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Think, not react...

The 'action-reaction' scenario that has been playing out between progressives and conservatives is a situation that is becoming increasingly counter-productive and harmful. This is obviously not something new; the battle between left and right has been raging for a long time and those flames were also well-fanned by the previous administration and ineffective congress. Sadly, what happens is a loss of focus on issues that we should be working together to solve and increase in counter-productive squabbling. The level of immaturity being witnessed as coming from our 45th president is unfortunate. Less use of Twitter would serve him better, provided he actually took the time to build better relationships with key figures in the media. Some of it has been nothing short of childish and the sort of thing I might have engaged in as a 12 year old, were Twitter in existence then.

President Trump's tendency to engage in knee-jerk reactions is unfortunate. A case in point is his executive order to ban people from the 7 "terrorist nations." This was not well thought out and brought unnecessary hardship to people who are hardly enemies of the United States. This "extreme vetting" is exactly that: extreme. While I agree that careful monitoring of those entering our country is essential, I don't think a return to the type of paranoid thinking that created Japanese interment camps in WWII is what is called for, either. Let's put aside the bickering, sit down and figure this out.

This post isn't designed to be yet another attack on the president or his policies. While there is plenty to criticize about his rhetoric and behavior, the same may be said about many of his opponents. My hope is that we can stop wasting time engaging in obstructionism (a tactic Republications know just as well as the Democrats) and spend more of it in conversation.

People may proclaim that Donald Trump is "not my president" all they want to, but the fact is that he is our president for at least 4 years. I'm not crazy about it either, as I feel many of my personal libertarian beliefs threatened by the rise of [what could be a dangerous brand of] populism. I hope we don't waste the next 4 years spinning our wheels in ideological conflict that gets us nowhere when there are so many areas in which we can reach agreement. Had the reverse happened and Hillary Clinton been inaugurated as our new president, I would have the same attitude about it. It isn't a Democrat or Republican thing -- it's an American thing. I'm grateful that I live in a country where I can criticize our elected officials and continue to hold them accountable. Hopefully, on that, we can all agree.

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