I have not changed my mind since I first published this on 20 June 2018.
Thank you, Mr. Trump.
I don’t really want to say those words to you. Yet I must. It seems the abuse of power has more educational value than all the well-intended lectures and lessons of this world.
Just think about it for a half-minute. Who would have thought we could all so quickly know the meaning and the impact of things that are ‘systemic.’ Evil is systemic.
Simply put: What happens in one corner of the world has tentacles that reach to every other corner of the world, sooner or later.
Good is also systemic. Ultimately, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe good will triumph, though at an exceeding high cost. Perhaps we’re paying it now?
In the meantime, systemic evil seems to be our sad and sorry tutor these days. As I see it, thanks to your moves and counter-moves and flourishes of your pen, we now recognize and feel the impact of systemic evil.
Soy farmers get it; steel manufacturers get it; those without a living wage get it; people who live on the streets get it; human beings from the wrong side of our southern border get it; people with skin that isn’t your color get it; people in mansions get it; and so do people in power. All this and more.
Of course some ‘get it’ more than others. And some are happy to get it at great cost to others. This becomes crystal clear as the consequences of evil multiply and hive off faster than ants or bees. Though even the bees are feeling systemic neglect as well.
Perhaps the word evil is bothering you. No problem. I can use another word. How about systemic lying? Systemic cheating? Systemic abuse? Systemic violence? Systemic greed? Systemic robbery? Systemic inhumanity? Systemic distrust of scientific research? Systemic neglect of those most in need of help? Just to name a few.
We don’t live in air-tight surroundings. We live in complex webs of connections, even when we think we’re living disconnected. Or off the grid. Which is, in itself, another form of denial.
No President of the United States has made the word ‘systemic’ so clear in so little time as you have, Mr. Trump. As a theology professor who struggled often to explain how systemic evil works in the world, I have to hand it to you. You’ve done a masterful job in very short order.
There’s just one hitch. You give every sign that you believe you’re an island unto yourself. Able to push and shove the world around at will or by hook and crook, hiding beneath your POTUS status and your highly proclaimed ability to practice the art of the deal.
Sadly, your relentless pushing and shoving is painfully and abusively open to inspection every moment of every day, whether you attempt to hide it or not. I wish I could feel sad for you. Instead, I’m mourning what’s happening to my friends, my neighbors, my family, our country and our integrity as one nation among many.
Not that we were perfect before you became POTUS. We were not. Nor will we ever be. Still, it seems that what we’ve become as of today or even tomorrow will never, ever be called ‘great.’
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 20 June 2018, reposted on 28 July 2020
Image found at ideas.hallmark.com