I have started many post election missives. And I write and I get worked up and angry and that is not the place I want to come from and I don't finish them. I'm really going to try to finish in the spirit that it is intended today. But that spirit is being lost as events and facts continue to unfold and it's even more disheartening. What is going on is not about politics as usual whatsoever.
I see and hear the frustration on all sides. The frustration that led unemployed workers in Erie, PA to vote for Trump out of desperation even though they wished he would stop talking a certain way. Coal miners need jobs yet they are benefiting from ACA and don't think he will really dismantle it. (How does one choose which thing to believe of what he says? ) I understand those who want change and there was too much progress to handle. Two months ago, I was stunned but understood those reasons why he was elected. But now, it's a different story. There is Russian involvement and that unfolds each day, and Comey and FBI interference.
There is also no transparency of any sort with the businesses that PEOTUS and his family hold, just his word is given to us. And Kellyanne Conway says not to listen to his words but know his heart. The heart who degrades anybody who disagrees with him, openly mocked a disabled reporter and grabs pussy because he can.
In the words of the Kentwood native, Oops, I did it again, I started going off. Deep breath. Each time I write it boils down to this, the most important occurrence from Nov 8th was...
Do I have to list the reasons why? If you are reading this, then not likely.
The list is long and there are new reasons each and every day.
Does he really care about Americans? Or did he just want to WIN! Did he want retaliation from Obama humiliating him at the 2011 White House Correspondence dinner? The lesson that his father taught him was all about winning and not being a loser.
This notion of winning really goes deep with a painful tragedy within his family. His father, Fred, Sr. and Donald repeatedly told his brother, Fred Jr, who was eight years older than Donald, that he was a loser because he did not have that killer instinct for the family business. Fred wanted to be a pilot, and he did become a pilot but was a real disappointment to those two men. Fred Jr. drank himself to death by the age of 43. I'm sure that instilled in Donald even further to be a winner, or what he designates as a winner. He is still seeking approval from his deceased father and from all of us around him. That is his low self worth on display. (It takes one to know one, I spot it because I got it!)
This next fact, explained so much of Trump's behavior to me and in particular, behavior that is so intolerable to me. Roy Cohn, the deceased mob and McCarthy era lawyer, taught him to lie and keep repeating lies until people think it's the truth. Even today when there is audio or video footage to the contrary, this seems to make no difference at all. Student Trump did finally learn a lesson and he learned it really well. Truth and facts do not matter. Double down.
He has not stepped up into being more Presidential as I meagerly hoped, that is not who he is. He has tweeted in retaliation throughout the transition, the business elite have been appointed for cabinet positions some of whom don't even know the job they are being assigned or are terribly unqualified, and there is no untangling himself from his businesses. The potential for conflict of interest is huge. The first Trump White House Press Briefing by Sean Spicer included an infomercial for his DC hotel.
He has historically low poll numbers of any President before he is sworn in at 40%.
I am not alone in thinking this man is not ready for the job.
But he was elected and with unprecedented foreign involvement. Yet, there is a peaceful transition of power. And then what will happen next?
I read an article in Psychology Today by Karl Albrecht, PhD that described who Trump will be as a President. It fits with everything that I've read and watched of who he is. There won't be meetings or information shared by those with knowledgable of the given area because he doesn't have the patience or attention span for that. His style of leadership will be a fly by the seat of his pants and a competition of those around him who can get his attention the longest and compete for their interests.
A concern that stands out to me is that when a tragic event like the Sandy Hook massacre occurs, can you imagine PEOTUS comforting the families or the United States as a whole? His thin skin and ego, is all about himself. Does he know how to be empathetic?
Is he going to grow up? Is he going to learn, that not everything is about himself?
Now that I've gotten a little bit out of my system, I will attempt to take a different turn.
I do think that with this election, there has been a positive. He has galvanized those who disagree with him in solidarity! The marches of women and others demonstrating are going to be amazing. His words, "Nasty Woman" were a rallying call. There is activism out the wazoo to let Senators and Representatives know what their constituents want. There was a huge response to Republicans trying to gut an ethics panel at the beginning of the month. I have taken to several different means to communicate with my representatives. These people in government work for us and we are not going to let them forgot that.
I have to speak up and that is not comfortable for me at all.
But in the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller: I saw these words this summer in Boston at a Holocaust memorial.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
My hope and prayer is that Trump can continue to be an agent of change, just not for what his intentions are, whatever they are. I have to pray for this man and for those who surround him. This is a tall order. I can easily pray for life, liberty and the pursuit of justice for all people of the United States. All people including those of different skin colors and races, different religions, women, those with disabilities and of different sexual orientations, all of us. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all in this together. A divine power created us all. Now to actually send positive thoughts to someone whom I have seen no decency in? That is how I have to grow.
I pray that as he takes on the awesome responsibility of this job, it transforms him. One can hope.
The only way that I know to move forward is to love. I have to love and care for those around me, including myself. Even though decency died, I have to love those whom I disagree with politically and move forward. I have to dig really, really deep. Because that lack of decency is born out of fear. Fear of not having a job again, fear of the color of the United States changing, fear of a woman leader, and fear of change. And the opposite of fear is love. I have to dig really deep to live in peace that all will be well. This is the ultimate teacher. Love big even though it is not being demonstrated by the man in the Presidency.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Sending love out. I will walk my dogs now. I will work on my budget. I will clean and do laundry and tonight, I will pick up my kids from school, I will go to my Spiritual Formation conference and listen to the topic of Holy Listening. That is the perfect antidote for today.