Making America Grateful Again

10/26/2016 06:50 pm ET

It’s time we stop beating up on Mr. Trump. Here’s why.

<strong>Trump as a boy</strong>
Oprah,com
Trump as a boy

The Gifts of Donald Trump

This election will be the climax to a long, dark spell. But exhausted and offended as we all are by this campaign—a festering spectacle of defamation, falsehoods characterized as fact, and cultural fires purposefully lit by both sides—if the winners celebrate by holding spite for the losers, their policies will be destructive at a time when we need grace.

And with 7+ billion people needing sustenance and wisdom, we can’t waste one calorie on more hate.

And, my! We do need grace. Though for almost two years truth has been distorted beyond measure for many reasons, our earthly problems have not lessened one whit. Resource depletion (human and natural), political and economic corruption, poverty, and now climate change all press hard on our near term existence. And with 7+ billion people needing sustenance and wisdom, we can’t waste one calorie on more hate.

And we have much to be grateful for. Beyond our extraordinary gifts such as life, and consciousness, and the miracles of speech and imagination, we stand on the cusp of great potential because of the efforts of one man to seek the highest office on Earth. And regardless of what happens on November 8th, we can choose to approach the future with less confusion than ever before about things that have tormented humanity from the beginning.

weknowyourdreams.com

“So let’s shift the ground.”

The half of the electorate that may read this article may be correct to point out that, trying to maintain power in the face of demographic change, one party has subverted the very principles it espouses. But being charitable (which is the purpose here) I am sure that that hypocrisy has been as painful for its purveyors as it has been for those whom it has oppressed. They will be as happy to end that charade as the rest of us. So let’s shift the ground. On November 9th, let’s determine that that will all be water under the bridge.

And What are the Gifts?

There are many, all related to removing the cataracts of our cultural blindness.

  • He has awakened us to patriarchy’s inherent subjugation of women
  • He has given voice to the fear Whites hold for people of color
  • He has articulated why learning history matters
  • He has damaged the asphyxiating nature of unbridled wealth
  • He has exposed the destructive power of media not intent on truth
  • He has shown the negative consequences of bullying others
  • He has exemplified how easy it is to normalize hatred and condescension
  • He has introduced us to the faces and frustration of the poor
  • He has encouraged those that society has trod upon to speak out
  • He has raised the flag about why trust in our institutions matters
  • He has admonished us for electing corrupt leaders
  • He has shown us how money is poisonous to democracy
  • He has warned us about the vulnerability of our Bill of Rights
  • He has highlighted the flaw of media devoid of punditry
  • He has quickened the debate about the consequences of intolerance
  • He has schooled us in the power of mob mentality
  • He has reintroduced us to tyranny’s underbelly
  • (Add your take on his gifts in the comment section . . . and be respectful)
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a large amount of Gratitude.”
A. A. Milne - <strong
mentalfloss
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a large amount of Gratitude.” A. A. Milne - Winne-the-Pooh

“The greatest gift of all: clarity.”

Looking at this list as ‘so much gone wrong’ is missing the greatest gift of all, which is clarity about who and what we really are as a people, a nation and a culture.

As a novelist, I have never managed to invent a character so gifted as Mr. Donald John Trump. He has taken the foundation of his party, misguided as it is, and, beyond their wildest dreams laid out for all to see what work this society needs to do. And for that, Mr. Trump’s offerings should make us grateful for generations to come. The anti-Christ is proving to be as powerful as the savior.

On November 9th, win or lose, let us express gratitude that our path forward is clearer than it has ever been. Like bombing for peace, hating people that hate is not a strategy. Let us all genuinely embrace those that have helped bring us to this point of clarity. That is the best medicine of all.

For two hundred years, America’s unwillingness to see its faults has led our leaders to make many grave mistakes at home and around the world. Now we can turn the tide, not with embarrassment or hate, but with an optimistic heart. Our best friend has pointed the way. To waste time chastising him and his followers threatens any possible good from this difficult decade. Unless we face them with kindness and embrace our collective failings, they will continue to dog us.

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