First posted March 28, 2017
Whether you agree with Trump and his policies, the campaign he waged, his administration or his legacy, one thing is undeniable: he tapped into a “train of thought” fomenting for some time. The biggest indicator of this fomentation was increased distrust of government.
I strongly believe this continued decline in trust will result in increasingly favorable conditions for fundamental change.
Unless, of course, the opportunity is missed. Then again, it may be oscillations in the balancing have become unstable, leaving us in a long-term destabilized social fabric, which again is a perfect bed upon which to sow the seeds of fundamental change.
It’s a perfect time for our work.
I wrote that back in March of 2017, before the pandemic tanked the economy, before it shut the world down. I wrote it before the Black Lives Matter and Charles Floyd-sparked outrage. I wrote this shortly after the Women’s March in January that same year, the beginning of the first full year of Trump’s presidency.
Trump not only successfully tapped into “White Grievance” as well as a general disdain for politicians, he capitalized on both in 2016. Now, with the 2020 election year mostly over, “Blue” has struck a victory…just barely.
What’s astounding, but not, is so many Americans favor Trump. While record numbers of Americans voted, it’s even more remarkable (to me) that so many – over 71 million voted for the president.
Then again, I get it because he has been one of the best American presidents.
Hang on…let me finish
Trump is one of the best presidents, not because of his agenda, his political accomplishments, his foreign policy his running of the economy or anything else related to the role he had as the most powerful executive on Earth.
He was one of the best American presidents because his presidency clarified for so many – on both sides – why this country…is this country. It clarified how fragile and grievous “white” America really is, how scared it is and yet how much leverage it simultaneously has.
I distinguish “white” America from the rest of America, which I’ll collectively call “The browning America.”
“White” America comprises Americans who are very light brown and racist. They believe they are superior to anyone not sharing their skin tone, an assertion fully debunked. These “White” Americans revel in institutions keeping many inequities of this country right where they are, mainly because “White” Americans, particularly “White Males”, benefit from them. Somehow, these Americans also claim grievance, even while controlling nearly all the country’s power levers from the time these levers were formalized in the US Constitution, itself a racist, anti-democratic doctrine disguised as a compromise that compromised not only brown-skinned lives, but also all women’s lives.
“The browning America” isn’t composed of brown-skinned people only. It also includes people who look “white” but don’t subscribe to the origins of “white” as a race (racism), and instead see themselves as part of the rest of us, equal, respectful and generally kind. These light-brown people stand on both sides of the political spectrum and yet believe America can do better by its darker brown-skinned citizens and in doing so they do better too.
Trump doing so well in this year’s election isn’t only a matter of race. It’s clear many felt he actually was doing a good job as the country’s executive. Whether that’s true is no matter to me. What I like about his presidency is how it combined with so many other forces to create a reality for Americans “white” and Browning, that got America thinking.
Thinking about what?
Knees jerk quickly. A lot of Americans still believe their democracy sound and the capitalist economy worth keeping despite the last 11 months or so. Cracks are showing through that façade though. I think the only reason some feel this way is they can’t conceive of a better way. All they can come up with is socialism and communism. No original thoughts at all.
We Americans got duped into thinking the 50s were some heyday of American harmony and today is exceptional in the sense that people “not like us” are destroying the country. Not like us, according to the Pew research usually means, people on the other side of a Racial, religious or partisan ideology.
What’s ironic is the 50s heyday was an illusion. It reflects extreme oppression. Oppression not only along racial lines, but also gender, orientation and even religious and political ideologies. In other words, America stood drugged into complacency by the violence of unspoken, comprehensive oppression. Pew puts it succinctly:
…it’s important to remember that eras of relatively muted partisan conflict, such as the late 1950s, were also characterized by structural injustice that kept many voices – particularly those of non-White Americans – out of the political arena.https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/11/13/america-is-exceptional-in-the-nature-of-its-political-divide/
The sixties started a revolt. That revolt continues today. It seems oppressive indoctrination is too strong to allow an original thought, one that can create a better America than what we see…
We’ll see about that.
I’ve always known façades don’t last. As America’s façade buckles under the modern era, one that demands far more than it’s old institutions can accommodate; with mother nature also asserting herself, urging humanity and its institutions to evolve, I’m excited to say we at Copiosis are almost ready for the moment when Americans collectively look for something that frees them from their self-imposed tyranny.
When they open their eyes, we’ll be ready. Just as Trump was when parts of America wanted something different. Only this time, they’ll get better than hoped for. Not worse.