I have never voted for a party that has been elected. For years I have found myself in disagreement with almost every law passed by my (Israeli) government. Religious practices are rammed down our throats; messianic lunacy drives our illegal settlement policy.
Furthermore, the political system is itself is systemically corrupt. The corruption started with the Bolshevik style of the very first generation after Ben Gurion. The right wing under Netanyahu “perfected the system” shamelessly.
The actions of the governments in my country are a deep source of shame for me.
My liberal American friends and colleagues are now learning to live in a country dominated by “others”. Social media and traditional media are brewing with anti Trump resistance. Polarization and bi partisanship is rabid. Everything appears to be either/or, our way or their way. I have been in such a milieu for over 20 years. So, I want to share with my readers a few tips about how to survive.
1-You need to understand why you are in the minority. You need to stay there, in the minority, for a long time, until you get it. I suggest reading about the philosophical underpinnings of the right. You don’t need to agree with them. But understanding them is a must. I would start with Strangers in the Their Own Land.
2-For those not willing to take the intellectual journey, as to why we are witness to the return of the right, you can always focus on achieving small things. Small things enable victories. In the last few years, I have focused on Beach Day for Palestinian kids.
3-Read different perspectives about the same problem. I often read Israeli right wing press, left wing press, the Egyptian press, the Saudi press and the Turkish press to develop an understanding of Iran. In other words, stop inhaling your own smoke. It’s worse than living under a leader with whom you disagree.
4-Keep friendships across partisan lines. I have many friends who are more left than me (one state solution) and many friends who are observant (although not messianic). Use friendship as a bridge to understand the internal logic of the other side.
5-Think about democracy. Are you a democrat until the opposition is in power? Think hard about that. Personally I am struggling because illiberal democracy is not my cup of tea.
6-Also, think about what the real issues are for you . Save your energy for important matters. Personally, I pretty much ignore issues like the rights of transsexuals to choose their toilets, or should the trains run on Saturday. Because trains will not run on Saturday, ever. And the rights of transsexuals to choose their own toilets is a symptom of the agenda-less-ness.
7-Finally, think about if you want to be politically involved or not. Because the time we all have is limited and the “right “is going to be in power for an awfully long time.
8-And finally, stop attacking Trump on his mental condition. Kennedy, Johnson, Lincoln, McKenzie-King, and Churchill all had severe issues of mental health. If Trump bothers you more than Trumpism, you are pissing into the wind. If you don’t know about McKenzie-King, you are missing some wild stuff.