Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE is a blessing from God.
One never wants to assume anything in this election, after all this is the year all the crazy conspiracy stories came true, up to and including plots of bad 80s era movies (Wolverines!).
However, it does look like Donald Trump is going to lose and lose big. Amid relief that our country will not be subjected to a narcissistic, unpredictable, power-hungry demagogue, an unsettling question remains.
What if Donald Trump had not been, well, Donald Trump?
What if a man had come to us preaching the gospel of Trump without the trappings of Trump?
Picture a faithful family man, not a serial sexual assaulter, a successful businessman, not a cheat and con artist. A rich man, but without all the kitschy glitz of Trump Tower. A man who actually gives to charity instead of using charity as his own personal slush fund. A man comfortable in front of the camera, bold but not needlessly petty, strong but not cruel, prepared instead of stubbornly ignorant.
Picture this man, or just as easily a woman of course, more subtly stoking the fires that Trump so loudly fed. Imagine him feeding the dark egos of discontented white America with the siren message that their woes are outside themselves, the fault of some person with darker skin.
See him demonizing an entire religion of 1.6 billion people as evil, as the enemy, each and every one, even those who stand with us for freedom and security, even those who bleed and die in the cause of freedom and peace. Think of him giving credence to racism we thought forever discredited in America.
What if this man also preached a message of America First? If he convinced the ignorant that trade agreements hurt them rather than made them prosperous? If he simultaneously advocated for withdrawal from the world stage, denying America’s responsibility to allies and world stability, while making blustery statements about taking what we want from other countries, oil, money, and wealth? If he capitulated America’s role as a force for good in the world, a role we ideologically embrace even if not always achieve, and traded it for a doctrine of power alone?
Picture him emanating strength without the fragile ego of Donald Trump, hinting rather than saying outright that his opponents should be jailed, attacking the media that criticizes him with government power, investing in himself power that the Constitution reserves in the Bill of Rights, expanding his executive power over the other branches.
What if this man emulated and befriended other modern tyrants on an equal footing rather than as a groveling fan-boy? If Putin actually respected him instead of calling him “colorful,” if he stood in the growing ranks of nationalistic leaders around the world, representing American nationalism and xenophobia?
The scary thing is that I think this man might have won.
Donald J. Trump is a blessing from God.
His groping, bullying, whining, disconnection from reality, and petty score-settling have saved us. Much of America does not want to elect a power-centric racist, but almost none of America wants to elect an unstable weirdo.
He is a Messiah, but not in the way he had intended, a man whose personal flaws have saved America from the deeper flaws within itself. An anti-Messiah, if you will.
As we reject Donald Trump, we face a bigger question. Are we rejecting the man or his ideas?
The aftermath can go two ways. Discontented white America can look for a more palatable strongman, a better messenger for its anti-American ideas.
Or this could be a glorious rebirth for the American ideal, an affirmation, and restating of everlasting truths for a new generation. America can reject the message of Trump, renew its commitment to its founding ideas, and re-endorse the concept that America is a people bound together not by ethnicity, background, or geography but by something greater.
America is a nation of ideas, Americans are people of principles, and embracing of those fundamental principles is what makes one an American.
America is something that must be renewed every generation. Thank you, Donald J. Trump for forcing us to face that truth.
It is time for our generation to ensure that a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal does not perish from the earth.
Rebecca Cusey is a writer based in Washington DC. She writes about movies, TV, pop culture, politics and faith. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey.