I’ve been having adult moments as I realize many of my friends are Trump supporters. It has led me to some serious discussions with myself. Here is a guy who made hatred and intolerance as his campaign promise. How can seemly Steve, shindig Cheryl and tenderhearted Tari like this guy?
The first friends who came out as supporters did not surprise me. We used to laugh about how I couldn’t be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen if I don’t get myself knocked up. They’d offer to do the job themselves, and I’d give them the finger. Yet, there was always part of me that wondered when they’d go quiet as the chief’s gay dad stepped into the room. It didn’t surprise me, and since they declared support based on racism, sexism and bigotry, I dropped them as fast as I dropped my bangs after the ’80s.
It’s my Trump-supporting friends I’m only learning about now that really hurts. More thought has to go into Shakespeare’s famous question, “To friend or not to friend?”
These friends are not racist or bigots. Brother Trump was just talkin’ like a dude when he bragged about sexual assault (a dude in his sixties). He never mocked a disabled man, he made the same gestures to describe Ted Cruz (a man he admires bigly). Certainly, he didn’t mean that ALL Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers. He just meant…uh, what did they say on Fox News? I forgot what he really meant, but something else. He’s right when he says that terrorists from “over there” on that one continent…not sure which…are coming over here by the thousands. They want to do all sorts of bad things like shoot kids in schools and set fire to religious institutions.
These beliefs, along with the idea that he’s Making America Great Again, stems from ignorance. I’ve approached many Americans who believe that you are either a college educated wimp who never worked a day in your life, or you are a hard-working good ‘ole uneducated person with Christian values. You couldn’t have any combination of the above. It’s the working class against the elitists. In all fairness, I’ve known plenty of people who do fall into both categories. Many people I know are either both college educated AND very hard workers, or they were never educated AND completely lazy. Many others are educated and Christian or uneducated Satan worshipers. But I’ve found that announcing your college education does more harm than good in many businesses. I’ve often been given the advice to underplay education during my interviews, or it might hurt my chances for the job. Ignorance is power.
America’s long-standing push toward ignorance is what hired DT, and the benefit will be to the historians who are writing like mad. Yet, as I watch my poor country crumble like the retaining wall that was improperly built in my yard, there is room for bliss.
With knowledge of history and current events, I can see where we are going. Oh, it’s bad for sure. People have already been hurt. Rises like this are similar to ones that led to world wars and civil wars. There is no bliss in this, but there is comfort in knowing what may happen ahead of time. There is comfort in having the ability to prepare oneself for the changes and challenges. There is comfort in knowing that after Germany’s radical politics they became a more liberal nation, opening arms to refugees, providing free healthcare, leading in climate change alterations, and making rad beer and pretzels. Let us not forget that they got there at a terrible cost.
I’m not putting a silver lining on a cloud. I’m using science to predict the weather pattern so I know when to prepare for the flood. Because when this is all over, I’m hoping that we will determine that knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss.