I am not a fan of Donald Trump. I could use more colorful language but I think this captures my feelings accurately enough. Having said it, however, I’ve realized something pretty significant in the last couple of weeks. Bear with me on this. Here goes:
In an odd, completely surprising and unexpected way, I am grateful that Mr. Trump has emerged out of the political and cultural landscape at this time. Why?
Well, first of all, I should offer the caveat that I can only say this because I have complete confidence that “The Donald” will not be president. If I’m wrong on this, all bets are off.
But, if I’m right I think the “fallout” from the Trump presidential campaign may be one of the best things that has happened in American culture in my lifetime.
In my view, this is because in Donald Trump we have such a clear and blatant “mirror” for so many things in the American character that are despicable and repugnant. He is helping us to see this part of our character so clearly that the reflection is unavoidable
Think of it. Where else, in one single “package” of a person can we find the absolute penultimate of conspicuous consumption, racism, sexism, rape culture, misogyny, and narcissism? It may exist, but not in the public spotlight, as he does.
And best of all…. its all right there! It’s not hidden, or disguised, but instead blasted right into our lives in away that cannot be avoided. Thank you for that Donald Trump. Because of your compete lack of shame or even awareness of your negative impact on people, we can’t help but react to you and reflect upon everything you represent. Each time you open your mouth, it just gets worse
So, why is this good? In my view it’s good because it is forcing us in this country to WAKE UP!
Okay, okay…I will amend that. Some of us are not waking up, but rather “doubling down” on all the regressive, fascistic, rhetoric that at best is ludicrous, and at worst is a threat to our hard won democracy..
Be that as it may, I’m finding myself hopeful that the scary stuff will eventually die down and a better America will emerge. The pendulum will swing back to a reasonable place.
I believe this most strongly when I listen to Michelle Obama with her articulate and impassioned speeches about all that Trump represents. All the horror and threat of them. Would she have spoken with such passion and authenticity if there had been no Trump for her to react to? I wonder. For myself, I know that Michelle Obamas words were like a lightening rod for all that I have been feeling about social justice and particularly the oppression of women for many years. She cast a light on my feelings and helped me define them. I will forever thank her for that.
Michelle Obama spoke from her heart and told the truth. In doing so, she challenged men and women alike to speak their truth as well. She challenged us to see the truth of how things are, and how far we have to go. In my view, Michelle Obama delivered a message to everyone that we all have the responsibility to “go high” and live up to the promise of becoming the best that we can be…stronger together and in support of one another.
So, I am feeling the exhilaration and the huge responsibility of my own awakening and I feel grateful, ironically enough, to Donald Trump