This Is Not About Trump

Two women protesting after the post-election protest in Los Angeles, California 2016. Photo courtesy of T. Chick McClure via Unsplash.

Trump himself, the human individual, is insignificant. The name Donald John Trump points to a man hardly worth giving a passing thought to — time, after all, is finite and cannot be recovered.

The only thing that has made Trump unique is the fact that he inherited a tremendous surplus of resources that have allowed him to indulge his limitations, susceptibilities, inclinations, and tendencies without restraint. He’s lived a critically-narrow life of richly subsidized validation. This circumstantial fact aside, he is wholly unexceptional.

What is significant, what is worth giving our attentions to, is the fact that the most advanced (a subjective, but popularly accepted qualification)civilization in the history of humankind has constructed a system in which it is possible for ignominious individuals, as exemplified by Donald J. Trump, to rise to power and prominence.

Do not look at Trump, do not allow him or his demagoguery to capture one second more of your focus. To condemn him, to praise him, to inspect him, or to otherwise give your efforts to him, is to yield to him. He is a garbage dump of energies and attentions — a pit, a wasteland of effort and cognitive resources.

We must turn our gazes back onto our selves. It is our duty, as rational agents with the capacity for critical and abstract thought, to inspect our actions with objectivity and hold ourselves accountable for our impacts. That is to say, none of us are blameless, none of us can effectively disavow or divorce ourselves from the state of our union, none of us are passive observers. It is us as individuals, and the culmination of our forces and capabilities, that have seen our national and societal structures developed into what they are today.

I must admit, I feel self-conscious—even a bit “yucky”—about what I’m about to write, namely because it feels too obvious, and no one wants to use their writing to state the obvious—nor does a reader want to be told the obvious by the writer. However, the humbling truth that needs to be [re]stated, is that all humans—myself included—too often fall victim to the obvious and need to be reminded of it. What follows is an exhausting—yet certainly not exhaustive—listing of the ways in which we need to hold ourselves accountable, and regain the autonomy of our individual capacities for thought.

If we wish to bring about anything that could be objectively identified as meaningful change (for the better), we must individually and collectively work to incrementally regain the capacity for effectual, independent thought. We must work to recognize the myriad hypocrisies that we spew with groundless vehemence. We must call out and identify the false narratives that we readily feed ourselves on large and small scales. We must cease the passing of blame. We must put an end to speaking of delusive “facts” — no matter how trivial they may seem. We cannot allow ourselves to continue hearing only the words that verify and affirm the stances we have become comfortable with and vested in. We must stop defending our accepted identities at the cost of ourselves. We must stop condemning those things that offend and challenge us without admitting our active roles within them. We must stop condemning violence and wars as though we haven’t all purchased shares in the armaments that they are fought with. We must put an end to our spouting of slogans that represent empty and impossible ideologies. We must end the preventative-aggression we exhibit in defense of our vulnerabilities. We must abandon the dogmatic outcries that we’ve adopted to safeguard our insecurities and preserve our misunderstood identities. We must continuously and intensively inspect the flow of money that we generate, for indeed, finances are the great enabler of our world and our own contributions are not inconsequential; just as the innumerable, tributary trickles submit to gravity’s influence running down from high, rocky slopes to meet and together form a river’s flow, so do our contributions to our taxes and economy combine to generate a force that dictates the operation and power distribution of our world and societies as a whole.

We must not allow our attention to be taken and monopolized by our world’s countless distractions—we must reclaim our knowledge and awareness of our individual minds so we may implement our own, untainted beliefs and begin to again live life in accordance to the entity that we come to know to be ourselves.

The fight of the human nature against the human capacity for rational thought is rapidly escalating and the latter is losing the struggle. The winner of the last round and the favorite in the current is the personified aggregate of our collective deficiencies—he’s sporting an orange spray tan and a preposterous hairdo, and we’re letting him beat the life out of ourselves.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Douglas Balmain

Writer, Thinker, Ex-Recording Artist.

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