There are people that voted for Donald Trump in 2016 not because they are racist, but because they wanted something different. They were hoping to take this country in a different direction, and they felt Trump was the man to do it! He was going to run this country like a business - a thriving business - and that’s what they were signing up for.
However, his political business model was the exact reason I didn’t vote for him. We all know that businesses have target markets. Old Navy does not target the same market as Banana Republic. Lexus does not target the same market as Toyota. In both examples the brands are run by the same company, but the targets are different, and they don’t try to reach out to the others’ base. I knew this is where Trump was going with his politics. He was going to pander to his target audience and create division to keep them on board.
In actual business, this isn’t an immoral practice. Banana Republic not catering to lower income consumers doesn’t hurt anyone. If everyone in your community doesn’t have access to a Lexus, no one is going to die. However, if an elected official has decided that members of certain communities are not worth the time and effort it would take to assist them in surviving, that could be detrimental. The decisions they make and laws they pass will make a difference in the quality of life for those citizens.
But this has historically been America’s political model.
When the original rapists and murderers migrated to this country (Europe did not send its best to America), they betrayed the natives and stole the land from them. After executing this heinous act, they were ready to build this great country! Realizing this would be quite a task, the immigrants decided to travel to another country, kidnap a different race of people, bring them back to America, and enslave them.
This free labor helped these immigrants build massive amounts of wealth over centuries in this country. In my son’s high school U.S. History class where he was the only person of color, even he was able to recognize that abolishing slavery would have been devastating to the economy. Slavery was abolished, but oppression was still very much a common and enforced practice. Quite frankly, it was necessary for the political business model to work.
Let’s fast forward to today.
Think about how much money companies like Walmart and Amazon make a year. Imagine how much money they would make if they didn’t have to pay any of their employees.
Now, imagine how much money they would lose if they paid all their employees a livable wage.
It’s the political business model, folks! Somebody has to work these plantations. Somebody has to fill these for-profit prisons. Somebody has to graduate high school reading on a 3rd grade level, keeping them from attaining gainful employment, and somebody has to keep the cycle going by raising children in these same oppressive environments. When you voted to have this country run like a business, this is the business model you voted for.
I lived in Baltimore for almost four decades and spent a few of those years working for the city government. I have seen the political business model in action behind the scenes. There is city legislation that upholds the harassment of constituents with frivolous citations while refusing to fine or prosecute affluent property owners for their egregious city code violations.
I once talked to a Baltimore city high school sophomore that had never heard of a FAFSA and had no clue that colleges had dormitories on campus to house its students. I’ve even talked to a 3rd grader that wanted to be a news reporter so we discussed steps to becoming a journalist, only to have him return to me the next day to tell me his parent called me stupid for encouraging him to pursue such a dumb job. So please don’t tell me about life choices or equal opportunities either.
The political business model was built on oppression and that hasn’t changed. It just puzzles me that some people voted for this business-style of politics and still can’t recognize how well it’s going. These “crime-infested, drug-infested, rodent-infested” or whatever label you’d like to give these neighborhoods is 100% by design. It supports the model that keeps the upper echelon thriving.
Where is all that federal money going? It’s going to Canton. It’s going to Westport. It’s going to all those waterfront landscapes and similar prime real estate areas that will no longer be low income. They are getting it ready for the business model supporters that can also support the business model itself. The real question is where will all those families have to go?
It’s not corruption. It’s not even a failed government. It’s the Trump-style system that was voted for.
The month of July kicked my ass! Yes, my late boyfriend’s birthday is right at the beginning of the month and that possibly put me in a funk, but I haven’t been able to fully pull out of it. I’m feeling really burned out and I’m not sure when the recovery is coming.
When I’m feeling like I’m at my wits end I often think about my mom. I admired my mom’s strength growing up and thought that’s how I was supposed to be. My mom was resilient, tough, and didn’t take no shit! She wasn’t very cuddly or emotionally available but she was always ready for war. War could mean taking up for us at school or working overtime to cover unexpected expenses. Whatever it was, she was ready!
My mom was also fighting a war within herself. Her alcoholism wasn’t noticeable to me until the end of my Elementary school years. That is how I found out about her Bi-Polar disorder which explained a lot of her past behaviors for me. My mom held a job and attended church. She would receive awards for her performance on the job and was an amazing matriarch to our family, something I couldn’t really appreciate until she was gone. I think about everything my mother accomplished even with her mental illness and alcohol addiction and I can’t help but wonder…
What could she have done if she wasn’t broken?
Anything that’s broken doesn’t work as well as it could, even people. As I moved through my healing process with my grief counselor in 2017, I started to understand what those faulty ideals and defective practices create.
They create an inability to connect. A guard goes up to protect the person from more damage and make real emotional connections an impossibility, even with close family. Deep inside, the broken person knows they love their kids, their spouse, their siblings, but how to love them is a mystery. The right words and actions continue to elude them, and they implement the defective practices that push love away and draw in the negativity and more distance.
They create the darkest tomorrows. Something that’s broken doesn’t have a long-life expectancy. We are just waiting for the day that it will completely break, fail, or become obsolete. Broken people move through life with no sight of tomorrow. They are broken, and any day now they will no longer be able to fill in the blank. They lack the self-confidence to start healing and repairing themselves. They even lack the support system to help because they never had the ability to connect with others. They don’t have a where or a why for life. Their future looks bleak and they don’t even know what to do about it.
They create/cultivate a community of brokenness. Each one, teach one, right? Broken people live normal lives. They are active in church, they raise children, and they make friends. They influence the lives of others intentionally or unintentionally. Broken people often raise broken children. They have broken friends. They even pass their tainted ideals and flawed practices to the people they simply associate with. It’s not even malicious. Some of the ideals my mother passed onto me was to protect me, I’m sure. Be strong! Never need anyone for anything, and don’t let them see you crying! They will think you are weak! She meant well, but her ideals and practices still cultivated brokenness. Then I had my own kids…
I’ve found so much progress on my journey with therapy! Talking through my broken ideologies, understanding where they come from, and getting feedback on what it takes to eradicate them has been monumental. I’m able to see that I’m not actually broken. There is nothing defective about the person I am. That was something I believed for so long. I see that my home was broken and my way of seeing things was broken, but I have everything I need to fix it. This is why I’m really looking forward to starting therapy again this week because…
What could I do with my life, if I stopped being broken?
I’m excited to see.
After spending a year in grief counseling, I started to see that my life needed a major overhaul. Yes, my boyfriend died making me the single mom of our infant twins, but I was still grieving my loss of innocence from decades of abuse. I decided to turn my pain into a new purpose and to share this journey with others that may need some motivation.