Repeat after me, I will not dive in. I will not dive in. I will not slide into this massive growing pile of…The draw of the evening is not good for people like myself. The lead item on my news reader is one of those headlines. The kind that makes people want to wallow around in it, roll in it, saturate themselves, and then hold it up in front of the trolls. The problem though is that while I would love to dive in and let my toes squish through this mud, until there is more than an unsubstantiated report I must stand back and peer cautiously…my toes itching to curl right in.
For those who have lived under a rock today, there have been bits tumbling around the internet about an unsubstantiated report regarding the Tangerine and Russia. It’s one of those stories that has all the prerequisite bits: sex scandals, money, prostitutes, blackmail, and just a bit of espionage thrown in to ensure that it makes the rounds. Is it true? Who knows? It’s like anything that travels around on the internet, it could be 100% factual, 100% false, or equal parts fact and fantasy. Until more time has been spent investigating the legitimacy of this report I really can’t dive into commenting on the implications of it and our impending march toward doom.
Instead I will step back and comment on why so many like myself want it to be true. We are a group of people who are taken aback by all that has occurred in the last year and a half. Through all of it, I continually found myself expecting more out of America. I saw it as somehow better than this. With each new revelation about the man with the tangerine spray tan, I sat waiting for people around me to shout….”wait we aren’t that way. We are more kind and welcoming in this country. We are not those people.”
As he stood shouting on his stage about how the problems of the country could be placed upon the shoulders of the immigrants, I knew that we, a country of immigrants would shout back. “No, that is not who we are…we embrace our diversity. There were shouts, but they were at half the volume I had expected.”
When he claimed that it was just locker room talk to degrade a woman and refer to her body as if it was his own personal playground, I waited for the voices to rise and throw him to the ground for his words. We as a country had come too far to slip backwards and allow a woman to be treated in such a way, so publicly, and so viciously. Instead I heard a cacophony, voices of those appalled buried and mixed within the laughs and ‘atta boys’ that fell so easily from a number of mouths. The acceptance of women as they uttered, “well boys will be boys.” Those who were disgusted found their voices equally matched by those who had seen no problem in such putrid revelations.
Throughout the last year and a half he has tossed them one by one onto the fire. He has cast aspersion after aspersion at so many (minorities, LGBTQ, liberals, women, and the disabled). Each and every time I held my breath, I waited, I hoped, and at last cried as I found that my vision of a loving country went up within the bonfire of hate he had used to centralize people. So when a story such as the one that is sticking at the top of my news feed draws my attention, I so desperately want to dive in and muck about in it. I want to print a million copies and scream at everyone who has shrugged off each and every one of the vile actions of this man. For me, and I suspect for many… it would be so easy to hold it up before it has become more than an unsubstantiated bit floating about the news.
Steps away from the mud and whispers, I am better than that… instead I will turn on the live coverage of a speech that will leave me weeping for all we have lost. I will watch a man who has shown our country how to deal with adversity with an unparalleled class. As his words reverberate through my home I will be reminded that he did make a difference. I will know that I lived through a time when the man in the White House made his decisions based on a love for his country and out of the best intentions. I may have even disagreed with some of his actions, but never once did I question his love for this country.