I worry about my niece hearing Donald Trump on the TV and how his dehumanizing women will affect her. I worry about how it will affect my nephew, who may think that this is acceptable behavior. What are we doing in normalizing a man who makes lies and insults a daily event; who uses bigotry misogyny, nomophobia and plain hate. Gun violence, mass murders are getting the same treatment. It’s a part of life; just as denial of the facts of climate change science is considered a “policy position”.
A friend told me that recently and it really struck a nerve with me. What are we doing in our country; with our world? What future are we building for our children? It’s like we are living in a fever dream that has been growing deeper and deeper as fear and anger are getting all of the attention.
This week Donald Trump has been loudly proclaiming that the United States should descend to the basest level of a group of thuggish monsters in an area of the world that has been destabilized by war and climate change. When he says that we should use the same methods as terrorists he is saying that the values of the United States mean nothing. When a country gives up its values and takes the basest approach it loses its heart and its soul.
Its more insidious than that though. Facts and the truth have become optional. I don’t know if there is a point where you can point and say this is when it happened. In the 70’s and 80’s it was tobacco and cigarette companies hiding what they knew with misinformation and lies. That same approach has been used by those who deny climate change. Personal attack and mistruths were used against the Clinton’s when Bill Clinton won the 92 election. Those attacks continue to this day. The latest Benghazi attack is ample example of that. After 8 committee’s and millions upon millions the result is nothing – except that a rabid base who are sure there was a crime and now nothing will convince them that they are wrong.
George Bush lied his way in to a war and there has never been any repercussions for those lies. That was followed by a demand, made by those who could not believe that a black man could be President, for that man’s “papers”. The same people who made that demand decided on day one that they would do everything they could to obstruct President Obama. Their goal to make him a one-term President became mixed with the fact free atmosphere and turned into a quagmire that has led to a congress that will do nothing. Anger at that do nothing congress has fallen against both Democrats and Republicans, but this is not a case of equality. The Republicans, driven by a ultra-conservative minority of their base, have become a party that will not compromise and compromise is a building block of our democracy.
What does that mean for our future?
I believe in a future where the United States believes in facts and where lies are called out as lies and are not acceptable. I believe in a future where name calling ends when you leave kindergarten. Where we don’t need to protect our children from watching a major candidate for the Presidency for fear of what he will say. I believe in a future where compromise is not a dirty word. I believe in a future where we work together no matter the color of our skin. I believe in a world where women’s rights are human rights. I believe in a world where we look to the future, where we aren’t trying to send our children back into the ground.
I believe that we are Stronger Together.