Shock and disbelief! Outrage and cryptic denial! Expect a healthy dose of these reactions whenever secrets are revealed and the truth spills out. Reservation, even fear, is known to accompany the admission of truths that cut sharply against a façade of normality molded by sweet apple-pie myths. But honesty is healing. In an article titled, “You Are Only as Sick as Your Secrets,” David Grossman writes: “Perhaps half of the essence of counseling is that you are only as sick as your secrets, and until we begin to address some of these secrets we will never truly be able to assist fully in the healing process.”
Secrets keep coming out in this day and age. Honesty has arrived late from its vacation of fairytales in America and it’s more than ready to catch up for lost exposure. Sucker punch, railroad, disrespect, disregard, and even the master naysayers— innocent men, women, and children—who just so happen to be in its combative path. A truth-speaking protagonist has come out, voiced his rambunctious mind, and a legion of supporters. All waiting anxiously in the wing have swelled the ranks of old. It’s been a long time coming, bubbling in subterranean regions like magma, ready to surface at any given moment. Now the hour is ripe for all the heat and built up pressure to spew outward, lava flow dangerously spreading across America’s landscape of apple-pies. The truth has come out and, like Mount Vesuvius’ eruption over Pompeii, has caught far too many in the US, and beyond, by surprise.
The past few months have also demonstrated that coming out isn’t reserved, exclusively, for revealing one’s sexual orientation. This coming out, exposing a truth that’s as irreverent as it is dreadful, wouldn’t receive a stamp of approval by UN Human Rights specialists. Telling the truth, in this sense, sears like molten rock, burning through the mythical gates safeguarding inequity. What lays bare is the unseemly mind of a man, and his supporters, who relish in racism, sexism, xenophobia, war crimes, and then some. His once cult status has become mass appeal. Liberals, even the LGBT community who encourage their members to come out, couldn’t be more taken back by this truth. Why? The proverbial closet has burnt to ash—Donald Trump has come out, but he ain’t gay. (And according to his own measure, lest we’re to believe that he hasn’t been aided by genital enlargement pumps and vacuums, he wants the world to believe that his dick is naturally larger than the average white man’s penis. Go figure)
Revelations made by Trump’s cheerleading team, insofar that they’ve put America’s post-racial fable to a conclusive rest, CNN political commentator, Van Jones, stated that it’s, “very, very frightening to me.” Mychal Denzen Smith wrote in The Nation that, “Trump’s racism didn’t scare me. Now it does.” Other pundits and journalists have openly expressed growing fear and anxiety faced with the prospect of The Donald ascending to the most coveted political seat in America. Would they, honestly, prefer that the full breadth of the man and his supporters continue to operate in a thick haze of America’s apple-pies? They should be grateful for the outing of this corrosive machine. At least it has shined a spotlight on a nation that desperately wants to project itself as being enlightened by the slave revolts…my bad, I meant—the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 70s.
Though America’s soiled laundry has been put on public display, it’s certainly not for the sake of healing, much less reconciliation and reparation. Still, there remains to be a perilous beauty in Trump’s epic, truth-telling saga. It’s a stark reminder that the past and present flow more like nectar and ambrosia than dissimilar moments neatly separated by decades, even centuries. Vitriol à la Trump-mania could easily serve as a contemporary adjunct to Willie Lynch’s Letter or the first edition of Mein Kampf. Mussolini quotes certainly tickle The Donald’s fancy.
But this is 2016, folks! Where have all the savvy dog whistles gone? Trump’s version of the truth is so denuded that even Paul Ryan and Mitch McConell, the two top Republicans in Congress, have denounced him. But let it be known that Trump’s coming out fiesta suffers from a severe case of selective memory. These are crucial moments when Trump elects to deny the truth in order to portray his particular version of a truth that sanitizes key points in American history. For example, on more than one occasion he’s stated that Christians beheaded in the Middle East are incidents that have never been witnessed since medieval times. Such a weak historical radar, one that doesn’t pick up the radio signal playing Strange Fruit or any documented cases recounting the experience of Africans and Indigenous peoples in the United States, turns a blind eye to the thousands of hangings, beheadings and scalpings committed by the bloody hands of American Christians. If only that religious sector of society demonstrated the same enthusiasm and resolve for eradicating racism, discrimination, and sexism as their forefathers had for stealing indigenous land, Trump’s coming out wouldn’t have lasted from sunup to sundown.
Barack Obama, suffering from a terrible case of the seven-year presidential itch, goes a long way in undermining his own credibility when he says that Trump is the result of stonewall, Republican obstruction during his two terms in office. Much more than just being a modern phenomena bolstered by a 24-hour news cycle, Trump is a progeny, an open window into the very conscious of America as it is and always has been. And if one dares to look with a discerning eye, save only a handful of policy proposals suggested by Bernie Sanders, there’s very little difference between Trump and front running presidential candidates.
Why so much fear just because the Donald came out? Should his mastery of the crass, hurdle those who struggle on behalf of human rights into the abyss of resignation? The fact of the matter is that Trump, even if he loses the presidential election, has already won because he has garnered mass support and prompted fear. Retired University professor Jerry Ward wrote in a recent blog post titled, To Trump or not To Trump, that: Trump is an embarrassing gift to contemporary politics. He is the voice that asks the question; Why did I happen, and how does your outrage and your silence give substance to my shadow?
America’s on the brink of imploding again. And, to cut Trump some slack, it won’t implode as much beneath his weight as it will from the country’s hot-air hagiographers who serve apple-pies and lull people to sleep. If it weren’t The Donald some other force would be leading the charge of bygone days that have, in fact, gone nowhere. And while the truth sets some free, no matter how racist, xenophobic, and sexist they are, others rescind deeper into faint concepts never consolidated in the US such as equality, democracy, and justice for all.
But all’s not lost. Trump’s presence, along with his posse, hasn’t put everyone on their heels. Alarm bells ring louder than day, prompting old and young heads to recognize a truth deferred—a better future is condemned to a lofty dream without a sustained, robust struggle.
Slowly repeat after me:
What a blessing in disguise…..
an inconvenient, much needed truth…
I give you…
…and I commend…
the truth behind…
Julian Cola is a translator in Latin America. He has a BA (cum laude) in Portuguese from the University of New Mexico and will pursue post-graduate study at the Universität Basel (Switzerland) in the fall. His articles and translations appear in Truth-Out, San Diego Reader, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and elsewhere.