When Donald Trump was elected almost a year ago now, there were immediate questions about how that could affect the upcoming tax season. That turned out to be all for naught, as we learned that nothing happens that quickly. Then the questions turned to how his handling of health insurance would affect taxes. And well, we’re still not sure about all those answers. And now we are even more focused on what a more extensive tax reform package could mean, but we have hit November without a clear picture there, too.
And now with guilty pleas and indictments affecting associates of the president, who knows where anything is going to end up.
I can’t remember a time when so many things in so many different areas felt so much in flux. So often in this space I like to write and offer some direction, or at least some tips to point you in possible directions about difficult issues. This time, though, I feel like all I can do is shrug.
This doesn’t mean that all is bad, though. Many economic indicators are good, consumer spending is growing, and the stock market is strong. Even if we don’t know all the answers on where things are going, we do not appear to be on the verge of any collapse.
Sometimes, though, it feels like we may be perched on a precipice, but I think that comes from the divide between sides where middle ground no longer seems tenable. This dynamic has been happening for nearly two decades, and now that we have probably the most polarizing president in history, it has only been exacerbated.
So yes, I am mostly shrugging this week about any specific issue, but I wanted to take the chance to speak up about the political divide.
First, it doesn’t matter what side of any debate you are on. It does, however, matter that you have thought out your position. Don’t blindly follow anyone. These debates are over important issues and chances are really good that their outcome will affect you. So look into them, make your choices, take your stand, but do it with knowledge.
Second, once you have done that, don’t be afraid to speak up. It is okay to share what you believe and it is a good thing (at a base level) that social media has given so many people a voice who did not have one before. But remember to do it with tact and to do it with respect. These are beliefs and outlooks we are talking about, so there is no one final answer.
So finally, have these debates with respect and an open mind. You don’t have to change everyone’s mind, and you won’t, but that does not make them evil. In turn, they also don’t have to change your mind. We should, however, always be open to having our minds changed. Granted, in some cases it may take a lot to accomplish it, but be open enough to listen to others and allow it as possibility.
For only then can we ever rediscover compromise.
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