“Trump Can’t Ruin Everything”
There are two Lindas that are roaming around these days, one trying to find how she can support the incoming president as it’s her “duty” as an American, (but with enough vigilance to not lean into complacency or intimidation by the right wing), and the other Linda that wishes to raise hell and hashtag everything with #NotMyPresident. Jon Stewart, our favorite liberal muckraker hero and former Daily Show host, was recently quoted as stating that “Trump can’t ruin everything.” That, of course, implies he’s going to ruin something.
Can that be said of any incoming president? Sure, I’ll say that much. We tend to place some high-ranking politicians on pedestals wrongly assuming that they are not prone to certain inherent human traits, as if they are any different from the rest of humanity just because they serve (us)in the government. But Trump changes everything because he clearly is a narcissist. He is chaos. He is not a politician and does not have any of the required diplomatic traits of a politician. His supporters see this as an advantage, that it makes him a straight-shooter that will shake up the status quo in Washington, D.C, but others see this as dangerous. It is not without merit to state that Trump hypothetically could inflict pervasive damage upon our democracy. There are also checks and balances in place to ensure that an narcissistic, authoritarian snake oil salesmen can’t take over our country and reign as he wishes. Right?
(Hopefully. America is not immune to authoritarianism.)
There is something disgusting about Donald Trump, something within him that makes my skin crawl when he appears on my computer or TV screen. When I hear his voice on the radio, I squirm in my seat. My intuition is excellent at spotting a perpetrator, someone who is manipulative and seeking only to take advantage of others in order to increase their power, and said intuition is ringing bells and alarms in my mind warning me of impending danger. I don’t think that America is going to self-destruct as a nation, but our culture is going to suffer during the next four years due to our divisiveness.
So that brings me back to the concerned Linda on one shoulder, the one that wants to help end divisiveness. She wants peace and quiet, to finish out her college stint and make it to the other side with her Master’s degree all in one piece. She wants to understand the right wing and how she can bridge the gap between “us vs. them” and find empathy for their plight. She knows that there are people out there that are not part of the alt-right or typical Republican base that voted for Trump because of their faltering financial and social status.
And then there is that other Linda who cannot fathom how any American could vote such an opportunistic scumbag into office just because they feel ignored or overlooked. Bringing Trump into power is one of the LAST things I would do if I felt I was part of an under-served population (which I am as a a woman and an Asian-American) because he has historically only done what he has deemed to benefit his bottom line, to increase his personal wealth. His post-victory rallies are evidence of his narcissism, his constant need for attention and power. His flip flops on policy are also evidence of his opportunistic and manipulative nature. My intuition tells me that Trump truly has no compassion for others; he only rates individuals by how they can serve and benefit him. And if he shows signs of compassion, it is only to boost his public profile and to gain support. Trust me when I tell you that Trump has no interest in the average American. His presidency is all about Trump. He’s trying to make himself great again, not America, as our country is great. Trump is just a collection of kitschy reality TV shows & pageants to distract and entertain, and a series of vomit-inducing one-liners & adverbs, like an annoying car salesman trying to convince you to buy all those add-ons — that extra “warranty.” He’s pushy, odious, and feeble-minded. If an individual has to tack on a large quantity of adjectives and adverbs to fill space in their speech, they are either hiding ulterior motives or a lack of education, or a combination of both. My intuition says to not trust Trump, to be ready to push back at every ounce of intolerance he shows. As an INFJ, my intuition is spot-on most of the time. For now I have to go with the Linda that cannot get on board with supporting Trump, to call him out for the racism he has intentionally allowed to germinate in order to gain votes. He’s distracting us with his mindless self-serving tweets, his childish fits of imagined discrimination when we question his viability as a candidate. (And as a human being.) His is the ultimate perpetrator, that scum of the earth manipulative charlatan thief ready to pick the emotional pockets of America, to sway us with his adverbs and adjectives, his paltry Trump-speak.
But I never bought any of it and never will. I can still be patriotic and support my country while ensuring that my president does not impede upon the rights of all Americans, regardless of gender, sexuality, income, religion, or social status. Trump embodies all that I loathe about America, its aggressive, competitive dark side that devours the common man while patting him on the back and telling him to strap on his big-boy boots and pull himself out of his common-man mediocrity. Trump distracts and sways with this reality TV show demeanor while he determines who will be the next casualty. It’s whoever cannot serve him best, boost his ego, or make him richer.
No, I will never respect Donald Trump even if he is POTUS. He may not ruin everything, as Stewart posits, but he’s already added to the ruins of our common decency and civility. He and his alt-right Frankenstein, Bannon, may keep our representative democracy at a functioning level, but he will continue to capitalize off America’s divisiveness. The more we fight, the more he salivates. He has exploited our weakness and we continue to expose our underbellies. There’s a balance of resistance and bridging the partisan gap that we need to seek out. That is Trump’s weakness.