On the morning of January 20, 2016, I made a public post that upset some of my more liberal friends. I called out what I thought was unhelpful behavior of disavowing the incoming president, who hadn’t so much as walked in the building yet. Certainly his track record was bad, but I wanted to wait and see. He’d vacillated between parties his whole life, so what would he decide to do when he actually had the power to do something? Even if he went down the darker road, I still felt disengaging and disavowing him was the wrong approach. Breaking off all meaningful communication leaves no avenue for serious dissent or feedback. All you would be able to do is stand outside and yell. And on top of it all, his history led me to believe that he was playing the buffoon, to get attention, as he had for so much of his life. Surely when he took office, and the weight of that mantle fell upon him, he would be forced to at least behave like an adult.
Okay… so I may have been wrong on some of it.
He’s absolutely a buffoon. From interviews with people who knew him once upon a time, I think it *was* all an act, at some point in the past. But that age, experience, and probably mental infirmity have caught up with him, and he no longer can distinguish the act from himself. I don’t think he has any more force of will left than a petulant child. And we put the biggest gun in the world in the hands of that child.
Conservative family members and friends are a bit divided. Quite a lot of them actually do hate what Trump has and has not done.They hate that he’s done next to nothing to protect or help anyone, in any situation. They hate that he took a party of ideals (wether you agree with those ideals or not), and exposed a schism that will likely tear them apart. And they hate that their standard bearer is little more than an angry clown.
But of course there are still friends and family who whole-heartedly support him.
I’m sure a substantial portion of them do so, because “They’re Republicans”. They can’t bring themselves to vote anything but Republican. I think they still has some illusion that the party would really be in charge, so who cares who sat in the seat. And these people simply disappoint me. A party-line vote regardless of the candidate is how you end up with Trumps. We live in an incredibly complicated, dangerous world. You cannot allow yourselves to be gamed so easily.
A lot of Trump’s supporters said they wanted an outsider to go and change things in DC. Someone who wasn’t just another politician. And they could identify with Trump’s persona, so who better to go in and shake things up for them. And I don’t actually dispute the idea of sending in someone new, who might do new things, and try new ideas. But this isn’t a kids game. This isn’t just like your high school student council election. This isn’t your city councilman. Trump has proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that words can and do matter, and that the president sets a standard just by the way he lives his life. His administration’s plans have been ridiculously short-sighted and petulant. They literally have the power to help shape the world, and yet every leaked memo and private conversation revealed seems to indicate their highest priority is to have a petty idealogical slap-fight with a new random democrat every week. I applaud the goal of sending someone in to shake up DC… but you HAVE to send in someone who can do the job. Don’t send someone ‘just like you’. Send the person you look up to. Send the person who makes everything else around them better. Send the person who can accomplish great things.
A lot of those conservative family members of mine are very hard workers, They have worked hard their entire lives, and most of them haven’t even gotten to rest as they got older. Some of them run their own businesses, and “get shit done”. And I cannot imagine any of them actually wanting to work alongside a man like Trump. A man who’s word you cannot trust. A man guided by constantly changing whims. A man who won’t answer simple questions. A man with no loyalty to anyone. A man who has stabbed everyone in the back when their time came. That shouldn’t fly in any business.
And how do you personally identify with a man who has no morals or ethics. His administration tore kids from their families and locked them up in cages. And now they can’t even figure out to whom those children belong. His relationship with his own female family members is creepy at best, be it joking about dating his daughter, or his latest trophy-wife looking ready to stab him every time he turns around. He’s wandered the dressing rooms at Miss America pageants, and paid off porn stars for their silence. In the age of #metoo, he’s bragged about sexually assaulting women. If these were your wives, mothers, and daughters, how many of you would leave him bleeding in a cornfield somewhere? If these were your children he was after, how would you react?
There are friends who’ve supported Trump on religious grounds as well. His own aides say he’s mocked those supporters and religious leaders. There was no more clarifying moment of his opinion on religion, than when he had peaceful protestors teargassed, including forcing out priests who worked at a church, so that he could walk over, stand there fumbling a bible, and take the worst staged photo since your prom. It was a complete disregard for health, safety, and sanctity, in order to take an inept, pandering photo.
As I previously said… this is a big, complicated world. Stop sending us your trash. If D.C. is a sewer or swamp, I’d remind you that it’s not actually D.C. that’s made it that way. You sent us all these people. Please send us better. I have done things with my life that I never expected. I have friends who have done things so much more than I can even imagine. I promise you… no speech, no TV show, no movie, will ever convey the speed and complexity and ruthlessness of this place. We need better people…please send us better people.
Please be thoughtful with your comments or corrections. I will delete vitriol and exaggeration, without regard for political stance nor personal connection.