He’s always been the man he was, and he’s run a campaign of dividing, deporting, inhibiting, and destroying. Then nearly 60 million Americans elected him President. Now I’m being told to give this man an opportunity to lead; to “see how it goes,” as though I could forget his message since the beginning:
“Mexicans are rapists”
“Build a Wall”
“End the Affordable Care Act”
“Climate change is a hoax”
“No Muslim immigration”
“Punish women for making reproductive choices”
And this list goes on and on and on. He’s a billionaire who cheated and lied, extorted and stole his way to infamy and somehow he’s become the symbol of the self-made man in America. Millions and millions of blue-collar Americans have been duped. They believe he shares similar values, and an earnest desire to lead. He doesn’t. He’s always been about one thing, power. We just gift wrapped him the most powerful position in the world. Millions more who support a nativist, racist, and segregationist ideology have found a candidate willing to insinuate and say, both passively and directly, enough of the venom that these people need to live. They see a man willing to “say what he feels” and “tell it like it is,” especially if it validates a narrow, fearful and blame shifting perspective. We may not completely understand the beast that’s been unleashed; a disaffected, uneducated group of whites terrified by the fast changing demographics of the country they can barely recognize. “Make America Great Again” is simply code for Make America White again. It just is.
Of course those aren’t the only people who have voted him into office, in fact it appears that millions and millions of middle class white voters did too. Tired of corruption, greed and gridlock in Washington D.C., they assumed that this man would be the force behind obliterating all of these concerns. He won’t. He’s a part of this system. He’s been rewarded for playing the game his entire adult life. Some say they’re Bernie defectors who saw this man as the next best option. He isn’t. It’s an inconceivable comparison. One a man who worked alongside Civil Rights leaders in the 60’s, another who enforced exclusionary housing practices to stop Black Americans from renting his father’s apartments. I understand that we vote on issues and elect representatives who embody our own view on those issues, but I cannot understand how his supporters were willing to look past the misogyny, the racism, the irreverence for truth or conventional norms of decency. It baffles the mind.
I don’t have to take it laying down though, and I won’t. I’m committed to speaking up and speaking out during the long road that lays ahead. To be defeated into silence is not an option. It can’t be, not when the stakes are this high.