There are, I’m sure, conservatives out there who don’t understand why we (liberals and progressives, etc.) make such a big deal out of Donald Trump. They had to “suffer” through Barack Obama’s eight years as President. So allow me to explain.
When we elected Barack Obama in 2018, I thought that maybe we were a different country now where a majority of us really were willing to elect a man because of the content of his character. When we re-elected Obama in 2012, I though may be something fundamental had changed in our country. So when we elected the Orange Conman in 2016, the unapologetic Obergropenführer, it was a body blow to me. It was worse much than realizing that even Massachusetts had voted for Reagan in 1980, even if by the slimmest of margins.
As I’ve said many times before, Trump wasn’t elected despite the fact that he’s an asshole. He was elected because he’s an asshole. Because his base thought (rightly so, it turns out) that he would smack us, the “liberal elite” in our collective faces. The self-proclaimed moral majority, it seems, was deeply offended by notions such as that they should stop being racist, that women should be paid the same as men, or that gays and lesbians should be free to marry.
They were incensed that their jobs were being exported to Mexico (notwithstanding that it was not us, the liberal “elite” that they so despise, but businessmen like Donald Trump sending their jobs to Mexico) or that immigrants were coming to take their jobs (notwithstanding that immigrants were mostly ending up on farms, in the backrooms of restaurants or in nursing homes, doing jobs that Americans didn’t want to do).
They hitched their wagon to Donald Trump’s chariot, but they may regret having done so in the future. Whatever moral authority they once had has been jettisoned at the alter of the Orange Conman. Consider:
- Their President is a pathological liar
- Their President is a malignant narcissist
- Their President believes that he knows more than anyone else, especially the experts
- Their President is literally divorced from reality (having once proclaimed himself the “least racist” person on the planet, for example)
- Their President is the Dunning-Kruger president, without the self-awareness or metacognition to know how little he knows
We’re about to hit some real economic turbulence, and we’ll see if “businessman” Trump, the great negotiator, has any ability at all to steer us through the storm.
Conservatives who think that Trump is ballast for eight years of Obama have it all wrong. Obama was ballast for eight years of George W. Bush. Those years were bad enough, but George W. was not a malignant or mean-spirited dunce. He was just an ordinary dunce.
John Pavlovitz, a “liberal” Christian pastor had it right when he wrote that he doesn’t grieve over the cruelty of Donald Trump, he grieves over the cruelty of Trump supporters.
There is so much healing that is going to need to take place once Trump is no longer in the White House, but that healing cannot begin until conservatives are willing to admit to what they’ve done. And what they’ve done is unlike anything they’ve done before, and it’s going to have consequences for a long time.