Well, here it is. I’ve been sitting on this one for a few days because I know it’s likely to piss some people off, but lately I have an undeniable need to speak what‘s in my heart and mind and let what comes come. Read all the way to the end before coming at me. (If you are of similar mindset to mine, i’d also love to hear some words of support to break up whatever hate mail comes my way)
There’s one idea that I’ve learned over and over through self-development books, articles, classes and coaching; It’s the idea that people are mirrors. Think about it, we’re drawn to characters we relate to in stories and to people who share similar attributes and moral fabric to us in life. Reversely, if you deeply consider and pull apart the attributes of the people in life who really grind your gears and why they do, you’ll find that they’re often representative of an attribute within yourself that you work particularly hard to keep suppressed.
I’ll give you an example: I HATE dishonesty in people. A strong lesson I was taught as a kid is that if you lie, people won’t trust you. That lesson has been reinforced through life experiences throughout all of my years so far. As a teen I would occasionally lie to my parents to get something I wanted or to stay out of trouble and then just stress and agonize over the possibility of getting caught. It just never felt worth it, so I decided to hold that lesson close and let it form the foundation of my personality. If I have nothing else at least I know how to earn people’s trust. (It’s actually really simple, you just tell the truth). As a result, when I see that particular attribute which I believe to be an important piece of who I am, reflected back at me in the distorted form of a liar, I immediately lose respect for that person. I become repulsed. Being lied to used to make me feel allll kinds of rage and other big feelings. These days, instead of getting angry I just put a big boundary up around the subject of dishonesty. The people in my life know almost immediately how I feel about it.
On the flip side of that, I am significantly more drawn to people who have the same qualities that I pride myself on possessing.
From this idea I can only form the conclusion that devout supporters of our current president see something in him that makes them feel things. I can only venture my best guess at what those things are because the way that Donald Trump makes me feel as the leader of our country is afraid, disgusted, ignored, misled and ultimately embarrassed for us as a nation.
They say that you will be remembered not by the worlds that you say, but by the way you make people feel.
How do you think Hitler made people feel? In his rhetoric, Hitler was promising to restore Germany to the world power that it once was, is MAGA not eerily similar? History has a name for people who supported Hitler not because they hated the Jews or wanted to see human suffering but because they wanted to see Germany as a world super power once again. That world is Nazi, history doesn’t give a shit what their reasons were.
Fun fact about me- as a young adult I was almost morbidly drawn to biographies and historical fiction stories about slavery and the Holocaust. After learning briefly about these events in high school history, I couldn’t shake the feeling of disbelief that something so horrible could really happen. I guess I was looking for something in those stories that I could make sense of, some event that I could relate back to our current world. For a while I convinced myself that the only way these evil people got away with the horrors they were committing against human life was because the technology we have now wasn’t available then and news couldn’t be spread as fast or as far. It’s a tidy way to have set my young mind at ease huh? I’m seeing now that the problem is exactly the thing I always hoped it wasn’t. It’s a strange tendency of some humans to love seeing their own worst thoughts and ideas reflecting back at them in the form of someone powerful. I believe that’s why the blatant racism, sexism, bigotry and hatred that our president so openly spews is accepted (sometimes even celebrated) by so many. His beliefs align with their own beliefs even if it’s just secretly. That love of confirming and indulging the vile thoughts that have been secretly hiding in the darkest parts of minds all over the US has landed us with a president who is currently making a mockery of our country. To make matters even worse than the fact that he “won” the presidency to begin with, there are still plenty of people who will insist that he’s doing the right thing right up until their last coronavirus infected breathe. If i’m wrong then explain to me where all of the “He calls it like he see‘s it“ and “He’s just saying what everyone else is thinking“ lines of praise come from... I can tell you with absolute certainty that he‘s not saying what I’m thinking or seeing it like I see it.
There’s a lot about human behavior that I don’t understand and therefore haven’t reconciled for myself. I often wonder while I watch the darkness win in so many crucial decisions that are happening in our government... do I belong in the business world? The idealistic notion that honesty will prevail has proven me wrong in business so many times by now that I sometimes wonder if I will have to someday choose between my integrity or my success.
I already know what my choice will be if that day does eventually come. I would rather fight for my business as-is or not be in business at all than chose to compromise my beliefs, values or integrity. I’ve already had to make that choice at least a hundred times and I’ve always chosen the same.
It’s been weird living under a president who’s values are in such direct conflict to my own yet who’s decisions will so greatly impact my life and the lives of so many people that I care about; It’s been equally weird to watch people who’s values I wouldn’t have questioned until faced with this presidency wholeheartedly support someone who I view as being at the very least misguided, at the very worst evil straight to his core.
What can I say? These are the things that keep me up at night. 🤷🏼♀️
If you’re a Trump supporter who has found yourself thoroughly offended by my take on things, I would love to invite you to sleep on it, do a little morning reflection and then write to me. I’m genuinely curious to hear thoughts, perspectives and reactions but know that I will not entertain or respond to personal attacks, abusive language or assumptions about my background.
If you’re coming at me, best to come come correct.