I hope this is the last time there’s any reason to write about the Almost-Former President Trump. By this Wednesday we should have a new President who is a nice man, and our long national nightmare will officially begin to end. I predict that Mr. Trump will have his hands full with fighting indictments, and a new generation of wanna-be demagogues will appear. They may or may not be more dangerous to democracy than Mr. Trump. Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz were each hoping to inherit the mantle, but their complicity with the insurrection may disqualify them. Don’t worry, someone else will try again to ride the fiery steed of anti-democracy. We have a real problem with how angry and violent so many of our people are, and will remain for some time.
But to return to Mr. Trump, I hope we liberals will make an effort to not hate him. Gandhi said that hating the sin but not the sinner is impossible, because to the sinner, that feels like hate. Jesus asked us simply to love our neighbor. If you hate the sin, please restrict it to your own sins.
As I have said here a couple of times, we don’t create ourselves. “Everything is given to us,” wrote Saul of Tarsus, aka St. Paul. We are all fashioned by circumstance, and those circumstances can deform a person. There is no such thing as a monster in human form, but there does seem to be such a thing as a human in monster form. It’s not the human’s fault. As I have said here a couple of times, it helps to see Donald Trump as a person with birth defects. He didn’t create himself.
So, with the dawn breaking (we hope), let us not fall into the deadly sin of hatred, but practice compassion and other kindnesses. The Buddha says ‘Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love. This is the eternal rule.’