Living overseas during an election cycle is interesting. I’m detached from all the horrible ads and phone calls. I am so grateful for that. I’m still amazed that anyone buys the crap in those political ads. People should be doing research on all of the candidates and not relying on biased ads to elect our leaders. But, we’re lazy. We take the sound bites the media gives us, intentionally ignorant of the fact that news agencies aren’t often about the news anymore. Instead they’re playing for advertising, trying to get the money to keep their salaries.
And that laziness, combined with not-so-latent racism, xenophobia, and superiority complexes have gotten us to where we are today: Donald Trump as the leading candidate for the Republican party presidential nominee.
Understand what I’m saying – It is our collective fault that Trump is in the position he’s in. That millions of people are being fueled by his words. I don’t place the blame just at Republican feet. Their party is out of control in ways that were previously unthinkable. The vast majority of Republicans I know are horrified by what’s happening and seem powerless to stop it.
However, all of us are to blame. You, me. Republicans and Democrats alike. Conservatives and liberals of all stripes.
We let the politicians and media whip us into a frenzy with their fear-mongering about Islam and the Middle East. So when Donald Trump says he wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States until we can sort out which ones are terrorists, people buy into the message. People weren’t doing the research they should have done about Islam or they would know that with one BILLION Muslims on the planet, if they were really hellbent on destroying America, that would have happened by now.
We’ve been led to believe that America is THE country, the place to live, and that no one does it better than we do it. But how many of us even try to understand how other countries do things? How many of us have traveled overseas to learn? While there are certainly many things to love about the United States, we have a lot of work to do. We tend to speak only English. That’s embarrassing on so many levels. Even though BILLIONS of people speak languages besides English, we don’t make it a priority to learn any of them. Homelessness is still a major problem. All the money we have and we can’t get people into jobs, into treatment if they need it, and into a stable place to live? The fact that we have so many people with inadequate medical care is astounding. You may not like socialism, but there is something to be said for making sure that we’re all living at a basic level of health. Don’t even get me started about the disparities in education between poorer and wealthier communities or the fact that so many CHILDREN and adults in the United States go hungry. None of that is okay. None of that is right.
The fact that there are textbooks and COLORING SHEETS that explicitly state that the slaves were PAID and voluntarily came to the US for a better life should tell us that Donald Trump was an inevitability. Whitewashing history, for whatever reason, has made it possible for millions of Americans to grow up thinking that it’s acceptable to try to RE-WRITE HISTORY to make themselves feel better about the horrible things that happened to millions of people. It makes it so much easier to dismiss entire groups of people based on arbitrary characteristics. For Donald Trump it’s Muslims and Mexicans. Who is it for you?
In our rush to help preserve the idea that we’re better than anyone else, we’ve made it possible for a man who has repeatedly professed hateful ideology to become the face of the United States. We are working so hard not to be the melting pot we frequently call ourselves. You can’t be a melting pot if you’re building walls. So much of our innovation creativity, and brilliance comes from outside the US. But, there are so many people worried about immigrants taking jobs they don’t even want or taking their jobs because they’re willing to work harder that Donald Trump is the result. We’re so focused in the scramble for money that we would rather turn people away than help them try to achieve the dream we’ve been boasting about for years. It’s disturbing and disgusting.
Liberals, we should be ashamed of ourselves for letting it get to this point. Why weren’t we getting more involved? Doing the research others aren’t willing to do and showing people how wrong we’ve been? Why aren’t we in marginalized communities doing more help them? Instead of spending a few hours each week trying to make someone else’s life a little better, we’ve succumbed to the force of American individualism. As the party who claims to care more, we’ve done little to demonstrate that. We’ve been sitting around, watching the madness. And only now, when it could come to be that Trump is our president that we’re outraged.
Watching the election from overseas has been interesting. Non-Americans are horrified at what they see. And they’re laughing at us. Which is what happens when you’ve been pompous, superior asshats. We are finally getting what we deserve. And it’s our own fault.
We have to do better. We have to get informed on our own from the least biased sources possible. We need to travel and meet people from other countries, other cultures. We need make friends with someone we see as “different” so that they stop being “different” and the “other.”
At the end of the day, we’re a lot more similar than we are different. Race is a function of geography and melanin. It’s not a real thing. The major religions all lead to the same thing. Sexual orientation isn’t something we choose and fundamentally, we’re all looking for the same thing – love. Gender is fluid and our biological sex doesn’t define anything about us. We need to start respecting each other as humans and remembering that we are all deserving of dignity and respect. It is our quest for division that led us to where we are today. If we don’t want to see this happen again, we need to erase the lines that divide us and focus on what we have in common.