It's not just Trump.
Has a Super Tuesday ever been more terrifying? Not that I can remember in my lifetime.
There are a lot of reasons to not like particular political candidates -- lack of experience, lack of understanding of world problems, holding opposing views to your own on things like education, welfare, or abortion.
Then there's bigotry. I know, someone somewhere is shouting 'PC Police' or 'Social Justice Warrior' and I do not care because I do not think believing in equality for all people, working to challenge prejudice and stereotype, or having empathy for people who are not like me is a bad thing.
Social justice warrior me all you want -- I do not care because having an honest discussion about bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and prejudice is sorely needed this election cycle.
But wait, you might say, aren't we talking about Donald Trump enough?
Sure, I'd say, but this is bigger than Donald Trump.
Trump's rhetoric of fear and hate, of xenophobia and of building walls, did not come to him from the ether. It did not emerge fully formed like Athena from the depths of his mind.
It is the product of years of fear being paraded about by politicians of all stripes as a battering ram. For instance, people considered both liberal or leftist and people considered the paragon of conservatism have spewn Islamophobic stories of the Middle East or of who Muslims are without anyone really challenging them. Or, without those doing the challenging being labeled ill-informed or simplistic.
From Muslims to refugees to African Americans to women we have allowed various discourses to circulate that build imaginary walls between people, discourses that frame all of the above as threats to something America is supposed to stand for, discourses that turn Muslims and African Americans and sometimes even women into beings to be feared.
As I watch the pundits and journalists on Morning Joe sputter over Donald Trump's political ascendency, as I listen to analysts on NPR talk about the anger his campaign has tapped into, as I look at photos of journalists and protestors being manhandled at Trump events all I can think is that this is on us.
Trump is on us.
It's on those of us who used the fear of everyday people as a tool to aid in our own grabs at power; it's on those of us who laughed as people we thought were fringe or extreme came to power; it's on those of us who chose apathy over action; it's on those of us who treated Trump like a joke.
It's on all of us. We are all complicit in the rise to power of a candidate who claims everyone loves him while saying terrible things about women and people of color and demeaning things about other candidates in the race.
So as you shout in frustration about Donald Trump's stumble over David Duke and the KKK (I will shout with you) don't lose sight of the fact that we all enabled this current political environment.
No one can save us from it but ourselves.