According to the MIT Technology Review, the definition of Super Spreader is: “a generic term for an unusually contagious individual who’s been infected with disease.” Since the President’s recent Covid-19 diagnosis, I’ve been applying this definition to other things the President might be spreading to the world
I’ve been thinking about the words Trump has said over the years, words I’ve heard with my own ears, words I’ve seen him say on TV. I believe he has influenced the words we all say and how we interact and react to each other.
I’ve what people say, the biased-based offensives, the racial slurs and anti-semitism and I see the rise in hate crimes. I’m not the only one wondering how the President might have affected these changes in America. After doing a little research, I found something called The Trump Effect. In their Essay entitled “The Effect of President Trump’s Election on Hate Crimes,”Griffin Edwards and Stephen Rushin uncover “compelling empirical support” for this effect.
“Our analysis finds that President Trump’s election coincided with a statistically significant surge in hate crimes, even when controlling for alternative explanations. And counties that voted for President Trump by the widest margins experienced the largest increases in reported hate crimes.”
Even so, I don’t need an essay to show me what I can see with my own eyes. I see the anger, the rage, and I see the hatred. In June I posted an article on my Facebook page about the Reverend who was one of the people tear-gassed in Washington during a peaceful protest. In the comment section, one of my friends wrote: “She probably deserved it!”
The man that posted that comment is someone my husband and I have known for years. We’ve never known him to be angry or mean. Most people would describe him as jolly. I don’t believe he would have written that comment four years ago.
The Trump Effect has me thinking about what we spread out into the world. I think about what I want to spread in the world. I feel fear, and I get angry. I’m only human. And sometimes, when I allow my anger and fear to dictate my actions and words, I’m not a pretty person. I will not always say the nicest things. But, if I do happen to say something ugly or hurt someone, I strive to listen and apologize and learn and make more of a commitment not to repeat those actions.
How we want our President to show up in the world is a question I ask myself every day. And as we move closer and closer to this momentum election, I ask this question: What should our President be spreading into the world — something negative or something that lifts us all?
As one of us elevates ourselves, others rise, we all can rise. Imagine what this world would be like with a President that lifted us all to higher ground. A president that acted as a super spreader of intelligence, kindness, compassion, and caring.