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ICYMI: Dingell: How to Stand up to Trump

In case you missed it last weekend, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06), wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the importance of
standing up to hatred, anger, and dangerous rhetoric, especially when it comes from former President Trump and is embraced by millions of his supporters.

Key excerpts:

“Rot in hell.”
Those words were part of Donald Trump’s Christmas Day message, spewed at his political enemies. The next day, when I was asked during a CNN interview about the increased violence in this country, I responded honestly that I thought the former president’s message was wrong and divisive. I’m not afraid to say what I think, even when that means there may be unpleasant repercussions and threats from the former president and his supporters. A lot of us may face this type of conflict in the year ahead. I am particularly familiar with this, as Mr. Trump has targeted me in the past in ways that have been very difficult.

I am not seeking a fight with Mr. Trump. It’s not easy to tangle with him, especially after that experience involving John. But I do know that hateful rhetoric cannot be ignored or become normalized. We have to stand up to bullies in this country, and we have to call out indignities. My bluntness about “rot in hell” being unacceptable was my unfiltered reaction and I stand by it. In my view, the only way you can deal with bullies is to consistently call out their inexcusable behavior and stand in defense of those they choose to target. Trust me, I know it can wear you down — but we can’t grow tired, and we must push back on the hatred when we see it, calling it out, using language everyone understands and in ways that prevent it from seeping into our everyday lives and routines.

We can be sure Mr. Trump’s rhetoric will get only more fiery, discordant, and divisive over the next year leading up to the election. We’ve already seen the dangerous and deadly consequences his words can have, and we cannot become complacent. This isn’t just about one man. We all face a choice in how we react to bullies, and we all have a responsibility to choose civility in the face of cruelty.

Read the full op-ed here.

Here’s what people are saying:

“This is brilliant, powerful, and gives me hope that even in this noisy moment, with people leveraging division to gain power, there are leaders who rise above, speak the truth, and try to bring us all back together.” – Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State

“Debbie Dingell is one of the finest members of Congress who loves this country deeply and wants our nation to heal and find a way forward. An inspiring piece.” – Representative Ro Khanna

“I stand with my friend Rep. Debbie Dingell: “What I would encourage people to do, if attacked by Mr. Trump or his supporters, is to not be afraid to challenge the attack.” Thank you for your leadership Debbie.” – Former Representative Barbara Comstock

“Wise words from one of the wisest humans I know: Rep. Debbie Dingell. Sound advice now and in the coming year.” – Michigan State Representative Kelly Breen

“Outstanding piece by Rep. Debbie Dingell, who knows more than almost anyone about how politics works.” – Matt Bennett, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs, Third Way

“This cannot be retweeted enough.” – George Conway

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