The Republicans I know are a discontented lot. I’ve had some trouble figuring out why, since most of them have a lot more money than most Democrats (including me), whether they inherited it or earned it. They rarely talk politics because that would mean listening to other points of view, which is not allowed, but when they do talk, they are not averse to yelling out their displeasure at anyone who challenges what they feel is their righteous wisdom. Because they believe they are the privileged ones, the entitled. This occurs in even minor situations. Here is one of those as an example…
I was sitting in my car outside a pizza shop the other day in a zone that said I could stay there for two hours. I’d been there ten minutes, during which time I had completed a quick purchase, and was about to go home, but I hadn’t turned on the ignition, because I was checking my hair in the mirror. Suddenly a man appeared at the driver’s side window shouting at me. He was using his fist in the air and gesturing in anger. I thought he might be a street person or mentally unstable but he was dressed in a business suit and though his face was red with that anger, his hair was beautifully cut. I rolled down the window and was about to ask what the matter was, when he launched into a rant about how there I was using the parking space he needed, combing my hair, a typical, stupid woman, and I was in his way, preventing him from getting his rightful spot. He then stomped off to his car double-parked in the road, not waiting for my response or an exchange of any kind, and on the rear-end bumper he had an old but quite large sticker praising the Trump/Pence ballot.
I have a neighbor who won’t use social media because people on it think her point of view is too extreme even for a Republican and dare to ask her to tone it down. This woman inherited millions, so I am not sure why she is living on my little street. On any subject but politics she is rational, even entertaining, not a bad sort at all, but talk politics, and it’s like a new version of Mr. Hyde.
Republicans seem to have a lot of knee-jerk responses to questions, too. They make it clear the subject is not up for exploring, though. I mentioned to someone I know, a 35-year-old Republican, that I worry about the expensive cost of living. His answer was that I wouldn’t have to worry if we got rid of the welfare system, which he proceeded to describe, emphasizing all the lazy people (the greatest percentage of welfare usually supported children) — only he was describing the version that had existed in the 1970s, before he was born, most of which has been eliminated from the national budget. But he did not want an update. His comfort zone prevented that.
We all have comfort zones that can be hard to escape or revise or alter, but when it comes to Republicans and politics, their comfort zone does seem to seek zero alteration, zero change — because right now it is a system mainly for whites (almost all Republicans are white), and from the perspective of those whites — that’s the way it should be.
So I asked myself this morning whether Republicans all sided with Trump (on everything, like lemmings racing off a cliff!) because he was their comfort zone? Is that why they have said nothing about his ranting racist tweets against four non-white congresswomen?
It seems that way, because they are so silent.
Perhaps Republicans are afraid of Trump. The U.S. Senate sure seems to be, though I cannot fathom why. Trump probably has the lowest I.Q. of any previously sitting president. Either that, or he is developing some form of senility. He certainly has no control over his own behavior.
Or is it that all Republicans believe in white supremacy and have always done so and until Trump was elected and began to send out his unfiltered tweets we failed to notice this reality, those of us out here who do oppose racism?
Makes you wonder. Just how deceived have we non-Republicans been about the power of racism in this country to rear its ugly head so triumphantly, as shown by the willingness of the president to insult, scorn, and deride those four congresswomen, American citizens all, with appalling and hateful words, and the willingness of Republicans to let him? Have we non-Republicans had our heads in the sand?
We non-Republicans have kept believing in the ideals of freedom and equality that were the cornerstone of the Founding Fathers, however slowly those ideals have manifested. But we missed noticing what was going on in the underbelly of our nation. We missed the evil lying there, so close to the surface that it rose up as if out of a mist.
We failed to recognize this evil and its endemic presence. We saw it as a lingering legacy fast departing. We did not pay attention to its pervasive nature.
Why? Because until Trump the voice of this “legacy” of racism was tamped down, not given prominent and dominant attention by the media and the general population. Until Trump, we were largely unaware of the explosion of racist divisiveness that sat waiting to be proclaimed by millions of people — and by the U.S. Senate.
Our ignorance is impossible to sustain anymore, now. The truth is out.
However, we cannot forget that in World War II, it was the silence of witnesses to war crimes that allowed those crimes and the white supremacist rallying cry of the Nazis to continue. Is that what we want — to allow the evil of racism to continue in much the same way in the United States of America?
Because if we also remain silent, it will. And we will all suffer the consequences, for without active and informed protection of freedom and equality, we die as a country. Forever. There would be no coming back from that.
But what if Trump’s election to his office and its consequent exposure of not only his own evil racism but the racist outlook of the millions who follow him is actually a gift to us — to wake us up, at last, to the truth of who we are, what we are made of, and how much we dare to do to right a wrong, to do what it takes to bring the dream of freedom and liberty and dignity and equality to all men, women, and children in our country and on this earth?
For by accepting this wake-up call, we finally allow God’s will to “be done on earth, as it is in heaven…” and we truly realize “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Or we can remain silent, and wait and hope for someone else to do what is needed, until it is too late.