As a special committee in Congress this week begins hearings to investigate just exactly what went down on January 6th, 2021, I’ve started to reflect on my key takeaways from Trump’s Presidency and the Election of 2020.
I was, and still am, deeply hurt and troubled by Trump’s presidency and by the eye-opening exit poll results of the 2020 election. Many people viewed the 2020 election as a triumph for good vs. evil. I was happy about the outcome, but also concerned that the race was so close and down to the wire. After reviewing the data and sitting with my thoughts and feelings, I took an hour in late November 2020 to journal eight key takeaways and hard lessons learned. I shared these key takeaways with some friends in late December 2020 (before the Capitol Riot on January 6th). Reflecting on these takeaways eight months later, it’s remarkable how little of these observations have changed and even grown.
Going forward, I promised myself and my community that I will be mindful of these things.
8 Key Takeaways from Trump’s Presidency and Election 2020
- It’s clear to me that Trump’s presidency, for many, has been an attempt to “hold the line” on the shift in power from a majority white country to a multiracial one. By 2045, White people are projected to be a minority in America. There is nothing that seems to scare white people more than that prospect, and that’s the fear that Trump capitalized and governed on. He and all his GOP loyalists sold the message that they were going to halt the progression of equality and diversity in America, and millions of people ate it up — and they’re going to continue to do so.
- There is a strong and persistent denial of the reality of racism in America. Reflecting on this statement — 6 months after I originally wrote it — we can see what has come from discussions about critical race theory. My original thought on this topic rings strong and true today.
- Powerful White Men will lie, cheat, and steal to gain and/or keep power and influence. This became most clear to me in the unashamed and hypocritical pursuit of the SCOTUS nomination of Merrick Garland vs. Amy Coney Barrett.
- White women (by 55% majority of the electorate) have shown us that they will side with men that look like their fathers and sons regardless of their moral & ethical position and damage to others. As women, this portion of the population experiences one dimension of oppression — patriarchy and misogyny — that you might think would inspire some solidarity with other marginalized people, but it appears most of them would rather stick with white supremacy.
5. Over 70M people in America voted for someone that believes in White male patriarchy and white supremacy, among other beliefs. It’s hard not to interpret that as over 70M people subscribe to, or will passively support, those ideals and beliefs as well. I knew there were some people in America that felt this way, but I had no idea it was this many. I thought it was 1% or 2% of America, maybe. Not 47% of America and 58% of White America, respectively. A huge difference. A lot more people were closeted and implicit about this than I thought/knew. Implicit bias and racism cuts deeper than I thought in modern day America.
6. Many are willing to put dollars (and the economy) over human life. I wouldn’t have thought this was true for tens of millions of people before COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve learned that for many Ameticans — we are not our brothers and sisters’ keeper. Tens of millions of Americans believe they have no moral obligation to make a sacrifice for the greater good.
7. Given the times we are living in, I’m convinced that the people of color that focus on self-preservation, as opposed to community, have fully assimilated into whiteness.
8. Cubans are a very interesting minority group. Many view themselves as White and will most often side with the anti-immigrant party. Seemingly, they are the only immigrant and minority group that heavily lean this way.
What conclusions have you drawn following the Election of 2020?
I believe that if we don’t take a moment to reflect and take stock on just how badly in the hole this country really is post-Trump, then we’re doomed to never learn the lessons that Trumpism has taught us.