Image credit: publicdomainpictures.net
It is truly a frightening moment in the history of North America, and quite possibly the world. Donald Trump’s inauguration is today, and I refuse to watch it or partake in it. Not only because I do not support Trump, but also because I do not support the rampant, reactionary hostility that surrounds his presidency from both his supporters and those who oppose him.
I will agree, Trump is the least qualified person to ever run for president. His bully-mentality and fear-mongering tactics have caused a massive divide among citizens large enough to fit an entire continent in. But given the election results, like it or not, we have to give him a chance to lead. I’m skeptical at whether or not he will actually follow through on his supposed promises. And who knows, maybe he will actually surprise us all and be somewhat of a decent leader? But it’s not looking promising right now.
Regardless of who our political leaders are, if we are relying on them for the betterment of society we are in for a major disappointment. Politicians are equally as selfish as everyone else and are largely in it for themselves. They will lie, manipulate, cheat, swindle, hustle, and try to cover their trails in order to gain approval from voters in a similar way people try to score ‘likes’ on social media. Just like every other fallen human being, everybody wants personal validation because everybody would rather love themselves first before their fellow neighbours.
In the aftermath, we are faced with not one, but two threats. One being a loose cannon of a national leader that could change the face of the earth with a mere slip of the tongue. The other being those among us who oppose him and his supporters in a hostile manner. Those who identify under minority groups are under threat of prejudice and persecution from the far right because of irrational fear. And those of the religious right, who desperately wanted to vote for Hillary if it weren’t for her stance on unborn human rights, are also under threat of prejudice and persecution for merely feeling compelled to vote for what seemed to be the lesser evil in their view.
Yet I continue to be perpetually amazed certain folks can’t wrap their minds around the fact that disagreement does not equal hatred, or even hating some factor of someone. Can there be a civilized conversation without people reacting to the point of bullying, name-calling, character assassination or inflicting violence on one another? It frustrates me to the point of insanity, and it flows directly from the fact that society has embraced a philosophy of relativistic, subjective postmodernism. People are so offended by truth because they would rather live in their own little worlds where they get to decide what is true for themselves. My hope is one day we will return to having the ability to debate vigorously and still end the discussion with an honest handshake, followed by chatting about Star Wars and heavy metal over a few beers.
While the far right tends to play on the fears of many, what also bothers me is the fact that the left has been frequently resorting to ad-hominem attacks towards Trump regarding his intelligence, body type, race and appearance when they claim to strongly oppose discrimination and body-shaming themselves. The hypocritical extremism I see coming from the far left is equally as terrifying as the hostility I’ve seen coming from the far right, if not worse. In the wake of a Trump regime, should we have to brace ourselves for a nation-wide revolt? Who are we protecting ourselves from – our president, or our disgruntled fellow citizens?
It’s not so much Trump I’m worried about. It’s everyone else.
Seeing this division in our society only confirms to me that human nature is wrestling with powers and principalities that are beyond our comprehension. So if we want to change our social-political environment, rather than relying on leaders we need to take it upon ourselves. We can do what is good and right by acknowledging the existence of the negative, yet focusing on the positive and staying on course. If we focus on the needs and well-being of our fellow neighbours while putting ourselves second (or last if we have to), we can make this already great nation even greater.
But then again, politics is not my strongest subject, so what do I know? I’m a privileged Caucasian, heterosexual male who writes about Christian apologetics relating to my personal experiences. To the secular left, I belong in a basket of deplorables. To the religious right, I might as well be worshiping Lucifer. A guy just can’t win, and if my predictions about where things are heading are correct, nobody will win. Not the conservatives nor the liberals. Not the whites, the blacks, the hispanics, the Jews, the LGBTQ or other marginalized groups. Nobody!
We must not let Trump’s toxicity infuse our social and political culture. We owe it to the next generations to come. His rhetoric is bringing out the worst in everyone and the darkness will only become darker if we choose to continue allowing ourselves to be manipulated by reactionary sensationalism which includes Trump, the press or the celebrities who use their elitist status to push their agendas.
There, I said it!
People hate Trump, and I’ve also been guilty as charged. If we claim to love everyone equally and yet hate Trump, we are contradicting the very thing we claim we stand for. We can disagree with him or oppose him. But if we do not learn to love Trump as a valuable human being, that same hatred will spill over to those who politically identify as conservative in the same manner people hated the Germans because of what Adolf Hilter had done. It’s already beginning to happen, and will continue to do so if we don’t take a stand soon.
It’s not easy to love those we strongly disagree with, especially those who want to inflict harm on others.
It comes without saying this article is in no way an endorsement of Hitler or Trump’s actions. This is a call to renounce hatred for all types of people, including Trump himself. The future of our society and our humanity depends on it.