Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all we needed to do to “Make America Great Again” would be to throw Donald Trump out of the White House and into an insane asylum? He does need throwing out of the White House before he does any more harm, and he does need treatment for his emotional problems, but those things won’t do much for the country except make us think the status quo is all good.
Without Trump, our history won’t have changed a bit. We will still be a country founded on violence and racism. We will still be a country enthralled by “The Winning of the West.” We will still be a country whose Supreme Court considers money to be free speech. We will still be a country where people aren’t all that important if they don’t have white skin, a private-school education, an old family name and a billion dollars. We will still be a country where not everyone can afford medical care, a healthy diet or a roof over his head. We will still be a country with hundreds of thousands of people in need of support for mental health problems and addiction problems and where jail is the only answer given to them. We will still be a country that tells parents that as long as their religion tells them to teach their children that science is all lies, that the Earth is 6,000 years old and people with black, brown or yellow skin are inferior, it is all right to keep them away from public schools where they would hear something different. We will still be a country where working people are working more hours per week for a salary from the 1970s. We will still be a country that adores fetuses and cuts pre-school and school budgets. We will still be a country that worships money and things.
Donald Trump is not the problem — he is a symptom. We have disenfranchised nearly half of our population and we think they are nuts for looking for a Trump to save them. We have shown half the American public that they can’t look to our government, courts or so-called “support systems,” to help them. Where are they to look? Look to God? Good idea, but God needs some help with this. I have heard, and witnessed, that God sometimes has skin. We need to reach out and help through legislation, court systems, schools and any place you see a hole you might be able to fill. We need to understand we are our brothers’ keepers and they, in tum, are ours. We are all God’s children.
By all means, remove Trump from power, but then step up to empower the people we have been ignoring. We are lucky here in Vermont to mostly live in small towns and because of that, we know each other and tend to support each other, but we are a small piece of this country and our attitude of brotherhood needs to be spread over 50 states.
I’ll end with a slightly misquoted Spanish proverb: I saw in the distance what I thought was an animal. As I drew closer, I realized it was a man, and as I got even closer, I recognized my brother.
Claire Trask lives in North Springfield.