Yes, today has been one of the most troubling days for Americans since the Second World War, assassinations aside. We have seen our elected leader give the keys to the kingdom to the head of our greatest rival, the country that has bedeviled us for over seventy years. Think there was a swindle in Singapore? Well, this time we were held up in Helsinki, and our own guardian turned out to be colluding with the thief. There’s no excuse for what happened: President Trump has proven himself more interested in protecting himself and his illusions about his successes than he is about protecting the country… and protecting the country is supposed to be his job. His only job.
Americans of all stripes should be appalled–and they are. All of us should be rising up in anger against this man who has hoodwinked so many of us for three years now.
We should not, however, turn our anger anywhere else. Not now. Maybe not ever.
Yes, some 45% of voters cast for him in 2016. Yes, as of yesterday, he had a stable core of supporters amounting to around 40% of the population. Yes, these people have been willing to stay with Trump so far, come hell or high water.
But now, if–and it is a very big “if”–the tide is turning against the orange devil, it does us anti-Trumpers, NeverTrumpers, and appalled patriots poorly to turn our sights on those who have been bamboozled by him.
They should not be our target.
Want to make their support for him even stronger? Lash out at them right now, forgetting that the real culprit is the one who scammed them. They are merely victims. Willing victims, yes, but victims nonetheless.
Forget, for a moment, the racism that propelled Trump into the White House. Forget about the fears and the anger. Concentrate instead on the man himself. Don’t argue with anyone about their beliefs, only about what Trump has said and done. Don’t ostracize anyone simply because they cannot admit being wrong–let them come to that on their own. Shout, instead, about this man who is doing such damage to our country.
Don’t make Trump’s supporters into the enemy. What they have done in his name is wrong and destructive–to our country and to the lives of many, including those thousands of children separated from their parents. Down that path lies destruction.
Today, we have a chance for stepping aside from the caustic divisions between Trump supporters and the rest of us. What the man himself has done goes beyond the pale, and we need to keep our eyes on that, not on our neighbors who let baser instincts lead to this very real threat to our nation.
To turn things around now, we are going to need those who have been Trump’s people. To turn things around, we are going to have to contain Trump, the man himself. As has been shown over the past three years, we cannot do this on our own. We have to keep the light focused on his deceptions and lies, and on the con he has been running on the American people.
Today, that con was exposed more dramatically than it ever has been before, and by the man himself. Focus your anger there, and not on the Trump supporter whose MAGA hat is probably now sitting a little uneasily on the head.
For the moment, the man is the problem. With him gone, we might even be able to reach out to his erstwhile supporters and together start to repair the tatters in our flag.
We will never do that by continuing the feud Trump has led.