Shannon is a social worker, counselor, avid traveler, scuba diver, adventurer, and mom.
An Unexpected Silver Lining
This may seem like an awkward opinion from someone like me, an unabashed Trump resister. I make no secret of how I feel about him, his behavior, his character, and the tragedy of what he is doing to America.
But the truth is, the election of Trump is responsible for a lot of positive things, as well. America is having conversations that needed to be had. People are coming together to support causes they otherwise may have ignored. Inequality, racism, misogyny, religious oppression, homophobia, and hate of all kinds are being exposed in a way we haven't seen in modern history. America is learning from the Trump presidency.
Before Trump was elected, I'll admit it: I was one of the white people who didn't believe racism was still that prevalent in the United States. Even though I live in rural Texas and did witness racism on occasion, I honestly thought it was phasing itself out. I didn't listen as carefully as I should have when people of color tried to tell me differently. I even argued with them that it just wasn't as bad as they said and that they should be hopeful and recognize that America was on the right track.
Then Trump became a candidate. I witnessed people I have known most or all of my life feel emboldened by Trump to spew blatant racism. I saw crowds of people cheering Trump on when he would engage in unabashed hate speech. I saw the seedy underbelly of white supremacism rebranded as "nationalist" and "patriotic" and given a national platform. I saw white supremacy defended. I saw black men and women, Hispanic men and women, people of eastern and middle eastern descent, people of mixed race become even more afraid. His election win was a confirmation that racism was a more significant problem in America than many believed, including me. And millions of people in the United States were either racists themselves or willing to ignore racism as an issue of less importance than other issues.
But, I also saw these men and women, as well as white men and women, start to become outraged and empowered. I started seeing people having conversations about race. I started seeing people wake up to things that they were blind to, the same things I was blind to. I started seeing white people begin to listen to people of color in a new way. I started seeing white people acknowledge white privilege in a way they hadn't before. I started seeing more and more and more conversations. I started seeing more and more people standing shoulder to shoulder to fight for equality and to resist racism. I saw awareness. I gained awareness. Thanks, Trump!
Me Too: Sexism, Misogyny, Sexual Harrassment, and Domestic Violence
At first, I was angry, sad, and appalled at America's support and election of a man who was so blatantly an abuser of women. His misogyny could be in a textbook. He used abuse tactics on the American people. He continues to be the king of gaslighting. He was accused of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence before the election. He was not charged by one woman, which would be enough to bring any politician down, but by women in the double digits. He'd paid off women to keep quiet. He openly admitted he engages in sexual assault on audio that America heard. His own words said on the campaign trail were some of the best examples of misogyny that anyone could put forward. Example after example of his sexism, misogyny, and blatant disrespect for women and their fundamental rights were laid out without shame. And then America, including women, elected him.
Much like people of color, I saw women become scared. I also saw survivors of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence have anguished reactions to so much of America willing to believe thin denials, dismiss the claims of so many women, and embrace a man who was the face of their abusers. I was one of these women. If they weren't embracing his views on women, they were, again, willing to ignore the blatant disregard and contempt for a majority of the population and support Trump.
But then I saw the Women's March. I saw women standing up. I saw women saying "NO!" I saw the world getting behind women. I saw the MeToo movement emerge. And I finally saw (albeit too late in my opinion), the population become outraged at Trump's embracing of men who commit domestic violence. I saw powerful female voices come out of people who had never spoken out before. I saw America start to have a real conversation about misogyny. I saw men and women begin to expose gender inequality in an unprecedented way. I saw America start having essential conversations about sexual harassment, sexual assault, consent, rape, and domestic violence. I saw calls for changes that were long overdue. I saw women and men both wake up to the sexism that had become a silent routine. I saw women step forward to attempt to even the playing field in American government. I saw the outrage that was needed by people who weren't at all or were silently outraged before. Thanks Trump.
The Trump effect on religion in America is two-pronged. First, Trump has done an excellent job of exposing the hypocrisy of Christian evangelicals and the religious right. Although I'd argue that their support of this candidate in the first place exposed their hypocrisy, Trump did an excellent job of making their hypocrisy so glaring that it couldn't fly under the radar of supporting the now empty conservative platform of the GOP. Once evangelicals came out to openly dismiss and make excuses for continuing to support Trump after the allegations of his affair with a porn star, it was difficult for anyone (ANYONE) not to see the disingenuousness of Christians who didn't rebuke him. Moral failure after moral failure, many evangelicals continue to support Trump. Their credibility got lost long ago. But true Christians following their faith in the way it teaches spoke out against Trump's continued moral failures and called out the hypocrites in their own faith. Unfortunately, these seem to be a minority.
Second, Americans started to realize that "freedom of religion" for some actually means "freedom of Christians." Although anti-Muslim sentiment is not entirely new in America, Trump openly exacerbated misconceptions and hate toward the Islamic faith and Muslim-Americans. The hate, again, had a national platform. Previous leaders have made clear that Islam, in itself, is a peaceful, loving faith and the overwhelming majority of Muslims are a peaceful people who do not engage in the extremist ideas that have resulted in terrorism and human rights atrocities. Trump, on the other hand, exploited the narrative of bigots and people ill-educated about world religions and continued to fuel hate for support.
Moreover, he continued the false narrative that there was a war on Christianity. This was most notable in his campaign to save "Merry Christmas" from the non-existent protest against the saying. He, as many others have, touted this as a "freedom of religion", perpetuating the confusion of freedom of religion with freedom of Christianity. Luckily, Trump makes such a mockery of every issue, he managed to give a platform for people to more easily explain that freedom of religion is the freedom of all religions and there is no war on Christianity.
Supporting a person's right to say "Happy Holidays" to people of all religions who have a December holiday isn't taking away from anyone who wants to say "Merry Christmas" to people of the Christian faith any more than saying "Happy Hanukkah" to people of the Jewish faith is. The assertion has always been ludicrous and overplayed.
More importantly, people who fight to get Christianity out of government are not touting hate for Christianity, they're supporting freedom of religion and separation of church and state. The assertions that America is a Christian nation is in direct contrast with the founding father's intent to keep Americans free from having a religion forced upon them by the state. This doesn't mean that anyone is anti-Christian. It doesn't even mean that anyone doesn't acknowledge that America is majority Christian. It simply acknowledges that religion and government are separate and Americans have the right to practice any religion (or no religion) they please without being denigrated by their leaders. This includes Islam. And with Trump, people are getting their chance to explain.
And let's not forget to mention the contribution of Pence to bring forth how ridiculous, antiquated, and inhumane the fringe Christian community view the LGBT community. Along with women, people of color, and non-Christians, the LGBT community has faced attack after attack from the Trump administration. They experienced the same fear. They feared the same reversal of progress. And America witnessed the same rubber band effect. And the LGBT community is angry, empowered, speaking out, and educating. Thanks, Trump, and an honorable mention to Pence!
The Two-Party System Problem
Finally, thank you, Trump, for showing America how much of a problem the reliance on a two-party system really is. People who couldn't vote for Clinton and couldn't vote for Trump were left with rage over how the system has been gamed to only include two parties. Libertarians got a record amount of publicity and a record number of votes. It wasn't enough, but the election of Trump and the disaster of his Presidency thus far has only given the Third Party's more of a voice and more traction. The division between Democrats and Republicans has served to highlight the need for a sensible option in the middle. The two-party system is failing. The Republican Party is destructing in front of America's eyes. The Democratic Party is being demonized. The two-party system that America has hung on to for too long is dying a Trumpian death. Thank you Trump.
What do you think?
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2018 shancontented
Sharlee on February 24, 2018:
I applaud you for staying true to your opinion, and agree with many things you said. I guess through my life I mellowed, and I will admit I have had "egg on my face more than once". It taught me to be a bit more open minded. I also learned, to give a person a chance to make good on their promises, and hold off on my judgement. I guess when it comes to Trump, I will judge him on keeping his promised agenda. Let's face it, he is the president. So I am praying he succeeds, and makes America better. He certainly has a lot of problems that were handed down to him from Clinton, Bush, and Obama.
shancontented (author) from Someplace, Somewhere on February 23, 2018:
Lol. Yes. Our opinions differ but that's alright. I probably lay my feelings out about Trump better in my Trump Effect on Swing Voters article if you're interested. I've been anti Trump since he was just thinking about running and he's only proven to verify everything I personally opposed about him. But I suppose everyone can't think like me. Lol.
Thank you for the read and the comments. They are truly appreciated!
Sharlee on February 23, 2018:
I enjoyed your hub. It was well written, and it certainly gave a clear opinion of how you feel about President Trump. Our opinion's differ, I am willing to give the President a chance to work on his aggressive agenda. Trump's agenda offered the promise that he would work on some very pressing problem's that have been brewing in America for a very long time. Problems that in my opinion was taking America backwards, not forward.
shancontented (author) from Someplace, Somewhere on February 22, 2018:
If he gets another term,I'm moving back to Mexico. Seriously, I'll be totally done. People say that and don't mean it. I mean it. Lol
MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 22, 2018:
Frankly I think you have digressed from what you want to say. Trump is not the best thing to have happened to America and I hope he doesn't get another term
shancontented (author) from Someplace, Somewhere on February 22, 2018:
Lol. Hi Brad. That's the shortest post Ive seen from you.
Hi Bryant! Welcome and thank you! So, the only real advice I really have is that if you're going to be writing about Trump, gain a good following on social media (especially Twitter) of people interested and engaging in political conversations and share your articles with them. Also, share them with friends and family and ask them to share. I've been writing a long time and wrote in all different places but hubpages has been very good to me and I get a steady deposit every month nowfrom them that's enough to make my car payment. So just keep writing! Ensure that your following the guides to get "evergreen" hubs to get them featured. My most engaged posts get the most hatemail so don't be afraid to be controversial or write about subjects that everyone won't like! Good luck! I started writing young and now I have a pretty good amount of "royalty" income. Keep it up!
Brad on February 22, 2018:
An irrational, non factual, non foundation dribble.
Bryant Young from North Texas on February 22, 2018:
I agree almost completely with the assertions in this posting. Trump has brought out the worst in America as a necessary detox, like a cultural cleansing of sorts. He has brought hidden, hateful feelings to the forefront of the political discussion, which has allowed us the opportunity to systemically dismantle these hateful groups and ideologies more effectively than if they were in hiding.
I am quite new to HubPages, and I aspire to write similar posts (I have a weekly current events blog you can check out) as a young American activist and youth proponent. Any tips you have on posting, increasing traffic, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
Once again, very insightful posting, I look forward to reading more of your writing.
shancontented (author) from Someplace, Somewhere on February 20, 2018:
Thank you both for reading and for your comments! :)
I hadn't reread it for edits yet. I did alright with only a few glaring screw ups! haha.
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on February 20, 2018:
Thank you for hitting on an essential point. We are confronting our fears, hates, and self-image because of the Trump presidency. For that, too, I thank Trump.
Our nation historically kept its dirty little secrets under sheets (in the open or behind closed doors), and now those sheets are getting washed. (Not necessarily white washed, of course.)
I think we have turned a curve. We realize a neglect by those who understand in depth the pains and conflicts that made this nation great must continue to keep the extremists where they belong, on the fringe.
We also understand that when we let the centers of the two major parties collapse, a vacuum will be filled by those fringes ( diarrhea filled extreme leftists and constipated extreme right-wingers.)
A strong new party should be formed, but the major parties just suck up those views of the new party, and they vanish.
Don't forget to thank Roy Moore, too, and a bunch of those other fringing strange people.
Great, thoughtful, well written, article.
You spoke well from the heart, mind, and soul in this work.
Readmikenow on February 20, 2018:
I don't agree with some of your views, but I will say your article was well written. I enjoyed reading it.
President Trump and the allegations against him are a topic that seems so go on forever here at Hubpages. I am impressed with President Trump for a few other reasons.
1. He was a billionaire and didn't need to put him and his family through the things he's experienced in politics. He didn't do it for the money, or the recognition, he already had those. I believe he did it because he truly believes in America and the American people.
2. He is a man who took on the best the Republican party had to offer and still got the party's nomination. He then went on to defeat one of the best funded and best connected candidates in American political history and won. He's one of only five presidents to have never held previous political office and become president. He has made American political history.
3. President Trump continues to experience lies and falsehoods told about him in the mainstream media. He is relentlessly attacked in the media like no president since George W. Bush, and he keeps going.
4. Unlike other Republicans, he stands up and fights back when attacked. George W. Bush had his second presidency destroyed by a media who provided the public with daily Democrat talking points. I like a fighter, and he is one.
5. I like how he puts Americas first. Trade deals to international relations, in his mind, America and Americans are always first. I like this very much.
I like how he has forever changed American politics. People who would have never considered a run for president are now thinking it's possible for them. I think this is a good thing.
We could get into tax cuts, boarder wall, etc. but those are campaign promises he's kept, which also makes me like him.