I’m grateful for Donald Trump.
I am, honestly. I just finished watching Michelle Obama’s speech in New Hampshire, and a few times, when I got all teary, I sucked it up and told myself that Michelle wasn’t crying. Hillary wouldn’t cry. My wife, who was sitting beside me, sure wasn’t crying. She was pumping her fist in the air. So. I can do this. Sniff...Woman up, Geoff.
At the end of it, I was grateful for Donald. I was so glad that this ridiculous, pathetic excuse for a man had tried to fill the gaping hole in himself with the presidency of the United States.
I was grateful that he was so inelegantly hateful, that all throughout his campaign, he didn’t even bother (or wasn’t intellectually able) to cloak his racist ideas in the language that racists in power had been using for years. “Us”. “Them”. “Take back our country.” Etc. etc. Language that has a built-in plausible deniability. He discarded that, and in doing so, he exposed a racist undercurrent in American politics that I never really heard people talk openly about. It was alluded to, but for the longest time, it seemed that most politicians, most Americans, didn’t want to say it outright. It would be too shocking. Too rude. Not for Donald. And now that it’s out there, we can all see it, and talk about it, and do something about it. Thanks, Donald.
I was grateful that a sexist, predatory piece of shit like Donald ran for president, and that proof of his disdain for women inevitably leaked. I was grateful for the outrage that followed. The hollow, hypocritical outrage from Republican pols who finally decided that since they had daughters, Donald had “gone too far”, and the reaction from so many who saw that for what it was: rats abandoning the ship that they had built themselves.
The outrage of women like Michelle Obama and Kelly Oxford (#notokay), who have been using their platforms to talk about their experiences and let other women and girls know that they do not have to put up with ANY abuse from men. And to educate us all about all forms of abuse; not just the outrageous ones, as exhibited by the human tire fire that is Donald, but the small, subtle forms of abuse. The leers, the catcalling. All of it. And now it’s out there, we can all see it, and talk about it.
And finally, as a middle aged white man, I was grateful for the outrage of men. People on social media, actors, athletes, politicians, friends. Men who were outraged not just because they had daughters or wives. Men who were outraged simply because they are decent human beings. The kind of filth that came out of Donald’s mouth wasn’t locker room talk. I mean, I’ve never been IN a locker room? But I know that the decent men, including my 20 year old son, who DO use locker rooms, don’t talk that way. They couldn’t. They were raised right. They respect women. They’re good people. And they say something when they hear shit like that from other men.
I’m grateful to Donald for underscoring the fact that degrading, demeaning acts and language demeans ALL of us. It brings everyone, not just the victims, down to his level. I’m grateful for that reminder.
There has been so much depressing news this election. But lately, I’ve also been noticing a coming together of decent people, to address the issues that seem like they’ve been avoided in the past. More good people are speaking out and saying Enough is enough. I’m grateful for that.
Fred Rogers once said that when something bad happens, look around and notice the helpers. The good people who step up and help out in emergencies. There are more out there than you think. And that’s what I’ve been doing lately. Noticing the helpers.
So, thank you, Donald. Now Fuck off.