On the Election of Donald Trump, Catalyst
“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
I am exhausted. And angry. But this demands attention, and so I will say my piece.
I didn’t think this would happen. Not really. I always knew that there was a possibility, but in my head I brushed the thought away as silly, even asinine. I thought that the United States knew better, simply put. I thought, given the opportunity, they would revel in showing the rest of the world how quickly they could shut down a loud-mouthed bigot on a global scale.
I was wrong.
And now the next President of the United States of America is only about a month removed from having to stand trial for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl.
Just pause and think about that for a second.
Are you scared yet? You should be.
Here’s the thing, though: you shouldn’t just be frightened of Donald Trump, Misogynist/Racist/Bigot/Homophobe/Bully/Asshole. No, you should be frightened of Donald Trump, Catalyst, because what the man stands for and how he’s uncovered similar views in massive amounts of other people is unprecedented and real.
By putting Trump in such a position of power, the majority of the USA has effectively said, “These things are okay.” They should be shocked, appalled, but instead they’ve been duped by their own ignorance.
I have friends, very close friends, who have been deeply affected by the horrific things Trump and his supporters say are okay. My best friend is gay and has experienced homophobia many times over; I have friends who have experienced rape; I have friends who constantly experience racism; I have friends who have been treated like garbage because they are female. The list goes on.
This is a larger problem than Trump. Much larger. We are supposed to move ever forward as a race—it is our intrinsic duty as human beings to continue to better ourselves. But instead we’ve taken a massive step backward by allowing one of the most powerful countries in the world to be led by a man who bleeds hatred.
What comes of hate? What comes of abuse? What comes of pettiness?
I use the term we here because if you think, as Canadians or as citizens from anywhere else, that there aren’t Trump supporters in your country, then you’re a fool. These types of people are everywhere, and Trump has just become their bugle-boy. He’s giving them a voice and drowning out the ones of reason, love and inclusiveness by screaming nonsense.
This matters, people. This is not something that you can ignore and hope will go away. This large group of particular people has been waiting and waiting, and now they finally have Trump. They have their golden boy. And through him, they can and will continue to enforce the notion that their horrors are, in fact, right and even beneficial.
So we must take action. We must fight the good fight, for the betterment of humanity. We must educate, we must understand, we must learn, we must love and, most importantly, we must grow. And we have to do it together.
I know I will stand by every person I care about against this sort of brutality.
What a waste of time, hate is. Such an incredible, monumental waste. It improves and proves nothing. It makes a person close-minded and skittish, and allows them to lock their perspective into a single, narrow focus. That person thinks they are protecting themselves, but they’re really displaying their vulnerability.
I have a theory about why people hate the things they do. I call it the Jekyll and Hyde Theory.
Characters are afraid of Mr. Hyde not just because of his frightening exterior, but because what they see in his face are their own vices. They see the worst of themselves, and their reaction is to get angry, spit vitriol, and leave hastily.
Things that people don’t understand make them insecure. In that person they don’t understand, they then see their own insecurity reflected, as characters do with Mr. Hyde. Their reaction is the same as the peoples’ in Stevenson’s story.
How do you break someone free from that? Especially when their background is much different than yours? How do you open them up to new ideas and administer epiphanies through an entirely organic method?
These are the sorts of questions we need to consider. Trying to force someone into something is never the right way to go about things, as history has taught us. It never works, either. Not really. We need to be erudite in these practices.
On a less moralistic level, what can Trump do now that he’s in office? It’s not like that is comforting. The republicans retained the senate, meaning that Trump will meet little resistance in the implementation of many of his ideas unless they are opposed by members of his own party. But you can be sure that things like the repeal of Obamacare, trashing the Iran nuclear deal, hindering progress on climate change and much more will become a reality.
These are problems urgent in their own right. But they are also things that can generally be fixed—relative to the moralistic side of things—rapidly.
So that’s my message here, if I have one in this long, tired ramble. I have felt rather nauseous since the night Trump was elected. It has revealed an underbelly to the world that we thought we were shedding.
Hate is still here. It’s too real.
Tell someone you love them. Not because they are straight or gay, or a woman or a man, or black or white. Tell them because they are a fucking human being, and they deserve respect.
Our call to action has come, shocking and fierce. Let’s make a difference.