My family would travel to Jamaica to visit relatives every so often while I was a child, and it was pretty much expected to visit the beaches during our trip. I was so fascinated by my dad’s ability to keep afloat for what seemed like forever. I would be very cautious where I tread ensuring I was always able to feel the ocean floor below my feet. He would patiently try to teach me, but every time I felt like I was being sucked under the water, I would panic and flail my arms reaching for anything that would offer stability. In the best-case scenario, I would grab hold of my father who would laugh at my floundering. In the worse case, I would grab onto a stranger. Stability and awkwardness were both acquired more often than not.
I blame human nature.
Fear is a survival mechanism that plays on confusion and panic. This confusion makes us crave stability, comfort, and the things we are used to. Once we flail our arms to grab onto something, and in some cases, anything, we are rewarded with some relief.
Donald Trump’s presidency has caused genuine fear and panic among those who oppose him on both sides of the aisle. The reasoning may differ, and the fear may vary in degree, but the fact remains that fear and uncertainty are shared by individuals on the left and right regarding the Trump Presidency—let’s call it Trumphobia. Some fear his presidency would mean imminent nuclear war. Others? A catastrophic economic decline. And there are those in very high places in American society and government who fear losing control.
Political pundits and analysts frantically theorize who the Democrats could elevate to take on the President in 2020. Cory Booker? Joe Biden? Michelle Obama? Oprah Winfrey? The Democrats, being so hell-bent and hyper-focused on impeaching the President, have completely forsaken their platform in the process. Opposition to the Trump administration have chosen to utilize tools of extremism to reach their goals such as suppression of free speech and political violence against whoever they choose to dishonestly demonize.
But do not be mistaken!
Whoever says hatred cannot unite has forgotten, not only Western History but, Human History. It should be credited to the Democrats their ability to mobilize and obtain a level of poll success under the banner of derision—fueled both by fear and anger. But this fear can only be perpetuated by ignoring the successes of the current administration and turning left-wing disdain for a man into a political crusade against him and any who dare support him.
To be fair, combatting a candidate like Trump is no easy task. His methods and general demeanor are, without a doubt, setting precedent for what it means to be President. He refuses to play hide and seek behind the veil of political correctness; instead, he yanks it down completely. It would be easy to politically combat someone like Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee because they play by the implied rules of politics. Trump, on the other hand, has no rules. The media would make light work of the typical conservative candidate and flame-grill him/her without regret, but now, to their surprise, this President fights back.
And so they flail.
When Oprah Winfrey’s name was in the ether as a possible candidate to combat President Trump in the next Presidential election, the left’s flailing arms finally thought they found someone to stabilize their situation. After the State of the Union Address when Rep. Joe Kennedy made his counter-speech denouncing the current administration, the left was in a short-lived nostalgic trance at the idea of having another Kennedy lead their crusade against the Republican Party. Most recently the young and self-proclaimed socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, out of New York, has been randomly selected by the flailing arms of the Democrat party as their current savior. This is indicative of a party that desperately yearns for leadership.
The Democrat party needs to find leadership with a proactive mentality instead of a reactive one. The proactive mentality relies on planning, strategizing, and setting ideological boundaries. The reactive mentality, which undoubtedly fuels the progressive movement, is Machiavellian, rash, and views boundaries as anathema.
After years of visiting the beaches of Jamaica I can confidently say that I am now a capable swimmer. No longer do I panic and flail my arms looking for someone to give me stability when I panic; instead, I rely on my ability to self-stabilize learned from my previous experiences. If the Democrats do not learn from this moment of panic, I fear they will select another short-sighted candidate who launches the party further into an uncontrollable left-wing frenzy.