What is there left to be said? The news media has flooded us with reasons, analyses and sometimes excuses as to why Donald John Trump is now our President-elect. Even after having had a whole week to process this recent development I still don’t know what or how to feel. People around me keep pressuring me to decide and make up my mind as to whether I support or spurn the Assumption of Trump into the presidency. More than anything, I’m confused.
Who is Trump? Trump is a straight shooter that tells it like it is. But what exactly is “it”? Here is a man that is unpredictable, unpracticed in holding office and unapologetic, saying the first thing that crosses his mind, unperturbed by the idea that he’s riling up dangerous people. He uses lies to conceal his shame. He uses them to trick those of us that are more impressionable.
The truth is that we expect our presidents to take care of us. We pose them as role models and do as they say. I understand that the white working class (WWC) is upset because a large number of them don’t have jobs and I would be too if I didn’t have the means to feed and provide shelter for my family. It’s easy to blame the President, the Mexicans, gays, liberals and anything that is unknown. That which is unknown is scary. With Trump, we’re left in the dark and that darkness scares us. The rancor running through the hearts of liberals protesting the streets of LA, Chicago and New York is also fear rooted in the unknown. That’s is why it’s easy for liberals to blame the uneducated WWC reciprocally.
Trump’s presence in office is most likely a backlash to Obama’s relentless pressure on the Republican Party to pass liberal measures. The Good Old Party—in their desperation—procured a man that they did not fully support or understand like in “The Dark Knight”. On the topic of graphic novels, let’s think on what makes the world of the “Walking Dead” created by Robert Kirkman such a hostile and inhospitable place. It’s not the zombies, it’s the people. The zombies represent the things in life that can’t be changed and must somehow be dealt with before they get out of hand. We are the real Walking Dead. Trump’s devotees are gearing for the best case scenario–job security and the end to poverty–and his detractors for the worst–the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Both projections are grotesquely disproportionate, both in their hope and hopelessness.
The unemployment in the US, mainly within the WWC, has to do more with progress than policy. Americans are slowly becoming a country of city dwellers, leaving the farmlands behind. A sort of second Dust Bowl. So many people from the Midwest have made their way to LA—either for work or school—that it has now become a common saying that “No one in LA is from LA.” Neither Obama nor Trump nor the second coming of Christ himself can stop this worldwide trend. Companies–including Trump’s—export their labor to other countries and purchase raw materials from abroad to lessen their expenditures. The jobs that are still within American borders usually go to disenfranchised minorities due to the denigrating nature of the work.
The reality is that unless you are part of the elite, the 2%, consider yourself disenfranchised. Nobody cares about what you need. Not the corporations harvesting the sweat of your brow and not the ones reaping your hard earned money. Not your government—local, state or federal—who garners your wages in the form of taxes and especially not the President, the busiest person in the world.
The WWC is merely experiencing what other minorities have for the past century, in particular, the BBC (Broke Black Community): Disenfranchisement! They are facing neglect from the government they placed upon their trust, hopes and dreams. The country they pledge allegiance to while singing along to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” They are experiencing the “ghettoization” of their good Christian families and homes, where the men are unemployed and addicted to drugs, the women are birthing children as if trying to repopulate the Earth and the children are dropping out of school. Everyone has the irrational fear of the defenseless brown people who are in an even worse situation, fleeing war-torn violent countries.
People are worried that society will change now that a demagogue is our President. Whether it will or not remains to be seen. However, we have to remember one thing, societies are made up of individual people, so as long as we remain civil towards each other, it won’t matter who is in the executive office. Nazi Germany happened because regular German people of that time—whether out of fear or free will—bought into the whole idea of violence, bigotry and the systematic extermination of human beings. Trump becoming our President didn’t just happen like turning water to wine, the American people elected him to office. Willingly. Hitler was charismatic and appealed to a disenfranchised white working class. So did Trump. Der Führer fed lies to his constituents to foment their fear of minorities. So did Trump. The country of the United States of America is ours if we choose to take charge of it. A government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish. Unless we let it.
To those that are protesting the streets, with their hearts broken and their veins raging with indignity, I say, save your dissent and civil disobedience for a time when it will really matter and make a difference. Trump won the election fair and square. If we are to remain the democracy we want to be, we need to quietly accept that fact. Take as much time as you need to grieve. Take all four years, but do respect the laws of our country. The continuance of your disgruntlement will have an averse effect that will be twofold. First, you will be acting like the Trump supporters that said that they would revolt in the streets with gun in hand if Hillary won. Second, if the time comes in which Trump does indeed attempt to reverse Rowe v. Wade, your cries will be viewed merely as those of complainers who complain about everything. You will be like the boy who cried wolf.
Trump became President, it’s not the end of the world; at least not yet. The sun will continue to rise in the morning and set in the evening because it always has. The Beatles’ music will continue to have its clean harmonies because it always has. People will continue to be racist, sexist and violent. Men will continue to accost women and women will continue to fight for their rights because they always have.
Trump is just another President that will either be forgotten or be remembered for all the great he did or the mess he left the country in. If he actually does half the things that he has promised (all racism and sexism aside)—employ the unemployed WWC, rid the world of Al Qaeda and ISIS, improve the national economy—then by the end of his term, he would have been a pretty good President. But that remains to be seen.
Jamaican singer Mozez sings in “Morning Song” by Zero 7, “If today is all we see, then tomorrow seems to me is just an illusion we believe.” Tomorrow will be beautiful if we believe that it will. If we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Tomorrow will be beautiful.
Bilicko, C. (2017). Inauguration Day [Painting]. Acrylic on canvas, Long Beach, CA.