I hope everyone had a wonderful Not My President’s Day!
Sadly, I think we’ve reached a point now where the difference in opinions between Trump supporters and Trump opponents are irreconcilable. Because if you watched Trump’s press conference late last week and thought, “This is a fully sane man with complete control of his faculties who should be leading the most powerful country in the world,” then you are probably just as disillusioned as he is.
And I understand how important it is for both sides to at least try to find common ground.
Poll numbers show how starkly polarized we are right now. Eight percent of Democrats approve of Trump’s performance so far. Eighty-seven percent of Republicans think he is doing a good job. That’s crazy.
Because we all live in our own bubbles, the average person rarely finds themselves in conversation with someone they strongly disagree with politically — except on the Internet. Which is dangerous, because people act their very worst on the Internet, protected by the anonymity afforded behind a computer screen.
When we engage with someone who has different ideologies, more times than not, we will realize that they are truly harmless. And once you acknowledge the person at the other end of the political spectrum from yourself as human, their words become less damning.
Look at Milos Yiannopolous’s appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday. People were disgusted about him being invited onto a liberal talk show. One panelist even canceled his scheduled appearance.
But because Bill Maher sat and talked with Milo person-to-person, you realized that he is just a sad, misinformed and unsophisticated figure. Almost to the point where he’s pitiable.
Milo, meanwhile, is now facing his own troubles this week. But that’s a whole separate blog post in itself.
There’s a lot to be concerned about with this president. The question isn’t whether we will backslide as a democratic nation under his watch, but how much we will backslide. That being said, America will survive. We’ve been through worse. We’ve survived a civil war. The Dust Bowl era. Stock market collapses. America will prevail.
What I am extremely worried about, however, is Donald Trump ruining the minds – and futures – of many of our brightest young thinkers.
Right now, budding and impressionable kids are listening to the president’s incoherent ramblings that are devoid of logic and reason — and in many cases, truth — and seeing him be validated. They’re learning that it’s OK to be unread. That it’s OK to lack empathy. That it’s OK to bully others.
Not only will these behaviors be rewarded, but they’ll earn you our highest office in the land!
And on top of that, the president is simply spreading lies. He’s spreading untruths and it’s actually making people less informed and less intelligent.
“Look what happened last night in Sweden” is emblematic of that. These are things that can be Googled and fact-checked within seconds, and yet, it’s not a deterrent for him to stop lying.
Don’t believe the “fake news” media who debunked Trump’s Sweden claim? Well, read it yourself directly from Swedish newspapers. Or are they fake, too?
For young people who are only becoming politically aware right now — I sincerely apologize.
From an educational standpoint, America was already falling behind internationally. But after four years of this guy, we can only hope that our youth have not been permanently corrupted.
And if Trump’s ignorance somehow doesn’t pollute their intelligence, needn’t worry. Betsy DeVos will.