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Diana Butler Bass @dianabutlerbass
, 25 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Woke up this morning, turned on MSNBC news, and the first words I heard were, "Will this be the beginning of World War III?"

Let's talk about this. Not whether there will be a war. But the stories that surround us right now. 1/
Trump's entire campaign was based on a story of fear (in this case the fears of white people) -- America is failing, your lives are falling apart, everything you loved is disappearing, your future is bleak.

So, Make America Great Again. I alone can do this. 2/
Craft a story of fear that resonates with people's experience and then claim you are the solution. 3/
It is Trump's apocalyptic story. In it, he is the hero, savior, "king." 4/
There's a problem for the rest of us.

Although we don't accept Trump's telling of the story, we accept its premise, its framework. 5/
Since Nov 9, 2016, moderates, liberals & progressives are been living in a story of fear:

Trump is the apocalypse. America is failing, our lives are falling apart, everything we loved is disappearing, our future is bleak. 6/
So, we've got to get rid of Trump to restore American democracy. Together we can do it.

Of course, it helps to have a hero, too. Like Robert Mueller. Or the bravest politician of the week. But no clear single hero has arisen in this story yet. 7/
And therein is the problem.

A huge number of Americans -- no matter their political pov -- have been colonized by Trump's apocalyptic story of fear. 8/
What if there is -- and always has been -- a different story? 9/
Not a story of apocalypse.

What would be an alternative? 10/
Of course, there are many stories of what America is and can be. Over the last 20 years, I've been exploring a story: the story of the table. 11/
It is a story about living in a land of gifts and abundance. About setting a table where all can find a place, share, and be fed. Where all are welcome. 12/
You might say, "Well, that never existed!"

There are many table stories in American history. They are many of our best stories. Stories when chairs were pulled up to the table, of gathering in crisis and creating abundance, when old tables were turned over, new tables set. 13/
Stories people overcoming differences and becoming friends. Listening, learning together. Sharing wisdom from a wide variety of religions & cultures. Creating beauty, inventing, healing together. 14/
Those are real stories. And, even in a time when we are colonized by apocalypse, these stories are happening. NOW. 15/
This is the alternative story. In my recent NYT piece, I mentioned this alternative as a table of Thanksgiving (at the end of the piece). 16/
Here it is (in case you missed it):…
But we don't talk about the table of thanks. Because fear. 18/
Did you know that gratitude (the primary emotion of the table) and fear (the primary emotion of apocalypse) cannot exist in our brains at the same time?

One drives out the other. You can be thankful or fearful. The states may alternate, but they cannot exist together. 19/
Gratitude is a path toward the table. It isn't just some private, navel gazing escape to these days. It is actually the way to find a new story, to unhinge the fear, and to disempower the Trump narrative. 20/
(Sorry for the caps -- but I've never been so serious about anything in my life.)
That politics would be centered on a story of abundance.
About striving for renewal, sharing gifts with all, caring for the least of these, appreciation for the idealism & energy of emerging generations, trusting one another to build a future of equality, liberty & happiness. 22/
We don't need a hero for an abundance story. We need each other. In the words of Wendell Berry, "all we need is here." 23/
Pay attention today. Look for the table. Don't be colonized by Trump's story. Live yours. Live a story of thanks.

Let's see where it takes us. 24/
(End thread. Please forgive typos, grammar. It is Twitter. I do my best on these threads. But I'd love an edit button!). Thank you for reading. 25/
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