I just had the misfortune of reading Beth Minks’ recent submission and wanted to offer another take. One that hopefully can both squash empty notions like Beth’s as well as bridge the divide between the otherwise opposed sides.
First, I can’t fail to note that a large pushback on the Women’s March was its being “too diffuse.” This amidst a few paragraphs with no foundational rational, a simple meandering of complaints (another irony per “[democrats]like to complain”) and word associations.
Second, being “a human being” is not a pass for gross incompetence when assuming the highest office of the land. More, it’s not a pass for showing the worst tendencies—incessant pettiness, never-ending narcissism, and paper-thin skin leading to vitriol and vindictiveness—that human beings have to offer. All of this is on display from the Oval Office on a nearly daily basis.
Beth admits to sometimes turning Trump off, presumably for these sorts of reasons. We must recognize that this not enough. Further, we must fight these actions from being normalized by way of downplaying them, e.g. acting as if it’s merely a demonization from opponents and not just damnable behavior in its own right. Would Beth and others be so graciously lenient in another universe wherein Hillary was President and was attacking the press, had mysterious ties with Russia, said that deportations were going to be a “military operation,” lied about her inauguration’s attendance, or a whole slew of other Trumpisms?
Here’s the problem: people are irresponsible. With information, with their thoughts, and subsequently with their voting. Further, they dig their heels into these irresponsibilities in order to save face and toe the party line.
Being able to defend the actions and words of a man with as vacuous a mind as our now President shows a solidarity in muddied thinking. People who can blame Obama for cops being murdered and 9/11 on HRC are precisely the ones who will have to bear the blame for whatever disaster Trump launches us into. Not because they voted for him, but because they will defend him to the end.
I empathize with the anger that Beth mentions concerning jobs and NAFTA. There is certainly progress to be made and it’s not only on the cutting-edge, progressive fronts. Real people are really hurting and we should act swiftly and decisively to give them aid in whatever ways possible, both temporal and longterm.
Healthcare, jobs, and plenty of other standard issues still exist, affecting every day Americans. But it can’t be denied that Trump shows little promise in helping. Look at what he did in Indianapolis: he saved much fewer jobs than promised by giving money to Carrier which its executives then openly discussed being used to automate still more jobs (i.e. *more* people will now lose their jobs) before turning to social media to publicly attack a blue-collar union man. He doesn’t care about jobs. He doesn’t care about people. He cares about acclaim and praise.
As long as people can believe the con artist currently residing in our Whitehouse, we’ll have a hell of a time finding our way through such complex issues. Picking sides is a clear strategy for picking a losing side. Maybe your side wins in the short term, as Beth’s seems to have done, but we all lose so long as we remain completely divided, widening the gap further and further with our factually deficient narratives (e.g. Obama’s blame in cop killings, Hillary in 9/11, et. al.).
So, please, don’t turn Trump off. Don’t turn your neighbor off. Open up. Discuss. Become involved. Do the hard work of thinking through the complexities of a large, vibrant democracy such as ours. Recognize you could be wrong. Be okay with offering others a better way forward. Embrace differences and dive into discussions.
Being a responsible and informed citizenry is the only way forward.
John Bltyhe, Fishers