Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We Will Not Be Silent

I've waited a week to make this post, partly out of inertia and partly out of a desire to get the message right. I am fiercely partisan, there's no getting around it. I believe strongly in the work of progressives and the liberal impulse. Christianity's most meaningful words for me are "What you do to the least of these you do to me." 

I am furious at the outcome of the presidential election. In that, I join a lot of people. I'm among the first to argue that doesn't make us right. There is a reason we don't accept majority rules in our system.

I am furious, but not at a Hillary Clinton loss. I'm not furious at a Republican win. And I'm not furious with Donald Trump. I'm furious that in the Twenty-First Century, Donald Trump ran on a platform of bigotry, misogyny, and anti-immigrant sentiment culminating in a fantasy about a literal wall between two nations (have we learned nothing from East and West Berlin?), and won.

I am furious with the people responsible for this. I am furious with Donald Trump voters and sympathizers.

I am furious that Donald Trump earned enough votes to make him the candidate in the first place. I am furious that what most of us experienced as a vanity campaign, all about him, never about the rest of us, was capable of lying about the career of a veteran politician and winning on that strength. I am furious someone endorsed by numerous white supremacy and anti-Semitic organizations, not a single one of which he disavowed, managed in 2016 to win. I am furious that in contemporary America there are a number of people who have both a genuine and deserved fear of the aftermath of a Donald Trump victory. I am furious that Donald Trump could accuse Latino/as of multiple falsities and yet garnered nearly 30% of their votes. I am furious that many politicians in the Republican Party took the drastic, courageous, and necessary step of publicaly disavowing their candidate and his views, and yet 90% of self-identified Republicans voted for him (and let us not forget the several, like Paul Ryan, Bob Dole, and Ted Cruz, who regaled the public with how poor was the reflection he gave the party, only to cynically pull the lever for him). I am furious that a person who is on record as having little but disdain for women was voted for by nearly half of them. I am furious that for the first time in modern American political history, a candidate threatened to jail his opponent if he won.

Donald Trump may, in time, come to surprise us. Once faced with the enormities of office and the necessity of compromising in order to acheive anything (as he has already learned how, despite his elevation because he is not a career politician, he simply cannot do the simplest things without them), he may become less divisive, less self-satisfied, less inflammatory. He will also then become less liked by his followers, which is always what happens to a president after an election, but seems especially likely in Trump's case. I doubt it, but it is possible.

I don't care. Donald Trump won and he won with the votes of people who, at the very least, did not give a damn how what he said and did could affect their neighbors. That will never, ever sit right with me, and it never should.

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