November 4th, 2020 by Johnna Crider
A Trump win would be a loss for America, and not just for our environment. America has become a world leader, and was solidly so in the 20th century, but today, it has already taken several steps backward. We left the Paris climate agreement today — one of only three nations standing outside of it, alongside Iran and Turkey. This was a huge mistake that cost not only our environment but also cost America the trust of our allies, their faith in us.
When Kanye West stated that he was running for the Birthday Party because “when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday,” I giggled. My birthday is actually today, the day after Election Day, so it was a great match. Although it was silly at the time, though, it’s actually pretty terrifying how bad our country has gotten under Trump. That giggle was fueled by a mix of fear, hope, and stress. I was scrolling through TikTok, where many members of Gen Z who are either too young to vote or barely old enough share their thoughts on the election. One of them shared a clip of Fox News that featured children singing praises to Trump.
I’ve had conversations about brainwashing before — with many of my neighbors, who all agree that Trump needs to be voted out. But seeing that video hit me with such a force that I had a moment of clarity. If Trump wins, not only will our environment lose, not only will America not re-enter the Paris climate agreement, not only will the world see us in the same light as a corrupt country that is abusing the power of its people, but America also loses all that it has fought so hard for. Actually, in that moment of clarity, I saw America taking a jagged knife and slitting her wrists while chanting “Trump 2020.”
2+2 = 4 Must Be Fake News
I have come across many a relative, friend, and acquaintance who have been blinded by the illusion that Trump is God, the best, or whatever symbol represents greatness to them. This haze of illusion has blinded them to the damage that Trump has caused to our country and our world.
Their response is to blame Obama, Hillary, or bring up another problem that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. (Ironically, they give Trump credit for the good economy that Trump inherited from Obama and Biden.) I saw a TikTok demonstrating this beautifully. Imagine having a conversation about math with someone who is brainwashed by Trump. It would go like this:
“2+2 = 4” you would say. Their response would be that this isn’t always true because “3+2 doesn’t equal 4.” And when you say, “That’s a different equation,” their response is, “Where did you hear that? CNN? That’s fake news.”
This is the damage I am talking about. Trump’s presidency has not only cost our country, our economy, and crucial environmental progress, but it has also cost many Americans their common sense, and it replaced that with sheer ignorance combined with hatred of those marketed to them as the enemy.
Brainwashing Is Easy If You Know The Weaknesses Of The People You Seek To Manipulate
Brainwashing can happen to anyone. I am living proof of this. In 2013, I met a guy, wound up getting pregnant, and ended up marrying him. I lost the baby, but that wasn’t the worst of what I’d lost for five years. Many of you know part of my story — how he used me for a green card and how I almost took my life over it. Elon Musk unknowingly shared a blog I’d written him — an open letter — and that literally helped me cope and get past it. His kindness towards me, someone he didn’t know, changed my life. But you all don’t know what I went through during my marriage.
I believed my ex when he told my own family was turning against us. It wasn’t just sudden, but it was grooming. He would say things such as, “Is it true that they don’t like me? I didn’t know this,” and I would ask what he meant. Then he would say he saw a post on Facebook by them talking about something that happened in the Middle East — where he was from — or something like that.
Then came the emails sent to me claiming to be from my family — that my then-husband was cheating and here was proof. There were even voicemails of them telling him they were going to kill him. I later found out that those were all faked — he was really good at video, audio, and graphic editing. There was so much more, but I’m only sharing this with you because I had been convinced that people I loved were trying to hurt me. I’ve been in that brainwashed headspace before. My weakness was me trying to keep a vow — a promise I made. When he left me, he freed me, and I am forever grateful for that.
Looking back, it’s easy to see how stupid I was, but in that moment, I believed he loved me, and I actually consented to allow him to manipulate and psychologically abuse me. Today, I have clarity over that situation in my life. I used to think that it couldn’t happen to me — I was too smart. But I wasn’t. It’s not about how smart you are, but about what you hold dear in your heart and how that can be used against you by someone who wants to use you and manipulate you for their own gain.
The Weaknesses Of Many Of Trump’s Supporters
In the case of many Trump supporters who still support him today, many are conservative Christians who are racists to some degree and believe that the Bible gives them the authority to spread their hateful rhetoric. Also in that ideology is the idea that what we do to the planet really doesn’t matter because when Jesus returns God will destroy and remake the world anyway. These arguments have been presented as “facts” to me in several debates with family members and friends.
These are not all Trump voters, but this is a large portion of them.
An example of the hateful rhetoric and religious propaganda is the “proud boys.” These are armed white men who think they need assault weapons to go grocery shopping and have no problem killing Black people because Trump has empowered them to do so. If we had women in hijabs going shopping with AR-15s strapped to her backs, the police and even the FBI would get involved.
There are many instances of white men essentially threatening others with guns strapped to them (at the polls saying things like, “You’re going to vote Trump whether you like it or not,” for example). If Black men or Muslim men did this, how do you think Trump supporters would respond? Would it be fine because we’re all allowed to open carry after all, right?
If you look at what happened in Texas with the Biden/Harris campaign bus, it’s clear to see that the hatred by Trump supporters for those who don’t support Trump is real. They have, in essence, been programmed. This hatred for non-white people, for those who aren’t Christian or who don’t adhere to their core values (which, in my opinion, are devaluing of others) — these are the weaknesses of many of Trump’s supporters, and Trump has successfully exploited those weaknesses.
Many of us on the political/cultural left and in the middle see Trump for what he is, but many also think he is simply dumb. The truth is that Trump is intentionally dumbing himself down so that he can relate to his supporters, and so they can relate to him.
Example: 2A & Breonna Taylor
If Trump supporters who claimed to be pro 2A really cared about the 2nd Amendment, they would be appalled at what happened to Breonna Tayler. She was asleep in her bed when the police, using a no-knock warrant, stormed into her home and shot her while she slept. Instead, they say that if her boyfriend had just cooperated with the police, she would still be alive. Her boyfriend, thinking that someone was breaking into their home, used his gun to defend himself.
If you are pro 2A, then you would be angry that this had happened in America, by the police who represent the local government to an American citizen. The Second Amendment is supposed to protect us from the police or any type of government military brand from entering our home and harming us. However, Trump supporters say that Breonna deserved to die because she didn’t cooperate with the police. This shows that it’s not about her 2A right or anyone’s 2A rights. It’s because she was Black and is assumed guilty due to the color of her skin.
This is the core value that many of Trump’s diehard supporters, who sing praises at his rallies, share. Hatred and racism are their values. As I watched states go red in the past 24 hours, including my own, I’ve been terrified by this. Millions of Americans would rather see our country burn in order for Trump to win than see Biden win simply because they hate Black people.
Anyone can become brainwashed. Guard your minds and your hearts. And if your instinct tells you something is off, listen to it. If there is someone in your life who you know is toxic for you, but you are still attracted to them on some level (doesn’t have to be romantic), then ask yourself why. Meditate daily and guard your mind.
Trump’s damage here will extend far beyond what he has done to our environment, the EPA, and our reputation as a world leader. It has sown seeds of division in the hearts of Americans while shining a light on racism and hatred that many still have for others.
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