Welcome to what will likely be four years of a Trump Presidency. I understand a recount is taking place. I donated to fund it. I realize that efforts are ongoing to shift the votes of electors. Got it. Got all that.
Meanwhile, with each tweet and taunt and daily calamity, Donald Trump threatens to overwhelm us with chaos. I’m seeking some order here. Both in terms of how we view him and in terms of how we, ourselves, might more effectively counter his influence.
I have been thinking a lot about how Donald Trump operates. On how his campaign operated. On how his style of politics informs his administration. On what weaknesses his administration might prove to have. And I have also been thinking about Hillary’s campaign and the choices she made.
And in the context of this election? Of what has gone on here? I need to speak. To keep speaking. In fact, I find myself unable to do otherwise. Like many Americans the majority of my emotional RAM has been cycling on this goddamn election for amost two years now. With Trump ikely to enter the White House, I need make every effort to put certain ideas into the world, get them said, and reclaim my bandwidth.
And here’s the challenge. Part of me feels this:
American got screwed again. We got screwed by a powerful, unrelenting, well funding GOP monster. The election alone, we would have easily won.
But this gerrymandered, vote suppressed, Russian hacked, FBI skewed, media clickbait obsessed, fake news tsunami, and yes, left wing white priviledged farce of an election was never about one person one vote. America got screwed over by the GOP media and elites and their Koch Brothers backers, people who cynically manipulate working class voters while not actually giving a damn about them.
While part of me feels this:
Progressives in America are the single most self-absorbed collection of holier than thou elitist assholes that every walked the earth, tens of thousands of which decided they were too morally pure to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton. Never mind the fact that many of them, likely white college educated voters, will skate past the most egregious impacts of a Trump Administration while immigrants, gays, trans people, indigenous people and people of color are beaten bloody in the streets of Trump’s white supremicist America.
And then there’s this:
We are all caught up in a horrifying narrative of political fear and rage. We are so far down the identity politics rabbit hole that we can no longer imagine a conversation with people of differing political views. Everyone is a libtard or a fascist. All campaigns are driven by corruption. All of our leaders are cynical liars, and by extension their supporters are, too. And this is where I draw the line. This is an intentionally manufactured narrative, driven by the machinery of divisive media driven politics, focused on destroying the fabric of our common American interests and values, for the benifit of shadowy and deeply corrupt elites.
Will this simple metric be the downfall of America? That we have been brainwashed to care only about our binary piece of America’s intentially manufactured, utterly divisive, political shit storm? Only time will tell.
But I believe we are better than this. I believe human beings are inherently good and kind. I believe for all of us, some things are universal. We want our children to be healthy and happy. We want our streets to be safe and our air to be clean. We want to work and live and grow our families. We want to worship, marry, live and succeed. We all want some version of these things. And we know, deep down, these are the things we have to create together. We know in our hearts we can’t create these things without connection, communication and cooperation. And what’s more? We long for that sense of connection and sense of community.
The intentionally manufactured political divisions in America make us sick in our souls. This is why we are half out of our minds with anger and frustration. We are cut off from each other. Trapped in our ideological silos. Lonely and alone in a nation of millions.
I believe America is a good and decent place. I’ve seen too much kindness and strength among everyday Americans to think otherwise. But the barking of the well funded voices of division can drown out this awareness. We need to be on guard when the drip drip of carefully focus grouped political poison is making its way into our world view. Or worse, when we are sharing divisive poison and rage with others in the name of what is correct or true or good. We would all do well to turn off the TV for a bit. To ignore a few thousand tweets. To turn to people who are seemingly different from us and connect. Its breathtaking what happens. Try it.
To recall the best of what is true about Americans I have to move past the angry political narratives that continue to boil in my head. I have to remember that kindness and decency is not exclusive to my politics or my world view. I have to understand that there are people out there who have just as much a right to their views as I have to mine; that they are also loving and decent people deserving and appreciative of a little mutual respect.
How will Trump’s America turn out? I can’t predict that. But I can say this. Its up to us to determine what happens next. How we view our fellow human beings will be a big part of that.
Thanks for your interest.
Photo by: Gage Skidmore