For the first couple of days after the elections, I couldn’t turn on the TV or listen to the news. In fact, I tried to sleep for two days. The grief I felt expressed itself in tears and hot anger. How could my country do this? How could my people, my country vote for a racist, misogynist, ignorant, narcissistic pig? How could they ignore the statements he made, the people with whom he associated, the people who spoke out to support him including the KKK and the alt right white supremacists. Couldn’t they see what the result would be? How could they ignore the russian involvement, the hacking, the jubilation around the world of the worst possible factions and the fear and sorrow from our longtime allies? How can they ignore the rampant fear of our own citizens?
These will be questions that occupy think tanks and talking heads for a long time to come. I have no answers. Now that I’ve emerged from my shell of tears and blankets, my anger has turned ice-cold and I realize that I need to stay connected, need to stay informed and to put that information to use somehow.
Here’s something that needs to be rejected: “its white people’s fault”. Yes, the vast majority of people who voted for this ignoramus were white people, but, what happened to the minority vote? What happened to the Obama coalition? Where were the 30 percent of voters who came out for Obama and failed to vote in this election? How can Obama have had such a large favorability rating and yet have had his policies repudiated so stunningly? No, I don’t want to hear how Black people were supposed to “save us”. I also don’t want to hear how it’s all white people’s fault. There’s plenty of blame to go around.
Here’s another issue: petitions. Change.org has a couple of petitions that need to be signed. One calls for the impeachment of this so-called “president” and one calls for the elimination of the Electoral College which has out lived its usefulness. There have now been two democratic presidents denied the presidency because of the Electoral College. Can you imagine where we might now be if Gore had been president instead of bush? We might not have destabilized the middle east, might be years ahead in climate control. Four years is a long time.
Lets look at trump’s stated goals:
- Perhaps the most damaging and lasting is his climate change denial and his promise to walk back provisions to unite the world in arresting climate change. Climate change is not a matter of belief, it is scientific fact.
- He plans to “reset” relations with russia. Why not, they helped him get elected. This will damage our existing world alliances, throwing our long standing treaties out the window.
- Look for an enemies list. Newt Gingrich, trump’s good buddy, wants to bring back some form of the House Un-American Activities committee. Instead of chasing communists, will they go after Muslims, desentors to his alt right policies, protestors, journalists who call them out on their actual words? Ask yourself who will be safe. trump even mused that the interment caps of WWII were justified. Who will end up in the new ones?
- Curtailment of our individual rights including right to free speech, right to peaceful assembly and protest, right to our own bodies. Such curtailment is now possible by the alt right’s ability to place a new supreme court justice.
- Speaking of which, there will be no checks and balances because all three branches of our government will now be in republican hands. While this may be a temporary situation if in two years the people wake up, currently, we now have a system that will rubber stamp any and all of trump’s wildest fantasies. Will anyone have the courage to oppose him?
As to the question of who voted for trump; it is tempting to demonize them. In light of the previous discussion, the importance of this election cannot be overstated. There is so much to lose here. Why did these people feel so disaffiliated? Somehow these voters felt they were losing their country. For hundreds of years, people coming to this country sought to blend in and join the melting pot. They sublimated their native cultures to whole heartedly join the American dream. They came as individuals and for the most part, were welcomed. Yes, of course there was some trouble fitting in, but, within a generation or two, nobody really seemed to question whether they were Americans. Now suddenly, they come as groups of cultures, seen as resisting acculturation into American society. Make no mistake, this election was about tribalism. Ours. What the voters failed to recognize is that these immigrants were made to feel like “others”. They cling to each other because we do not let them cling to us.
Everyone here must share in the blame of this election. We must realize that if we voted trump, we were not listening to his words, but instead chose to interpret his words to match our own internal dialogue. If we didn’t vote, or voted for someone other than the democratic candidate, we gave trump the vote. If we chose not to assimilate, we deliberately put ourselves outside the “tribe” and stoked the native anger.
So, now the damage is done. What can we do? Peaceful protest, (as was done on Saturday, 1/21), constant vigil, civic involvement, standing in solidarity and union against this monster and his monstrous policies. Vowing to wake up every day to find some way to make our voices heard, write or call your congress people, contribute to oppositional organizations, sign petitions, hell, start petitions, rise up and fight, resist.
Remember, we are on an island in space, a “pale blue dot”. This world is all we have. If aliens suddenly landed, we would all have to unite to fight them. But we have real enemies now, climate change, poverty, drought, famine, over population, extremism in all its forms, authoritarian dictatorships with no empathy or compassion. Let us hope we did not just add to the list of dictators. Let us hope this country and its freedoms can survive this yuge mistake. Get involved! IMPEACH TRUMP.