HOW CAN SO MANY AMERICANS BE SO BLIND?

Cover of a German magazine that saw the threat of Donald J. Trump
long before most of us Americans.

I’ve been thinking about this question since Tuesday. That’s when I first discovered almost half the voters in our country not only accepted all the disturbing things Swamp Creature did to our country, but that they approved of them!

Otherwise, I reasoned, how could they vote to give him four more years of unfettered access to the power and majesty of the American presidency.

Yes, they must have approved of the entire Trumpian circus! Putting children into cages, ignoring the threat of a pandemic, looting the U.S. Treasury, paying chump change in personal taxes, extorting friendly countries for political gain, politicizing the Justice Department, inciting violence and hatred, destroying decades-old global friendships and alliances, calling nasty names, serving his Russian master to our disadvantage, destroying constitutional ethics, putting half his family on the government payroll. And lying. Not just lying like a politician, but lying like the most dishonest snake oil salesman that ever graced a carnival sideshow.

“Seriously,” I had to ask myself, “Are we that fucked up?”

It’s a question that refuses to release me from its grip.

As someone who prefers to give people the benefit of the doubt… And as someone with close friends who have fallen for the Trump malarkey, hook, line and stinker, the only thing I can think of, is to compare Trumpism with a fever in the blood. You can’t blame someone for catching a fever, can you? Nor can you take it personally or resent it when the symptoms run riot.

These people—most of whom appear normal and don’t own guns or hate their black neighbors or attempt to run buses off the highway—are, for the most part, absolutely normal. They work at jobs, love their kids and grandkids; and would never think of joining a militia or kidnapping the governor of any state. Not even the governor of Puerto Rico.

I say they’re normal, but they’re not really.

Better to say they were normal, before they caught the virus. Yes, virus, bug, illness or disease—call it what you will, but there’s no denying they’ve caught Trumpism. And similar to those infected with Covid-19, they find themselves at the mercy of the disease and at risk of eventualities too scary to think about. Their lives are not in danger, but their morals, values and sense of humanity are under the gravest threat.

No, they don’t realize it or see what is happening to them. In fact, not realizing you’re ill is one of the symptoms of the disease.

With all my efforts through my blog and heart-to-heart conversations, I have not been able to cure a single one of them (that I know of). Not one of my Trumper friends has suddenly snapped out of their hypnotic state to confusedly question how they got here in the first place.

That doesn’t leave me hating them, or disgusted with myself. Just like with Covid victims, my options are limited. I’m left to pray for them, to leave a place for them in my heart, and to try not to judge them or project Trump’s failings and petty hatreds onto them. Of course, some Trumpers are racists, bullies and psychos, but not all of them; or even the majority.

Unfortunately, this illness is too new for anyone yet to understand it, or to have developed a cure. And polite society will not allow us to lock them up till a cure is found, or to confine them to a hospital ICU. So we are left with the simple challenge to accept them in all their weirdness and obstinacy the same way we would accept a relative with mental illness, down-syndrome, depression or even criminal tendencies…

With love and distrust.

I would recommend a little of the former and a lot of the latter!

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