I naively believed I could divert the Trump machine from its goal, the simultaneous lobotomization and pickpocketing of his base. With his ancillary purposes of strip-mining the future — forgoing a hopeful tomorrow for the coal-mines of yesterday — and doling out little heaps of nationalistic horror for his worshipers to stoke their fires.
Trump does not just make reality shows, he is his own reality show, smashing America under his fist. His arrogance marks something new in the world, for this is a Presidency where the loser writes the history instead of the winner, courtesy of the two most efficient propaganda machines ever created (Fox News and Russia) — with all due respect to Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, who never achieved American domination.
Trump and our politicians — both Republican and Democrat — understand innately the observation of Milton’s Satan, that it is better to rule in Hell than in Heaven, better to be a villain, victim, or antihero than a virtuous leader, so long as one commands the bright lights of center stage.
In this forthcoming Trumpian trompe l’oeil, all of America —
and his base in particular — will come out poorly, herded into the fragmented roles of the fired, the poor, the innocent, the evil, or the corrupt. America’s fate is not to be merely strip-mined of our freedom, our equality, our diversity, and our voice; we are to be servants, heterosexual, painted white, and struck dumb.
Immigrants serve merely as raw material for an epic about rich white men saving poor white people from bad colored people. Trump does not have to know a country to ridicule it, nor tell the truth about them — he is much more efficient at labeling the shit-hole countries he wants to exploit, and inventing caravans for his base to fear.
I confess to being angry with Trump, but am I wrong in being angry? This is especially the case when he continually stereotypes Mexicans as rapists.
What if someone made a reality show about America simply called “The Latinos?” You would want to know if it was about Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, or people from South or Central America. Likewise, when it casts all Latinos as rapists, are you talking about Ricardo, my friend who serves me food and is teaching me Spanish at my favorite Mexican restaurant? Jamil who makes the best cigars and Cuban sandwiches in Florida? Angel who meticulously helped build my home? Are you talking about Lin-Manuel who wrote the musical Hamilton? Cesar Chavez? Alex Rodriguez? Jorge Ramos?
“Let me tell you a secret,” Trump would say. “You ready. Here it is. My base does not give a shit. They will believe anything I tell them to think. They are my new reality show. And if they haven’t changed their minds about me now — they NEVER WILL.”
That is why I’m no longer wasting my time or thoughts with the racist thug who further desecrates our White House. I’m trying to write a book that has words of healing for those who have suffered the loss of belonging (some due to the divisive rhetoric and politics of Trump) and are grieving the loss of their tribe. I hope that by my words, by my stripes, they are healed. I find it preferable (even as a non-Christian) to have a Jesus complex rather than a Trump complex.
Few people (in comparison to the population of America) will read these words, and even fewer will understand them. But hear me now, those of you who ARE still reading them. They are for you and for me. The words I have to write and the questions I dare to ask are for us. Words of encouragement to become who we really are.
I may be distracted from time to time in this fight for America’s freedom and voice — these words are proof of my culpability. But thanks to you for reading this to the bitter end. Now on to more hopeful prospects. A new and better tribe. And a new and better America.
(These words were inspired by the profound writing of Viet Thanh Nguyen.)