My college-aged son suggested I could increase interest in my paper mache and my blog by creating Donald Trump. After all, he said, “Donald would be easy; an orange face, small hands with pointing finger, classic blue suit, red tie and golden cotton candy hair.” He added, “Everything Trump attracts attention.” I agreed because deep in some dark part of me I harbor a strange, horrifying fascination with the man.
My Donald has been featured on this blog in an article, Trumpster Perfect for the Dumpster. For those of you who haven’t read that blog (probably most of you based on the low number of views), my paper sculpture of Donald is fabricated on a toilet paper roll, stands about 6 inches high on a 2 inch gold platform with the slogan “Trump, Make America Great Again, is pasted across the bottom.” Donald didn’t draw the number of blog views my son and I expected when he was posted, possibly because I emphasize I am a Blue Girl in a Red State in my writing. I even drive a car with a novelty license plate, Blue Girl. My readers may not like everything Trump as my son and I projected or may have better impulse control than I do about voyeuristically checking in to see what tweet he has sapped off at three a.m. this day.
Once Donald was created and unappreciated online, I came up with the idea to burn him and film it in a YouTube video, after all he is only paper, flour and salt. Donald should burst into flames easily. My seventeen-year-old daughter absolutely forbid me from going forward with this project. She told me I had no idea how vitriolic Trump supporters would be. My humor at burning the paper mache, would be lost in the flames of his supporters who might track us down and firebomb our house. The paper mache Donald bonfire was nixed.
One of my friends suggested a house party of “Nasty Women” after the election where we could burn paper Donald assuming Hillary won. Since Hillary didn’t win, I am left with disposing of Donald in a peaceful manner. I thought of donating him to the Youth Ranch. But my husband suggested that should my paper sculpture capture an audience (highly dubious but one can always hope), Donald might have some future historical value. I personally doubt that given the low quality of the product, after all Donald’s hair is made from my sheltie’s fur died bright yellow. For now, I have moved the Donald out of my husband’s office where he was on prominent display to an upstairs closet where all of us can peacefully co-exist (hopefully the country can too for the next four years).
I am extremely disappointed by the violence in Portland instigated by Clinton supporters. The irony of Democrats objecting to Trump’s election through violent protest should not be lost on anyone. Much of the campaign banter circulated around Trump’s encouragement of his supporters to outrageous acts. Clintonites are participating in the very activities that we feared would erupt from Trump supporters if Hillary Clinton was elected President. I have also heard that Trump supporters have seen Trump’s election as a license to bully refugees and non-white Americans. This is also unacceptable.
My spiritual foundation and fundamental belief in America’s system of rule of law requires that I give President-elect Trump and his team a chance to govern now that he has been chosen as our President. I plan to approach his presidency cautiously with an “open mind” but I also plan on being courageously out-spoken when I see injustice and incivility. Our country protects the right to free speech. Nonviolent civil disobedience has led to great change in our nation, just look at Rosa Park’s refusal to move to the back of the bus. But I also know, our current political climate requires us to be thoughtful about how we express our political opinions. We are not in the sixties where burning effigies and American flags was frowned on but seen as symbols of protected free speech. One did not have to worry about personal safety when expressing themselves non-violently i.e. my daughter’s concern that our house might be fire bombed if I chose to post burning paper Donald. Unfortunately, in 2016, we find ourselves in a world that is constantly fired up and always on the verge of bursting into angry flames.