Mar 20, 2016

Apologies in advance for discussing Trump

Like many Americans (and considering his disapproval rating, most Americans) I have been horrified by the recent political ascendancy of Donald Trump.

(I can't bring myself to post a photo of Trump. So here is my late and much loved cat Spike sitting in front of an American Library Association poster of Patrick Stewart. Probably my favorite poster ever, and one of my favorite Spike photos.)

I keep hearing quotes about how Trump "tells it like it is" and that people "know where they stand with him." Sadly, that means people actually like his bigotry and sexism, his empty and repetitive braggadocio about how he's the best, best, best at everything. Don't they read? Why don't they care about his numerous failures in the business world? His lack of even a minimal understanding of foreign affairs? Trump seems to think that being president is like being a king, that he can command anyone to do anything. Even worse, he glories in the mob violence he has incited against protesters who show up at his events. His need for attention is frightening.

While I have never voted for a Republican in my entire life, I do respect some Republicans and conservatives, and I understand why we have a balance of power. Give and take is a critical and incredibly important part of lawmaking and governance, since the majority of the electorate must and should be represented. There is even a current Republican candidate I respect as a serious candidate for president -- Ohio governor John Kasich -- although he almost certainly won't be the nominee.

But the reason for this post is to explain why Trump gives me the shudders every time I see him on the news.

When I was a teenager, my mother started dating a domineering, high-powered salesman whom I'll call Ted because I mentioned him previously in one of my Buffy reviews. He had started a door-to-door sales business that was starting to take off in a small way, and Mother, who needed the money, had offered to do the books and the clerical work for his little business to supplement the money she made as a waitress.

Ted was a terrible human being. We learned later that even though he was supposedly a devout Catholic, he had abandoned his wife and eight children. He had gone to law school for a year, so he thought he understood the law, and he sued everybody. He was a raging misogynist; we once had a screaming argument about feminism in which he explained repeatedly to me how having a penis made males superior to females. Mother broke up with him quickly, but she continued to work for him because she desperately needed the money. Ted and his little team of salesmen (no women, of course) were in and out of our home all the time.

Whenever Ted and I were alone, which wasn't often, thank God, Ted would say nasty things to me. Right after high school, I had gotten a full scholarship to the local state college and was taking extra classes so that I could get my bachelor's degree early. I even had a part-time job to pay for books and expenses. All I needed was room and board from my mother, which she was quite happy to provide since she couldn't afford to put me through college herself. But Ted thought going to college was pointless. He told me repeatedly that I was a lazy sponger and that I should drop out and find a full time job.

One of those times when Ted and I were alone, he went even further. He told me that he was going to marry my mother, and when he did, he'd make her throw me out. I was certain at this point that Mother would never marry again (and she didn't, despite numerous offers) and that Ted in particular would be her last choice. I was stupid enough to say it out loud, and that was it. From then on, Ted was on a campaign to separate my mother from me in any way he could.

I don't want to go into all that happened because I'd be writing for hours, but in a nutshell, he sued us, he named my mother as a witness in the many other lawsuits he instituted against his former salesmen, he came to our home and banged on the doors and windows screaming obscenities, and sent us a steady stream of hate mail, all of which my mother saved to show the police. He even made us lose our home. And -- this was the piece de resistance -- Ted wrote a registered letter to the government organization that had granted my scholarship, and told them all sorts of lies about me in an attempt to make them drop their funding. Fortunately, the organization didn't take it seriously, or Ted would have destroyed my only real chance at a college education.

Everything eventually resolved itself. I graduated in three years with a B.A., and eventually moved out of state, Mother got a nice apartment and better job, and dated much nicer guys, and Ted moved on and harassed and sued other people. Honestly, I haven't thought about Ted and his reign of terror for years. Until lately. And you've probably guessed why by now.

Donald Trump is just like Ted. He's an angry misogynist with an enormous ego who boasts and brags constantly about how wonderful he is. He lies to suit his own purposes. He is determined to control everyone and everything in his orbit, and lashes out at anyone who criticizes him or disagrees with him. He loves to file lawsuits at the drop of a hat. He pretends to be a devout Christian while ignoring all of Christ's teachings.

For me, it feels like Ted is running for president. And what he'll do if he acquires that sort of power frightens the hell out of me.


ChrisB said...

There is a fascinating article in the NYT this week about Trump's butler. Everything you need to know is described by the man who works for him. Truly terrifying. As is another piece by two men who fact checked the previous fourteen days of speeches Trump had given. Long story short, not a lot of fact; a lot of nonsense.

This personal piece moved me to tears. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks so much, Chris. I assume this is the article you meant. You're right. If you read between the lines, it's everything you need to know about Trump. He really does think he's a king.

Unknown said...

Hi there! I stumbled upon your Alias blog, as I am just watching the series for the first time (well, actually the second - I finished the series on my own last week and have started it again from the beginning, this time with my husband). I found your blog and really enjoy it! This time around, after watching each episode, I read your Episode Review. Your recaps and comments really add to my watching experience!

When we started the second season yesterday, I couldn't find your Episode Reviews for it and thought they had stopped. I was so disappointed! I searched again this morning and found them, much to my relief! I then stumbled upon your personal blog. I haven't read much of it, but the first post I clicked on was one titled "Life After Death: I Want to Believe". It felt like I wrote that article myself. In fact, I wrote of very similar feelings when my dad passed away so unexpectedly 12 years ago when I was a college student. To this day I struggle with (A) fear of death/non-existence, and (B) believing in an afterlife (I don't). I WANT to believe, but I have a hard time convincing myself to believe in something that does not make rational sense. This line, in particular, felt as if it were my own: "For me, the worst thing about death is the concept of nonexistence. (Although I keep telling myself that if I no longer exist, I won't know that I don't exist.)" I believe you wrote this post in 2014 - has anything changed for you? Does the thought of the beach house still bring you comfort? Do you fear for your own death?

Although you don't know me, I thought you might like to know that I really enjoy your writing :)

Miami, FL

Billie Doux said...

Hello, Isabel:

Thank you so, so much for your lovely comment. I do still find my little concept of heaven helpful when I'm missing my loved ones. I feel like I'm in something of a transition right now, pretty much stuck geographically where I am, when I want to be traveling. I'm also trying prayer as a "connecting to the universal consciousness" and positive affirmation sort of thing, not as actual prayers to God, and that's helping, too.

If you need any help finding any of our reviews, everything I've ever written, and everything anyone contributing to my site has ever written, is available on the pages on the top menu of Doux Reviews: Featured TV Shows, All TV Shows, Movie reviews, Book reviews, Articles, etc.

Best regards,