Never

Several people have pointed out that I seem to dislike our current president and I want to clear up a few things: I do not simply dislike him or merely think he has an unpleasant personality. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I hate that our president is an abuser and that this fact did not disqualify him in the minds of so many.

Regardless of what you may want to be true, someone who so willingly violates another person and shows no remorse, but rather brags about it, is not a fit leader. Such a person will willingly violate other moral standards and not lose any sleep over doing so. And when he does violate all manner of other principles of decency and ethics with impunity, the response should not be to fall back on conspiracies, but rather to deal with reality.

His administration’s cruel treatment of immigrant children, poor and homeless children, protesters, and families struggling due to the pandemic should show you that he does not care about your children or some hypothetical trafficked children or unborn babies. All he cares about are his own polls and ratings and advantage.

Regardless of what television shows tell you to trust him or what other public figures of questionable standards you invoke to support him, I will not betray myself by taking up his cause. If you support him, I will probably be able to find it in my heart to give you the benefit of the doubt and see you as someone whose conditioning and life experience have made it difficult for you to see him as he really is, but I will never willingly accept the authority of an abuser.

And as for his farcical attempt to convince evangelical Christians that he is one of them, I remind you that actions speak louder than words. A wise friend once told me that if I’m struggling to discern if something or someone is of God, I should look for the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. The president displays none of these.

I assure you that what you may perceive in me as partisan dislike for the man or an embrace of liberal media rhetoric, is nothing of the sort. It is anger that an abuser has been given such a platform and grief that so many people who identify as Christian have convinced themselves that he is someone they should support and follow. And, admittedly, I struggle with how many of his supporters would rather tell me “Fuck your feelings, libtard!” than care at all about the women he has abused and violated and what this says about the kind of person he really is. Comparing him to other people who have also done things that are wrong in no way absolves him of his own behavior.

I, too, hate the division politics are causing these days. I hate that I do not feel comfortable or safe engaging with many people who I consider friends. I hate that I have lost friends over expressing my views of the president or my support for people suffering injustice. But I spent too many years betraying myself by accepting abusive behavior in leaders because I was taught falsities about grace and forgiveness and my own worth as a woman. And I have put way too much time into unlearning and healing and dealing with what I survived. I cannot and will not go backward.

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