I count myself lucky to be in touch with someone from Donald Trump’s transition team. I’ve emailed him with a plea. My plea applies to my friends in the progressive movement too.
Here’s what I wrote:
It’s going to be a difficult transition as everyone acknowledges. Building unity won’t be easy. Many people, across the board, will have to change their ideas and behavior to meet the challenge ahead.
There is one seachange, one of the hardest to make, yet one which I think can make a great contribution to the rebuild. It’s about language.
Language is the heart of our humanity. It fires our emotions and makes us capable of either greatness or evil. It’s something that Donald Trump, above many, understands instinctively.
So I’m writing to you with a plea. Can you get the transition team to focus on language?
I’ve heard in the last day some at a high level continue to use abusive language towards political opponents. The time for that is over. It’s now time for unity. Hate speech which marginalizes and belittles fellow human beings is going to make the transition harder and may lead to failure.
It won’t be easy to change habits, but I think the effort is essential. Let us know what you think.
Update: My contact’s response included the statement “”Very thoughtful recommendation indeed!” So let’s hope the message is acted on by all sides.