Today Donald Trump is evicted.
Not from the White House (unfortunately), but from my brainspace. He’s already taken up much more room than he deserves.
Remember 2016, when he slammed into us like a slow-motion derailing train? We watched in disbelief as he won the Republican nomination, then the Electoral College. We had one collective thought then: “Oh no. This is going to be bad.”
And it was bad. While we were still stunned that our parents and religious leaders had elected Donald Trump to be our president, he began a never-ending game of attempting to outdo himself in mean-spiritedness and ignorance and general awfulness.
So we took to the streets with our protests and our chants. And for the first half of last year, I felt like I was screaming to anyone who would listen: our President is a fascist asshole and half of my fellow citizens don’t see it.
As summer wore on, we saw White Supremacists and Nazis and terrorists march into our town squares emboldened by their new President. In disbelief, I watched as many of my fellow Christians looked the other way, as they tried to ignore the ugly reality of what was happening in our country. And I resigned myself to the sad fact that “never again” was all too often nothing more than a shallow cliche.
I spent a lot of time in 2017 reading about the god-awful shit that Donald Trump was doing.
It made me feel angry, sad, helpless.
I shared a lot of articles about the god-awful shit that Donald Trump was doing too, hoping that somehow somebody who thought “Make America Great Again” was a great idea would have a change of heart.
That made me feel slightly better, for a few minutes.
I’ve heard the the word “resistance” quite a bit since Donald Trump took office — it means holding him accountable, speaking up, refusing to let his outrageous behavior be normalized.
But starting this year, I’m going to take a different approach to resistance.
I’m going to evict Donald Trump from my mind, from my newsfeed, from my daily outrage routine.
When I read about what Donald Trump is doing, I get angry. (And rightly so, because anger is the appropriate response to evil and injustice.)
Then I turn to the nearest bystander and say “Can you believe this awful shit that Donald Trump is doing?”
And nothing changes.
Because most of the people I know already agree with me that Donald Trump is incompetent, narcissistic, unstable, embarrassing, unethical, dishonest, and generally a raging dumpster fire of no good things.
But what about the other people, who still think Donald Trump is a good Christian man sent by God to drain the swamp and make America great again?
I have nothing left to say to them that hasn’t already been said a thousand times.
We’ve all seen the same things: the pussy-grabbing and sexual assault allegations, the coziness with Nazis and the KKK, the crass disregard for decency and ethics, the never-ending golf trips (which wouldn’t be so bad if not for the hilarious irony of it all), the policies and executive orders aimed at hurting immigrants and lining the pockets of the already-wealthy, the incoherent interviews, the unhinged tweet-storms, and always the swirling cesspool of frantic egomania.
If that isn’t enough to turn your stomach, there’s nothing I could write on this page that would change your mind.
It’s been a year now.
I’m done wasting my words on him.
I guess this is goodbye.
If we’ve learned anything from watching Donald Trump shit all over the White House, it’s this:
He thinks only of himself, all the time. And he wants us to think about him all the time too.
He doesn’t care if we’re angry, scared, baffled, outraged, shocked, or horrified.
As long as we’re thinking about him, he’s winning.
I’m tired of all the winning.
So what shall I do now?
Can I just retreat into the safety of my privileged position as a white middle-class guy, turn off the news, have a pint and wait for this whole thing to blow over?
Resistance is needed now more than ever.
But instead of allowing my attention to be monopolized by Donald Trump and all his evil shenanigans, my resistance will be simply this:
Whatever Donald Trump would do, do the opposite of that.
And what is the opposite of Donald Trump?
Loving my neighbor.
Tearing down walls.
Listening to the voices of the marginalized.
Looking for opportunities to show extravagant generosity.
Working to undo oppressive systems of racism and patriarchy (starting with me).
Saying beautiful words that bring hope, joy, and peace to those who hear them.
Using proper spelling and punctuation.
And most of all, being kind.
That should keep me busy for the next three years or so. (Hopefully it won’t be that long.)
[ image courtesy of Joeff Davis ]
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