The majority of the people in the United States have no president. Only about 40% of the people in the U.S. are represented by a president. Now, I do not make this statement lightly, nor with the intention of being offensive. I am merely stating a fact. I am not registered with either party, but consider myself an independent, although I am considering changing that status in the near future. I have lived through 12 full presidencies, from Harry S. Truman through Barack H. Obama … 6 were republicans, 6 were democrats. Although I sometimes disagreed with the policies or certain decisions of those men, I still respected them and considered them as presidents. Every one of them, I felt, was doing the best he could to represent the people of this nation … ALL the people of this nation, not just those who praised them.
Today, however, is different. Donald Trump is the president in name only for the majority – about 60% – of the people in this country but does not represent them. He does not listen to us, but only to the people who show up at his campaign rallies wearing red hats and chanting “Lock her up”. Those of us who do not like his bigotry, his racism, his incitement to violence, his name-calling and ignominious bluster, he calls ‘treasonous’. He threatens our elected representatives in Congress. He tells lies that his own supporters enjoy hearing, but that the rest of us know to be falsehoods.
To the best of my knowledge, there has never been another president so entrenched in partisanship that he completely ignored the needs of the majority, pandering only to the minority. We, the majority, need representation also. Who is there to speak for us? Who is there to represent our values of diversity, peace, humanitarianism? Who is there to say that no, we do not want to lock children in cages just because they are from another place? It is truly a sad day in the history of this nation, a nation no better and no worse than any other, when most of the people are without a voice.
People in Trump’s camp mock the saying “Not my president”, but it isn’t just a saying, it is the reality. Donald Trump does not bother with the pretense. He is speaking to his people, not the people. He has become, or so it often seems, the president of the United Base of America.
I have long believed that old adage, “United we stand, divided we fall”, and yet Trump seeks to divide, relishes the division that, while not of his making, he has encouraged and enhanced with his divide-and-conquer politics. Perhaps we are coming upon a time where this nation must become many instead of just one, for we are now so far apart in ideology that I cannot see a united nation in the future. On the right, there are the nationalists, tribalists, who prefer a nation sans immigrants, a nation where it’s basically “every man for himself” rather than a nation where all people are equal.
I see a nation where those in Trump’s camp care more about their guns than their own children. I see a nation where ‘hate’ is becoming the norm. I see a nation where violence is seething just under the surface, waiting for a single spark to set it off. I see a nation where for far too many, acceptance of others is based on skin colour, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. I see a nation where profits are valued more highly than humans. I see a nation where for some, there is no care for the future, but it’s “live for today, and to hell with tomorrow”.
I don’t like the nation I see. We need a president. We need a president who governs, not rules – there is a difference. We need … nay, we must have a president who is not above the law. We need a president where every single person matters, not just those who support him, not just those whose skin is white, not just Christians, and even not just citizens, but everybody. We need a president who understands the word ‘respect’. People matter.
I want change in this country. I want us to heal the rifts, and that cannot, will not happen as long as Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office spouting hate and encouraging bigotry, tribalism and violence. We need to focus more on what we have in common than those issues that divide us. We need to talk to each other, not at each other. We need to meet each other halfway sometimes. We need to take care of our planet, putting the future ahead of corporate greed. These things cannot happen under the regime of Donald Trump, for he will do everything in his power to keep it from happening, to keep us divided and hating.
Think about it.