Figuring out how to live under a Trump presidency
This is not the blog I was planning to post.
After the initial wave of Denial, the “No way America would ever elect that” came the other stages.
Anger. “Those idiots wanted a protest vote against The System, but they’ve sunk the country instead of making their point in a way that would actually work!”
Bargaining. “If we give him a fair chance, don’t oppose everything, maybe he’ll retreat from his platform of insanity and merely be a Republican.”
Depression. That one occupied most of the last two days. Yesterday I discovered at 1:30 in the afternoon that I was still in my bathrobe.
And finally, Acceptance. “The office of the President demands such gravitas and dignity that he’ll shed his lunatic-candidate facade and become a grown up. He’ll act for the nation’s best interests. Because what kind of monster could have that power and abuse it so flagrantly?”
So I wrote up a nice optimistic post of acceptance and brotherhood. Compassion for the voters who have been left behind by the political system that listens to and thinks about only the wealthy, and confidence that we as a nation are stronger than one terrible president.
But then I got up this morning and saw that Trump’s choice to head his EPA transition team is a well-known climate change “skeptic.” Climate change (in addition to being agreed upon by basically the entire scientific community and every developed country except us) is something the majority of Americans agree is happening, and is a serious problem.
So what did Trump do? He chose a climate change denier, clearly showing the same truth that’s always been blazingly clear about him: Donald Trump does not care what Americans think. That’s the nature of a narcissist, the beliefs and perspectives of other people do not factor into his thinking. That is not a president.
And a corollary of that is even scarier. Donald Trump does not care that his violent rhetoric of hatred is dangerous. This is the one of the things that keeps me up at night.
After the Brexit vote, which was far less explicit in its endorsement of racism and xenophobia, hate crimes in Britain rose 40%. That is truly troubling.
And might that happen here? It already is.
Those people who voted for a change from The System chose to endorse, justify, and encourage the racism, misogyny, homophobia and intolerance in our country, and innocent people are going to suffer for it. (And the same goes for those who did not vote, or gave Trump their “protest” vote via a third party candidate in any swing state.)
I’m a big fan of respecting other people’s opinions. It’s one of my core values. But Trump Brand Bigotry is not an opinion. “Mexicans are rapists” is not an opinion. “It’s okay to grab women by the p***y” is not an opinion. They are moral deficiencies. They are dangerous failures of the mind, soul, and character, they are outrages against the ethics and humanity of this country, and I will not respect them. Ever.
I want to preach cooperation and healing. I really do. But this person, this disgusting narcissist is not someone I can cooperate with. Maybe I’ll get there, maybe he’ll prove me wrong. But right now? He is not my president. Democracy is not something that happens every four years in a voting booth, democracy depends on the people of a nation standing up for what’s right every day of every year. So that’s what we should do.
I don’t know how to oppose Trump yet. Smashing the window of a local business as my fellow Oaklanders are doing tonight does not strike me as an appropriate response. But as long as Trump is what he has always been, I will oppose him in every way I can find.
I’m not feeling cooperation and healing either. Any candidate with rhetoric that hateful does not deserve my open mind. I’m appalled that he was elected.
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I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. If he acts like a decent human being, just with different priorities than mine, then we can all coexist in this magnificent pluralist country. If he continues with his moral bankruptcy, well then I am in the opposition, for whatever that matters. I’ll see you there. 🙂
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You summed this up very well and pretty much described what I’ve been feeling also.