But I will not fall into this dangerous rhetoric that this is the end of the world. That this is the end. This isn’t actually productive rhetoric. This is defeatist, alarmist rhetoric which spreads more fear. Which is what we must fight against.
It’s complex. It took time to get here and it wasn’t just Donald – he exploited what was already there. He is a manifestation of the ugliest aspects of our society. He is the product of unchecked social toxicities. So address it. Own it. He dragged the boogie man out from the closet and gave him a platform to speak. But he did not create misogyny. So use this as an opportunity to unite against misogyny. To call out not only Donald Trump but all acts and forces of misogyny. He did not create racism. But use this as an opportunity to unite against racism. To call out not only Donald Trump but all acts and forces of racism. Homophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia. This is the necessary rallying call we have needed. This is the hard and impossibly necessary way out.
Do not make the mistake of putting all of the blame on Donald Trump and missing this grand opportunity to call out the system as a whole. The issues as a whole. The forces and powers-that-be as a whole. The insidious hand of hate that still moves. The intolerance and injustice on a grand scale. If you solely focus on Donald Trump and this moment and this man you lose the opportunity to topple the patriarchy as whole. Focusing only on Donald Trump as some outrageous and inhumane monster that does not represent anything that exists in reality is a mistake. It ‘others’ Donald from all those who prey upon the vulnerable populations of the world. It separates and pretends that this isn’t a deeply fundamental aspect of our society that needs to addressed. Call Donald Trump out. Of course. But do not give him all of the power. Do not let him take the blame off of everyone’s shoulders. Do not project everything onto the voodoo doll and forget that he is only one man. And that his rhetoric is rooted in something much deeper, much wider, much more abstract and hard to catch. Do not focus only on this limb and forget the rest of the body. This is bigger than Donald Trump. Do not give him all that power. It is dangerous to give over that much psychological power to him. To let him haunt you in that way. To let him distract you in that way. This is bigger than Donald Trump.
Do not over-simplify the situation.
And work towards cutting out all of the cancer. Cut it all out.
Do not fall into despair. Stay awake. Educate others. Look deeper into the myriad forces swirling and do not make the mistake of over simplifying or over generalizing the problem. Look to economic factors, class warfare, media spin, lack of education, lack of resources and rhetoric that has been building for decades. Look at all of the factors that are behind the rise of this populist movement or you will not be able to adequately face it. Do not attack back. I repeat. Do not attack back.
Channel it. This is hard work but good work.
What feels good right now? Throwing your hands up, being angry. Lashing out. Blaming. But what is important right now? The good hard work of rising above. Of finding peace. Of finding compassion. Of reaching out. Of getting involved and staying awake.
I don’t see the apocalypse. I see an opening. I see people invigorated, impassioned. Speaking and speaking up in ways I never have before. Proclaiming love and standing up for their values in ways I have never have before. I see people awake and aware and ready to pay attention. Now find a way to direct your fire in the most effective way. Direct it and stay awake. It may not feel as good as lashing out, but it is vital.
Donate your time or money to causes that you believe in. Write to your representatives and legislators about the issues you care about. Don’t forget about the local level. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t underestimate the power of the people. Stay informed. Stay passionate. Keep seeking the good fight. The peaceful, deep, true, honorable fight. And do not fall into despair.
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