So this is what it comes down to. What you believe. I have historically written these essays in attempt to lay out a logical basis for my arguments and normally use scores of citations from many different sources. But this time I am writing from the heart.
You can believe he is a god. Many of his supporters do. Rational folks ask themselves why; where does the hatred and fear come from? Decent folk will never understand how anyone heard his words and voted for him anyway. No conspiracy theory needed. He bragged about sexually assaulting women – and they voted for him. He mocked disabled people, veterans, the military, the Intelligence Community, women, and minorities. And they still voted for him. The Party of Family Values listened to a man who has been married three times and who bragged about trying to have sex with a woman who was not his wife, and they still voted for him.
He made promises that he had no intention of keeping and they believed it. He followed a time honored nepotistic path favored by dictators everywhere and put his family into positions of power. Not one word from his supporters.
There is no principled stance in their support. There is no moral justification for their support. There is not even reason in their support – the policies he wants to enact will punish his supporters much more than anyone else.
He openly surrounds himself with Neo-nazi’s and racists and they voted for him. He appointed oligarchs and his supporters cheered. He stripped away protections for the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and refugees and his supports rejoiced.
With his words and his actions – he is either telling the truth, which makes him a disgusting, amoral, piece of shit; or he is lying, which makes him a disgusting, amoral, piece of shit.
My critique of him and his followers is apolitical. Although I would happily engage with them to discuss his policies, which I whole heartedly reject. No. My criticism of them stems from the fact that they agree with his agenda of hatred and fear. They certainly have no political agenda. In fact I challenge you to read the RNC’s official platform and find the intersection between what the sexual-predator who has usurped power is doing and the stated objectives of the party.
So what do you believe?
Do you believe there is a way out? Do you believe his tenure is short lived? Do you believe the damage he has done can be fixed?
Do you believe that the alternate reality his followers embrace can somehow be overcome? With facts? Logic?
I’m not sure I do.
I don’t know if he has created this rift or if he exposed it. But we are a nation divided. A major flaw with Liberalism is that we are too quick to be conciliatory. We are too willing to compromise and see other points of view. Conservatives have exploited this for decades. Somewhat ironically instead of using this exposed weakness to put a Conservative in power, they installed a monster.
I listened to Michael Savage talk the other day about how Liberals won’t let others have a different opinion and how they will use Nazi Brown Shirt tactics to silence dissenters. My initial reaction was to rail against it. He is asserting a false equivalency. But he is also sort of right.
When faced with violence and intimidation what are you to do? My acceptance of your opinions stops when you threaten me or the people that I love. The accusation that I refute your racism and white supremacy is correct. I don’t believe there is a long-term future for a society where hatred and threats of violence based on differences in skin color, or religion, or any other bigotry is allowed.
Given his low polling numbers, I believe most of the country agrees with me.
What do we do about it? We are being terrorized by a political minority lead by an authoritarian demagogue. There is much historical data about previous examples of this throughout the 20th Century.
Time will tell.
Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM), NCCAOM Dipl. Acupuncture