Inheriting the wind: what will be left when Trump is gone?
We know what Trump is. Calling him names—idiot, sociopath, misogynist, xenophobe, deviate, misanthrope, liar...um...where was I going with this? Oh yes, all those sobriquets are true and provable and saying them makes me feel better, but it doesn’t move the needle, and worse than that, it gives his supporters and followers, handlers and promoters, a pass. They do not deserve one.
As malevolent as Trump may be, he would be just another baleful misfit babbling on Twitter, blustering and bullying, and filing for more bankruptcies, were it not for a cadre of men and women who have, in many cases, given up practically everything they ever believed in to become part of his circle.
Oddly enough, that’s the more beneficent way of looking at it. The more truthful way is to admit that this cadre gave up nothing—that their willing acceptance—no, support—of white heterosexual male sovereignty with all its concomitant racism and xenophobia have always lain at the very heart of millions and millions of Americans: Trump was no more than the catalyst who serves as their marionette.
The vile and vulgar misfits at Trump rallies? They didn’t suddenly drop to earth in 2015. They were always here. The politicians fearful that white domination would be subverted? Always here. The unconscionable greed of big oil, big pharma, big tech, big banking? Here. Here. Here. And yes, always here.
We can easily catalog the damage Trump has done, but let’s admit that he could never have done the damage he has without the assistance of all those patriots who were more than willing to sing the anthem loudly and berate those who wouldn’t, but who hated the very foundations that anthem celebrates—and all those Americans who visit the Statue of Liberty or laud the Constitution but don't believe any of the words associated with either.
Let's recognize the damage these people have done. I don’t mean Stephen Miller or Jeff Sessions or Wilbur Ross or any other of the bogeymen we associate with Trump. I mean the baker who won’t decorate a wedding cake for a gay couple, or the teenager who desecrates a mosque, or the good Christian family man with the confederate battle flag waving from his pickup, or the voter reading this and preparing to vote for Trump once again. Without them, Trump would be no more than a toothless baby mewling in the dark.
The Bible, on which he took the oath of office and to which the Evangelicals turn for every misogynistic and racist belief they endorse, has a comment in Proverbs about people like Donald Trump:
He that troubles his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
Trump has troubled the house that is America for nearly a thousand days, but though he may inherit the wind, I worry about what kind of country we inherit when Trump finally vacates the White House. There may, in fact, be more rebuilding than inheriting.