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Discomfort is the beginning of understanding

Mar 15 • Opinion, Samantha Griswold • 446

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I don’t know why or how I’m even surprised anymore. Nine times out of 10, I get annoyed, angry, upset or all of the above when I read the news, mostly because of what’s going on in our country politically.
Donald Trump said Sunday that he told his advisers that he wants to plan a lighter foreign travel schedule than previous presidents so he can “put America first,” which would be all fine and dandy if, you know, he was actually doing that.
I’ve got a visual of Yoda standing there in my mind saying, “The hypocrisy is strong with this one.”
According to CNN, Trump doesn’t want these trips to “distract from his focus on domestic issues in the United States,” which is funny considering I don’t see him focusing on anything.
I see him taking weekends off and spending them at his country club in Florida, even though this country – according to him – needs so much help to become great again.
I see Trump’s family selfishly staying in New York City and costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year in security costs instead of relocating to Washington, D.C. where the president’s family normally resides.
And most unfortunately, I see Trump attempting – or at least passively watching – to take people’s freedoms away from them that they waited so long to get.
Another issue I have with Trump’s reasoning for less foreign travel is that he appears to legitimately believe that America is the center of the universe and all that is holy.
He basically said that foreign officials should come to the White House if they want to visit with him.
Even George W. Bush visited Mexico shortly after he was sworn in and that’s saying something.
I mean, in all honesty, it’s not surprising that Trump has this American-centric mindset – it’s just annoying.
Basically, Trump is just uncomfortable with not being on his own turf and outside of his comfort zone – which is completely understandable.
Nobody likes being pushed outside of their comfort zone, but let me tell you something – nothing will ever change if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone. Discomfort is the beginning of understanding, understanding is the beginning of empathy and empathy is something we need in a president.
You can never truly understand people from other countries if you’ve never been to them. You can’t truly understand other cultures if you’ve never attempted to steep yourself in them.
So is it understandable that Trump wants to stay in his home country as much as possible? Absolutely. Is it the right course of action? Probably not.
As the wise Dumbledore once said, “We’re in a time when we must choose between what is right and what is easy,” and it seems as if Trump is going for the latter.

SAMANTHA GRISWOLD

griswold002@knights.gannon.edu

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