Who Made Whom? The Legacy of Fingerpointing in the Era of Trump

Someone posted this as pushback to the fear and bewilderment at Trump and his ilk, and the rise of fascistic ideology springing up worldwide. I felt the need to reply.

“How did this happen you ask? You created “us” when you attacked our freedom of speech.”

– No, we did not ‘attack’ your freedom of speech. We asked you not to denigrate your fellow Americans, and to treat others with kindness, even if they are different from you. We also pointed out that freedom of speech does not mean that others cannot critique what you say. In other words, it’s not a magic shield from the consequences of being a dick.

“You created “us” when you attacked our right to bear arms.”

– No guns have been taken, gun ownership has not been banned or restricted. But gun violence is still rising, and we need to make sure guns do not fall into the wrong hands. Unless your hands ARE the wrong hands, you should be in support of this.

“You created “us” when you attacked our Christian beliefs.”

-Your beliefs were not attacked, and you are still an incredibly visible majority. Your ability to force others to live according to your beliefs has been limited, as is appropriate for a democracy that celebrates religious freedom. And growing numbers of individuals are rejecting your dogma. Perhaps you should be asking yourself why instead of screaming that you are being attacked.

“You created “us” when you constantly referred to us as racists.”

– Our culture carries deeply embedded institutional racism. We need to face it and admit it. Trump’s campaign was rife with racial prejudice and divisiveness which only reinforced that racism. If you embrace that or choose to overlook it, you are helping that racism to flourish. What else can we call it when your views are the same as those held by racists?

“You created “us” when you constantly called us xenophobic.”

– Our culture also carries deeply embedded institutional hate, fear, and mistrust of foreigners and of global engagement. And we also need to face it and address it. Trump’s campaign was also rife with prejudice and derision of immigrants of other nations, which only reinforced that mistrust. The global society is the reality, other nations will not go away if we hide our heads under a flag, and American diversity is not going to stop. What else can we call it when you continually blame, fear, and denigrate those from other nations?

You created “us” when you told us to get on board or get out of the way.

– Yes, we did do that. As above, the forces of diversity and globalization are not going away. LGBT people are not going to retreat back into the closet. Non-religion will continue to grow. America will never be a white Christian county. You DO need to get on board, or at least stop fighting the inevitable. Keep your views if you must, but stop trying to force the nation to your will.

You created “us” when you forced us to buy health care and then financially penalized us for not participating.

– Health care needs a radical overhaul. Americans spend more per capita on health care than almost any other nation and yet get the least actual care for our dollar than any developed nation. You would never have allowed universal health care, so this was the best solution YOU allowed us to put in place. As to penalizing non-participation, you do realize your uncovered expenses are a massive drain on the public, don’t you? Aren’t you all frothing at the mouth at the thought of paying for other people’s health care? Not having insurance is exactly that: forcing the taxpayers to cover your costs. 

“You created “us” when you lied and said we could keep our insurance plans and our doctors.”

– Talk to the insurance industry, and to your republican state legislature. They stood in the way of the ACA’s success. In states where GOP legislators were not allowed to sabotage it, the CA was a stunning success.

“You created “us” when you allowed our jobs to continue to leave our country.”

– Liberals didn’t do this. Your union-busting did. Your defense of corporate power did. Your demand for ever cheaper, ever more plentiful junk from Walmart did. And advances in robotics didn’t make those jobs leave, but they made them obsolete. Face it, was are not a manufacturing economy anymore, and we won’t be again.

“You created “us” when you attacked our flag.”

– If you mean the American flag, the right to burn a flag in protest is enshrined in the same freedom of speech you claim has been attacked. If you mean the Confederate flag, that is not your flag. That is the flag of a seditious, slavery-defending, illegitimate rebellion. It is both funny and sad that you fail to see the irony in your defending the right to continue to wave that flag in spite of that rebellion’s defeat 140 years ago, even as you excoriate us for protesting something in the present.

“You created “us” when you took God out of our schools.”

– God has not been taken from schools, nor has prayer been banned. But public schools serve all Americans, regardless of their choice of faith, so schools cannot offer or lead prayers. Individuals can pray all they want. No faith has the right to force students to be indoctrinated. If you want your God formally represented in schools, you need to allow Allah, Shiva, and all other gods in, too. Funny how when presented with Muslim literature or Satanic comic books, you are 100% in favor of keeping religious indoctrination out of schools.

“You created “us” when you confused women’s rights with feminism.”

– No, you are the only one confused on this point. Women’s rights ARE feminism.

You created “us” when you began to immasculate [sic] men.

– Perhaps if your ‘masculinity’ was not rooted in oppressing and denigrating women, you would not feel threatened when women push back. Feminists are fighting against the ways that sexism and patriarchy hurt you, too. (And by the way, it’s ‘emasculate.’)

“You created “us” when you decided to make our children soft.”

– What does that even mean? What are we, Sparta? We oppose physical abuse, bullying, hate speech, and violence in schools. We decry the arranged marriage of early teens. We fight for all children to be treated with respect and kindness. Why don’t you?

“You created “us” when you decided to vote for progressive ideals.”

– America was founded on progressive ideals, and on the notion that laws and governance need to change with the people whom they serve. Progressive literally means we make progress, and try to improve how we serve all people. Why are you so deeply afraid of progress? Also, that whole ‘democracy’ thing you claim to defend? Voting for the ideas one believes in would be that.

“You created “us” when you attacked our way of life.”

– What part of your ‘way of life’ was attacked? The part where you beat up gays? That part where you force others to live by your beliefs? The part where you continue to regard women and people of color as inferior beings? The part where you allow industry to destroy our water, air, and future? Perhaps if you dislike being criticized for your way of life, you need to progress into a less destructive, oppressive, provincial, and hateful way of life.

“You created “us” when you decided to let our government get out of control.”

– In what way is the government ‘out of control?’ When it tells you that you need to do your part to protect our world and halt climate change (and no, that one is not a matter of opinion, it’s science. Period. ‘Questioning it’ isn’t skepticism, it’s scientific illiteracy)? When it tells you that science is science, and no, your mythology is not just as legitimate in science classrooms or in serious decisions on policy that will impact the world? When it tells you that no, you can’t force others to live by your religion? When it tells you you cannot discriminate against people whose skin color or sexual orientation you don’t like? When it sets minimum standards that education must reach, to keep our kids competitive in a world that is leaving us in the dust? When it demands that banks and corporations be held responsible for the safety and ethicality of their products and business practices? It’s telling that by ‘out of control’ you mean ‘holding you accountable.’

“You” created “us” the silent majority.

– Silent? FoxNews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Pat Robertson, birtherism, the Confederate flag, Donald Trump. How is it you are ‘silent’ exactly? And let me remind you, your candidate did not win the majority vote. Your majority is coming to an end, and that is exactly what so frightens you that you seek to blame others for your loss of primacy in today’s America.

You created “us” when you began murdering innocent law enforcement officers.

– How did Liberals begin murdering officers? Do you mean when we denounced overreach and abuse by police? When we called for accountability when unarmed civilians are gunned down or beaten to death? Or do you mean when we suggested that the senseless war on drugs has created a police state that is as dangerous for officers as for civilians, all for no good reason?

You created “us” when you took a knee, or stayed seated, or didn’t remove your hat during our National Anthem.

– Remember that freedom of speech you said WE threatened? This would be that. Take a long, hard look at who is trying to suppress whose free speech, and why.

“And we became fed up and we pushed back and spoke up. And we did it with ballots, not bullets.”

– With the help of a deeply gerrymandered system (made so by your representatives), widespread voter suppression and disenfranchisement (of blacks especially, another reason we tend to mention racism), and an outdated electoral college that is violating the actual will of the majority of voters. And now, emboldened by the completely unqualified leader you have maneuvered into this position, some of you are acting out on your prejudices and hatred, lashing out at fellow Americans. You have little of which to be proud. We did not create you. You have let your fears, biases, and insecurities define you. YOU made you.