By NATINA NORTON —
Post the presidential election of 2016, in an attempt to find solace and commiseration, I found myself reading a lot of posts, comments, and commentaries. There has certainly been a great deal of anger, that the lesser evil did not prevail, fear of what is to come, and confusion as to how our country became so divided, and – worse – a disunited and ugly place.
And I mean really, really, to a profound degree, no alibi, U-G-L-Y.
One such perspective I came across, in regards the ugly America factor, came from a blog titled “Danielle’s Thoughts.” The author, I felt, encapsulated well this uneasy epidemic of ugliness.
“We have become complacent with putting others down and being hateful to one another. […] Now before Trump has even taking office we have condemned him, blaming him for all that is wrong with this country. He is already our new excuse for our problems. This is absurd we have no idea what he holds in store for this country. I myself was not a Trump supporter, but I also do not know what he holds for us as a nation and I personally refuse to condemn someone before even seeing what they are going to do. I will hold my judgment until I see actions personally. He will not be my new excuse to sit idle and hateful without action. We have got to stop this cycle, we have got to stop allowing our hearts to be so polluted and making excuses for spreading this ugly disease.”
–The President to Blame by danielleremainstrue
I wholeheartedly agree with her sentiment. We have become, not only complacent in this country, but flippant about treating each other like the enemy. Every individual is responsible for his or her own actions. If we don’t like the way things are, we should stop blaming Democrats, Republicans, and those who voted for one side or the other. If you don’t like the direction of our country or even your own life, stop condemning everyone else and do the work yourself; vote, take a stand, fight for what you believe in. Look at the situation in Standing Rock as a prime example.
As far as condemning Trump goes, however, I’ve got zero qualms doing so.
Donald Trump and his ilk are not an excuse for the current epidemic of ugliness in the United States; they are the contagion.
We already know what he has in store for this country, or at least what we wants to do. He already told us.
He wants to build a wall.
He wants to kick immigrants and Muslims out of the country.
He wants to take away our healthcare (including the pre-existing condition rule).
He bragged about sexually assaulting women.
He is open to using nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation.
He wants to kill the families of terrorists and bring back torture.
He thinks climate change is a hoax.
And, in addition to all of the above condemnable stuff – even when digested individually – he has a long, sorted history of making inflammatory judgments, statements, tweets, bullying, racism, sexism, (every isms really) and generally being an hateful instigator of inexcusable ugliness.
I don’t condemn Trump for our country’s problems, of which obviously there are many. That said, I will and do blame him for his actions; not just over the course of the presidential campaign, but his entire adult life. At best, he spent the whole of his run for president fanning the flames of an ugliness in this country for personal gain. It’s the equivalent of shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, only in this case Trump was shouting bigoted rhetoric to a theatre full of the armed, uninformed, and angry; xenophobes who needed their own “other” blame. And he gave that to them. He told them they were justified in blaming everyone else for their problems. That’s what a demagogue does. That’s who Donald Trump is.
We know who he is, we know what he wants to do. He should be condemned. Anyone who behaves as such should be condemned and held accountable. His wholly uneducated view of the world puts all of us in danger; our environment, our health, our safety, our right to religion (all of them), love (e.g. who we choose to), speech, press, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Those of us who did not vote for Donald Trump, who do not subscribe to his divisive hyperbole, have a right to be afraid and to condemn him. But then as citizens of this country, we also must do whatever we can to make sure this ugliness never has a chance to fester long enough to infect our entire nation. We must protect our rights – and more importantly each other – and protect the ideals that have always made this country great. Make our voices heard.
Donald Trump and his ilk are the contagion. Those of us who recognize this ugliness – not only in them, but in ourselves – we are the cure.
Recommended reading & watching:
- The morning after by Tom Tomlinson
- The President to Blame by danielleremainstrue
- Stephen Colbert Signs Off on the 2016 Presidential Election
- Day 1 In Trump’s America