Open any newspaper or peruse any website and you’ll find at least one celebrity, one politician, or one pundit demanding that the rest of us “embrace” President Trump and his gang. Some suggest that we “give him a chance” and others say basically that “you guys lost so stuff it and deal with the new guy.” Others, true to the militaristic style so ingrained in our thinking, demand that we fall in line behind our leader, even if we don’t agree with him.
One can imagine 12 years hence the Nuremberg-style defense that those who do so might need to use, should of course the rest of us overcome this time of blight.
Good people don’t embrace malevolence. Good people don’t allow others to be trampled on in the hopes that gradually things might get better. As MLK reminded us 54 years ago, good people don’t put timetables on the freedom of others.
We must face the facts and face them now: President Trump and his followers and apologists are deeply ideologically bent. Not everything they do is reducible to a question of profit. They are willing to do things that are even bad for business. This is not a binary system or one purely based on economic greed. The game here is power and ideology. Double click on these and you find some clear underpinnings: white supremacy, extreme capitalism, militarization, fundamentalist Christianity, hatred of women and LGBTQ, and absolute disregard for the environment. So deep are these beliefs that Trump is willing to make enemies even of his staunchest allies (like Australia) that reminds one only of Stalin at his worst.
Against this backdrop and with terrible, terrible acts of violence based on this mentality in fairly recent history to remind us, we must fight. We must never embrace malevolence. That is never the answer- there is nothing here that might bend with love, nothing here that might cool and melt with empathy. There is no time to be detained with thoughts like “this is ignorance.” This is not ignorance. This is planned, volitional, and wanton malevolence.
Otherwise intelligent people have a way of succumbing to irrational ideologies fairly easily. The Republicans in power are good examples. Chomsky calls them the most “dangerous organization in history.” These people just voted to allow companies to pollute our streams. These people want to deny the very science that might help us learn how to save the planet from run-away global warming. These people want to torture children. These people want to deny immigrants access to the United States, despite all the evidence of economic and social benefit that come as a result of immigration. The list, dripping with bile, goes on and on.
This is thuggery. Since when are thugs embraced?
Romi Mahajan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org