The New President

“Some men just want to watch the world burn.” Alfred Pennyworth

I’ve had the honor to know several people, beginning with my father, who have stood in the line of fire, in the military, in the police department, and, literally, in the fire department. Their bravery will always be a source of inspiration to me. I don’t consider bravery to be one of my defining characteristics but I’m no coward. If push comes to shove I am willing to lay down my life for the things I believe in: freedom, justice, and equality. History has made it plain that these ideals require constant vigilance. The United States Oath of Allegiance includes the words, “I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I consider our new president to be one of those enemies.

Donald J. Trump is a bigot. He has emboldened racists, misogynists, homophobes, and Christian supremacists from sea to shining sea. He believes that his ignorance is superior to the hard-won knowledge of his predecessors from both parties. Unfortunately for the people of the world, our new president’s stupidity is not his most dangerous trait, though it will almost certainly get many people killed. His greatest danger is his heartlessness. He is incapable of empathy. He is a sociopath. 

I’m not one of those #notmypresident people. I am an American and Donald Trump is now president of the United States. It’s my duty, as well as every other American’s, to accept responsibility for the small-minded and small-hearted among us who have elected a man obviously unfit to hold that office.

Hate and anger are tough things. Tough to live with and tough to overcome. It’s also tough to avoid feeling those demoralizing emotions toward people who willingly chose his childish confrontations and sense of entitlement over the sacrifice of generations of Americans who did the hard work of forging a more perfect union. There are people who hate Hillary Clinton, who hate liberals, who hate Democrats, who hate democracy when the majority disagrees with them, and who hate America if liberals are allowed an equal say in how it’s run. If the country won’t conform to their views they would rather watch it burn. It’s tough to consider any American who voted for our incoming president as anything other than a traitor to the ideas that founded our country. 

If you cannot admit that Donald Trump is unfit to occupy the office of President of the United States of America, you are a liar or a fool. Presidents Grant and Eisenhower had never held elective office but they had responsibility for life-and-death decisions that qualified them for the office. Trump has no such qualifications. I would like nothing more than to be wrong, and I hope I am, but it looks like we’re heading, eyes open, into one of our nation’s darkest chapters. The worst part of it is, unlike the Depression and the world wars, but in the same long shadow cast by our civil war, the coming darkness is of our own making.

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