Last year, Pope Francis compared the spreading of fake news to coprophilia, which the Oxford Living Dictionary defines as an "abnormal interest and pleasure in feces and defecation." I believe this is pretty much the same thing when we talk about Donald Trump. There is just no reason to keep writing and talking about how awful he is, both because it is either obvious or not, and also because he isn't really the problem.
This article isn't for Trump supporters. I am not trying to convince anyone about why Trump is dangerous who doesn't already know. This is for all you people pulling your hair out, wondering how the world went mad. I don't want to waller in this mud-bath again, but feel compelled to point out that we are missing the greater point here.
Here is Why the World Went Mad
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
- Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
The first lie a liar ever tells is to themselves. Only an honest person knows when they are lying. Remember this always: When Trump says, "No one respects women/black/LGBT folks more than me," he really believes it. For the entire history of this country, we have lied to ourselves. We enslaved black people, "for their own good." We discriminated against them and said, "separate but equal." We kept women from voting saying, "the Bible says women should stay silent."
The dying majority of America finds new excuses every day to justify their place over others. If you understand this, then there is no reason to be surprised that they brush off, justify, or dance around every terrible thing Trump says or does. After all, if we someday woke up and actually acknowledged all the terrible things we have done, we probably wouldn't be able to function. The only way we can get up in the morning and feel good about ourselves is to ignore the suffering of our neighbors, and then assign some level of virtue to our current good fortune.
It's Easier to Think You're a Good Person, than to Be One
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
- Carl Jung
When people say, "I am tired of political correctness," what they usually mean is, "I am tired of people making me feel like a bad person." The duty of repentance is to acknowledge that as we grow in this world, we carry the prejudices of our families and culture. Everyone has inherent biases that cloud our judgment and place us above others in our own eyes. To face these things, we have to face ourselves. That is something most would rather not do.
Trump's rhetoric is like a "get out of jail free card." He offers his supports solace and comfort in their bigotry. They can feel good about being misogynist, racists, or homophobes. They don't have to worry about what they say anymore, and can feel it is a virtue to "say what is on their minds." The evidence for this is ample as hate crimes have surged since Trump election.
You Can't Kill Hitler
Focusing on one person as an enemy is always a mistake. For example, it seems like every time we create a sci-fi story with time travel, someone has to try to go back and kill Hitler. This way of thinking neglects the fact that socio-economic circumstances created Hitler, not the other way around. Kill Hitler, and it would have just been someone else.
Just look at the middle-east! You topple one dictator, another takes his place. You destroy an oppressive government, and terrorism rises up in its place. You can't kill evil, and you can't destroy hate with violence. It is the collective hearts and minds of a culture and society that have to change for things to improve.
Such is the way with Trump. Trump is an opportunist at the end of a long chain of problems. And it is pretty easy to see that if it wasn't Trump, then it would have been Ted Cruz. The tribal rage of "us vs. them" has been burning for years, and they were going to elect someone who appealed to them.
Trump Isn't the Problem
Trump isn't the problem, a culture of bigotry, fear, racism, and ignorance is the problem. More importantly, it is clear that Trump is incompetent with the emotional maturity of a 6-year-old. It's all the people around Trump that are the real danger. White nationalists like Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions are the real threat, and they are the kind of people who would still be taking power whether Trump was elected or someone else.
Don't talk to me about how Hillary won the popular vote, or that Russia interfered with our election. It doesn't matter. In a healthy nation, Trump would have been reduced to a percentage of the vote smaller than Gary Johnson. It shouldn't have even been close. It is a farce so obvious that only the most extreme fringes should ever fall for it.
We Have to Face the Truth: It's Worse than We Want to Admit
So many of us can't help but react to each new Trump tweet or mind-blowing duplicity from surrogates. There is a sense of incredulity among the rest of us that our fellow American's just can't be this stupid. And if you think "stupid" is harsh, that is the go-to reason because the alternative is worse. The alternative is that our fellow Americans know exactly what is going on and are actually going along with it.
Let's get real. They say "we are tired of corruption," but have no problem with Trump's conflict of interests. They say, "we want someone who cares about the working man." But they elected a man known for stealing from the working man, and stay silent as he appoints millionaires to his cabinet. They say, "he says it like it is," and, "he didn't really mean that," in the same breath. They list campaign promises, most of which Trump himself admits weren't sincere. The only consistent part of Trump is the cruelty, and that's what people really want.
Change Comes by Accountability to Action
Every Trump voter who says, "he doesn't mean it," or "I don't approve of his behavior, but..." needs their feet held to the fire over the next four years. Don't get distracted by Trump, it is the voters, the enablers, and the the people who stayed home that need our rebuke. A liar still has a small piece of themselves, deep inside, that knows the truth. And that is where grace draws its power.
Challenge them to act as the good people they claim to be. Invite them to an open and affirming church service with you. Ask them to march with you when injustice happens. Ask them to join you in ministries that interact with the poor, or simply meet face-to-face with those they stereotype. Speak well of those they ridicule and dehumanize so as to expose their shame.
Every time they say "no" or have to defend their hatred, they will grow a little more aware. Every time they turn down an invitation, they will have to deal with a little guilt. It is in action that lies are exposed, and the heart is revealed.
Address Your Attention to the Seats Next to You
We have a lot of work to do. We need to speak up for the marginalized and out against policies and laws which persecute them. Speak up to your friends, families, and neighbors about those who lack a voice. When bad policies come up, point them out. When people are persecuted, bring it to attention. As long as we carry on about Trump, people will defend or excuse him. If we focus on the consequences, then people have to defend themselves.
I will not write about the coprophilia that is Trump's presidency again, but I will continue to speak out against the tribal and violent tendencies of our society, and the darkness we hide in our hearts toward our neighbors. Trump is nothing more or less than the darkness brought to the surface. He is the tip of the iceberg, and the real battle is what is holding him up.
“I did try and fuck her. She was married… I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn't get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she's not got the big phony tits and everything... I've got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Donald J Trump, 45th US President