There is an old Hindu proverb that states, “Fish unto water, Bird unto the air, man unto himself”. The message in this is that some things are so close to you, and so much a part of your being that you are literally blind to it’s existence or to its meaning. I thought of this recently when watching Bill Maher, one of my favorite pundits, on his TV show, Real Time, when he asked the question to one of his guests, why is Trump still so popular among his constituency in spite of all the damage he is doing to them on a daily basis. Maher, like so many of the majority of Americans who would like to see Trump out of office and out of our lives, including all in the mainstream media, the Democratic Party and even some in the Republican Party, seem completely flummoxed by this phenomena. I guarantee you; the answer to this question is only a mystery to well meaning white Americans. The rest of us (including the majority of Trump supporters) aren’t at all confused about why this is so. The reason why even Trump’s lowest approval ratings are still about 20 points higher than you would expect them to be given his performance as president, is because the majority of white Americans still believe on some level, that America is a white country that exists, (at least primarily) for the benefit of white people. That’s it! As I’ve stated many times in previous posts, that is the glue that holds Trump’s Republican Party together.
The problem is that the mainstream media only speaks of this as though it was only a single factor in the explanation or as a view shared by only a small percentage of the Republican Party. I say it is the only factor. In my previous post, I suggested that Trump is better thought of as a general in a white supremist army rather than President of the United States. One hundred and sixty thousand deaths and counting from mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicare, Social Security and healthcare under threat of loss, the economy in shambles due to massive unemployment and upwards of nearly 40 millions of Americans on the verge of homelessness are all necessary evils and collateral damage in the cold civil war to avoid sharing power with people of color, especially black people, is the view shared by all Trump supporters.
I think the reason there is so much difficulty addressing this phenomena with the candor it deserves has to do with the fact that all people, white Americans included, want to do the right thing. The difficulty comes from the fact that the centuries of white supremist conditioning make it difficult for even those white Americans fighting for the change that’s needed to confront their white friends and neighbors with the prospect that all of the social norms they feel comfortable with are actually toxic when it comes to the long term health of the nation. Media is afraid they will lose their audience if they were to state that the very polls rating Trump’s approval among Republicans that they report on almost daily are actually a reflection of white America’s endorsement of the county’s white supremist traditions.
I wish I had a formula or a strategy to convince the majority of white America that they have nothing to fear from the inclusion of minorities of color into the fabric of American society and culture, and everything to fear from the continued exclusion of them, but I don’t. I don’t have the clever words to say or the colorful metaphors to state that will accomplish that task. I can only state the truth as I see it, which is that the November elections in the United States will prove to be humanity’s last chance for survival on this Earth. If Trump is defeated, we’ll have a chance to undo the damage we’ve done in time to leave a world for our children and grandchildren. If Trump is reelected, and our current policies are continued, I believe humankind will be finished in 20 years. I can’t say if the harbinger of our doom will come from a natural or man mad pathogen, or a nuclear holocaust or an environmental disaster, but it will come. I know I’m not alone in my thinking that the world is on the verge of a terrible reckoning and that the choices we make this year will determine the destiny of man. The mere fact that Trump is attempting to preempt the Democratic platform by offering executive orders to require insurance companies to accept applicants regardless preexisting conditions and to forgive all student loans for the past year, is his attempt to buy the election with shiny enticements that can be ended as easily as they are being offered. It feels like the devil’s last desperate attempt corrupt us into empowering our greed and fear of loss over what we know to be the right thing to do.
I can’t imagine any human being loving another human being as much as I loved my late wife. Losing her caused me to doubt everything I ever believed to be true about life and death. I questioned the existence of God or anything like God, and to a great extent, I still do. And yet, since her death, I pray more than I ever did, perhaps because I can think of nothing else to do. Accordingly, I can’t think of anything else to do but appeal to red state Republicans to search their hearts if not their minds, to consider what’s really right and just before voting in the next election. Is God and his son Jesus’ plan for humankind to be ruled under the tyranny of might over right, through the same kind of persecution that led to the execution of Jesus and all the saints or is it for all humankind to live together in peace and harmony?
Every night since my wife’s death, I offer three prayers before I retire. The first prayer is the Lord’s Prayer. The third prayer is a prayer of petition for the salvation of the soul of my beloved and of thanksgiving for all the blessings life has given me. Sandwiched in between those two prayers is a prayer of seven words: “Oh Lord, please save us from ourselves”.