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Dear Trump Voters (from a design activist)

By Nadav Savio

Dear Trump voters,


I use the plural “voters” because there are many of you and you’re not all the same. You have different perspectives, different motivations, different reasons for voting as you have.


I’m not writing this to those of you who are beyond reach, the bullies who take active pleasure in the pain of others. I’m writing to the rest of you, the millions of people who saw— possibly still see—Trump as the right person to lead our country.


I can see and understand at least some of the reasons you made that decision. The world has some wicked problems and solving them is something that has the potential to unite us even as the problems are being used now to divide us. And I think we can agree our federal government has been dysfunctional for too long (though we may have different beliefs about the underlying reasons).


I ask that you step back from the polarization, fear, and anger for a moment. That you try approaching things not from a political position but from a human one. That you imagine the world you want to live in, that you want for your children, and then, on any given issue, ask yourself what outcome moves us towards that vision. Some recent examples to consider: allowing companies to dump coal in our rivers, selling our public lands to industry, dismantling the Affordable Care Act (without offering an alternative). On some issues there will be meaningful disagreement based on deep beliefs (abortion is a particularly divisive one). But on others (stewardship of our public water supply, for example) I suspect there is more agreement than disagreement.


Part of what I see dividing us is that we are debating not just from different points of view but from different sets of information. Much has been written about so-called “fake news.” What I’d urge is simply to approach everything you read critically. Everything written is biased in some way. That said, facts is facts. Some things are simply true or false and to find out you may need to read from the full spectrum of sources, with an open and skeptical mind. I promise to do the same.


And, even when something seems obviously, even extremely, biased, look for the kernel of truth, even if it’s just understanding why someone has that perspective. Sometimes it’s misguided (and we can debate that) but sometimes it’s willfully deceptive (such as Exxon’s demonstrated efforts to distort the public’s understanding of climate change in order to protect its profits at our expense).


Finally, please know that the vast majority of progressives are motivated by a fairly straightforward desire for a fair world in which we all have enough to eat, shelter against the elements, health care when we fall ill, and in which the promise of equal opportunity is fulfilled for all.


About the writer

Nadav is a design activist and strategic design leader driven by social conscience and a humanist approach to making things that matter for real people. He lives in Oakland, CA with an amazing woman and two beautiful boys who conspire to keep him happy.


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