Things I Wrote About Trump and Fundamentalism a Few Weeks Ago

Trump is a xenophobic, misogynistic, lying, venom-spewing representation of cruelty run wild.

Hillary Clinton is a little stiff on camera.

Yep, those are definitely the same kind of problems, kudos to the baby boomers who wail about two equally bad choices, you are right, you are so right, I pray that you live long lives that we may have your insight in our lives for just that much longer, you shining beacons of the best of us.

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Fathers of daughters, shed upon me the light of your wisdom that so praises a man who would grab your daughter’s groin by force.

Mothers of sons, impart to me the worldview that turns rape into equivocation and bigotry into differences of opinion.

You sad angry creatures, crawling in the dirt in fear of a God you’ve turned into a bully, you find yourselves cowering before a tyrant because separatism and destruction are what you believe we all deserve.

You fearful insecure wretches, crawling toward the dark heat of someone else’s anger, thrusting your hands into the black flames for warmth, praying to a God you’re scared of to make things OK.

You hypocrites, you who boast about not wanting to vote, you who wear your ignorance with pride, you who forfeit your chance to change the world and then bitch, bitch, bitch when the world does not conform to your dreams, what did you expect.

You scariest and most unknowable of all, you people who welcome hatred and separatism and discord, who conflate conflict with oppression, who want to burn the house down in order to save the field, you who wish destruction upon us all simply because you want a change of scenery—I do not know what to do; I am weighed down, struck dumb, by what’s roiling inside you.

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I grew up in a denomination of fear and shame and self-loathing, of dogma fetishized at the expense of real people, of grace shouted down by subordination, so it’s not like I don’t understand the bone-deep appeal of listening to a hateful man tell you that you are right and The World is wrong and out to persecute you—swap in some top 10 verses for assertions about the sexual crimes of immigrants, and you’ve basically got every church camp I ever attended.

But in the paraphrased words of Dr. King, fuck that hateful shit right to the curb and back.

This is not a difference of opinion, or an instance where educated people of different political or spiritual worldviews might reasonably find themselves supporting different candidates for office.

This is a bayonet fight in the trenches of no man’s land, and there can be no quarter given to those who preach hate and intolerance and division.

You want the universe’s moral arc to bend toward justice, you better start pulling on that bar and bending it with every bone in your hands.

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I am Eustace scraping these scales from my arms to bleed, and I feel blessedly farther every day from the shame and self-destruction I was taught, and I am nauseated by the silence of men and women who idolize exclusivity and control and imagine paradise’s doors to be very small.

When you tell yourself that only certain people will be saved, that only certain ones can ever deserve it, then of course you will find yourself taking succor in the words of a man who tells you you were right, that you are special and no one else is.

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I feel lakes of pity for people who hold to him, as if he offers the certainty of salvation or freedom, who believe all manner of conspiracy theories about Clinton but ignore the factually documented sins of their own favorite son simply because they would rather be rigid than flexible, fundamentalist than nuanced.

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The really sick fucking part of it is how much Trump reminds me of my youth: the certainty, the exclusion, the absolute surety that we had it right and everyone else had it wrong. The homophobia, the xenophobia, the misogyny. The way women got to work in the kitchen but never speak in front of a congregation. The way they could hold and pass a communion tray but not be trusted to walk around and help pass it from row to row, as if this was too much, an affront, a violation of God’s own rules. This background and history of fear and self-hatred, when the only way out seemed to be to hate the enemy more than you hated yourself. The loud declamations, the visceral language, the proclamations. Everything born of anger, which is born of fear. The fear of not being able to do enough. The feeling that mercy was weak and grace nonexistent, something you’d heard about but could never touch or feel. That you could never sit still and feel calm, so the only answer must be to go faster and stay distracted. To never ask the big questions, or any questions. To be cowed, to cower. He is the return of those evil things and divisions I have spent my life running from. And to see people clinging to him makes me wonder if anyone ever gets out alive.