Friday, December 8, 2023

Feeling Conflicted Over the Fate of Trump? Yeah, We Hear You

OPINION: The news that Trump is ill has brought some big emotions.

It’s hard not to feel deeply satisfied that a man who said Covid-19 was barely a thing – and then, with all the power in the world, did nothing to prevent the deaths of two hundred thousand of his own people – is now suffering through it.

But it’s likely that most of us from the “radical left” are feeling somewhat conflicted over the potentially fatal misfortune that has now befallen him. 

Of course, being crazy lefties, we don’t believe in the death penalty (unlike many of his supporters). We think that no one should receive a lethal dose for their misdeeds – and that change and rehabilitation is possible. 

So how do we justify silently, or even vocally, wishing that his goose was cooked?

At the very least, it’s hard not to be pleased that his mouth, which has spouted so much hate speech in the past four years, might currently be silenced by a plastic ventilator. How can we not enjoy this retribution?

As people die and forests burn and economies teeter on the brink of collapse, we’re all looking for a sign that things might somehow still work out ok. That there is such a thing as karma. Or even just a bloody good cosmic joke.

As humans, we are meaning-making creatures. We need to believe there is some point to what happens to us.

In small ways we are able to find gratitude for what this year has brought us or taught us: More time with our families, a stronger sense of community, a deeper appreciation for our health, our homes and that there’s food on our tables. 

And particularly as residents of Aotearoa New Zealand, we can’t help but feel lucky beyond belief.

But still the horror that is unfolding across the globe weighs heavily on our hearts and our spirits. 

We know there is no point to Covid-19 and its trail of devastation, but if it took Trump out of office? Well, wouldn’t that be kind of something?

The perfect scenario would be that he survives and loses the election fair and square. But is it even possible for this election to be fair when he himself is doing his best to ensure it isn’t?

The possibility that he might get in again is hard to live with. Whereas the idea that he’s conveniently wiped off the face of the earth seems like the kind of quick win we need.

So perhaps this is the moment to practice loving kindness? 

Maybe we just try to remember Michelle Obama’s wise words that when they go low, we go high.

And then we hope like heck that, rather than this terrible virus, it’s the power of democracy and fair-minded people who will rise up and save us all from the misery of four more years.

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