“Some say Trump is not right mentally. And some are harsher.”
Senator Al Franken
“Some say Trump is not right mentally. And some are harsher.”
Senator Al Franken
As the two weeks have been passing, anger has been mounting to the rhythm of the unmitigated flow of Trump’s Staline-like presidency. I love how we say “draining the swamp” for what we happily call “political purges” in other countries such as China, Myanmar, Turkey or North Korea.
In the face of all, I think one of my biggest frustration is the impossibility to blame Americans for what’s happening. Akin to when they elected Bush for the first time, it was so easy and cathartic to turn to them, blame them, shame them, shove their nose into their shit for having elected such a blithering idiot and puppet of the rich and powerful.
They would be so relieving to be able to do it right now but we can’t because the fact of the matter is: they did not elect Trump. An outdated, dysfunctional system did.
The people itself voted for Clinton but, as the remains of a war fought back 150 years, an unequally put together electoral college has elected Trump. Therefore, as the blanket ban on all Muslims based on nothing tangible keeps rolling back and forth, the world can’t turn to Americans and gleefully point out that they are now the Bastards of the Decade. “Deal with it, you brainless, murderous and incestuous Yankees!”
They are not and we can’t be cheap. Like all of us, the majority of Americans has been victim of an extremely complicated political minefield that the forefathers of America thought would blow up in the face of anyone like Trump before they ever get a chance to become president. Instead, that leviathan handed him the keys of the kingdom.
So what now? Well, we can only wait and be better people. Remember Michelle Obama and try to resist our urges to blanket blame when a man the majority did not want blanket bans.
It’s one thing to be a Trump supporter but this need to constantly try to dissociate himself (and yourself) from elitism, nepotism and cronyism would be laughable if it were not so dangerous and insulting to the people who are actually forsaken outsiders.
Nepotism in Hollywood is indeed rife, like in every place where rich parents want the best for their children and think they might have the possibility to create a dynasty…
*cough* Beckhams! *cough*.
However, unlike in finance and real estate, where Trump bloomed thanks to his father’s money and proud nepotism, one cannot buy talent on the screen or/and behind the camera.
No amount of his father’s money or influence will ever allow Jayden Smith to amount to what the greatest actors have achieved. And the greatest rarely come from rich, elitist backgrounds. As Streep said at the beginning of her speech, some of the actors your cheap round shot labels as the “Hollywood elite” are coming from poor backgrounds, struggling families and have known hardship. Their success is not the produce of having been loaned a million dollars by their parents when they wanted to start. Their career reaching high skies have nothing to do with them having the outsiders’ cake and eat it too. Unlike Trump.
People like Meryl Streep are where they are solely because of hard work. They can indeed voice an opinion for millions to hear not because they belong to some kind of down-looking caste with self-entitled privileges, rather because they embody the American Dream of someone who have been working tirelessly hard to make their dreams come true, despite the odds and the barks of your likes. That’s why people to want to listen to them for they admire and respect them and what they represent, which is in line with what America is supposed to represent. Resulting to yet another low blow when they dare disagree with your view only shows the pettiness of your mind.
A mind which doesn’t reach very far to begin with. I mean, let me asking you this: who are these “Hollywood elites” anyway?
Do they include actors, producers, screenplays…who are openly right-wing and who support Trump? You will see some of their faces in the audience as Streep speaks. Do they also qualify to sit under the umbrella of your unmitigated insults or are they also “everyday Americans” just because they share your opinion on Trump, regardless of their wealth and how they achieved it?
I know you have not thought it through. I know you think every single of your thought is worth a tweet, better if swear words are used. I know your tweet belongs to this constant attempt to present yourself and your like-minded peers as the “real Americans”, victims of yet another undefined groups of people pulling the strings in their golden tower.
But if you were to actually observe, listen, open your eyes and see beyond the length of your nose, and truly consider the woman on stage speaking in that video and the man she talks about, you’ll find that the one living in a golden tower that rose from outrageous nepotism on the broken back of everyday hard-working Americans is Trump, not Streep.
I think the worst is that your are indeed, yourself, a hard-working American who has achieved greatness, fame and fortune very quickly from not much except dedication and a will of steel. However, your USSR-like, blind support for a man who is anything but you is preventing you from seeing and acknowledging who are your actual peers.
You have come to define the every day, hard-working Americans by their political views and as people who have the same as you do so you automatically dismiss anyone who doesn’t share yours as a privileged, aloof, out-of-touch member of an elite.
On average, 75% of what Donald Trump said during the campaign was lies.
Hopefully, 75% of his proudly shouted ideas regarding foreign policy, minorities, women, immigrants, gay people and the disabled are also lies that were nothing but a brilliant and Machiavellian move to get to the White House.
One can only hope he faked it all along, that he lied by convenience, not by conviction.
Trump was elected and his targets are taking to the streets and, as well the usual bastards who are just here to break and create mayhem, I see something else the protesters have to deal with: the Trump electorate who are attacking them. They compare the situation to Obama’s (re-)election forgetting something crucial but they are happy to compare the two so let’s do just that.
Like Meghan Tonjes said, Obama was not perfect – no president ever was and none of them ever had a smooth ride. He made mistakes, some of them that undoubtedly endangered the economic security of people, via his support to some trans-border treaties for example. But one cannot deny that Obama was a uniting force and therefore provided a feeling of safety for the people of America as a whole. During his campaigns and presidency, when addressing the country, he addressed the country, all of it, not some part of it, pitting people against one another which is exactly what Trump did.
So when people say:
“-When Obama was reelected, we did not make a fuss. We shut up and sucked it up!”
I reply: Damn right you did!
And by the way, No! You did not shut up and got on with it. You kept going on about questioning his Americanness, from his policies to his very birth, you kept associating him with Bin Ladin because their name were close and even after he personally gave the order to gave him killed, you carried on with your usual spewing of conspiracies about him being an ally to Islamists. I don’t call that “shutting up” and “sucking it up”, I call it constant defamation in order to undermine someone just because you disagree with him and you don’t like him. Beyond disagreement or dislike, why these constant attacks?
Because that’s all you had. Obama never gave you ground to feel your freedom of being yourself, of existing, of living in the US was endangered. Maybe you felt that your freedom of carrying a gun was in danger but he never targeted you as a person. When he was elected, you didn’t feel your future, the ones of your family and friends was at stake.
Had Obama campaigned with declarations the likes of “When I am elected, no matter what institutions say, every person I personally consider a racist, I’ll have them fired, put in prison, deport and make sure they never set foot on the American soil again!”, I would have understood you taking to the streets to show your anger because that would have been a direct threat to some of you, and not just your passions, but your very existence as Americans.
You did not take to the streets because Obama was uniting, he went above all types of differences to reach you, appeal to you, talk to you whoever you were whereas Trump is divisive: he doesn’t look at America as one big ensemble constantly moving and reinventing itself but rather a monolithic heterosexual WASP block-like majority who has to reluctantly make room for change by putting up with and giving up privileges to minorities. I am not saying that his whole message but that’s most of it.
His campaign was to change how America is perceived by chopping through it with an axe, extracting the heterosexual, able WASPs and appeal to them by pitting them against every single other type of people: African Americans, Black Caribbeans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, the LGBTQ community, the disabled, non-Christian religions, and even men v women.
To show the damage it does, I will direct to what Clinton said about you when she made the unforgivable mistake of, once, playing into that rhetoric by targeting Trump’s voters saying that “half of them were deplorable”. All of you Trump supporters went up in arms and lashed out. She made the mistake of once being divisive and a lot of people voted for Trump as a result.
That’s why people are in the streets today. To show the rest of the world that there is more to America than Trump, his ilks and his rhetoric. To show that he doesn’t represent every American but also because they are genuinely scared for their future as they were targeted, not for their opinions or what they did as a living or who they voted for, but for who they are: the colour of their skin, who their heart has feelings for, the birthplace of their parents or even their own. Trump made it openly and proudly clear that all these aspects of identity no one can change, including heterosexual WASPs, were a problem.
If I take the LGBT community, the anguish goes beyond the fear of the resurgence, normalisation and possible formalisation of bullying, it goes to the heart of the family they have built after we had evolved into better, more tolerant human beings – or so we thought – and so I still hope.
Will their marriage of love remain legal or will they have to live underground again?
Will the children they have adopted, they love, nurture and to whom they are giving a chance to finally be happy remain with loving parents or will the family be woken up on January 1st by the sound of social services kicking their way into their home to the snatch the kids away forever because from now on, family can only be defined by blood affiliation and in a heterosexual marriage?
Lacking empathy, lacking the crucial ability of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, you can mock the LGBTQ community for asking such questions but you cannot stop the fear and the anguish we have because we don’t know what the future holds. And it goes well beyond having a job or owning your own house or gun.
Maybe not the same questions, but the same feelings are running through the Black, Asian and Latino communities. What does the future hold for them? And that’s a question you never had to ask yourself as a consequence of Obama’s being elected. That’s why you did not take to the streets and we are. Looking down on us will not make it go away or will it make you feel better about yourself.