Communications · politics

The Truthfulness of Trump

According to Peter Park in the forward to Daring to Dream: Toward a Pedagogy of the Unfinished, “Knowing in general is entangled in desire and other kinds of feeling and being able to judge right from wrong is no exception” (Freire, 2007, p. XXXIV). Park additionally stated that value judgments should result from “careful and sustained reflection and practice carried out in social settings” (Freire, 2007, p. XXXIV).

In that sense, education is always a political endeavor, where educators have what Freire refers to as the political duty to find space and organize for political action; action that may, at times, include use of what can feel like aggressive language in order to invade a space wherein a more just reality can be pursued (2007).

It is from this particular place that I attempt to interact politically with the world around me. And while I hope for human solidarity, that solidarity is specifically about creating a more humane and just world. From this perspective, solidarity takes place in the form of political action directed at creating a more equitable society.

This does not mean that I cannot accept that differences of opinions exist; nor does this mean that I cannot accept that there are different ways of knowing and relating to the world, with each having worth. This does, however, mean that I must live in my faith, as Freire would say, and reject those actions that are oppressive in nature.

People tell us each and every day who they are and exactly what they stand for in terms of political ideology. I feel certain that we have all heard someone say at some point in time that he or she never expected X, Y, or Z from so-and-so. However, the truth is that the individual did know, on some level, that X, Y, and Z were possible because somewhere along the way so-and-so told him or her that X, Y, and Z were looming in the future.

Human beings are known to communicate in multifaceted ways, most notably through verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. While non-verbal communication can be confusing at times, especially in a low context culture such as U.S. culture, verbal communication is relatively straight forward when compared to non-verbal communication.

Non-verbal communication includes multiple types of non-linguistic messages, such as oculesics (eye contact), chronemics (time), proxemics (space), haptics (touch), kinesics (posture, hand gestures, etc.), paralanguage (pitch, rate, tone, inflexion, etc.), and artifacts (possessions), with each of these elements of communication playing a different non-verbal role and all being culturally bound. All of this can be very confusing because non-verbal messages can overlap, contradiction, repeat, substitute, and compliment, to name a few.

Even more confusing, micro-expressions of the face can change in less than a second, and the upper and lower portion of the face can send completely different messages at the same time.
None the less, if you pay close attention you are bound to pick up on enough verbal and non-verbal messages to adequately gauge what is likely to result in terms of the communication outcome. Mr. Trump is no exception to this rule.

It is true that socially I am not a conservative, although I can find spaces where I can see the point of view of conservatives, and my family clan is composed almost entirely of conservatives. What I have far more difficulty with than political party where Mr. Trump is concerned, however, is his seeming lack of loyalty to the U.S. A complete side note here: thanks, Senator McCain, for always putting our country first!

My difficulty in digesting the perceived lack of loyalty has little to do with feeling that I have been misled by Mr. Trump. In all fairness, he has relayed to me his appreciation for his Russian comrade repeatedly through words (we should do a content analysis of his tweets), but more important, he has told me with his actions. His silence speaks to me, and it should speak to you, quite frankly, more than anything that he has said.

He tweets, complains, whines, etc. about everything that he does not like or agree with, except when it comes to Russia; Then we get absolute silence…or mind boggling praise for someone who is believed to have committed an act of war against the U.S. To disrespect the acting U.S. President while praising a Russian leader who has trespassed on U.S. territory and is tied to oppressive and violent acts against his own citizens is outrageous, in my view.

You should not be surprised or caught off guard by anything that President-elect Trump does in the future because he has told you for years exactly what he plans to do. If his 1997 statement about Republicans was not enough to let you in on his perverse thinking, it is most likely because you don’t want to believe what you hear and see. Mr. Trump is being completely honest with you about his intentions, so you should pay close attention.


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