Like many Americans, I have experienced an ebb and flow of emotions in reaction to Donald Trump's Presidential candidacy. My initial response can be deemed a knee-jerk comical reaction. I felt the same way when I learned of his candidacy as I did when porn stars announced their candidacies for the California Gubernatorial race years ago. I was entertained, and on some level I welcomed the minstrel show. I considered our government a laughable disgrace. The fact that such unlikely candidates were on the ballot was both a protest and a passive aggressive attack. After all the laughter subsided, I truly expected Donald Trump's candidacy to disappear with it. It didn't.
I have always been one to support the underdog. Naturally, I threw my support in the direction of any unlikely candidate on the ballot. I'm an Independent voter who considered Carly Fiorina, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Ben Carson and Donald Trump. Basically, anyone but Bush, because my bush is still the only one I trust. But as time went on, the curtains of the sideshow act began to catch fire. There were the Planned Parenthood videos, emails, bridge scandals, potential lawsuits over pensions, and assimilation in the time of Black Lives Matter. Viable candidates began to burn up with the stage. I was left with only serious candidates. You can imagine my confusion when the smoke cleared and Donald Trump was still there. This was no longer entertaining.
I am a realist who teeters dangerously close to becoming an optimist on a daily basis. I try to find something salvageable in every disaster. As November hovers above the horizon, I must come to terms with the terrifying reality that Donald Trump may actually be my next Commander in Chief. I tried to find something good about the possibility. I did my best to seek desirable qualities that were strong enough to mold the useless parts of him into something valuable. I found three, unfortunately, none of these will make me feel better about him as the next President. Still, I am grateful his three greatest accomplishments this election year.
1. He ended the denial of the existence of racism.
People of color know all too well that the denial of the existence of racism is one of our most frustrating hurdles to abound. When Native Americans fought against appropriation of their images as sports team mascots and the term Redskins, White America resisted. They claimed Redskins wasn't a racist term. It was a term of endearment, like the n-word. It is a show of pride and honor. Racism didn't exist anymore and all those rich casino Indians needed to just get over it. Black Americans shouted Black Lives Matter and were told All Lives Matter. They were accused of creating racism where there was none before.
Then along came Donald Trump in all his Seig Heil glory. He attacked Mexicans, then Native Americans and Black Americans. Somewhere in his racial cleansing campaign he even included the Chinese in his xenophobic rhetoric. White America was elated that someone was finally saying what they had been holding in for years. They could be finally be free, free to be their racist selves. Just like that, White America lost the ability to deny the existence of racism. Once they could no longer deny it, White allies began to emerge from places we never expected. There were White Americans in every industry, every state, every religion and political party who could no longer consciously deny the existence of racism. The Black Lives Matter Movement grew stronger. People of Color began to unify and organize to take action. And when a Facebook or Twitter troll attempted to blame people of color for "inventing racism", people of color simply had to point to White America's Presidential candidate and the argument was over.
2. He became the catalyst for the reconstruction of the GOP.
History tells us that people who are Democrats today, would have been Republican in early America. Somewhere down the line, Republican became synonymous with anti-mercy, anti-womanhood, and pro-racism. Many conservative Democrats were left to choose between embarrassing themselves by joining the Republican party, or suppressing some of their values to accept the Democratic party as a consolation. There were those of us who refused to choose between the lesser of two evils. We became Independents, the most powerful voters this election year.
Now that Donald Trump has presented himself as an ignorant, racist, con artist, anyone who proudly and openly supports him is placed in that same demographic. Donald Trump represents the Republican party, even though most of them can't bring themselves to vote for him. He came in like virus, infecting the entire party and ultimately causing the demise of the GOP. Now, it can be reconstructed in a way that reconciles conservative values with the original mission and core structure of the Republican party. If they succeed in doing so, the result could be the drafting of many conservative Independents and Democrats. It could even result in the construction of a separate political party altogether, further breaking down the antiquated bi-partisan system.
3. He destroyed his own empire.
During his campaign, Donald Trump went out of his way to suppress and subsequently defend his frequent out of court settlements with disgruntled people. The general public learned of the failed business ventures he hid so well. There was Trump University, steaks, casinos, real estate scams, you name it, there was a scandal and a payoff for it. Win or lose, when this election is over, no one in their right mind will do business with him again. He has been exposed as a broke con artist with multiple bankruptcy court filings. Win or lose, Donald Trump is bad for business, including his own.
Donald Trump is not a great man. Should he become President of the United States, it will be his singular triumph. And as Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "Never interfere with an enemy while he is in the process of destroying himself." Or in this case, his entire political party.