Dear Anti-Trump Americans,
My people, we need to have a quick talk.
I get it. Believe me, I do. It’s been 474 days since Trump won the presidential election, and I still can’t believe it happened either. I get mad, every day. Several times per day. I check the news multiple times per day just to see if Robert Mueller has checked in to say what’s up. But here’s the problem: We get giddy at the thought of Trump leaving office. We complain about him every day. We blame every bit of bad news out of DC on Trump.
But we have to stop blaming Trump. We never should have in the first place.
I do hope and believe that his departure will occur long before November 2020, but what will really change? When Trump is gone, we’ll have smoother rhetoric to put a nicer shine on the rampant racism driving the Republican Party. The GOP leaders won’t call Haiti and Nigeria “shithole” countries; they’ll just lock out immigration from nations that are predominantly white.
When Trump is gone, we’ll have an executive branch that won’t come right out and say something stupid like we should arm some teachers and “give them a little bit of a bonus” for carrying weaponry (alongside their attendance sheets, gradebooks, textbooks, evaluation paperwork, grad work, student psych review paperwork, spirit-week ballots for first hour, and—oh yeah—lesson plans). The GOP leaders won’t say it quite so succinctly; they’ll just include it in a budget bill so Congress has to pass it if they want to keep the country running.
When Trump is gone, we might not have a serial sexual abuser and harasser in the White House. The GOP leaders will just sign legislation further devaluing women and making it harder for people to step forward without fear of reprisals for naming their attackers publicly.
The “When Trump is gone” list could go on. And on. And on.
Donald Trump is just the next stage of the GOP’s Southern Strategy. He is the next stage of Goldwater Republicanism. It’s entirely possible that Trump doesn’t much know what’s going on day to day because, after all, he gets his daily briefings from a propaganda machine’s morning cable TV show.
He is a figurehead that clumsily gets in the Party leadership’s way, but don’t assume for a moment that his vision of a “Great America” is any different than Mitch McConnell’s, Paul Ryan’s, Bull Connor’s, or George Wallace’s. The hope for a straight, white, male America is not just Donald Trump’s. If it weren’t, the Republican Party would have headed Trump off at the pass long, long ago.
No, it’s not Trump. At the least, it’s not just Trump, so please stop blaming Trump. He’s a political neophyte, and not a particularly good one. He is merely the next logical step of the past fifty years of Republican vision and strategy.
Every single one of the criticisms of Trump have merit. A democratic America really is at stake—it has been for some time. Our concerns are legitimate, but they don’t all fall on Trump. It’s not just Trump who’s working against the interests of almost all Americans; it’s his whole political party.