Lord knows we have much for which to condemn the Orange Tyrant. He has touched with his tiny hands virtually all of the important issues of our country, withering them like Rappaccini’s daughter who killed everything she touched with her poison. But Beatrice was an innocent who had no intention of killing anything or anyone; clearly no innocent, Trump poisons everything he touches with malice and total abandon, as if he’s racing against a clock with a continuous alarm that says, ‘Obama did it better.’ Trump has used his ill-gotten power to poison the environment, healthcare, women’s rights, and the list goes on and on. But it occurs to me that, in a weird twist, Trump has actually given us quite a bit, albeit inadvertently, to be grateful for. He’d hate that, of course, and he most certainly didn’t intend to, but that’s the way of it.
Take the environment, for example. When Trump pulled us out of the Paris Agreement, states, cities, businesses, and schools stepped up to achieve what our being a part of the Agreement would have achieved, had our Idiot-in-Chief not made us one of only a tiny handful of countries not participating. America’s Pledge, initiated by Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg, asked that businesses, cities, and states take the appropriate steps to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to bring the U.S. back in line with the Paris Agreement as if we were officially a part of it. We’re seeing a whole new crop of American heroes here, people to actually respect in a time when we have few in the nation’s capital to respect. And people who may have heard of climate change and global warming but never really understood their significance have been learning a great deal about it, thanks to all of the public buzz. Conversations that may not have happened otherwise are now happening. The future of the health of our planet is still very much in question, but thanks to Trump’s poisonous decision making, more people are probably involved in its attempted salvation than were involved before. Certainly, more people are now aware of the peril if they do nothing, or worse, go the other direction as Trump and his administration are dictating.
Thanks to Trump’s criminal alliance with white supremacists, we’ve also seen heroes emerge. If you doubt that, consider that in Boston recently, about a hundred pathetic white supremacists empowered by the president’s tacit acceptance showed up to rally and were met by thousands of counter protesters who drowned out the smaller group and sent a very clear message to everyone that crap like this will not be tolerated. Tensions that simmered below the surface have bubbled up, only to be met by waves of people who refuse to condone them. And thanks to Trump’s coziness with the KKK and other such organizations, the backlash against him has resulted in the removal and relocation of statues that commemorate a time when civil rights was non existent and people were property. The loss of a life in Charlottesville has only spurred more people to passionately oppose that part of Trump’s base that stands for racism and bigotry.
Trump’s actions and attempted actions on immigration have certainly called attention to that particular issue. In particular, the decision to abolish DACA, the policy that protects children who were brought into the country illegally but who now call America home. I’ve heard discussions about the Dreamers that I don’t believe would have happened without Trump’s typically cruel decision. Stories of Dreamers are emerging, such as that of Alonzo Guillen who died trying to save victims of Hurricane Harvey, and Americans are more aware of what’s at stake for these kids. More awareness of the issues is certainly a plus. And one can’t help but contrast Mr. Guillen’s brave actions and ultimate sacrifice with Trump’s hastily tweeted ‘good luck.’ Congress, which has thus far pretty much rubber-stamped Trump’s stupidity, may actually do the right thing and stand up for the 800,000 Dreamers who are now facing potential deportation. The ball is certainly in their court, thanks to their supreme commander’s passing of the presidential buck, and appalled and disgusted Americans are making their feelings known. Congress may take the high road for once, out of fear for their jobs if for no more noble reasons.
Maybe one of the biggest reasons to thank Trump is the number of Americans who have awakened their inner activists, shaken off their complacency, and emerged from their comfort zones to stand up and be counted among the resisters. People who would never before have participated in marches and rallies have done just that. We’ve seen half a million, mostly women, march on Washington and thousands across the nation who have marched in support of science, the environment, women’s rights and the rights of the LGBT community, and immigration, just to name a few. Thousands more have gathered to protest Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns and demand an independent investigation into the Trump campaign’s likely involvement with Russia. And had our presidential train wreck not had an ax to grind with Obama and a need for adulation and approval from his pathetic base, these people might not have felt the call to stand up for their beliefs and their country. Let’s face it: People are rising up to protest as much because Trump is a lying asshat. In fact, the movement is actually worldwide, as folks in many countries have demonstrated their support for the American values that our current administration neither respects nor upholds. And I believe that now that millions of Americans have found their voices, they will hopefully be inclined to use them even beyond Trump’s hopefully brief reign if they feel they need to. It will be difficult to silence voices that emerged as noisily and as frequently as these have in such a short space of time.
So, while it seems a bit of a stretch to think we have anything for which to thank the faux president, we should probably, if not grudgingly, admit that he has prompted some positive movements and actions. The citizens he’s supposed to serve are reacting to the fact that the new president is, indeed, the incredible waste of oxygen the majority of Americans knew he would be. We’ve proven as a citizenry that, when properly (or improperly) motivated, we can step up and do the right thing. And, weird as it may seem, that has to be worth something.