I am disheartened, ashamed, and disappointed. Yes, I am all these things yet I am not surprised. I am not surprised that Donald Trump is leading the polls in America. It’s not because I agree with his politics. It is not because I believe he is exceptionally intelligent or charismatic. It doesn’t really have anything to do with his competition. He is leading the poles because of all that we not only allow, but glorify in America. For years now, Americans have made what we value abundantly clear through what we watch,how we spend our money, and who we emulate.
Turn on the tv. What do you see? What is considered “entertainment”? Reality shows that glorify outrageous behaviors turn idiocy into entertainment. The more unbelievable the actions are, the more the ratings go up. Cameras follow around people, documenting their every move and reinforcing the flawed and immoral logic that “as long as it makes me happy, it’s ok.” That is why I am disheartened. I fight this battle every day in my classroom. This mentality has infiltrated the core values of my students and all Americans. Yes, I am disheartened but not surprised. I am not surprised that this American public has embraced a candidate who embodies the qualities that we have spent years at best allowing and at worst glorifying.
Turn on the computer. What’s in the news? Oh, another athlete has abused drugs, abused his spouse, wrecked a car and his life. Oh yeah, there he is back on the field among the cheers of millions of fans. Collecting his paycheck for millions of American dollars because we support and propogate the idea that sports skills are more valuable than education. More valuable than living a moral life. More valuable than how we treat our neighbors. Yes, in a world where these behaviors are acceptable of course his supporters would look the other way as candidates like Trump insult the disabled and turn away the downtrodden. Again I contend that I’m not surprised. I saw this coming a mile away. I watch my students cheer for their favorite players and ask me, “Isn’t he awesome, Mrs. Donaldson?!?!” This is why I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed that we don’t have better to offer our children. That better role models aren’t out there publicized so our children know that there is better out there. It’s no wonder my classroom full of students think Trump hung the moon. It is because it has been shown to them that the attributes he possesses are the definition of success in America. That is why I’m not surprised that Trump is garnering the growing support that he is.
Donald Trump is clearly a brilliant man. He has figured out how to use our very own choices against us to gather around him a mob of supporters willing to defend his every undignified insult, even when he insults the intelligence of his own supporters. Amazing. I’m ashamed that we aren’t stronger, more educated, braver to be able stand up and say No. We need to say no to all the Kardashians, all the Trumps, all the Ray Rices. Until as Americans we do that, I will continue to not be one bit surprised when candidates like Donald Trump lead the polls. I will continue to fight for the future of our country.
An Exhausted Educator