An American Mirror

When America gave us its worst, we did the best we could…

After a year under Agent Orange, it’s hard to look back at the shit show that was 2017. Generations removed from The Cold War, segregation, and white supremacists shouting in the streets, a Reality TV Star attempted to destroy the work of our parents & grandparents in the matter of months. Each day seemed to greet us with a new shocking headline, as The Cheeto in Chief threatened our country with the unreal prospect of WWIII, Civil War 2, and One Great Big Wall of Hate. Immigrants were intimidated, chi-mos were supported for public office, and even two of the most American things our country has – football + freedom of speech – were given the middle finger in the same tiny hand gesture.

Our whole world was turned upside down, as we were presented with the “new normal.” Lying became the truth, and telling those with the truth they were liars (fake news) was the easiest rebuttal. The absurd, the terrifying, became a daily routine. But nothing we saw in 2017 was normal, and it is our duty as Americans to resist this “new normal,” calling out injustice, misinformation, and to oppose all attacks on our freedom, especially when they come from inside our own borders. If we don’t believe they won’t achieve.

There are two things Donald Trump is good at; one is being a fearmonger. He is a schoolyard bully who can’t get over the fact that his white privilege and a few 0’s in his bank account won’t buy him happiness. And what do bullies do??? THREATEN! But his threats have been nothing but smoke & mirrors, just like the Wizard in Oz, but in this case perpetrated by the Wizard of Fraud. And if you really look at the year that was, there was little action, just threats. Because, as luck would have it, Donald Trump doesn’t have the character, wit, integrity, intelligence or follow through to actually get ANYTHING done…

Because is he really gonna get a bill passed???

     I’m not sure he can read past a 5th grade level.

Build a wall???

     He’d throw out the blueprints because the word “BLUE” reminds him of the Democrats.

And push the Big Red Button???

     He’d get stifled trying to sift through the second page of instructions, quickly comforting his ineptitude with a couple McDonald’s cheeseburgers, six-pack of Diet Coke before finding the real explosion on the toilet, where this digital dotard would press his most familiar buttons as he lashes out at our country on Twitter to compensate for the pain of his bowels (and surely his childhood too).

It is clear, as a President, Trump is really shitting the bed…and as a person, Trump is really shitting the bed (probably all the cheeseburgers & Diet Coke). Because when it’s all said and done, Trump will be nothing more than a small shit stain on the History of America. And while he’s a complete zero as a President or a human being, he has given our nation one gift, being a reflecting pool for the country; an American Mirror.

It hasn’t been easy to look in the American Mirror, because even a quick glance reflects the racism, sexism, and xenophobia that have been a part of our country since its inception. Embarrassing, isn’t it??? I think this shame is akin to what it is like to make amends as an alcoholic…

They say as an alcoholic you need to hit absolute rock bottom before you can finally seek help, and the American Mirror has shown us rock bottom. To be clear, Trump didn’t create this hate, but he did promote it and use it to propel his unfathomable political career. Hate and oppression have always been a part of the American underbelly. Trump just helped it bubble up to the surface. And like the alcoholic we have always had convenient excuses for our ugliness…

“Yeah I had 15 shots of fireball last night…but the economy is doing much better, and there’s more jobs.”

“Sure I drove drunk last night and might’ve hit somebody…but c’mon, we’ve all done a hit-and-run…..and there’s more jobs.

“So what?!  I woke up face down in pile of my own vomit…but I have a black friend….and…ummm……there’s more jobs!”

The beautiful byproduct of hitting rock bottom has been seeing citizens across our country stick up for the oppressed and disenfranchised with movements like #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, and the thousands of Portlanders rushing our international airport to assist immigrants under fire during the outrageous, unconstitutional travel ban.

So, after reflection on the “Year of Fear,” I thank you, Donald Trump for showing us rock bottom. Because we will stand up, speak out, and ultimately take you down.

…And I’ll drink to that.

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