While Trump may not have created this mindset, he’s certainly allowed it to flourish and find a home in the mainstream in 2016.
I am not a lampshade.
Marisa Kabas
30236

Here I think you make a critical mistake in your thought process. Trump doesn’t have the power to do anything about and never has. Nor will he ever. He has no more power to do what you claim he failed to do than you or I.

It is almost amusing if it weren’t so expected. I think it may be a form of cognitive dissonance. We see stuff we didn’t think existed because it is truly a tiny minority and not in our daily orbits, and we search for reasons to explain why bad things still exist rather than accept they do and we didn’t know. So we blame others.

We blame anyone in the public eye we can label with “plausible culpability”, rather than accepting the uncomfortable reality that we are not all like ourselves. We label them as “not”s: not American, not liberal, not conservative, not human, not Democrat, or Not Republican. We blame someone or some group that has a lot of press that we don’t actually know and often who really had no control or power over the people or situations. Just as long as it isn’t us, isn’t our group, isn’t part of our group identity we have allowed to subsume our individual identity, we feel better. We trade one lie for another.

But we don’t do anything constructive about the uncomfortable reality that the world isn’t like us. It can’t be.

Consider this. What if Trump truly had the power you imply he had? What if he had the power as an individual human to actually suppress the thoughts of other people, to prevent people from saying stupid and ignorant things? We would see the world he wanted us to see, and we wouldn’t know it. Would that not be terrifying? Would he not then be truly the comic book villain, and we’d be left with no heroes to stop him?

Fortunately for us all, he doesn’t have the power you attribute to him — nobody does despite many trying or desperately wanting it. Sure, it is comfortable to think he does — in the same way any conspiracy nut is comfortable is his or her made up world of machinations of global magnitude with perfect secrecy. But it isn’t healthy.

We can’t control what others think, believe, or feel. Frankly from looking around I think we should have a collective and grateful sigh for that. Go ahead, you’ll feel better. After all there is a silver lining.

We can control ourselves. We can decide how to react to our experiences. We can decide to take the effort to form our own, independent identity so we don’t feel threatened when a group identity is shown to in-cohesive. We can realize that being offended is a choice; something we do to ourselves and blame others for. We can explore our own emotions and defuse the ones we find ineffective at carrying out our daily lives with peace and happiness.

We can stop blaming others for how we feel or what we think or expect and take direct personal responsibility for our own state of mind. It won’t be easy. It won’t be immediate. But is is possible and that alone makes it better than wishing others are the fault. And it is worth it.

You, the reader, can choose right now how much power and control over yourself you are willing to literally give to other people. You can choose to accept the cold, harsh reality that we are over 300 million Americans and are all different in ways others will like, love, hate, or not give a fig about. That we are some five or six billion people on this planet the same way. And that even if only 1% of humans are assholes, that is still millions of them. The odds are pretty high that someone you know is an asshole and you either don’t know or have blinded yourself to it because you like the person anyway. It might even be you. In fact, it is you. Because with such a wide variety of humans everyone is an asshole if some kind in someone else’s eyes.

Maybe once we accept we are all assholes, that we all do stupid shit, that we don’t speak perfectly all the time, maybe — just maybe — we can take the time to not get our collective undies in a wad each time someone is doing or saying things we don’t like and have genuine discussion, or at least stop blaming others for our feelings and for the world not fitting our imagined reality.