A few of my son’s friends came over recently to pick something up, and they had not seen our house yet. My son gave them a tour, and the whole time I was thinking, “Good Lord. This house is a mess.” I was somewhat embarrassed, and a bit frustrated about the condition of the kids’ bedrooms and bathroom.
As I watched the RNC conclusion that night, a similar feeling crept in. I am embarrassed and frustrated by the state of our country and the presidential race, which is no longer about parties or contentious debate. Heck, I led my 5th-grade class in support of Nixon in a mock election; I know how it feels to be on the ultimately losing end of politics. This is not that.
“This” is the staggering number of Americans who seem to want to return America to a time when we were not, in fact, great. They want to return to a time when white males were in charge, a time when minorities and gays were allowed – encouraged, even – to be marginalized, a time when women were best found in the kitchen in full makeup with dinner cooking. They seem to want to go back to the days when violence was the answer to any given night’s saloon debate, the days when it was okay to hate because it was “us” versus “them,” and “us” was always right. The days when “them” could have been anybody.
Trump did not win the nomination based on his platform; one can logically argue the issues of a platform. He won the nomination by encouraging fear, prejudice, lies, hatred and bigotry, and there is no room for logic there. He condones – incites! – violence against those who disagree with him, and resorts to the name-calling and insult-spewing tactics of a schoolyard bully when faced with adversity.
This is no longer about Democrats vs. Republicans. We have survived that divide time and again. This is about the American people. As the great one once said, a house divided cannot stand. And with the depth of the hatred, racism and bigotry we have seen rise to the surface this year … I’m embarrassed and frustrated about the condition of our house.