Call him what he is: President Trump
“Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
— Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
I get it. I don’t want to say it, either. President Trump. Preeeeesident Trump. President TRUMP. It isn’t pretty. Then again, neither are we right now.
For most of 2016, half the U.S. population didn’t take Donald Trump seriously as a candidate. He was a punchline, a threat to progress that, when push finally came to shove, couldn’t possibly be endorsed by half the population, an April Fool’s joke waiting to happen … right? Right?
When every day he was dead serious about his intentions to follow through on this election, we didn’t take him seriously. We kept the joke going. And we only fooled ourselves.
That title carries with it an enormous weight of responsibility, checks and balances, accountability, pressure and expectations. It puts its bearer under a microscope watched by supporters, critics, world leaders, terrorists, human-rights organizations, children, politicians and everyone in between. It makes him a serious, credible voice in our country and the world, our policies, our rights, our justice system and our future.
Continuing to call him “Trump” and “the Donald” trivializes that responsibility. It continues to make him a joke. And make no mistake: This is not a joke. This presidency is now very real and has the potential to cause very far-reaching and permanent damage.
President-elect Trump was chosen on a platform that stands against more than half of our voting population, against basic human rights, compassion, acceptance, diversity, progress, acceptance and kindness. The person who campaigned on hate, bigotry and immaturity is not my president. But he is about to be our president. I don’t say his title with reverence or pride, I say it with accountability and expectation.
He was elected through a system that, although flawed and in need of a drastic overhaul, is how our nation chooses its leadership. Changing the Electoral College is a good place to start fighting back, but there are plenty of other ways to take a stand right now. Join the ACLU, organize a group where you live, march on Washington, write to your representatives, vote down ballot in local elections so it’s your community that grows the next great leader. But the first step is holding President Trump accountable to the title he is about to hold.
I know half of you don’t want to say it. But saying it takes its power away. It gives us the power to hold his presidential feet to the fire.