Disappointed

Life comes with disappointments. It’s just part of the deal. I’d be lying though, if I said that the election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States didn’t carry some extra sting to it. It’s not because I particularly wanted Hillary Clinton to be POTUS instead, but it’s hard to overstate how bad Trump is going to be for this country. I cannot come close to agreeing that this was a choice between two equivalent evils, because the one who was the choice of the people most loudly proclaiming their own patriotism is by far the most destructive for America.

Even ignoring all the racist, sexist, and generally vile things Trump has said and done, the distinction between the outgoing and incoming leaders of our country couldn’t be more of a stark contrast. Trump barely reads and can almost manage to speak at a third grade level (and that might be being kind). Obama, on the other hand, is not only a highly skilled orator, but a man who reads with purpose and seeks to learn from it. Political stances completely aside, one is an intellectual and one is literally a dummy, and it’s not the smarter of the two we’re about to be inflicted with.

I just can’t view a vote for Trump as anything other than a vote for anti-intellectualism and acceptance of factual ignorance as a standard for our country. Maybe if the guy wasn’t so purposely uninformed (and full of hatred), I could overcome that, but he is, and I can’t.

Worse, Trump picks fights with anyone and everyone who is remotely critical of him or his policies. Donald’s skin, mysteriously orange though it may be, is thinner than that of most 5th graders. Name calling is is modus operandi, and it’s enthusiastically reflected in his followers on Twitter and Facebook.

The GOP has long been the party of hate though, let’s not kid ourselves. It started to intensify in 2008 with the election of Barak Obama. That’s when conservatives just started spraying their audiences with spittle as they lashed out like a wounded animal. No lie was beneath them (birtherism, anyone?) and a sneering, chortling self-righteousness overcame any sense of decency or concern for their fellow citizens. This free-fall to the depths of tribalism has now manifested itself in the mad scramble to repeal healthcare for millions of people, with nothing to replace it with, and in the election of a man whose ties to Russia and indebtedness to the banks cannot be seen as anything other than threats to our democracy.

I’m particularly disappointed in the American church. Conservative Christians sold their souls to help elect a man who has been consistently vile towards women, who has been as anti-Christ in personal values as could possibly be achieved, and who may very well be preparing to deliver our country up to Russia on a platter, whether due to ignorance on the part of The Donald or coercion on the part of Putin. Honestly, I don’t know how women in the church aren’t taking this as anything but a solid kick in the face from their primarily male leadership. And the church fell for the orange banana in the tailpipe for one reason: the Supreme Court. I guess going really narrow in your list of moral concerns can do that to you.

American Christians have always made the mistake of tying a totem version of Jesus to guns and country though, willfully ignoring the reality that America has only existed for a tiny fraction of Christianity’s history. It’s a conceit that shocked me upon my return from Japan as a boy, and it’s a conceit that reignited my disillusionment with their dishonesty and hypocrisy in 2016, when the rhetoric started ramping up again that failing to support the GOP (including its cheeto colored candidate) was a form of blasphemy.

Basically, I’m really sick of the civil religion that passes for Christianity in this country. It’s a lying lie, propagated by lying liars. If you don’t believe me, look no further than the standard conservative stance that no one deserves healthcare unless they’ve fully proven that they’ve earned the right to live. The church is full of people willing to argue the justness of this view. Can any single attitude towards one’s fellow humans be more diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus? It seems pretty doubtful to me.

I truly believe that a lot of conservatives who voted for Trump and who have spent the last few years raging against Obamacare are about to find themselves startled by the size of the enema that Paul Ryan and the GOP have planned for them. It’s not going to work out well in terms of their healthcare coverage, and it’s probably not going to work out well for future generations for a long time either.

Somehow many Americans bought the lie that our country was failing us, when unemployment is down more than it has been in years, and the economy is better than it was for a long time. I understand there are sectors in which jobs are just gone, particularly in blue collar jobs, but a lot of those are gone forever unless we bomb this planet back into the stone age and rid ourselves completely of technology. It’s a genuine problem, but Trump can’t change that without regressing us so far back in time that we can’t even compete with third-world countries anymore. The world is going to keep changing. What’s needed is a plan to help people adapt, not a lame attempt to time travel back to the fifties.

Bush tossed Obama a paper bag full of economic dung, and now we are a relatively healthy country, economically speaking. You’ll never hear that from conservatives though. I honestly have no clue what people thought they were voting for when they chose Trump to take them back to the good old days. The good old days were not good, especially for minorities and women. Nostalgia may be fun, but it’s quite often a devil on the shoulder whispering lies about things that never were.

I’ve long thought that the United States of America is the most backwards advanced country in the world, and the election of 2016 has done nothing but reinforce that view in my mind. It’s even worse that so many of the people proclaiming love for all are some of the angriest at those who have the audacity to imagine that a powerful nation can provide healthcare for its citizens without somehow blaspheming the name of God in the process.

America, you sadden me.