In the wake of the national embarrassment/lurking catastrophe that is President-elect Donald Trump, I have much admiration for those who preach “healing,” “coming together” and “loving one another despite our differences,” all, incidentally, the same types of sentiments we spew after a mass shooting or act of terrorism.
I tried to follow in their path, but I can’t. Maybe the altitude of the high road got to me.
I realize not every Trump supporter is the Molotov cocktail of bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, cynicism, greed and spite that he is. I have family and friends who supported the cartoon tycoon and who are otherwise rational, compassionate human beings; though as a gay person who has only recently come into some basic civil rights, I must admit a difficult time reconciling mutual love with those who supported a ticket that opposes gay marriage and seeks to limit individual liberties based on sexuality.
In the month since Black Tuesday II, I’ve given the dogs extra hugs (and resisted the urge to embrace every person I see with a visible handicap, or who might be Mexican or Muslim); I’ve made an effort to smile at people, especially those who appear grumpy or sad or Republican; I’ve refrained from cursing the entire families of rush-hour drivers who refuse to allow others to merge, instead limiting maledictions to the offending drivers themselves; I’ve listened to a ridiculous amount of Al Green and Marvin Gaye. But I’m just not feeling the love.
Love won’t stop the red-faced, wannabe tyrant from denying safehaven to Syrian refugees—including orphaned children—or attempting to deport those who fled to the United States from that war-ravaged country.
Love won’t obstruct this oily administration from venturing to roll back climate change benchmarks, including the Paris climate change agreement, and gutting environmental protections for the sake of short-term financial gains.
Love won’t prevent this unethical entrepreneur and his cronies from attempting to repeal the few safeguards put in place in the aftermath of the Great Recession to prevent it from happening again.
Love won’t thwart an aggressively isolationist president-elect with zero diplomatic skills from threatening to cut historic concessions with Cuba, which are just beginning to show benefits to both nations.
Love won’t tear down the candy corn-colored fascist’s ever-ridiculous and ever-evolving wall…or fence…or barrier…or whatever he’s calling it now.
Love won’t terminate the aspirations of a regressive president-elect and vice president-elect to overturn Roe v. Wade and defund Planned Parenthood, which provides so much more than abortion services.
Love won’t derail Trump’s support for the Dakota Access pipeline—in which he just so happens to be heavily invested—despite its displacement of sacred Sioux sites and concerns about its effects on local water supplies.
Love won’t foil the next deranged, heavily armed, inevitably white-male spree killer from annihilating innocent people with legally obtained firearms because Trump and Co. not only object to common-sense regulations for assault rifles and background checks, but support rescinding or prohibiting the enforcement of gun controls in numerous states.
Love won’t trump Trump’s desire to pull the plug on the Affordable Care Act, which would leave some 20 million Americans—millions of whom previously had no health insurance and cannot otherwise afford coverage—in limbo and cause what many health care groups warn would be long-term economic damage.
I don’t root for Trump to fail, which is a courtesy neither he nor other Republicans extended to President Barack Obama. I view that as rooting for our country to fail. But I don’t believe that Trump and his shittier-by-the-nomination Cabinet truly love America; I believe they love what America allows them to be, which in many ways is the worst of what America can be. And they’re certainly not in love with anyone outside of their rich, inbred, elitist circle.
Just because love alone isn’t the answer doesn’t mean that anger is. But those of us who profess to want a better, more loving world—for each other and for those who follow—better prepare to fight for it. We must be vigilant. We must diversify our knowledge and our news sources. We must be active. We must know and communicate with our representatives and senators. We must not bow to the lowest common denominator, but set the curve and lift others up. We must, if necessary, drag some primitive motherfuckers kicking and screaming from the past into the present for the sole benefit of having a future to offer those who come after us.
Love, it was noted ages ago by someone the culturally bereft Trump has probably never heard of, is a kind of warfare. And Trump’s army is outnumbered, by more than 2 ½ million as the votes stand. Lock and load, lovers.