The emotional toll of dealing with a toxic president

SUSAN K. SMITH | 7/17/2018, 1:38 p.m.
In a word, this president is wearying to the soul.

Crazy Faith Ministries

In a word, this president is wearying to the soul.

It is not that he is something new to the American story. Historian Jon Meacham said that America’s national greatness was “built on explicit and implicit apartheid.” White supremacy has been the bane and the scourge of America’s very existence; White Americans, though basking in their erroneous belief in their own superiority are nonetheless very insecure, afraid of losing their faux power, their faux belief system with its attendant way of life, and their hold over everything and everyone, necessary, they believe, to keep things “as they should be.”

Maybe not all people, but many knew what this president meant when he said he would “make America great again.” People knew that was a euphemism for what was the real desire: “make America White again.” This president’s base basked in the thought; those who felt themselves “above” the base basked as well, although they did so more quietly. The yoke of white supremacy has never loosened its grip on the American psyche. There were too many changes going on. It was time to get back to the way Conservatives believed things should be, and one of the first things to put in place was the correct balance of power. Black and brown people were making too many gains. It was time to set things right …er White …again.

This president recognized and lived in the tension caused by the thing that made America what it is: its pluralism. America’s greatness, or a great part of it, was celebrated and respected because this was the one country where people of different colors and races and religions could live side by side, all permitted to “be” who and what they were. But in a country where the supremacy of “whiteness” was written into the very founding documents, this pluralism was a problem almost from the outset.

Over the years, the country has ebbed and flowed as people of color and women and most recently, people with different sexualities have fought for and won pieces of American citizenship of which they had been denied because of who they were, but with each gain came a simmering rage from the White populace – from the very rich to the very poor – who believed that this country was meant to be for White people, most accurately for White men. The shift of the supposed balance of power was and has been frightening and maddening for those who believed themselves to be the true and only heirs to American citizenship.

This president, though wealthy, was never a part of the elite White wealthy group, and so, as some have offered, he has been somewhat resentful. He has a mission to make America “White” again but he is also on a mission to one-up the people who have rejected him over the years. Reports are that he has never really fit in with “high society.” He thus knows, on a different level, what his base is feeling, the resentment that comes with believing that because you are White, you should have all that you want, even if it is at the expense of other groups or individuals, as reported in Vanity Fair.