A letter to those who watched as extremism was normalized and bigotry promoted: How did this happen?
Seriously, how did this happen?
This is new. We’ve never seen anything like this before.
He’s a joke. He’s an internet meme. He’s a Halloween costume. He’s a demagogue. He’s a bigot.
He’s the president.
Say that without your heart skipping a beat: “Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
It’s a dream. It’s not a dream.
A nightmare, then? Depends who you ask.
Some people are fearful (Muslim/immigrant families in particular). Some are excited for the new directions in which their country will be taken. Regardless of allegiance, no one remains unaffected. Trump’s campaign, his policies and now his presidency have been nothing but unprecedented. This is new.
It becomes frustrating, watching this man say ridiculous things. It becomes easy to be taken in by the spectacle and the outrage. We must strive to remember; ask not why he says these things, but rather ask why people listen. Ask why people let him say these things. Why does the system let him? Democracy suspends Trump on the national stage like a twisted puppet show, as we are powerless to stop the debauchery of it all.
The system is broken? It’s not broken. The people within it are broken. Broken to the point where they feel Trump is their salvation.
There can’t be a puppet show if no one buys tickets, and the show has sold out.
Donald Trump is a symptom of the American disease, not the cause.
His words are harmful because there are people who listen to and agree with them.
His actions cause damage because there are people who voted for him and gave him the power to commit those actions.
They are the wind beneath his wings, without which he would flutter and crash like the fat orange turkey he is.
I had faith in Hillary Clinton’s ability to rally the people behind her message of hope and compassion, while she in turn had faith in America’s people to make the right choice. My faith was misplaced, but hers wasn’t. Not yet, anyway.
You see, the beauty of Democracy is also its greatest flaw: what the people want, the people shall get. The people wanted Donald Trump, the people got Donald Trump. And all that comes with him.
I’m not here to tell you this is the end of America or western civilization. I’m not here to tell you it isn’t.
I’m telling you the breadth and depth of America’s influence and the positivity or negativity thereof rests entirely in the people’s hands, not Donald Trump’s. Donald Trump has a term limit. Americans have a lifelong duty to their country.
They as a nation, regardless of affiliation or difference of opinion, are all stuck on the same boat. Whether that boat sinks or sails is entirely of their own volition.
If America wants to survive its own dichotomy it must strive for concordance in this time of great disparity.
A ship that can’t decide what direction to go in will sink. A ship filled with like-minded people willing to compromise will weather any storm.