My disdain for him is equal to, if not greater than yours. So much of what he stands for, I simply detest. Not a day goes by where I don’t find his actions and attitudes unbecoming of a human being, let alone the President of the United States of America.
Yet, when I search to connect the dots that led to his rise in power. When I dissect the pathway of disease that has led to his infection. When I retrace the erosion that allows such a lapse of discernment, I must be willing to look into the mirror.
To be sure, conservative Evangelicalism and the safe harbor it affords to countless evils, has led the way in opening wide the gates to Trump’s rule and reign. This is obvious and well documented.
Yet, perhaps what we fail to see, is that in some way, great or small, we are all the incubator from which “Trump” has been birthed into the world—yes, progressives included.
We say that we detest his gross inappropriate sexual immorality, yet we sexualize our young children with provocative attire, seductive poses for social media, and the competitive message that beauty is centered upon one’s outward appearance.
We say his lying is of pathological origins fit for the Antichrist, yet we internally exonerate the daily fibs and exaggerations we tell that are deemed necessary to get ahead in life, or at least, take hold of our share. Somehow, in our minds, those are innocent, not unlike the little-white-untruths we insist are developmentally healthy for our children to explore.
We say that we are “progressive” and therefore nothing like him, yet we roam social media waiting to devour our own at first sight of their departure from our own personal ideology of progressive conformity.
We say that he has foolishly walled himself off from wise counsel and only gathers those around him whose loyalty is blind and without ethics, yet we huddle in our exclusive progressive tribes centered on much the same tenets, positioning and using the people around us for our benefit and “progressive” aspirations.
We say that the way he undermines his competition and enemies with vicious tweets and callous decisions is of the devil himself, yet when another walks into our own territory of influence, we guard our platforms at all cost, willing to send to the curb anyone who dares to get in the way of our spotlight and progressive empire building.
We say we are a people for the “common good,” yet we can’t find enough in common or good with each other to pause from our repeated self-destruction long enough to come together and unite our votes for the defeat of blatant tyranny.
We say his vacations are a rape of the American taxpayer, yet we refuse to muster the short amount of time and energy it takes to get up off the couch, educate our brains, and vote.
Every time we make beauty something that can be accomplished through powder, poses, and privilege, we are Trump.
Every time we place promotion, progress, or personal gain above truth, we are Trump.
Every time we subscribe to a legalism that affords us the exclusive right to judge, condemn, and marginalize, we are Trump.
Every time we position and use people in our lives for the fulfillment of personal aspirations, we are Trump.
Every time we sabotage and demonize those who would share in our spotlight or thwart our empire building, we are Trump.
Every time we eat our own and render people as disposable, we are Trump.
Every time we turn platforms into pedestals, we are Trump.
Every time we choose ignorance, complacency, and comfort over integrity, responsibility, activism, and the welfare of humanity, we are Trump.
We can bend, twist, and hide behind our excuses, but the cold hard truth is this… in some way, great or small, we are Trump—all of us. Not because we are simply imperfect humans like him, but because we all have been bewitched by a self-centered American spirit that has turned the very best and most sacred things of life into commodities of personal gratification. People, power, platforms, church, politics, and even Jesus: nothing has been exempt from being fashioned into a flag to wrap around our own selfish pursuits.
As hard as it may be to hear, Trump is a product of ourselves, we are not immune to culpability—all of us.
Therefore, it’s high time we stop pointing to the many obvious reasons why Trump is a thing, and start looking to ourselves as an integral part of the problem and likely the only part of the solution. Not simply because we believe to have better ideas, theologies, views, or values, but because at the end of the day, we are better humans.
For our most important vote will not be in the 2020 ballot box, but in our daily choice to actually live against the very things we say we are against.
Until we do, there will always be a Trump.
Grace is brave. Be brave.
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