The Trump Divide Widens
One could argue that without Donald John Trump’s candidacy and presidency, we would have sailed along without committing to any particular position along the “left-right scale.” When I first joined social media, I listed myself on Facebook as a “radical Democrat.” When one of my posts was later rebuked by a right-wing hooey, I had a change of mind. The goofball stated that I had no credibility because of my political declaration. Perhaps I was being a weakling, but I deleted my political listing that very day. I would like people to hear me without prejudging according to my tongue-in-cheek quip from the past. In fact, because of Trump I’ve become more radical, not less. It’s all his fault!
The people who have joined the “cult,” as Michael Cohen calls it, possess neither the mood nor the mentality for a thoughtful discussion about why four more years of the orange pumpkin would be bad. See, I did it! I “disrespected” the man by calling him a name, because that is what he’s done to us, to me. I can argue intellectually to delineate the difference between a barb and a substantial act that might harm more that help people. On the other hand, most Trumpettes do not have the capacity or desire to take on facts that are against their preconceived notions. It’s such an ordeal to point out that those very predetermined opinions are incorrect. Trump is not a good guy.
I used to describe political polarity using the image of a giant circle, with 12 o’clock being at the top middle. As you move to the right, or to the left, you traverse the circle until the most radical forms of right and left meet at the bottom, near 6 o’clock. Think about it. Those in the ANTIFA movement are right next to the far-right Neo-Nazi and aggressive militias. Both are into violence and carry weapons they aren’t afraid to use. When local police departments endorse, support or look the other way with the far-right crazies, they are tilting justice toward that political segment. Where should the police department be on the political scale? I hope they would be in the middle, near 12 o’clock, but many aren’t.
The “Blue Lives Matter” campaign is not a cry for help. It’s a general defense of the institution of law enforcement. I get that, but call me a patriotic moderate when I ask why Blue Lives Matter proponents desecrate the US flag to underline their position? In the 1960s, it was an offense to create peace flags by changing the American flag. Why is it okay now? Aside from the fact that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia claimed that burning the US flag was supported under our First Amendment rights, it bothers me when people change the flag. LGBTQ banners did so, and the day has passed when our flag colors were sacred.
At a demonstration in Tampa, Florida over the weekend, the rallying cry of the activists said America needs to be saved from the “destruction and division” being promoted by the left wing. They claim that the far-left is intolerant. Not only is that oxymoronic, it’s a childish reverse response, “No, you’re the idiot.” Unbelievably, the President of the United States has taken the liberty of telling millions of us which other Americans we are supposed to hate. Why? Because he believes that pushing radical people further into their political leanings will somehow help him. Sorry, but I don’t see how that helps at all.
Let me say this as clearly as possible. I would rather not have visceral, emotional reactions to the things Donald Trump says. I would like to see him go away after we elect a true moderate to the presidency, moving us toward healing without the daily desperation and heat blasted forth from the current administration. Trump’s deceitful tweets and proclamations zap energy from all of us, be we left, center or right. We all must decry his ridiculous claims and point out the hypocrisies, otherwise our silence justifies his insanity. Donald Trump is like the drunken uncle who keeps grabbing the young girls at family dinners. We can say he’s losing his mind, or laugh at him for being himself, but in the end he’s just a dirty old man, not President of the United States.
Sure, I tend to lean toward social programs that help people and keep the peace. The intrinsic inner core of my being is based on the Christian principles that we should love our neighbor and help those souls in trouble. Wow, I guess I am a faith-based “radical Democrat.” How can that be? Well, because it’s who I am. Who are you? People on the far-right have a kind of baked-in racism which manifests as a denigration of “lesser beings.” They honestly believe the old “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” to fix your problems, and don’t forget to add the demand, “don’t expect me to pay for it!”
I wrote a book titled “If God Could Talk.” God is a character in the book and, spoiler alert, he speaks. While doing so, he points out some fallacies of the Holy Bible. He’s quite a pro-life deity, and why wouldn’t he be? You can read the book, but I’m always curious about why the far-right and evangelicals are so hell bent on getting rid of Roe Vs. Wade when they have absolutely no desire to pay for the care and education of all those unwanted babies. Sure, adoption is an option, but that will never offset the large population bubble without a pro-choice law left intact.
Now we face a significant national debate about putting far-right conservative judges on the Supreme Court. Why are judges right or left? Why would it matter if there are three or eleven judges on the high court? Shouldn’t a judge simply read the complaint, apply the law and write a well-researched, deeply considered opinion? They know their words will be read for hundreds of years after, and they certainly don’t want to embarrass themselves and the court. The fact that any judge is known for their political leanings taints the court, lowers the faith in justice and gives the President of the United States too much credit. I am not suggesting that we all get a vote, that’s how we got Trump, but there must be a more pure, better way.
If I think your ideas are stupid, I am not necessarily against you. If I concentrate on your opinions, with a fair and balanced perspective, I can still like you while thinking your conclusions are shit. Should your beliefs be harmful to others, I won’t like you — the person. I don’t like David Duke, the KKK guy, because he believes white people are superior to Black people. I won’t shed a single tear when he goes “Bye Bye, in the Car Car.” When someone on the right goes too far, they are dangerous. When someone on the left goes too far, they are dangerous. A person can never be “too moderate.” Think about it. We need moderates right now, not people like Donald Trump, William Barr, Tom Cotton and Ted Cruise. They can all go pleasure themselves while reading QAnon posts. And God forbid any of “those people” ever get appointed to the Supreme Court.
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