I am going to immediately mention Hitler, just so we know there’s no argument about this.
A racist, misogynist buffoon, through stirring up xenophobia and economic strife,
was democratically elected rose to power in a system with the deck stacked against intellectuals and sane peoples everywhere. If that doesn’t sound familiar to you, ask your nearest teacher about Nazi Germany.
Like everybody else I spent Wednesday dumbfounded, glued to Twitter to try and make sense of what was happening. Probably the only comfort was the people coalescing around the television at the diner, waiting for Obama and Hillary to make their speeches, assuring me at least here in New York I was surrounded by people equally shocked and scared. What were we hoping for? That this farce would end. What did we get? “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” says Hillary. “We worked very hard to fix this country so don’t fuck it up, Mr. Trump,” says President Obama. More or less.
Adults everywhere will try to calm everyone down. Move forward! We now need Trump to succeed! But I can’t accept that. Even if Hillary had won, we now know we live in a country where this atrocity happened:
How can any minority, LGBT, woman or disabled person feel safe in a country that legally empowers their oppressors? That is made up of 48% of people who are okay with their abusers, and a small fraction who can’t pull their libertarian heads out of their asses to do the right thing?
How can anybody else feel okay with this when Trump is likely to roll back climate agreements for the world? Even at the most basic economic level, the kinds of spending and tax breaks he talks about will ruin what’s left. That’s if he follows through with his promises. Let’s face it, the man is a wild card.
And the thing that really galls me isn’t that Trump supporters are voting to keep themselves in power. It isn’t even the women who symbolically voted for their abuser, even as we have photographs of Trump and son checking that their wives were voting for him. It’s not the Hispanic vote shooting themselves in the foot. Yes, I realize not all Hispanics are Mexicans, but you have got to be loco if you think Trump knows the difference. No, the thing that really gets me going is Republicans continually voting for people who screw them over. Just look at Louisiana and Bobby Jindal or Flint. Look at the farmers who owe crushing debts in red states that empower large agricultural firms to exploit them. The people these rural, uneducated people voted in gutted voter protections and enabled voter suppression. Then they blamed the government as inefficient, while pouring sand in the gears with opposition strategy and straight-up refusing to do their job.
That’s been the theme of this whole 2016. Facts don’t matter. Standing investigations of the candidate don’t matter, rape allegations don’t matter. We KNOW these states have been suppressing the vote, we KNOW the electoral college is broken and favors the poor white workers drummed out of middle class. We’ve known these things since George Bush was elected. But that’s the weakness of the Democratic campaign this year. Democrats assumed people were able to process factual information. Be critical about where the information came from. People put up videos of random people fighting and claim white victimization. Trump supporters were deceived by Fox News and by alt-right propaganda masquerading as infographics. It gave them an easy message: “you’re not responsible for this mess you live in, it was the Muslims! (insert any other group not white cis-male)” Trump supporters voted with their gut, not their brains. They have all along.
If the DNC had any gut instinct at all they would have gone with Bernie as the candidate, with his massive popularity across all tracts of the population. Even as VP he would have assured the much-abused white worker vote. The DNC needed to abandon the wealthy banks, baby boomers’ shitty ideas and centrist policies that didn’t work to attract the other side. (What’s the point of centrism that the right doesn’t care about?) Most importantly, Bernie actually knew what he was doing! His policies weren’t even that radical. They were well thought out, and he was willing to cut into big banks to fund the recovery America desperately needed. Instead the DNC undercut Bernie at every turn. America shouldn’t be led by popularity contest. This isn’t the goddamn prom.
The system is deeply broken and I will never accept that our popular vote was silenced twice in sixteen years. Be an adult about it? When the other side is cheating and lying hard enough to actually set their pants on fire? No Thank You.
Here’s what I’m doing to fight back, and you can too.
- There are multiple petitions to reform the electoral college. Sign as many as you can, even if our government is hijacked at all branches by the alt-right. Half the Republicans know this needs to happen, at least, and in 2020 we can change everything.
- Write your Democratic Congressmen. Many fine representatives were ushered into those hallowed halls this year, some of them young or determined enough to block the despotic laws to come. Let them know half the country knows this is wrong and they need to represent us. Protect us.
- Support your friends and family. Remember that Pence is next in line and he voted for a bill to lock up people who apply for gay marriage. Everyone will suddenly be more vulnerable, not just LGBT. Like Hillary says, we are STRONGER TOGETHER.
- Support politicians like Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren is positioned ideally for the Presidency, if she is willing. Learn their names, and learn their positions on issues. Get involved in politcs! The silent are merely cannon fodder.
- Finally, RESIST the urge to go underground. Don’t move to Canada. Don’t hide behind proxies. If we’ve learned anything from this election, it’s that the narrative matters. So MAKE ART. If you draw, draw. If you write, write. Make videos and rail on the establishment. Banksy this shit up and install public protests in hard-to-reach places. We need to be visible so people who cannot defend themselves will be able to join us.
PS: Apparently if Trump dies before December the college has to meet again to pick a new President. It’s not the right thing to do. Violence is the failure of a civilized society. Really, don’t do it guys. I mean, the Secret Service is probably tired of Trump after a year, and the NYPD are just guarding him because its their job. They don’t need someone rappelling into Trump tower or flying a drone through the window with a bomb. Or poisoning his burrito. Nobody should bite that bullet, nobody.
PPS: That PS is a joke. REALLY don’t do it. We will prevail. What Trump has done is shown America how ugly half the country is. There’s no going back– they’re out, and they have nowhere to hide.