“There was an inevitability to it,” Rebecca says, referring to Trump being elected. Born in 1965, Rebecca is a lifelong Democrat who lives in Ohio. At the start of the campaign, she was a Hillary supporter. Last August, she began to question her choice. In September, she seriously weighed not voting for Clinton. By October, her mind was made up to vote for Trump. The steps were that quick and decisive.
Rebecca is single. Most of her adult life, she has worked as a nurse’ aid and caregiver to people with autism and physical disabilities. In 2004, she began to pursue an interest in alternative approaches to wellness. Since then, she has taken courses in metaphysics to acquire the skills to work with people whose suffering has less tangible origins. Today, she assists clients in identifying areas of dysfunction in their bodies and lives and helps to repair them.
Trump strikes me as a person so firmly rooted in the material world that it’s an odd juxtaposition to be talking about him and then switch within seconds to auras, chakras, and energy channels. Rebecca’s thinking is progressive in the true sense of the word: pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, pro-civil liberties.
I’ve heard many times during my conversations with female Trump supporters that they cast their vote to see change or shake up the status quo, but no one I’ve spoken with has articulated it quite like Rebecca. She sees the time in which we are living as one small step in the evolution of humanity, and Trump as a catalyst, a means to a better end.
To hear Rebecca speak of it is to understand that she sees our political system as a sick patient. It suffers from corruption, lack of transparency, and inertia. Even small-scale changes take great effort, and politicians resort to secrecy and sabotage. Our society is riddled with deep resentments, festering anger, boils of hate. These are all indicators of lack of health—and, yet, many of us have come to accept them as normal.
One side has had power of attorney over the suffering patient and has been trying to apply therapies here and there, the deep breathing of broader healthcare coverage or positive visualization of marriage equality. But the side without power of attorney is frustrated because it thinks those things are not helping or don’t address the real problems.
Perhaps what matters now is not whether the remedies they have in mind will work or not, but that they have a chance to try them. If coal jobs are saved, if migrant workers are blocked from entering the country, if the Supreme Court reconsiders abortion—will we be better off? Will working-class Americans have better job opportunities? Will we pay more attention to caring for vulnerable populations? Will we be civil to one another? Or, will it become clear that real solutions lie elsewhere?
Rebecca explains that what we’re in now is the “chaos stage,” which, in both a real and metaphysical sense, is the precursor to rebirth. If our society were a forest, this would be the point at which a fire is raging. It seems destructive but it’s actually part of a healthy process. Dead branches and leaves are being turned into nutrient-rich ash, clearing space for the sunlight to get through.
This phase forces us to examine our values, to speak up and get engaged in protecting the ideals we hold dear, to participate in crafting a government that reflects its people, to become a democracy in a truer sense of the word.
“We had no choice because we couldn’t stay on the path we were on,” Rebecca says. “And Trump may be a dictator, he may end up being the worst thing in the world, but we’ll be better in the long run because of the young people. We’re clearing the way for new growth.
Is Rebecca right? Will we ultimately be better off for having had Trump as president? He may question every piece of legislation passed in the last 8 years, he may force the courts to reconsider previous rulings on civil rights, and he may try to build a wall. But maybe in some mysterious big-picture way, these challenges will help us clarify who we are and build greater solidarity with one another. And if all else fails, I think Rebecca is right about the young people. The people coming up today are the most tolerant and fair-minded our country has ever seen.