Cruel To Be Kind

Look, I am a big fan of redemption arcs. I love to see a bad guy made good, a 180 in the direction of the light, but in this life I don’t think you or I or anyone owe the people who haven’t considered us human for the last four years much of anything at all.

It’s up to the villain to come around, to change, to make a sacrifice. Sure, the abused often play a role–and a big one–in the atonement of evil, but that isn’t the victim’s purpose or even their obligation. And it certainly shouldn’t be expected before the reign of their abuser is even over.

There’s no need to be cruel, we’re better than that, we show them what humanity is by demonstrating it, but let’s be clear: celebrating a victory is not cruel, especially when that victory is a step toward ensuring the safety of your life and the lives of people you love.

What could be considered cruel is when I say that if you voted for Donald Trump you’re not getting into that heaven you believe in but more likely going to hell. I know that’s not nice, I know those aren’t flowery, kind, coddling words. But I’m not sure what people expect. Putting aside that it is pretty difficult to afford kindness to someone who willingly voted for this man, it has more importantly become increasingly obvious that if you’ve chosen to support Donald Trump and his administration, you believe as he does. And if you believe as he does, you cannot possibly be a good person. Stating that someone is making decisions to purposefully hurt and cause misery to others isn’t mean, it’s a fact.

When you’re a star…you can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.

Donald Trump, 2005, Access Hollywood interview with Billy Bush

If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.

Donald Trump, 8/9/2016, re: Hillary Clinton and suggesting people who own guns should assassinate her

You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides…You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

Donald Trump, 8/15/2017, re: Neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville, NC

He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.

Donald Trump, 7/18/2015, speaking at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa re: John McCain

I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.

Donald Trump, 1/23/2016, Truly incredible

I’m not saying it’s tit for tat. I don’t want to leave the whole world blind. This is not a suggestion to boot out half the country. What I am saying is there is more than enough evidence that Donald Trump is a tyrannical, narcissistic, malevolent scumbag, and supporting him is just so mind-bogglingly extreme, inane, and horrific that you have to admit your own shared hatred and malevolence with him or at least your apathy toward his instances of cruelty–and more importantly his ability to take widespread, devastating action against the people and things he derides and being totally okay with that. You are saying you condone these things by voting for him or at least some of these things of which there are so many that I can’t believe any one thing is more important than the whole of what he stands for. And if that’s true, you are awful.

I wouldn’t try and shake hands with David Duke, with Joseph Goebbels, with Harvey Weinstein, with Roman Polanski, with Pol Pot, with Idi Amin, and I wouldn’t make nice with someone who looked up to and praised and wanted more from any of those people either.

I don’t worship politicians. Yes, I love Bernie Sanders, but he is up for criticism just like me and just like you. Mistakes? Those are allowed. Looking back and saying “this is who I was, I was wrong, I will and am doing better now” is necessary for all of us. Doubling down on racism, sexism, and bigotry is the exact opposite. And mistaking criticism for cruelty when calling out that behavior is ignorant and dangerous.

But worse would be to smile and pretend like the vitriol, the hate, the extremism that we have experienced in this country over the last four years never happened. That it should be instantly forgiven, should never again be addressed, that it should be allowed to hide back under its white sheets and shiny badges and red ties to fester and grow and lay in wait until the next hatemonger rears its ugly head is the biggest mistake that we have made as a country and cannot allow for it to continue to be made.

That is a lesson America absolutely has to learn, and calling it out is the first step.

P.S. And to be clear, if you spent four years saying little to nothing about the egregious bullshit the GOP has pulled on this country just to come out the last few days to point a finger at someone who was “nasty” once online and called the President of the United States a dumb cheeto or something, you are not making that call out in good faith. We can see your real agenda, and selective ignorance is a bad look.

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