I want to believe that we have a good president. I really do.
The pain from seeing that monster in the American White House and the feeling of deep betrayal from those who voted for him is a stab wound that is far too infected and carrying emotional consequence for millions of us—yet last night we saw a rare bright tone on the dark and gloomy color spectrum we have come to expect from the unpredictable candidate and now new president.
The wounds are not only still fresh from the last election, but it seems that every single day Trump would poke it with a filthy stick just to see if we were still breathing—and those who gave him that power continue to stick by him, because he is part of their party and claims to worship their god. And last night’s speech certainly validated their love for him.
Donald Trump’s speech carried that great note about a fallen soldier which did three things:
- It put a veil over the criticism of his amateur handling of the situation which resulted in the first casualties under his wannabe-dictatorship.
- It gave a video clip to be played on a loop to those who worship the ground he walks on and take every presidential mouth fart as a sign that they were always right about the man who made redneck sexy again.
- It gave a soft touch on the sore skin of those who have been victims of Trump and his sect—finally seeing if but a small glimpse of an American president who sees beyond his homogeneous constituency and cares for feelings other than his own.
I, like many, have simply moved away from many relationships who have accepted hate and subjugation by fear and as an acceptable option of leadership, simply because such hate and fear is directed at other groups outside their circles which they don’t understand or accept: the heathen, sciency, multi-colored, city folks.
When I saw those tears on Ryan’s widow, I trembled within like most others who watched. My humanity rose to my skin because I too understand excruciating loss . . .
. . . and then the camera turned back to that orange symbol of division and I felt this odd sensation within. Like how I felt back in middle school when a bully pushed me down on the ground, but as soon as the professor walked back into the classroom picked me up and helped dust off my pants saying “careful there next time, big guy”—big o’ grin on his face when he saw the teacher noticed.
I want to. I want to stop feeling that fear in the immigrant community—Latino and Muslim—who are considering suicide and literally growing ulcers each day waiting for Trump to fulfill his promise. I want to stop being angry at the unmeasurable damage he did with every insult after insult after insult, celebrated by millions of Americans standing in front of him who never said “Stop!” I want to be able to laugh again with those whom I thought of as friends, who now laugh when they see another Trump tantrum on TV and think “it’s funny” and don’t take him seriously because their family is not the one crying. I want to feel that I’m talking to smart people again and not to those who have crossed off facts and praise the cult leader who waves off criticism with cliché phrases like “fake news.” I want to feel that my government is virtuous, that my leaders worry more about me than their team’s score, that I can trust them with my resources, and not fear their religious bias imposed on my freedom.
I celebrated and applauded compassion in that glimpse with the “etched into eternity” line—and then he announced he will keep track of immigrant’s crimes—and quickly back to loving America so much. Wait, what? Big orange grin on screen. Is this really a new president who reacted to protests at town halls with Republican elected officials around the country and is changing course? Is this a new leader who realized opposition is competition in size to his larger-than-life ego and had to show willingness to compromise? Is this a new man who found his heart in the midst of all the cancerous greed for power? Or this is a known reality TV sociopath who got a new speechwriter and was able to make it through a speech by sticking to the teleprompter?
How far down have we lowered the bar with him that we are willing to thank him for simply not hitting us as hard this time and then picked us up when the teacher was looking?
“Katniss, remember who the real enemy is,” said Finnick Odair at the end of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, reminding her that though they were trapped in the arena and all but one would to survive under the current predicament, they should not forget who was the one who actually put them in that hole—the president.
In America . . . we are divided my friends. We are fighting over fair issues, sprinkled with nationalism, and flooded with hate—because we respond to it and we all want to survive—even if we kill each other in the process or let the government do it for us. But who is really the one who put us here?
I don’t want to fear my government. I don’t want to fear white, U.S. born, traditional, rural, undereducated, Christian Americans. And I don’t want to call anyone “my enemy.” I am glad we could take a break and have a glimpse of hope—we need those from time to time. But I can’t erase years of thunderstorm because the clouds cracked for a minute.
Remember who Donald Trump really is. If he changes, let’s validate that change and guide him to a human and compassionate place. If he proves it to be another episode in his reality show gone Washington, than be thankful for the break of light in the eye of the storm, but brace yourselves like a brave voyager as we fight harder just to stay alive, to keep our sanity, and to save as much of America as Trump and his supporters will let us have.
This is a time for American heroes. Yes. Let’s keep on reaching for the stars.