I’m currently holed up like a bandito in a cheap motel on the border. The walls are thin and I can hear everything that my neighbors are up to. And I do mean everything. But, it offers a place of refuge to get some writing done today before my next outing and interview.
I want to pick up where I left off on a post from earlier in the week. I intentionally left it open ended as much for me as for my readers. The question on the table is the question I was asked by a Trump supporter. Why were the protesters there that day so angry? It’s a valid question, and one I’ve heard before. That said, I could write a parallel post about why Trump supporters are angry so let’s not get ahead of ourselves in case you wonder why I’m not addressing them. Go read Hillbilly Elegy if you want to get a place to start and we can talk about it later.
Also, a caveat. Don’t try to lump me into some liberal media/snowflake/libtard/insult of the day category. I don’t fit and if you try to knock me in there I’m going to punch back harder than you’ll enjoy. My two favorite U.S. Presidents are Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, and personally, I think if Roosevelt was alive today he would have already thrown 45 through the window of the Oval Office as a matter of public service and national security. And as a personal note, I’d think he’d be right to do so. Which brings me back to anger.
There are so many places to start this. There are so many stories that can serve as an example. If I’m being bluntly honest, I can’t speak to the anger of others, only myself. You’ve undoubtably seen Trump as a candidate and as POTUS mock his opposition. You have witnessed him belittle people. You have heard him say things that no other U.S. President has ever said publicly. We have all watched him lie. We have all read the 3 a.m. tweets. We have all had the moment where we couldn’t believe those words just came out of his mouth. There’s no need to go back over it.
There’s no need to go over it because that’s who he has always been. A man who, above all else, craves attention, wealth and power for himself. There was never a point he was charitable. There was never a point that he was kind. There was never a point that he wasn’t rude. There was never a point that he did an honest day’s work. There was never a point that he didn’t show disdain for the rule of law. And there was never a point that he wouldn’t sell out anyone close to him in order to move himself forward. There has never been a point that he conducted his life with anything resembling integrity.
But, we all knew this going in. This is who he is. He is not, nor has ever been a conservative or a good man.
And yet you elected him. You knew who he was and you still elected him. But beyond that. You love him for it.
If you want to know where my anger comes from, it’s not Donald J. Trump. It’s you.
I am angry because when you see him insult people. You cheer.
I am angry because when you see him mock the grief of someone in pain. You laugh.
I am angry because when you see him lie. You embrace the lie.
I am angry because when you see him blame the marginalized for you problems, you attack the marginalized.
I am angry because you ignore well researched investigations and call it fake news.
I am angry because of the propaganda machines that feed your impulses.
I am angry because I watch church leaders, who have for decades preached personal purity, embrace him as their savior.
I am angry because the ideals that he represents are spreading through this country like a plague.
I am angry because when he called journalists enemy of the people, some of you found journalists to hurt and kill.
I am angry because now I feel the need to warn my students that being a journalist may cost them their life.
I am angry because I have watched institutions intentionally wrecked in order to hurt innocent people and make rich corporations richer.
I am angry because television news has been replaced with reality TV.
I am angry because I see elected officials let it all happen because they don’t want to upset their donors.
I am angry because when someone mentions helping refugees you line up to scream about helping the veterans and the homeless first.
I am angry because I don’t see any of those same people doing anything to help the veterans and the homeless.
I am angry because you blame the victims and don’t stop to ask yourself what’s actually the source of these problems.
I am angry because the Jesus you say you worship was a child refugee and as an adult preached a gospel that was against all of this.
But, yet you cheer. You laugh. You celebrate. You mock our pain while waving an American flag.
And then you ask me, “Why are you so angry?”