I have been asking myself, “Why won’t patriotic and knowledgeable Americans do anything useful in the face of a chronic situation?” I have spoken to so many people about this and I am beyond frustration. They know there is something very wrong with America, but all they do is talk and put their faith in corrupt politicians and a corrupt system. The latest has been Donald Trump. Worried conservatives gave him their blind faith:
- He is Going to Make America Great Again!
- He is Going to Drain the Swamp!
- He is Going to Restore Justice and Constitutional Law Back to the USA!
Well so far that has turned out to be a great disappointment. I am trying to be diplomatic when I approach current and former Trump supporters on the subject: he is yet another in a long line of politicians who have let us down — so what do we do?
I see most doing the same old things — looking for another hero messiah to save the day — but some are starting to show progress. Very slowly. These are smart people. Why is this taking so long?
I then realized you cannot reason with people in mourning. They are not suffering from a lack of understanding… they are grieving.
Then I remembered the Five Stages of Grief. For that is what is really going on. People have watched in shock as everything they loved about the USA has been destroyed, and every institution they were raised to admire and respect has betrayed them. It is as if something precious just up and died. This is not a time for reason, but a time for empathy.
The Five Stages of Grief:
- Depression, and
Most American conservatives are somewhere between Denial and Anger. They recognized that there is/was something very wrong, and they chose Trump to fix it. Some now realize that Donald Trump is just a fraud, or even if he really is who he claimed to be he is just one man fighting against a hopelessly corrupt system. No one is doing anything to fix anything… nor will they. These people put all their faith into Trump and he let them down. Now they will either stay in Denial and Anger — and are thus hopeless cases — or they will move past Anger to Bargaining (hoping that some magical force will make the world right — Jesus, Buddha, Mr. T…). Those are making progress. How to get them past Bargaining???? I don’t know. But only those who are past Bargaining are ready to act.
As I look back on my own progression I realize that I am somewhere between Depression and Acceptance. And I have been at it for twenty years. It was five years ago after the American People voted to re-elect Obama that I finally realized there was no hope for the USA. I gave up on Bargaining for something unimaginable to come along and reignite the American Spirit of Liberty. It was only then that I was able to move on. It was only then that I committed to getting out while I could. I am very glad I did. I am still terribly sad about what has happened to my country, and I am sad that my children will not have what I grew up with, but I am finally actively working to make things better. I am creating a new life that is much better for me and my family.
I am going to try to be patient with others who are perhaps not as far along the stages of grief as I am. But I am also going to look at people with an eye towards what stage they are on, and whether there is any chance they will ever make any progress past Denial and Anger. For most I fear any progress they make will be too late for them and everyone else around them.