Trump presidency stands as the challenge of our lifetime

by DGO Web Administrator

With so much swirling in my head, with an inability to come to terms with or to make sense of the world, still angry and heartbroken, battling fear and anxiety and disappointment, I wasn’t going to write about the election. I was going to write about Thanksgiving and how it’s the lone major holiday that doesn’t have any music associated with it. I mean, there’s that Adam Sandler song, but where are all the Thanksgiving carols? “Amaizing Thanks”? “O, Gourd of Gourds”? They don’t exist! But I can’t talk about nonexistent Thanksgiving carols. Not now. I’m still grappling with the man 60 million people said yes to. A week later, I still can’t form coherent or sustained thoughts. Here are some attempts:

I do not have the fortitude right now to think about the wall (that won’t happen) or the proverbial coal miners or whatever job whose time has passed (that will never come back) or the Supreme Court appointees (who will set our country back a generation, at least. You’re welcome, children). My attitude will change soon because my biggest fear is that the progress, rights and protections (not to mention our, you know, planet) so many have fought for for decades are incredibly endangered and threatened. As my Belarusian friend, who experienced the horrors of political and social violence and oppression throughout her childhood, said, we are “paralyzed with shock and disbelief at being thrown back down the staircase of social evolution.”


I am a privileged white male. The fears and the realities I face pale in comparison to immigrants, minorities, LGBT, the disabled and women of any stripe. How are the Christians among us not running to fiercely protect all those groups like the man they claim to follow would (that would be, um, Jesus, not Trump).


If you voted for Trump, you have forfeited your right to call anyone out on all the indecency most of us were taught as children not to do: Bullying, name calling, boastfulness, arrogance, mocking, lying, shaming. It will be terribly hard for you to preach family values, those issues many of you claimed to have voted for for decades. To say that something is inappropriate for your children to see or hear or read, that it sets a bad example for the impressionable among us? Sorry, you put that right in the toilet and just flushed it.


I fear that Trump and the ilk he invites into the White House will be normalized. Do not forget, none of this is normal.


I do not think 60 million people are racists, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, bigots or any of the other character traits Trump is or used despicably and strategically to garner support and enthusiasm (though many of his supporters undeniably are, or are complicit bystanders). I know that many did not vote for Trump for the same reasons I voted against him. Some are hurting from being left behind and ignored by political, intellectual and corporate elites across the spectrum. This country has become unrecognizable to so many. We should start listening to one another and seeking the best instead of assuming the worst. This was a protest vote, and the status quo would not suffice this time around. But to hand a gas can to an arsonist …


When the Challenger blew up, it wasn’t one thing that wrong, it was 15 things that went wrong – that all occurred on the same day. The results of this election were similar for the Democratic Party. It wasn’t just misunderstanding or underestimating the tenor of the country. It wasn’t just that the Democrats chose an establishment candidate at the worst time in history. It wasn’t just the emails or the undeniable and rampant sexism and misogyny. Many of us are still processing what it actually was that threw Trump into office. Understanding and listening to those currents while fighting against the nefariousness of this president and his most dangerous policies and supporters will be the challenge of our lifetime.


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