No Silver Linings In The Trump Presidency

No Silver Linings In The Trump PresidencyNo Silver Linings In The Trump Presidency

There’s some good stuff happening in response to the Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA and the current administration. However, let’s not for ONE second describe this as a silver lining. There are NO silver linings in the Trump presidency.┬áThat is “whitewashing” the reality of what is happening. When so many people are impacted in so many negative ways, we don’t get to decide that those folks are the sacrificial lambs for the greater good.

Being Uncomfortable Is Really A Good Thing

When I think about 53% of white women voting for Trump, I feel a lot of different emotions. The “highlights” include anger, shame, and a strong desire to want to disassociate myself from that 53%. In the same way, many of us (aka white people) are trying to ease our discomfort, and probably guilt, over the election. We don’t like to be uncomfortable in this country. So instead of trying to better understand why we are uncomfortable and working on that, we do all kinds of things to self-medicate. We eat. We drink alcohol. We shop. There is a long list of options. However, staying with that discomfort and working through it can bring us great clarity about what we need to do next.

If I think about why I feel this urge to disassociate myself from white women who voted for Trump, I start to understand what my motivation is. I have this fear that people will judge me and think less of me if I am part of that group. I want to be one of the “good white people.” That makes anything I do to disassociate myself from that group a defensive reaction. And it is not productive. As soon as I acknowledge why I feel that way, I can be more mindful about how I react to the feeling.

We Must Stay Vigilant

I think the same thing is happening with folks who keep talking about silver linings of the Trump presidency. There is an attempt to ease the discomfort and the guilt about what is happening right now. “See! It really isn’t so bad after all.” Which leads to an excuse for inaction. If good stuff is happening, then maybe I don’t have to feel the same sense of urgency to act. But let me disabuse folks of that notion right now. This is a hair on fire all alarms ablazing full out emergency.

So let’s cut with the silver lining crap right now. There are no silver linings in the Trump presidency. We don’t have time for complacency. There is only an immediate need for all of us to do everything we can. To fight for accountability for this administration. To fight for that same accountability in our communities, our families, and our friends. And to be constantly vigilant in striving for that same accountability and clarity internally about the ways in which we are complicit in all of this.

PS-A Reminder

Once we elect a democratic president sometime in the future, (hopefully 2020) we STILL will have a lot of work to do. Because the things that are wrong with this country go so much deeper than Donald Trump. Let us never forget that he is a symptom, NOT the disease. But that is the subject for a future blog post.

 

 

 

2 Comments on “No Silver Linings In The Trump Presidency

  1. Your line, “[Trump] is a symptom, NOT the disease” is BRILLIANT!!! Reminds me of a GREAT book I wish so many white people who self -identify as Christian would read: America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis.

    • Hi Sarah,
      I’m sure I did NOT create that statement. Probably heard it somewhere else first. And I will be picking up a copy of that book to read. Thanks for the rec!

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