DEAR HARRIETTE: My neighbors had two huge Trump flags on their front lawn before the election. My wife and I did not care for Trump at all. They took the flags down the day after he lost. Since then, they have seemed a lot friendlier. They smile and wave at my family and even try to make small talk when they see my wife and me out on our morning walk.
I cannot forget the Trump flags and the aggression that they exuded leading up to the election. Should I get over it and try to make nice? I feel that they are still people I need to beware of. -- Trump Neighbors
DEAR TRUMP NEIGHBORS: I’m a big believer in communication. Be friendly with your neighbors and strike up a conversation with them. If it happens naturally, get them to talk about their beliefs -- not so much about Trump, but about what they value. The beauty of our country is that we are free to have our own viewpoints and express them publicly. Of course, that means that we will disagree with some people -- sometimes fervently. That's all the more reason it would be good to talk about what you think and believe. During the Trump years, there was an awful lot of yelling and finger-pointing and not enough genuine conversation where ideas were batted around and people gave one another space to express what was on their minds and in their hearts. It is not too late for that.
Talk to your neighbors. If the time ever does come to comfortably talk politics, ask them about their opinions and listen to them. Don’t stand ready to pounce. Hear them out, and then share your views. You may be able to spar with them, agree to disagree or sway them to your way of thinking on a point or two. You don’t have to forget their support of Trump to talk to them and be cordial.