I have written many, many, many, many, many words about the reprehensible pile of garbage that now occupies a space at the White House. I was even galled by the question at one of the debates of what the candidates liked about one another, seeing as I see nothing in President Donald Trump worth being.
But there’s one good thing about him.
Donald Trump, said with every caveat I can possibly imagine, represents an America that I would like to see. All of the politicians in the last election tried to angle themselves in the position of ‘outsider’ (Bernie Sanders most successfully), but none of them actually were – except one.
For all of the faults of Donald Trump – his rampant racism and sexism, his indifference toward anti-Semitism, his emboldening of the KuKluxKlan (just a few examples because I honestly do not have time to list them all and we all know that) – there’s one thing we have to admit about him.
He never lied.
This is the central truth that America still hasn’t had the courage to come to grips with. Donald Trump never lied.
Obviously, I don’t mean it in the sense of “never said something that wasn’t true.” Practically everything that comes out of his mouth is untrue. But he never lied about who he was, or misrepresented his character, which is kind of impressive considering that that is an impulse that almost all human beings have.
Trump’s first campaign speech included the now-infamous:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.”
- He was honest about his racism when he mentioned that he still thought the Central Park Five were guilty, despite DNA evidence exonerating them.
- He was clear that the only lens through which he sees American Muslims is terrorism, let alone foreign ones.
- His disrespect for veterans was on full display when he announced that John McCain was not a war hero, because he was captured.
- His apathy toward the poor was obvious when he barely reacted to the fact that his healthcare bill would likely harm his supporters the most.
- His contempt could be seen in his incitement of deranged supporters at his rallies.
- His disdain for science and facts is palpable from his dismissal of polls that don’t show him what he wants to hear, or in lying about easily disprovable things, from abortion to 3-5 million illegal immigrants voting, his inauguration size, or President Barack Obama wiretapping Trump Tower.
Trump’s galling chauvinistic, immigrant-bashing, faux-riche, apathetic, lazy, vengeful, incurious character is present wherever he goes and he does absolutely nothing to hide it.
The news is abuzz with profiles of surprised Trump supporters (coming either from liberals or conservatives justifying the indefensible.) But the real story of the people appalled at ICE raids, and deportations of family members, or the possibility of getting kicked off their healthcare is this – they were never lied to.
The truth that America has to deal with is that Donald Trump is who Donald Trump has always been, and he is governing exactly how we believed he would, and exactly as he said he would. And a sizable portion of the American populace thought that was OK.
I refuse to give Trump supporters an out. I know history will kindly grant them one day, after the failure and damage of this administration comes to full view, the lie that comforts all: “We didn’t know.” But they did. And we did.
Donald Trump was as honest of a politician as you could ever hope to see on the campaign trail in terms of what he was about, and we liked it. Take as much time as you need, but that’s the fact of the matter.
And for all of this, he represents an America that I like to live in. He breaks unhelpful lies about how you can simply buy elections (former Governor of Florida and 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush knows that’s not true), or how voting doesn’t matter (former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost by a sliver), or that there’s nothing people can do (high levels of resistance have been shown to change this administration’s course of action on both immigration and healthcare.)
Presidents very rarely do not reflect the people they lead. If we can’t trust that a substantial portion of America doesn’t harbor racist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and sexist beliefs, can we rightly be surprised when that is the kind of leadership we are gifted with?
To be crystal clear, I am not suggesting that there’s anything good about stripping arts funding, cutting Meals on Wheels for seniors, getting a Navy SEAL killed, or undue ties with Russian oligarchs, or even that those things have a silver lining.
What I am saying is that America deserves the leaders that it gets, and Donald Trump wouldn’t be there if that’s not where America was right now.
Trump represents the will of the people. An America where the will of the people is heard will be a stronger America. An America where not only career politicians but anyone who has ideas that capture the ethos of the American public has a shot at leading this nation. And as repugnant as I find those ideas to be, that’s a good thing.
Trump is proof that the will of the people prevails. We just have to make the will of the people better.
Watch video of John Oliver breaking down how Trump lies and why here:
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.