Personal Politics: Growing Up In The Shadow Of Trumpism

I remember disagreeing with my Republican father in middle school. Growing up in a mixed race home, I didn’t understand my father’s politics. He was a former Marine. Maybe, that had something to do with it? In 1993, when Bill Clinton ran for office, I wasn’t old enough to vote. I loved that he was young, connected to the youth generation and supported environmental issues. Four years later, when I was 18, I voted for the first time. I could not have been prouder to participate in the democratic process.

In my early 20’s, I was living on my own in Brooklyn and working at my first “real job.” I watched the Twin Towers fall on 9/11 from the 19th floor of my office building in Times Square. It was like watching a live-action sci-fi movie.  I felt as if my home had been invaded.  I did not support the Iraq War. And after 8yrs of George Bush, I could not wait to kick the Republicans out of The White House. 

Image result for 9/11

Then came Barrack Obama, I had hope. I wanted change. I was swept away by his good looks and inspiring speeches. The world fell in love. There were exceptions, of course, including Donald Trump.

Growing up, Donald Trump was a staple in New York. Kind of like rats and hot dogs. I never liked him much. I remember driving on the FDR with my parents. My dad pointing to Donald’s yacht docked in the East River (there was a helicopter on top of it)! Trump made money and lost it. He opened casinos, “The Eighth Wonder Of the World.” The casinos closed and the yacht disappeared. I also didn’t care for the way he treated now ex-wife Ivanna during their very public divorce. 

As host of The Apprentice, Donald was entertaining enough. He was witty, tough but fair. When I heard he was running for office, I thought to myself, “This could be interesting.” Then he started to speak and it got weird. Build a wall? Why? For what? Who is going to pay for it? He claimed, “Mexico.” I rolled my eyes.

I was “With Her,” we had a love/hate relationship. I admired Hillary Clinton’s strength as First Lady. But I thought her run for the New York Senate was a bit far reaching –  she never lived in the state prior to running. After 9/11, I saw how she went to bat for the city and the first responders. With Bush in The White House, I felt safe knowing Hillary was looking out for us. Could she be robotic? Yes, I didn’t connect with her on a personal level.

As a Presidential candidate, I didn’t care she used a private server. But thought it was foolish it wasn’t secure. I felt Bernie was too idealistic. I basically supported Hillary because she was prepared since High School.

On the night of Nov. 8th, 2016, it was clear to me Donald Trump was going to win the election. My friends were hopeful, Hillary would come out on top. I knew better and went to sleep early. Nov. 9th, I had tickets to see Chelsea Handler, it was supposed to be a Hillary fest. Instead it was a funeral. Chelsea stopped taping – she was in tears. I was too. 

I became depressed but most of all angry. I could not understand how anyone could vote for an unhinged, unqualified, ignorant, arrogant, decisive, repulsive orange con-man with bad hair OVER  an OVER-qualified woman? I fought with family members, unfriended people on social media. I had fought the fight and lost. I was furious and still am.

With just over six months into the “Trump Administration,” there has been bizarre cabinet appointments (Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos), lies aka “alternative facts,” attacks on the media, poorly executed executive orders (travel ban), tweets attacking everyone from Meryl Streep to Nordstrom department stores.  Alleged ties with Russia, Michael Flynn, the firing of James Comey, public embarrassments on the world stage, a bizarre propaganda speech to the Boy Scouts and a military ban on trans service members. This is the shit storm of Trump.  Chaos, confusion. An attempt at abolishing order as we have known it for over 200 years. WTF is going on? 

None of us know where the shit storm may hit next- make sure you are prepared to march, protest, write, tweet and resist. Donald Trump has proven to be a failure on policy but he has been successful at doing things on his own terms without much respect for the office or the American people.