No individual rises to power without the assistance and acquiescence of others. In Donald Trump’s case, his rise to the pinnacle of American politics was aided by millions of people, among them Republican voters and politicians, rightwing media, Russia, the email-obsessed mainstream press and punditry, Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein for baselessly impugning Hillary Clinton’s character, people across the political spectrum who unjustly demonized Clinton, and eligible voters who sat out the most important election of our lifetimes.
Some in big ways, others in small, each helped put Trump in the Oval Office. In so doing, they bear partial responsibility for his most reprehensible policies, actions, words, and tweets.
These are the facts. Trying to deflect every iota of blame for Trump onto Hillary Clinton and her voters, who fought tooth and nail to defeat him in the face of virulent attacks and foreign intervention, is empty excuse-making and rationalization. It is the height of hypocrisy to have smeared and maligned Clinton then accuse her of not doing enough to win. It’s the equivalent of throwing mud at someone and blaming them for being sullied.
Charles Blow’s 2012 quote is particularly apt for this moment.
“One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient. In fact, a man convinced of his virtue even in the midst of his vice is the worst kind of man.”
Many people who vilified Clinton—thus aiding Trump—are convinced of their own righteousness and still have the gall to lecture Clinton and her voters. Until these people own up to what they did, until they work with humility and self-awareness to rectify the damage, until congressional Republicans find a moral compass and stop enabling the White House, America will remain on a self-destructive course.