Love Trump’s Hate

Adding a simple apostrophe changes the grammatical structure of that slogan, turning a noun into a verb.

What does it mean to love?

For me, it means sit with something, to listen, to be patient, to hold.

“Love Trumps Hate” is a slogan that has been circulating the internet and picket signs since Tuesday night. It goes right alongside, “Not My President”, and “Abolish the Electoral College” which all have conflicting messages in my opinion.

Everyone I know around my age (mid-20’s) is either losing their mind, or willfully ignoring reality. Those upset are largely responding in anger. People are literally stringing up, burning, and beating pinatas that look like Donald Trump in the streets of Los Angeles.

That doesn’t seem like Love Trump’s Hate to me.

I understand feeling victimized by a system that is supposed to ensure our future well being.

I get it.

But in reality, a lot of us voted for Trump.

We vote every day. We vote with our dollars, sure. But more importantly, and I think my attachment to my instagram followers is a good example of this, we vote with our attention. We vote with reblogs, we vote with likes. We vote with memes.

We live in an attention economy. Whoever can appear on the most people’s screens wins.

And in this manner, we very enthusiastically carried Donald Trump to victory.

We said his name over and over and over again. We looked at pictures of him with silly words written on it. We made video parodies. We shared and shared and joked and joked. And then we didn’t vote.

My generation, the very people who are freaking out, did not vote.

Someone close to me admitted (very eloquently) how Trump getting elected affected them, “…for one, I have had to confront immense fear, emotional pain and deep sadness. I was in shock, up until the point of his election I was fairly certain the whole thing was rigged for Hillary and Trump was a fear tactic used to get more votes for her. I had pretty much checked out after Bernie losing the primaries, and I was just bewildered and confused when THAT GUY became president. With that said, Trump (and his hateful rhetoric) winning the election finally reveals the truth about the state of mind many Americans are in, which is perhaps preferable to the “national innocence” and deception of many white liberals…”

I want to take a moment to note that both Trump and Bernie supporter believed the same thing until the very end — that the election was rigged so that Hillary Clinton would win.

I hope we can now stop propagating conspiracy theories of this sort, and take responsibility for ourselves.

In this recognition, that the results are real, and indicative of a larger truth, we have a choice.

I see many riots, but I also see those who are afraid of the hatred spewing from both sides (as we live in a situation that leads us to believe there are only two sides).

My fear is that the indigence and anger will soon give way to the denial and distraction we lived in before Trump was elected president.

In this critical moment, failure to be introspective will have dire consequences.

He is our president. We made this mess. We gave him power by reveling in his character, by allowing him to entertain and entrance us.

So, I ask myself: How did I contribute to Donald Trump becoming president?

How do I want to change?

We now live in an age where nothing can be apolitical. I’m not talking about right versus left. I’m not encouraging every action to be red or blue. For the love of humanity, anything but that.

What I mean is, every action speaks to your involvement, your understanding of, and your sensitivity to the world around you.

I’ve spent the last week unfollowing people on Instagram who are posting anything that isn’t somehow related to the election.

I won’t allow myself, or those around me, to get sucked back into our old way of life.

To distract each other to death with content lacking in substance is to let hatred win.

It is in the dark caverns of forgetfulness that hatred brews — that is the lesson we all woke up to one week ago. I am not willing to so quickly forget, to give my attention to things that simply cannot matter in a #PostTrumpWorld.

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