The title says it all. Now, I don’t want to get political–okay, yes I do. Anyone who is a fan of Trump couldn’t be a fan of mine, anyway.
Don’t get me wrong; this is still about my writing, at least a little. The Happenstance series revolves around a few key elements: unfounded prejudice, hate, and selfishness. The villain, without giving away too many spoilers, is a powerful person inciting violence and manipulating a population for their own personal gain. Key note: I published this book back in 2015, so the general idea was not influenced by any of the events of the following year, but I wouldn’t have written it if these issues weren’t already important to me.
This has been said before: such a villain could only exist in fiction; how could nobody stand up to this evil, and how could nobody notice the deception? Well, in Happenstance, some people do realize. But some people don’t care, and some people have no idea what to do besides keep trying to survive in a messed up system. Just like the real world!
I won’t harp on that point too much because it has all been laid before, but it really, really confounds me as to how someone like Trump could ever, in any light, seem like a good potential leader. This dude can’t take criticism at all, for one thing–I’ve reprimanded toddlers with better emotional control than Trump when they’re told they can’t do something. I applaud every journalist who doesn’t lunge over the podium at press conferences, because I would not have the patience to ask a question or wait for a response if this hamburger-meat of a man was talking over me about unrelated “deals” and “beautiful systems,” never fully elaborating on anything. But being inconsiderate isn’t confined to press conferences; no, Trump’s disregard for others leaks into every aspect of how he treats his constituents and the world.
I was raised in church for a portion of my childhood. I’m interested in religion–I’ve taken college classes on the Bible, depictions and history of Jesus, the context of the New Testament–and, even if I no longer visit a physical church, I hold onto the pieces of kindness that I was taught growing up. Love thy neighbor–love ’em, love ’em, love ’em. Love them because God is them, and God is you, so you are them. Love them because, one day, they may love you back, in the form of food when you are hungry and shelter when you are cold. Love them because their children will live in a world with yours, and because, at the end of the day, humans depend on community, and bonds, and society to function. Cue all of us WEARING MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING TO KEEP OUR COMMUNITIES SAFE, PLEASE!
Donald Trump has no love for anyone other than himself. You can argue with me, but the proof is in the powder-orange puddin’. How can one be loving when wealth–ahem, that thing which supposedly keeps people out of Heaven–is the most important idol? How can one be loving when children–poor, brown, trans–are simply casualties of violent ideals? No one else truly exists for Trump, not the coal miners, or the poverty-stricken, or the 40,000 dead–because it could have been more–or the meek, or the weak, or the mourning? Who is blessed in a system that worships a hateful, gold-chomping man?
I’m not preaching. The only reason I bring up the Christian Bible is because so many others do,a nd because my basis of love is based on bettering my community. Show me where love means any of the things that Trump believes in–show me where hate means love. Show me where Trump is any kind of Jesus, instead of being an uncaring Pilate squashing the disadvantaged people of Jerusalem?
My senior year of high school, I wrote a paper about the way that people distinguish between fictional pain and real pain. I used examples such as the Bible, The Hunger Games (one of my favorites) and 1984 (a book I’ve, admittedly, never had the heart to read.) All of the people I talked to about either of these books, and all of the reviews I could find, generally agreed that the pain suffered by the characters at the hands of their governments was horrendous, intolerable, and cruel. I mean, Christians have a whole holiday around Jesus being persecuted by a powerful government. Katniss, too, never should have had to sacrifice herself to the Games, and why were these people starving in District 12 when the Capitol is so rich, and why are they working in unsafe conditions?
Back then, I compared these to real world issues, like poverty-stricken areas of the US suffering because of lack of access to good schools, healthy and affordable food, and safe jobs; these issues, while obvious to some, are invisible to many. They make excuses, saying that people should just move to a better area, work harder, not have kids, and all kinds of other things that were not said about Katniss’–or Jesus’–situation. I’ve never met a Christian who said that Jesus shouldn’t have spoken his mind against Roman control, because, well, he brought it all upon himself, right? He could have just allowed the violence against his people to continue, cause, well, his family could have just moved away, right? Oh, but Egypt wasn’t safe, so, like, maybe God never should have impregnated Mary, yeah? A bit irresponsible on His part, huh?
Snark aside, in Happenstance, it’s clear from Caprice’s point of view that bad things are happening in Elda. She wants things to change for the better. In America, people want the same things, and, yet, those ideas are radical. Caprice and her friends are appalled by the way the king encourages treatment of marginalized groups, and–if my readers are anything like the readers of THG–the readers agree! But those same ideals don’t always translate to real life, where things might actually change, and marginalized people might be treated like, well, people.
It’s clear to me that Donald Trump does not share this sentiment. I’d like to hear from anyone who could just send me a little bulleted list–with links–to any instance where Trump ever showed love for anyone other than himself, or any decency toward his fellow humans (and, no, praising himself for not killing everyone in the US because of his super early coronavirus response does not count.)
In the end, it’s all about the need for some genuine, unselfish, thoughtful love: endorsed by me, Caprice, and Jesus. Treat the world like toast and spread a little, how about?
Peace to those who need it most,