Someone once said that you should hate the game, not the player. Although I’d argue that you should probably hate both the game and the player, I’d be quite inclined to add that you shouldn’t hate those who are being played.
You’re angry. I get it. I respect it. I’ll admit I’m more than a little uncomfortable with the man we have just elected into office, to put things incredibly lightly. But, part of the reason a man like him can be elected is because of how well our bipartisan system has divided our country. Getting mad at those who fell on the other end of the dividing line is ignoring how they might have wound up there in the first place.
One of those reasons is the topic of abortion. Now, ignoring how Trump has a long history of supporting the pro-choice movement, he stated many times on the campaign trail that he is completely pro-life.
The conversation about whether or not you agree with someone who is pro-life is not one I can resolve here, as is obvious from the decades long epic battle going on between the two factions. But, to put it simply, people who follow the pro-life side of the battle, see abortion as murder. Everyone agrees murder is wrong. Therefore, for them, abortion is wrong.
I think if you allow yourself to change your perspective slightly, you might see where this could cause conflict for someone. If babies were brought into this world only through test tubes, and having nothing to do with living inside a woman’s body for 9 months, pro-life advocates would still feel the same. They aren’t on their side because they want to take away a woman’s rights, they’re there because they believe life is precious.
Of course, we still just put a bigoted rapist into office. And that’s the primary battle cry against him, at least the one that doesn’t fall down party lines. And it’s an incredibly valid one. These are not words we want attached to the highest office in our country. This is not what we want as a representation of us. To many, to elect an alleged rapist into office is as good as saying “we’re cool with rape”.
Here’s something to consider when attacking your fellow man for voting a rapist into office:
Nearly 20 years ago, we had a different rapist in the Oval Office. Sure, the conversation may have ended up revolving mostly around consensual extra-marital affairs, and actually, much more lamely, about perjury and obstruction of justice, but there were rape allegations in there.
Back then, the conversation about rape was far different. If there wasn’t proof, it was as good as not happening. And in a situation where the allegation was directed at a President, being led by witch hunters from the opposition, it was easy for many to brush off the allegations as nothing more than using rape as a political weapon.
But, in the 20 years since, the conversation has changed, and importantly so. We now recognize that brushing off rape accusations in such a way not only causes victims to stay quiet, but emboldens rapists to continue on their path of being absolutely atrocious human beings. Rape accusations are taken incredibly seriously today. And they should be. So, for an allegation to be placed against a presidential candidate today, we see things in a far different light.
Or at least those of us who are aware of the change in conversation. Or are even aware of what’s going on amid all the yelling which has filled the airwaves these past few months.
In an election process as full of slander as the one which occurred this past week, from both sides, how does one choose which pieces of defamation to take as the truth. Do the stories involving Hillary’s complicity in Bill’s rapes hold less consideration simply because they were originally brought forth 20 years ago?
I’m not saying that one man’s acts should cause us to ignore another’s. But what I am saying is that this election revolved around the discussion of character. Much was said on both sides. Terrible evil things. And at some point, those things all become white noise. A hate-filled scream against the other team. Where you saw rape, they saw a baby killer, where you saw a xenophobe, they saw a back-alley crook, where you saw a liar, they saw a liar.
And in all of this, we lost the discussion about policies. Two of the three debates were about nothing more than character.
And this should be telling, folks, because that first one, the one where there was an actual attempt to discuss policy, Trump looked like an absolute idiot.
Because that was a slight misstep in a campaign which, I’m beginning to fear, may go down in history as the single most amazing feat in American politics.
Let’s start at the very end. When the conversation was all about whether or not Mr. Trump would concede the election. (Note: the conversation was about Trump…because it was always all about Trump) Everyone thought he was going to lose and the question on everyone’s mind was whether or not he would throw a temper tantrum and choose to battle the election results. His conversation leading up to the end was all about whether or not there were issues with the voting machines, issues with miscounts, and overall issues with abuses to the system caused by the Democrats. He sounded like a spoiled brat who was going to throw a fit if he didn’t get his way.
So when he actually won, the losing side had already spent so much time villainizing someone who would argue the results that they couldn’t possibly do so…which might have been important in an election involving such amazing upsets as this one.
And if you look back, if you remember all the major narratives out of the campaign process, it’s always been about Trump. From day one.
He owned the conversation. He made it about him. And a great moment to see how in control he was, is to look at one of the moments where he wasn’t.
That first debate. It set the tone for the rest of the campaign. Because Trump’s only response was to begin name calling. And the entire nation joined in, from both sides, turning our election process, as well as the following debates, into nothing more than a big screaming match about who was the worst.
Which you can definitely see in the days leading up to the election itself…from both sides…where bullying was rampant in an attempt to cause people to literally feel like they are the worst on the planet, simply because they didn’t want to vote for either red-faced talking head.
The problem here is, in the battle of the red-faced talking heads, Donald Trump is king. He will always be king. That’s his damned brand, folks.
Donald Trump should have never made it past the primaries. He should have not even made it to the primaries before being laughed out of the competition. Throughout the majority of the campaign, he was considered, even by his peers, to be a laughingstock. To be an impossible win. To be the joke he was allowing us all to believe he is.
And every damned step of the way, he grew power. He grew stronger and stronger, until, suddenly, shocking everyone, he won the election.
There are only two things that could allow this man to become President.
1. White Privilege.
2. Incredible Manipulation of the American People.
(technically there’s always the third of extreme voter fraud…which, with such a landslide loss by the democrats, probably shouldn’t be taken out of consideration…but again, considering how much time was spent before the election talking about how it couldn’t possibly happen…)
Now, I’m not going to take away the power of white privilege. I’ve got a post I’ve been working on which focuses on how amazingly strong of a thing it is. But white privilege wasn’t enough to work for John McCain or Mitt Romney. President Obama is a very very different situation than Hillary Clinton, but still, Obama won twice, quite handily, over white candidates.
Trump is a man who shouldn’t have gotten anywhere, and he is being credited as the sole reason the Republicans now run the House, Senate, and the White House. He may look like an idiot, but this is a man who has built his grandma’s little real estate business into a multi-billion dollar empire. He’s a man who has lied, cheated, and (allegedly) stole time and again to achieve his end. He’s a man who isn’t afraid of looking like a loser for the short term in order to win for the long term.
I’ll admit, even as I try to make a case for his brilliance, I can’t separate him from the oopma loompa looking idiot I’ve been seeing for years. And that is, quite possibly, just how amazingly brilliant this whole thing was.
We were all played. From day one, each and every one of us have been talking about Trump’s candidacy. His name has been on our lips far more than Hillary’s.
Because that’s what he wanted.
And now, with things like the Patriot Act still in motion, as well as a Republican led House and Senate, and possibly soon to be a Republican-led Supreme Court, he has more power than any single President of our country has ever had before. The closest we’ve seen would probably be in 1928 (right before The Great Depression…please be wary of making direct correlations). However, this has the prospect of being far far worse than that.
You see, we handed over the keys for World War III to a man who has an obvious problem controlling his temper.
Don’t be mad at the people who elected him. Be mad at the system we’ve allowed to become so broken that this amount of power could be held by any single individual. Democrats are just as complicit as Republicans in this.
Which is why now, more than ever, we as a nation truly need to learn to come together. We must stop allowing the bipartisan political machine to divide us into pointing fingers at our common man for things done by people backed by extreme amounts of power and money.
Should the dark days come, should Donald Trump and the new regime become the tyrannical dictatorship they now have the power to become, it will be up to us as an entire population to stand against them. Because we’ve been so busy down here bitching about rapists and emails and character flaws, that we forgot to consider what these people can do outside of party politics.
You see, the civil rights movement shouldn’t be what we’re concerned about. No, we’re talking about the straight up Bill of Rights. Things like freedom of speech (which are already being stomped on), unlawful search and seizure (again, already an issue), freedom of religion (which, let’s be honest, Trump already announced his issues with this one), and, as we’ve already seen with things like Guantanamo, those ever-necessary fifth and sixth amendments could stop being able to protect us from being locked away forever just for speaking out against our government.
Because, let’s face it, even you who voted for him. Donald is not a big fan of people who say bad things about him.
We are now living in a world where those checks and balances have been destroyed. That one single organization holds all the power. And they hold it through a man who got elected because he says what he thinks. And those things he says…they’re filled with hate.
Be mad. You deserve to be mad.
Then get prepared. Because it’s quite probably that this conversation won’t be about Republicans vs Democrats for much longer. It won’t be about rapists and baby-killers. With very little effort, this conversation could become one of dictatorships vs. anarchy.
And if we come together as a people, it could be of oppression vs. revolution.