I know this will come as a bit of a shock to those who know my stance on Donald Trump. But on the eve of his inauguration, I feel compelled to speak out about something that has been bothering me. That is the fact that every criticism I see of him is focused on ridiculing his looks, his intellect and his way of speaking.
Now I will admit, I don’t like the man. I think he was the wrong choice for President. I think he should not have won, not just because he was completely unqualified, but because we KNOW that there was interference in the vote. However, whatever the circumstances of his win, he was, in fact, validated by the Electoral College that we (however grudgingly) put our faith in.
I would give much to see someone else in the Oval Office, but right now that is not going to happen.
What is bothering me the most at the moment is the blatant hypocrisy from those who speak out against him. I have no problem with anyone who disagrees with his policies and practices. I am right there with those who criticize the way he treats women, minorities and the middle to lower classes. I think he is personally one of the most despicable humans on this Earth. But what I don’t agree with is those who are focusing on other aspects of his countenance.
For instance, the same people who rage about the fact he judges women based on their looks are the ones who call him a Cheeto, an Oompa Loompa or an Orange. His personal grooming choices are subjective, and some may find him handsome, while others find him unappealing. But a person’s decision on how to present themselves, good or bad, should not be something we make fun of. We fight each day to avoid “slut-shaming” and “fat-shaming.” We believe that we should be able to present ourselves to the world how we wish to be seen without fear of judgement or others being rude. We defend those who are tattooed, pierced or who wear unusual clothing or costumes. Not liking a person doesn’t change common decency. In fact, it is petty and reflects badly on the person doing the shaming.
Let’s talk about those who refer to him as Drumpf. This, too, is an incredibly disrespectful thing to do. Certainly I understand that his family’s name was once Drumpf. I also get that using the name was encouraged by John Oliver to point out how manufactured Donald Trump really is, as well as to reiterate the fact that his family are very recent immigrants to this country. However, I would remind you that Donald’s own name was NEVER Drumpf. He did not change it. He was born Donald Trump, and in that regard, he was not manufacturing an image.
Refusing to use a person’s real name is one of the most degrading and disrespectful things you can do. Sigmund Freud believed that purposefully mispronouncing someone’s name was an intentional statement of power, a disrespect that essentially said “you are not important enough for me to call you by your given name.” Previously, George H.W. Bush continually mispronounced Saddam Hussein’s name for this very reason.
I get that those using the Drumpf moniker feel exactly that way. They disrespect Donald Trump, and they want him to know it. But is it doing more harm than good? According to experts, what you are putting out will be reflected back at you. By openly disrespecting someone, you are giving them more reason to continue in their bad behavior. The onus is on you (and all of us) to remain civil, fair, impartial and composed. By doing so, you can be far more effective.
Again, the hypocrisy is evident here – we criticize Donald Trump for his disrespectful attitudes toward people, so we are then disrespectful back. The cycle repeats indefinitely until someone decides to be the bigger person.
The way a man speaks, the color of his tie, or his “tiny hands” are not important things when it comes to a Presidential nominee. Sure, they are easy to cling to, and we feel better for a while by pointing out his “inadequacies” as a human. But is it really the best way to be? How is this different from the many nasty comments on Michelle Obama’s weight or Barack’s big ears?
I know that the majority of us feel helpless in stopping the madness we feel is coming. But continuing to judge the superficial aspects of one man is taking time, energy and attention away from what is important. Namely, we need to keep our criticisms objective, focused and defendable.
Donald Trump is about to take office in the most powerful position in the world. Like it or not, he is going to determine our future for at least the next four years, and possibly nearly a decade. I urge all of us to reassess how we make our displeasure clear. Instead of whining on Facebook, research which legislators are working in your favor. Call them and congratulate them, thank them and urge them to continue. Those who are not working in your favor, call them up and complain. Do it daily if necessary. Make them remember your name. If you want to replace Trump in four years, focus on helping to find a candidate you can TRULY get behind. Work to make others get behind them, too.
Our focus should be on finding a new candidate that will truly be a voice of the people. Not the “silent majority” who aren’t a majority at all, but the people who truly need someone to work for them. Our focus should be in watching Donald Trump and all of his appointed team like a hawk. Keep him constantly accountable. Show him and his minions what the “voice of the people” really is. Our voices can make a difference. But not if we are using them to make fun of the amount of self tanner our President uses.