Friday, January 12, 2018

What Do I Hate?

Is Donald Trump and evil person?
This is something I'm thinking about and this is why I believe that calling someone "evil" as opposed to condemning their actions, rather than their humanity might be important.
I should say that I realize this may be primarily a matter of semantics.
If we use the word "evil" to describe a person or people as in "The Nazis were evil, and Adolph Hitler was Satan incarnate" it can set those people apart from ourselves.
To me, it can feel like I'm describing something so far outside the human experience that it's akin to encountering an alien life form and I begin to lose any connection to myself, including whatever connection that might help me see any tendencies or leanings in their direction myself.
In case there's any doubt, I consider the actions and words of the Nazi Party who ruled Germany in the 1930s through 40s to be evil and those who participated committed unspeakable evil. Those who participated, primarily at the higher levels of the party, have been rightly held responsible.
Donald Trump's words and actions are also evil, his embrace of ignorance, bigotry and racism bound together with a string of disdain for decency and celebration of vulgarity is astounding. His followers, supporter and enablers are equally complicit. Their support is abhorrent.
Can Donald Trump and his supporters be "good people"? Do their evil actions preclude any goodness? Can I, or should I, judge someone as a "good person" or "bad person".
I use the phrase all the time "He's a good guy" when talking about someone who would come pick you up if you car broke down or take the time to show you how to play "Angeline The Baker" on banjo. What if that same person who would help you fix your backyard fence also supports racism and bigotry?
I don't know.
What I do know is that the words, actions and intentions of President Trump and his supporters, and for the record, this includes all who use the "Well, I don't always like his methods..." excuse are vile and vulgar examples of the worst of humanity. Those words, actions and intentions are evil.

1 comment:

  1. Thoroughly agree. The problem is (& I catch myself doing this too many times) we do dehumanize individuals by referring to their being good or evil. Then we can feel morally superior to them & not have to take time to really understand why sometimes good people do terrible things. I was told recently that Mitch McConnell is a very nice man who supports handicapped children bc he raised one. He was kind, generous, courtly & yet this man supports horrible bills & underhanded legal tricks to create laws that seem to hurt so many people. And aren't we turning into monsters when we exclaim "Someone should just put a bullet in Trump's head?" Here is the true human dilemma: how can we try to understand without surrendering our need to resist to the greatest degree. I really do think Trump sees himself as the victim here & even at my most anger filled moments, I can also feel some pity for you. But then he says or does something stupid & I am bashing him again.