Wow. Waaaaahhhhhow. The dude who wrote that previous post was pissed, huh? Daaaaaamn.
Look, what I wrote in that previous post is what spilled out of me in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s election, at a time when I was in, shall we say, a state of heightened emotions … but the main thrust of my words remains: Whether or not Donald Trump and/or the bulk of those people who voted for him intended for the forces of hate and intolerance to interpret his electoral victory as an endorsement of their own sick, twisted agendas, those forces — many of whom heretofore at least had the decency to keep their disgusting views on the down-low — now feel energized, emboldened and fully entitled to make life hell for anyone who does not look and think like them.
Since publishing that post yesterday, I’ve re-read it a number of times … and, earlier today, I was toying with the idea of taking it down … or at least toning it down. And in the middle of contemplating that approach, I had this unexpected exchange with a close friend from Massachusetts:
So, um, yeah … I stand by what I wrote yesterday.
I understand why so many previously sane people made the insane decision to vote for Trump … and yet, despite understanding why, I do not understand how they could vote for Trump … for all of the reasons I laid out in my previously posted rant.
I know a lot of good and decent people voted for Trump … and I can only assume that those good and decent people simply failed to recognize just how catastrophic their decision would be for others, if not for themselves … and that is what I can not abide. I can not abide what I believe amounts to sheer selfishness. Voting for Donald Trump was, at best, a very selfish thing to do. And I abhor selfishness … especially when that selfishness hurts others.
Now that I’ve said my piece about that, I feel compelled to add something that I can’t seem to let go of just yet.
The DNC screwed the pooch this election cycle. Really. It was very clear during the primaries — and has since been proven — that the DNC leadership conspired to block Bernie Sanders and guarantee Hillary Clinton the party’s nomination.
I am 100% convinced that a HUUUUUUUUGE number of the millions of “anti-establishment” votes that went to Trump and third-party candidates on Tuesday would instead have gone to Bernie had he been the Democratic candidate … as would have the votes of the many, many Bernie supporters whom I believe chose to not cast a ballot for president on Tuesday (another example of selfishness that hurt others, by the way).
I implored anyone who would listen to me during primary season to please realize that, as qualified as Hillary is (because, despite what anyone may think of her, she’s infinitely more qualified to hold office than is Trump), she is a political liability by virtue of the fact that she is saddled with the baggage of two decades’-worth of the Right’s laser-focused, white-hot hate for the Clintons, and she is trapped in an ever-reverberating echo-chamber of negative opinion that the well-established anti-Clinton movement has cranked up to 11 for the past 20 years.
And if you were to ask the people closest to me, they would tell you that what just happened on Tuesday is exactly what I had told them for months I feared would happen.
The DNC’s decision to block Bernie Sanders’s path to the nomination so that they could instead coronate Hillary Clinton was not only a stunning act of hubris and a political miscalculation of epic proportions, but, more importantly, it was a heartbreaking waste of an opportunity to elect a president whose priorities truly would have been in the best interests of almost all Americans, and whose principles exemplify what it takes to create and sustain a caring and compassionate society. And I would have felt that way even if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency … but the extent to which I feel that way now that Trump won the presidency? Jesus Christ, I don’t even have the words.
So, yes, this is me sitting here saying “I told you so” … knowing full well that doing so is an exercise in futility … but I just needed to get it out of my system as I try to process what the fuck just happened and steel myself for the work that now must take place.
I keep reminding myself that there very well may never have been a President Obama if not for the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush. Whether or not it was worth the cost is debatable … and the cost we are about to pay for a Trump presidency seems unfathomable … but I believe that, whatever the final tally, the payoff will be another historic victory of our own next time around. (Can you say “President Warren”? Might as well start practicing. If nothing else, it feels a hell of a lot better than saying “President Trump.”)
These are dark times … and we almost surely are about to experience firsthand that whole “it’s going to get worse before it gets better” thing … but I believe it eventually will get better … as long as enough of us are willing to make it so. In the meantime, as I said yesterday: Let’s all look out for each other, m’kay? Yes, things suck right now … but we are not alone. In fact, we are the majority. Let’s not hesitate to act like it, and let’s not hesitate to wield that power when next we are presented wth the opportunity to do so.