I don't know how to start this post. So I'm skipping the intro.
Donald Trump is an abuser. Textbook abuser. He just bragged about sexually assaulting women. He's going to court on child rape charges. He has repeatedly said horrifyingly disgusting things about women. He grabbed his own daughter's ass at the convention and has made lewd comments about her body and how he'd sleep with her if she wasn't his daughter. He raped his 1st wife. He said Paris Hilton was “sexy” when she was 12. He reportedly shoved a married women into a closet, kissed and groped her. "Grab 'em by the pussy", he laughs. "Don't wait, just kiss them". "When you're famous, you can do anything you want." And people are defending him. Saying they’ll still vote for him. Saying it’s not that bad. Bending over backwards to justify his depravity.
And I am broken. Because I have seen this before.
Trump is the personification of every abuser in the church, in the culture in which I was raised. The ones I've met, the ones I've written about, the ones on the news, the ones that made my friends cry while I held them, the ones holding influence over masses of people. The ones who rape little girls and boys then "repent" and keep on leading people. The ones who treat women like shit, as sexual objects for their pleasure, as less-than human, yet are lauded as a Man of God because they have all the best words. The ones that stand up in the pulpit while the people they've abused are trapped in the audience pretending to be OK. The ones paid to smile and preach while doing deeds of darkness behind closed doors.
Every Trump supporter, voter, and defender are every enabler I've ever met, written about, and watched. The ones covering up the abuser's scandals. The ones making pregnant 13-yr-olds disappear. The ones loudly proclaiming we should forgive the abuser because Jesus has forgiven him. The ones sitting quietly in church meetings, acquiescing to the Man of God, instead of standing up and saying "this is wrong and you are done". The ones who say "we don't need to involve the police, it isn't that bad". The ones who don't want to ruin the reputation of the abuser so they instead ruin the souls of the abused. They sacrifice the victims to uphold the career of the abuser, to keep their power, because power is life to them. They turn on the abused and say "you need to forgive, Jesus would want you to, you'll regret it if you don't" and leave pieces of victims’ souls strewn along the road. A worthy sacrifice for the end goal.
And so I feel like a cornered animal, like a hunted creature, claws out, back to the wall, unsafe in my own world. Betrayed, surrounded by betrayers. My flight-or-fight response kicks in because the people around me are the enablers and the abuser is spouting the same words on TV as every church pervert and narcissist has spouted from pulpits and podiums. Because people are praising him and excusing his abuse because of his power, just like they did that pastor, that teacher, that preacher, that elder, that man of God who spoke great things.
Only this time, the abuser might be president.
He's been supported by so many enablers, that he could be our next president.
America is full of enablers and they are our own families and our own neighbors and our pastors and teachers and Christian leaders and government officials. We are surrounded by people who see the reputation and career of an abuser and what he can do for them as more important than the life and souls of the victims and future victims. We are stuck in a culture that laughs at sexual assault and puts the assaulter in the White House, endowing him with all the power, and tells women to get over it that it wasn't that bad that we're overreacting and need to sit down and shut up, that this is what we need, what is good for us. Take it, girls. You'll like it. We sit here and watch you defend the indefensible and we rage and we cry and we wonder what broke and if it can ever be fixed.
"All men do that, it's no big deal", they say. And we look around us, angry and scared, and wonder if we have been so wrong about the world, if we are in danger from people we thought safe because "all men" fantasize about raping women, according to the enablers and the abusers. My skin is crawling and I want to throw up.
We are trapped in a spiral of helplessness as we watch the personification of all our abusers become the most powerful man in the world, upheld by his enablers, who are people we thought we could trust.
And I die a little inside.
Because in Trump I see the abusers that got away with it, were praised for it. In my fellow countrymen I see the enablers that let them, that gave them power. And no one cares about the victims. Their ideology, their hatred for Democrats and liberals and gays, their desire for power trumps everything, even people's lives.
And they destroy themselves along with us because what they don't know that I do is that abusers only use enablers until they can be of no more use.
We all lose this one. Except the abuser. He wins. Because you, people of America, enabled him.