Anyone who is friends with me on social media and hasn't blocked, unfriended, unfollowed or muted me, probably knows I don't like Donald Trump and I'm very vocal about it. I didn't like Bernie Sanders either, but that was different. My disdain for Trump isn't so much his politics, but how much he resembles others I dislike.
Now let's be clear. Trump is a man of outrageous privilege and I could use every cliche about silver spoons and ivory towers, but the reality is, he fits every definition of privilege, but what makes him worse is, he acts on them. For every black man who has been frisked for no reason, there's a Trump type responsible. For every immigrant, who has been viewed negatively, Trump-like men are the reason. For every woman, who has felt uncomfortable, even unsafe around someone, a man like Donald Trump is the reason. And yet, this isn't the reason I don't like him.
I don't like Donald Trump, because his actions so closely resemble those of a main male figure in my life, they haunt me. Donald Trump is narcissist and while we attach many negative words, the key part isn't his ego, his confidence, his bravado, because to be honest, those are all good qualities in my mind. No, the key word in the definition of narcissist is "excessive." It's that single words that takes a person, make or female them into and transforms them from a person of action into a person of acting. They do everything in their power to show you they are superior, but at your expense.
Now, while Donald Trump is other things, clinically I believe him to fit the bill of a sociopath, it's that excessive acting that trumps, no pun intended, all the other traits. So how does this affect me? It hurts to see, because it brings up bad memories, both new and old. What hurts as much is when people tell me I'm wrong and how wonderful he is, maybe even telling me I don't understand. It's at that moment where I feel for every child who has been abused and told it was for their own good or woman who was sexually assaulted and convinced she may have brought it on herself. It's for every black person who might have thought their loose fitting sweats did actually warrant them being stopped, or that Mexican man questioning if he really did belong here. It is all those feelings of helplessness and questioning of one's self, that pain me, to even hear him speak.
Imagine growing up hearing what you can be and who you can be like, but not being impressed by that person. They hadn't achieved anything, they weren't particularly special and they treated others as stepping stones. Now, imagine that you'd been trained to view them as better than you, all because they had done things. We all do things and everything we do is special and to be told otherwise is in it's very essence political. Whether it be religion, ethnicity, race or gender, we have a set of expectations to hold ourselves to that isn't fair. Then there's Trump who desires to hold all of us to a set of expectations that he himself refuses to embrace. He even mocks them, as if standards are beneath him.
So back to my life. Quiet misogyny was something I saw every single day. Subtle racism and bigotry was always there. A life view on culture, religion and what was important in life was forced down my throat and to disagree was to show my ignorance. The "I" word is thrown around loosely, but intolerance isn't in my nature. I'm intolerant of ignorance, not because I view myself as more intelligent than most, but because I view myself as more tolerant. I realize our differences, even within our own families is what defines us, not that common bond. Trump sells his family as this picture of American ideals, but he's on his third marriage, the first two ending in abuse, both physical and mental. His children disliked him in their youth, but favor him now, because of the privilege he's bestowed upon them and his youngest two children I view as forgotten souls. Criticized for their smirks, not praised for their independence.
I hate Trump, because he is never wrong. If he is, he changes the subject and digs deep to find something those who question him is wrong about. If he is proven wrong, he changes the subject and become angry. He then hurts others, to remind himself of his power. It's that excessive nature and the false appearance of some noble duty to others, all to lift himself that reminds me so much of my life and what surrounded me, that causes a physical reaction. One of repulsion, but also brings on a bit of anxiety. I see America facing my childhood, my adolescence and even my adult life. I feel like grabbing everyone I know and yelling "I know how this ends up and you don't win." I just wish I could give people a glimpse of how they're going to feel in four years.
About a year and a half ago, I dabbled with the idea of going vegan. I had realized I was no better than a housefly and I had no more reason to live than they did. I never killed spiders or mosquitoes and I'd started to get ill from eating meat. One night, while getting a glass of water, I saw a field mouse on the counter. Scared, shaking, I picked it up and brought it outside. The next morning, I felt a new confidence. I felt as if I'd saved a life and in many ways, gave mine meaning. The following morning, my father came down and had a glow to him. His chest puffed out, a little pep in his step and this pride I'd never seen before. A few seconds later, he boasted about killing a mouse and my heart sank. The next few days, every phone call, every visitor, every passerby, heard about his conquering the beast, as if it were some mythic dragon. With each telling his pride grew, the story became more grandiose and my sorrow built up and the physical pain I spoke of cut into me. It was that moment I promised I'd never kill another being, never eat one and a few months later, decided I'd not consume or wear anything that played a part in the mistreatment of another living animal,
The last story might seem out of place, but I bring you back to my first point. The word excessive. That mouse was a nuisance. That mouse was seeking refuge in a safe warm spot and the night I carried it out, it knew it had one. The following night it was dead. The sad part is, my father spoke of this for weeks and to this day, feels he not only did the right thing, but that he needed to be praised for it. You're chuckling now, because you see this as a foolish analogy, in terms of the President of the United States. Well, here's the thing. He got that praise and it grew and it grew and guess what? A year later, maybe metaphorically, I was became the mouse and he's still boasting about his kill, to whomever will listen. And the praise grows.