into an advantage (the forest)? Better yet, you’ve made opponents look bad.
Another way to broaden their vision is by mentioning the even bigger forest. For instance (I’m talking to the upset person now), you might not like Trump’s latest tweet, but…
…we’re $20 Trillion in debt that Trump never started. Is a tweet affecting you this much?
…Obama had the first 8-year presidency without a single year of 3% growth. The number of people on public assistance skyrocketed. Does a tweet affect you that much?
…illegal border crossings dropped 70% after Trump took office. Does a tweet mean that much?
Keep in mind, however, that bigger forests sound demeaning unless we first affirm the listener’s fixation. Start by affirming their tree, then broaden their vision to the forest—no shortcuts.
One last forest view is the slanted vision they’re receiving of Trump’s presidency—the media bias. In other words, before getting too upset about over the latest tree, look at the media pushing it.
Suppose someone fixates on Trump “colluding with Russia to steal the election.” Yes, it’s ludicrous, but in a county where Trump lost by 13.8%, it’s important we affirm first, then broaden:
1. (Affirmation) You want fair elections, and you’re worried Trump got outside help. Fair enough.
2. (Context of Media Bias) But if you want fairness, then you also want these stories presented fairly. Problem is, 96% of the money donated by media members in the 2016 Presidential Election went to Hillary Clinton. So you’re hearing this story from a 24-1 bias.
3. (Challenge them to see the forest) Would you want a 24-1 bias reporting on you?
4. (Give examples of trees they aren’t seeing) Check out what you’re missing. Not only is there still no evidence of collusion, but that’s with no cover-up. No smashed cellphones, no bleached hard drives, no 33,000 deleted emails—all the intel is open. Also, Trump’s actions as President have been decidedly bad for Russia. Are you hearing all this from the 24-1?
I think we’re still dealing with aftereffects of the Obama years, which left Americans on edge. Face it, President Obama made people tense. His general message (I’m paraphrasing) was, “These folks don’t trust those who don’t look like them,” or “America has been arrogant,” or “Republicans gotta sit in the back seat” or whatever. Driven by his radical tutelage, Obama pit Americans against each other and against their own country. No longer were we good, hard-working people. We were bitter clingers.
What a miserable 8 years.
Trump wants that changed. He wants people relaxing, looking at results affecting them, not exaggerated stories that don’t. He wants them working together again. And we can help.
Every day, we interact with concerned citizens—good people who have been programmed to fixate on lone trees rather than enjoy the forest. With just a few words, we can lift their concerns. After just a few words, they’ll stop making mountains out of molehills, and instead “Make America Great Again.”
So affirm them. Broaden them. Free them.
Addressing their concerns with honest perspective, we can help them all relax.