Here we are encroaching upon yet another election. Although it seems far away, the time to vote will soon be upon us. I am typically not an overtly, political person. I do not consider myself a guru. I read the news, listen to NPR and have struggled the last several years with my own political beliefs. I have the ol’ American, affliction of “fiscal conservative” vs. “social liberal,” and fully recognize the difficulties of a solution.
I am an I.C.U. nurse, woman, grad student and single mother of a welsh corgi; thus I represent a relatively large portion of the population. I also consider myself pretty “normal.” Most of us don’t have time to fact check the media every day, (although I am well aware of media bias) so we vote for a president based on inherent morality and hope for the best.
So, when I heard Donald Trump was running for president, I honestly had no idea he would make it this far, like so many of us. But here he is, the front running Republican candidate for THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Let me repeat…. Donald Trump is at the front of the line to become THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Please, digest this.
A man who calls women he dislikes, “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals,” is the front-runner for the G.O.P. candidacy.
A man who sulked at denouncing the KKK is the front-runner for the G.O.P. candidacy.
A man who said you have to “…take out [the] families” of terrorists without batting an eye, is the front-runner for the G.O.P. candidacy.
A man who calls immigrants “rapists,” and wants to deport 11.3 million souls without regard, is the front-runner for the G.O.P. candidacy.
A man, who stood on stage during a Republican debate and defended the size of his penis, is the front-runner for the G.O.P. candidacy.
And people think this is funny.
Still in shock as I write this post, I wonder, “What in the hell are people thinking?” This man has literally capitalized on the insecurities (which I consider to be the root of all evil) of every race, gender, sexual orientation and religion, then verbal diarrhea-ed them into a run for president.
Like a bully in a schoolyard, Trump has turned the American people against each other. The bully acts out, projecting his own insecurities by making his victims feel small, in turn, to build himself. The on-lookers sometimes laugh at the bully’s flagrant comments or pretend his injustices never happened because they take too much effort to deface. Many of them stand behind the bully for fear of retaliation and only a few will stand for morality and face the bully. This mirrors our country’s current situation.
Along with my perspective above, I frequently ponder how my presidential candidate would fair in a hospital setting. I wonder how Donald Trump would behave in an I.C.U., hospital floor unit, or an Alzheimer’s facility and I encourage you to do the same. Put Trump, in all of his glory, where you work.
I have wondered many times, if this man is even capable of empathy. Could Trump absorb and process reality for 98% of people in the United States?
Could he understand the complexities of my patient, the illegal immigrant who came to the United States, worked torturously to send his family money every week, and cardiac arrested in the snow only to end up a dying John Doe? His family never saw him before he died and it took two weeks to find them. He had no name and was cremated by the state.
Could Trump relate to the 45-year-old man with a glioblastoma who was undergoing painstaking procedures to live every last possible minute with his wife and two young children? He passed away as his wife recounted the story of their wedding day.
What about the miracle patient who survived the impossible, but woke up in the I.C.U. only to tell me he wished we would not have saved him because the medical bills would drain his retirement. He was scared he would still die and have nothing to leave his wife. How would Trump handle this?
What about the rape victims, the drug addicts, the impoverished, the women who lose their babies, the children who lose their parents, the overwhelming amount of people who die alone, and the chronically and mentally ill who will be burdened with illness for years; will Trump deport them too? Because “dealing” with them is just too inconvenient?
Although empathy can be misperceived as a weak quality, it takes a very “real,” authentic person to give empathy. One must offer the right amount of vulnerability, to achieve internal truth, which will, in turn, achieves authenticity. Only then, can true empathy be provided.
Empathy and authenticity are qualities I seek in a presidential candidate. The general public can never fully comprehend the interworkings of the political world, nor can the candidates completely understand the lives we, the general public, lead. Therefore, empathy on both sides is imperative.
Without too much of a stretch of imagination, I can picture most of the candidates, republican and democrat, being able to compose themselves in a stressful, healthcare environment. However, in absolutely no shape or form, do I believe Donald Trump is capable. While this may sound irrelevant, or too simplistic for some, imagining how a presidential candidate would fare in your place of employment parallels how he or she would handle more important issues.
The thought of electing an insecure, havoc-wreaking, bully, with a twisted moral compass to be my commander and chief is nauseating. At this point, republican vs. democrat is unimportant to me. If you identify with the Republican Party and are supporting Trump solely because he is the front-runner of the G.O.P. then you are the coward who joins forces with the bully because it’s simply easier to do so.
As a nurse, woman, student, lover of humanity and the United States of America, I stand for many things. However at this time, I stand strongest against Donald Trump. If you feel you are losing faith and become tangled amongst the endless rhetoric, imagine the candidate you are considering on your I.C.U., floor unit, in your nursing home, or wherever you work. Then, vote for the one you believe could handle it the best. I assure you, if you truly step outside yourself and picture it, you won’t go wrong.