by Justin Robbins
There has been, and will undoubtedly continue to be much debate about how Americans…“real” Americans…should react to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The gambit seems to run from elation at the rise of a genuine man of the people, to despair and claims Trump’s presidency is not legitimate. My own struggle to coalesce my thoughts into an outlook whose gaze I could hold in the mirror, has been remedied by closely watching one man; Donald Trump.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a liberal. Today, more so than ever before, an independent liberal. So, I’m not talking about joining “the movement.” I’m talking about embracing the strategy employed, by my next president, to each new challenge he encounters; specifically, knee-jerk reactionism. Please note I am talking about embracing knee-jerk reactionism, not endorsing it. This may seem like a distinction without a difference but, in the age of Trump, what else is there?
If the last year has clarified anything for me, it is that conventional wisdom no longer has a significant role in our society. Trump’s ascension handed a victory to the alt-right and their ilk who have successfully, and now completely re-branded the concept of common decency as “political correctness”; something to be scorned. Ironically, he and they were assisted in this endeavor by those on the illiberal left shouting down speakers with whom they disagree, handing out trophies for participation, and clamoring for spaces at our universities “safe” from controversial ideas.
Social and mainstream media is now practically choked with breathless accounts of Trump’s latest “shocking” tweet, revealed hypocrisy, or celebrity battle; as if this one will end him. Most recently, a tangle with civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis brought suggestions Trump would regret his harsh tweets. Really? Has it honestly been your experience that Donald Trump regrets anything that puts his name in the headlines? This guy…?
I’m not yet sure how you fight this guy; save to say doing so is imperative. My only suggestion here, as we all navigate these new waters, is to part immediately with convention. Claiming the moral high ground and appealing to common decency will have no effect on the man in this gif; nor, for that matter, on his red hat brigadiers. These are people who demonstrate self-awareness by lining up behind a 10 year veteran of reality TV to decry celebrity voices in politics…you know; morons.
For my part, I have completed my share of hand wringing. Donald Trump won the electoral college vote, and will be my country’s president. But, it is still every bit my country; therefore, I will react.
Grounded in the same liberal principles which underlie the original American experiment, I will plant myself firmly in the face of any who would use this clown’s election as carte blanche to lash out at minorities, assault women, foment racism, or otherwise advance ignorance. It is not a time for good people to do nothing and if this pig’s chosen arena is the mud, I don’t mind getting dirty.