The President America Needs, Not the One It Wants

January 31, 2018

No one likes throwing up.

That feeling you have just before you vomit is one of life’s most unpleasant sensations, yet we all know how good it feels afterward. However awful the experience of purging was, we know that on some level it needed to happen.

Welcome to the United States under President Donald J. Trump.

Trump in the White House is the equivalent of this country throwing up. We’ve been eating a steady diet of corruption, excessive political correctness and demagoguery for years, and it’s finally catching up with us. He is an embodiment of everything we need to purge from our system.

Hillary Clinton had many great qualities, but she wasn’t a solution, she was a continuation of what wasn’t working. Obama too, and Bush, and Bill Clinton, and every other president in recent history. We’ve had this coming for a while.

The irony is that while Donald Trump is notorious for his short-term thinking and instant gratification, his presidency will most likely have a positive long-term effect on our political system, but not because he’s any good, because of how awful he is.

Look how many more people are now actively involved in the future of the country. We’ve gone from lethargy to outrage, and in doing so have started to get involved in a legislative process we never should have disconnected from in the first place.

Trump is exactly what this country needs, but not for the reasons most of his supporters say. He has held up a gigantic mirror. His subliminal message is “do you want to see how much our system is failing? I will be that failure.” He’s taken all the destructive character traits of politicians that we’ve collectively put up with and served them back to us with a side of authoritarianism.

Corruption, pandering, lying, cover-ups, inside-jobs, racist and sexist policies, Donald Trump is all of this, and seemingly without any shame. He’s the thermometer that we never wanted, but now that we’ve taken our temperature we see we’ve got a temperature of 103.

But knowing you have a fever is better than being in denial, which is why Trump is the president we need right now — but that doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it. In fact, if we accept his policies or get used to his idiocracy the whole point of his presidency will have ceased to exist.

The Will to Change

Look at the dramatic rise in social justice issues. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Look at wave after wave of women who are coming forwarding and creating justice in the areas of sexual violence. For the first time in modern history, women are being given a voice to set straight years of systemic oppression.

Look at people like Colin Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter movement. Was racial injustice an issue before Donald Trump? It absolutely was, but thanks to Trump we’re now angry enough to do something about it, and these important changes are now happening.

Even the people we consider “hate groups” like white nationalists are coming out of the woodwork, and while it may be hard to learn that these groups exist, it also means they’re coming to the table, wanting to talk.

One of the biggest trends in talk shows today is having civilized discourse about topics between two people who disagree. Sarah Silverman just launched a show about it, and there are countless podcasts with that exact theme.

We’re finally having the conversations we’ve been needing for generations.

Change is happening, and while it may seem like it’s not enough, that’s also because we’re more aware of the problems today than ever before. The process is working, and although it may not seem like it, I believe we’re better off today than we were two years ago.

November 8, 2016

Here’s a question I’d like us to ponder together.

If you could go back in time to 2016 and vote again, who would you vote for?

On that day, I voted for Hillary, and like many Americans I wasn’t at all happy about either choice. If I’m being really honest with myself, and had the chance to do it again knowing what I do now — I would vote for that mother fucking piece-of-shit Donald Trump.

Yes, I felt disgusting even writing that. In a lot of ways that act feels like betrayal, like an act of violence, or planning an intervention for a close friend. He’s not the president I want, but looking back over the last year I can’t deny that he’s been the president we needed.

As a counter argument, it could be said that there was so much turmoil and disruption during the campaign that he didn’t need to be elected president for us to realize we needed to turn things around. That could be true. I wonder if the #metoo movement would have happened if Hillary were president. I don’t know. I wish that were true but I just don’t know.

Again, no one likes throwing up. It’s an awful feeling. I would love to avoid throwing up, but I can’t deny that if my body is sick and needs to purge something, that’s an important process.

Speaking of vomiting, it’s worth mentioning that the concept of Donald Trump representing a temporary sickness in our country is the best case scenario. It could also be true that America has a terminal illness and we’re headed for the cosmic toilet with no hope of redemption. I don’t know, but I do know that the path we’ve been on for the past couple generations was bound to implode.

I can only hope Donald Trump is the vomit we needed.

The Hero and the Villain

The picture I chose for this article was no coincidence. I’m fascinated with the relationship between the hero and the villain, and Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy explores that in a way that’s very philosophically satisfying for me.

The final movie of the series (The Dark Knight Rises) begins with Bruce Wayne in a depressed state, devoid of purpose and perpetually locked in his mansion. When he emerges to fight Bane (the villain) he is weak and easily beaten. Instead of killing him, Bane exiles him to an underground prison that’s nearly impossible to escape.

It’s through this act we can see that while Bane is the villain, he is also helping Bruce Wayne wake up by forcing him to overcome the challenge of escaping an underground prison.

We never stop to consider what would have become of Bruce Wayne if Bane didn’t show up, but his self-destructive behavior gives us an indication that the outcome wouldn’t be good.

You may disagree with me, and the metaphor may not be perfect, but in my view — America is Bruce Wayne and Donald Trump is Bane. He’s the villain that wakes us up and unites us, and he’s also the asshole that throws us into a pit of anger and despair so we can rise up stronger than before.

We need him, because we have grown too complacent.

I didn’t want him, but he’s here — and although it’s painful, although it may be exposing sides of our country and ourselves we didn’t want to see — it may be the best thing that ever happened to us.

At least I hope so.

Bruce, why do we fall?
So we can learn to pick ourselves up.

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