When Donald Trump slowly descended from an escalator in 2015 to stand before a podium and declare that most Mexicans are rapists, I never thought that he would win the Republican nomination, let alone the presidency. And yet, here we are, four years into a administration mired in scandal and a country more polarized since at least the 1960s.
I underestimated the power of white supremacy, what Ta-Nehisi Coates calls the “bloody heirloom.” There is no other way to explain Donald Trump defeating more qualified and severely more conservative Republican candidates, than his appeal to the fears of a large section of white America. Whether the target was the Muslim community, or the Hispanic community, or the African-American community, Trump has always found a way to demonize us as “the other.” They are coming for your jobs! MS-13 is moving next door to you! Sharia law is imminent! All of these are things that he has said, retweeted, or someone in his administration or Party has said.
Fear works. Today, amidst the deadly violence in Portland, the president refuses to condemn it. He can’t because he knows the more scared his white supporters are, the better chances he has of winning reelection. Not once has he tried to unite the country. Hes’ not a peace maker, he’s an arsonist. He’s not a democratic politician, he’s an autocrat. He’s a raptor testing the fences for weaknesses.
In order to further polarize the nation and ignite a fire in his base, every political opponent must be deemed “unpatriotic.” Never mind that dissent is an old American ideal and a foundational principle. Not to this president. His campaign communications for the past four years have been riddled with dehumanizing terms, such as, “the radical mob,” or the “unhinged left” or calling the free press, “the enemy of the people.” He has not once been a president for “all” of the people.
Every word, every action, has been to appeal to his base and to the benefit of the richest people in this country. Immigrants are called “thugs,” a US-born judge can’t do this job “because he’s Mexican,” black players kneeling asking for police reform are “sons of bitches.” Despite the blatant bigotry, the white Evangelical church has convinced itself that he’s God’s chosen. And in their zeal to make Trump their personal savior, they have alienated countless of people from their churches and their brand of Christianity.
If Trump was a god-send, then why do only white evangelicals overwhelmingly support him? Why not black or Latinx evangelicals? Of course, this is a question that they can’t really answer honestly. Any honest answer would give up the game. Do only white evangelicals possess the divine nature to interpret who’s a messenger of God? I don’t think they can answer that question.
Another four more years of Trump would be disastrous for this country. He would get to appoint even more federal and Supreme Court judges, therefore ensuring that the bloody heirloom and its patriarchal policies would reign for generations to come. Not to mention the very real possibility that another four years of power would give his wealthy enablers more opportunities to rob this country even more.
While Joe Biden is not a perfect candidate, I have seen what four years of a Trump administration has done. If this nation has any chance at healing, we need a change at the top. We need to reject the politics of fear and it can only happen if we all come together.