First of all, let me apologize for the frightful mental image this title conjures. I spend a lot of time reading children’s stories to my 3 and 4 year old, and also pondering the state of our world. Sometimes the lines blur. These days, I just can stop thinking of the old fable, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” and wondering when we’re all going to laugh and admit our President-elect is as naked as a jaybird. You know, metaphorically speaking. Because, eww and gross.
Children’s stories often relay cultural values and serve as simple metaphors for life. In “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” (by Hans Christian Andersen), the Emperor is a vain and vengeful ruler who everyone fears. One day, a couple of con artists visit the kingdom and offer to make the Emperor the most regal suit in the land from a magical invisible fabric that can only be seen by those who are smart and loyal. When the Emperor parades in front of his closest advisors, and eventually all the people of the town, everyone is too afraid to admit they don’t see the suit and instead they all applaud him. Only after a child cries out that “he isn’t wearing anything at all” does everyone join the call, laugh, and admit what they see . The King continues the parade anyway.
So here I sit, shocked and awed at the outcome of this election and wondering when we’re all going to laugh and agree this man is stark fucking naked. You know, politically speaking. I mean, I don’t blame people for being republican and not wanting to vote for Hillary. Frankly, I had to convince myself to vote for her since Bernie was no longer an option. I had to ignore parts of her past actions and words that I vehemently disagreed with because I believed she was going to do a way better job of representing me than the other guy. I would LOVE to vote for a woman for President, but I still think critically about each candidate and choose the one I think would best represent my values, regardless of gender. Hillary was more qualified for the job than almost every other candidate, but for me, Bernie better reflected my vision of the future. But, the Democratic Party really screwed the pooch on that one. Bernie could have won, but nooooo, they cheated since they wanted us to want Hillary. And now, here we sit, with no one but ourselves to blame. And, we have a naked ass parading through the land. So, what do we do now?
First and foremost, we keep on promoting love. I am lucky enough to know and love a few people who are much more conservative than I am and they help me avoid falling into the “good versus evil” narrative that is at the heart of what bothers me most about the modern republican platform. I can completely disagree with them and still be loving. I have always believed that most of us share similar values but have differences of (political) opinion about the best way to get there. We’re all looking at the same horizon and arguing, sometimes viciously, over the most ideal route. People who voted for Trump believed he would better serve their interests, just like I voted for Hillary because I thought she would better serve mine. They aren’t evil, they’re selfish. We all are.
So again I ask, what do we do now? We quit freaking out and fueling his fire. We ignore him and his antics. He feeds on our outrage, he covets our thoughtfully worded shares. Just quit it. What do you do instead when you think you’re going to explode? Focus. Quiet your mind and ask, what does this awfulness help me know for certain I really do want? What can I do to make that happen? In all likelihood, the answer has nothing to do with Facebook or our new Emperor.
Don’t be distracted by the shit show. That is what HE wants from you. Stop sharing things with his name and his latest ludicrous action in what you believe is an expression of outrage. It’s really just an expansion of his message. He believes all press is good press and he thrives off your shares. You think you’re protesting, but he and his hatefulness persist in equal response to our resistance. Have you seen the app that turns all pictures of him into cute photos of kittens? Search the Chrome store for “Make America Kittens Again.” It’s brilliant. Get it now.
Do whatever you have to do to IGNORE HIM. Take in this awful reality only long enough to let it clarify your vision for the future. Once you have a clear picture of your horizon, focus all your energy and create the reality you dream of. Don’t give him more power than he already has. USE HIM to advance your vision.
In the end, we can all thank him for his ability to catalyze our movement. We have never had a stronger and more unified voice in support of women’s rights, racial equality, and religious freedom than we do right now. Don’t damper our fire with his ridiculous distractions.
This man did not create or increase the problems we face. He simply brought them to the bright light of day. Now that we can all see, it’s easier to take aim. The question is, where is your attention focused? Are you captivated by the circus? Or are you scouting a new path?