If you are anything like me, you are trolling the daily news for the latest “terrible” thing that Donald Trump has articulated or done. And while each simplistic, unconstitutional or bigoted thing he says makes me angrier, it also gives me greater hope that yet another group of voters will finally be persuaded to vote against him. Better yet, I hope that others will feel inspired to rally others against him as well. And that makes me happy.
Or does it? When I take this attitude and jump on every big or little thing he says or does, and when I read that others are jumping on the anti-Trump bandwagon as well, I also have to admit that there is a big part of me that is disgusted as much with myself as with him. Oh, yes, and I have to admit that I am also disgusted by the media which I am supporting by reading this stuff.
It’s not that I have failed to see that Trump is a thin-skinned egomaniac who will say anything for power. It’s that we are colluding with one another, congratulating ourselves on our obvious superiority, in essence doing the same thing Trump is: uniting against an enemy and doing everything we can to put him down, denying his humanity and making him look stupid, ignorant and like a first-class bully, which he often is. And worse, we are willing to be corrupt, deceptive and self-serving in the process.
How Are WE Being Like Trump?
Trump will do and say anything for his own purposes, and I’m seeing the same in us. Let me delineate just a few of the ways we are doing this. First, it doesn’t matter what he actually means. What matters is how extreme an interpretation we can give to what he says so that we can rail against him. Do you need any examples? He’s interrupted by a crying baby, which would be annoying as hell to anybody, and he tries to deal with it in his own Trump-like way, and the headline screams that Trump throws out baby. That is just one of dozens of examples of the way we jump all over him and exaggerate. And this is what he does to others.
Second, we try to use humiliation as a tool to fight him. Ooh, that is in the same family as name-calling, which is his trademark. For example, he often fumbles around in his articulation. He will misspeak, misquote and misinform. Some of it is deliberate exaggeration on his part to stir up the worst in us. But other times, he seems truly flustered. Oh my God! Do we have a field day with that one! But while we are gloating that he has put his foot in his mouth again, we are not actually addressing the contents of his positions. And worse, we are not examining the contents of our own positions and policies, if we have any! And that’s hypocrisy.
Third, he acts incredulous as a way of putting other people down. Well, we act like we cannot even comprehend how insane his policies are. For example, he is attempting to confront the growing terrorist threat by first barring Muslims and now by barring people from certain countries. While I totally understand that this kind of approach is inherently discriminatory toward people who are totally innocent, I also understand his logic. He’s saying if you don’t know how to separate the “good” eggs from the “bad,” don’t eat eggs. Of course he is naïve and simplistic. He doesn’t seem to understand the implications of such policies, not the least of which is that isolating people instead of embracing them is the surest way to radicalize them. And he seems to not realize that those who are bent on anyone’s destruction will scale walls and cross oceans to “get” them. And so his policies are not going to work. But let’s get off our high horse and stop pretending that we don’t understand why his followers are drawn to what seems like a simple and common sense solution, and let’s admit that “we,” the sophisticated enlightened ones have not yet found solutions either, especially because “we” tend to be ignorant and racist as well and are struggling to comprehend and address all the violence in our world, not just religious terrorism. And we superior ones often don’t have much of a clue as how to address the violence in our world, and we are scared to acknowledge how violent our world is, including ourselves.
Can We Be More Hypocritical?
And then we jump all over his disloyalty to the “decent” guys in his party, for example when we get up in arms when Trump didn’t want to support Paul Ryan. Wow, how great a gift was that to all of us who want him to be brought down, along with the Republican Party. A fracture in the Republicans, the enemy camp. Bad old Donald Trump is beating up on the intellectual and sophisticated Paul Ryan, who IS in fact proposing and backing policies that would increasingly disempower the poor and the working class. And we’re using the reluctance of his endorsement to prove that he is a self-centered jerk bound to self-destruct.
And I could go on. We laugh when Khizr Khan challenges Trump about whether or not he has read the constitution. Have we? We get indignant when he puts down men and women in uniform who don’t agree with him, yet haven’t we? Have we always agreed with the sometimes hawkish or right-wing positions of some of our military? Or have we resolved the sexism and addiction in our military? We are up in “arms” that until just now Trump had not endorsed the heroic John McCain. John McCain? Does anyone remember his electoral battle with Obama? Does anyone recall that John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate? Sarah Palin, who was the original pre-Trump?
Friends, do not misunderstand me. I am frightened not only by Trump but by his unconscionable willingness to exploit everyone’s frustrations and upsets and turn us against one another. And I am doing what I can to defeat him. But we should not pretend that our government is or ever has been totally pro-working class. And let’s not swallow our own anger toward establishment politicians and our frustration with many actions of President Obama – from his support of TPP to his intensified deportations of undocumented immigrants. Let’s not relegate self-honesty to a few unguarded moments with our friends. Let’s not eviscerate our honesty as a way of bonding against Trump. And let’s not act as though anguished racially prejudiced white men are simply monsters. We are missing the point.
Let’s Disempower Trump by Refusing to Be Like Him!
Donald Trump is turning many of our people into a lynch mob, and probably most people who joined lynch mobs would never have taken those horrendous actions on their own. Those who helped create those mobs have blood on their hands. Donald Trump is one such person. He is exploiting everyone’s fear and insecurity and building the power of the lynch mob. Of course we need to stop him and stop it! But when we start lynching Donald Trump, he has succeeded in making us all into a lynch mob. And I don’t think we want that.
Beth Green is founder of TheInnerRevolution.Org, host of Inner Revolutionary Radio on VoiceAmerica.com and creator of Beth Green TV & Radio on YouTube. You can download a free version of Beth’s book Living with Reality atwww.theinnerrevolution.org. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we’re building an online community of people who are fighting for a revolution toward Oneness, Accountability and Mutual Support.