Andrew Willis Garces

Want to Defeat Trump? It Will Take Both Compassion and Confrontation

George Lakey’s recent article rejecting the usefulness of protests at Donald Trump rallies begins with a reference to the sci-fi novel Ender’s Game. In the book, children are recruited to learn skills for outwitting an opponent, and are invited to play complex video games in which they command galactic armies against an alien force threatening their planet. Of the trainees, one boy, Ender, proves himself especially adept at defeating the aliens using his particular gift of empathy to intuit how the alien opponents perceive outside attacks, by understanding their worldview. Lakey uses this literary reference to help argue his point that Trump protests are self-defeating, because they lack empathy.

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Like Alan Gross, USAID Contractors Asked Me to Work in Cuba in 2009

The email arrived in my inbox on October 13, 2009, just six weeks before Alan Gross was arrested in Cuba. A program director for the Development Research Center, one of many for-profit USAID contractors, had an innocuous-sounding query: “I am wondering if you might be interested in working with us to conduct a training, in Spanish, through our USAID funded program which is aimed at supporting independent civil society in Latin America. We would like to conduct a training in the next 4-6 months, focused on global non-violent movements, tools and techniques.”   

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