It is the end of the first day. Yesterday Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the United States. He is everything I despise in a human being and I view his presidency as the greatest single threat to this country in my lifetime.
I have listened to all sorts of people give their take on what happened and why. I have heard people say it is over with and just get over it.. Basically grow up. I didn’t find that very helpful. It is no where close to being over with. It has just started and the implication this is just another event like any other event seems really stupid and superficial. Whatever happens “just….” is unlikely to be part of it.
It has been a day of making sense and like much sense making has probably been more confusing than helpful.
I have the beginning of some observations. None of these are meant to point fingers or affix blame but when trying to figure how something so impossible and so not going to happen did happen perhaps it is inevitable that some feelings be hurt.
1. I have an extremely poor opinion of the media. They gave birth to Trump as surely as anything. They made his campaign credible by giving away free publicity. We had a country that awoke in the morning eager to read what was tweeted the night before. They neither observed or simply reported the news as much as they manufactured it. They made our presidential election little more than reality TV.
2. Their knowledge, their punditry was superficial, misleading and often wrong. Their polls…. I don’t know what exactly to say about them. They were pseudo scientific garbage.
3. I voted for Clinton and badly wanted her to win. I think in the next few years there will be more than a little regret about what we have as versus what we could have had but with all that said Clinton had flaws as a candidate and the campaign had flaws as a campaign. I don’t really understand how the emails happened and I really don’t understand why they never were really able to get some kind of closure. It was like trying to swim a mile with a 100 pound weight tied securely around each wrist. A race for the most powerful position in the world was decided in favor of a sexual predator because his competitor couldn’t manage her email. It just seems absurd. It just seems absurd.
4. I think the campaign was flawed too in a way I don’t think anyone intended. Donald Trump was so obnoxious and so repugnant to so many people that the underlying strategy seemed to let him convict himself with his continued violation of every basic norm of American life and to assume that as long as people understood what he was there would never be enough people that would vote for him to allow him to win. This was the fundamental failure of the campaign. Anyone who voted for him had to be a racist or bigot… Some variety of deplorable. It backfired. Enough ordinary people could vote for him to make a difference. And they felt unheard and ridiculed. To them Clinton came across as the one who only cared about herself and I don’t know people even realized the were people like that and how many there were.
5. I talked with a neighbor today and he made it real clear. “Larry I have voted Democrat my entire life and I voted for Trump. My life sucks. I am poor. I am old and too often I am sick. Nothing is getting better. I worry every day about the next one. Donald Trump knew my life sucks and he knew how sick I was of it. There is much about him I don’t like but he knew. Hillary Clinton wanted me to protect the gains of the last 8 years and I never saw any. Life was not better for me and she either didn’t know or didn’t care.”
6. I think he was way wrong but I hear where he is coming from. My life sucks too and little that I can see seems likely to make it better. I despise what the government has become and I especially despise what the parties have become. The Republican party is simply mean and hurtful. Tennessee lives under Republican captivity and it has not been okay. The Congress has also been under Republican captivity and the prospect of a Republican House that can actually give its agenda hands and feet is more than a little terrifying.
7. The Republicans were so bad it seemed clear the answer was a democratic victory but that is wrong to. I don’t think the Republicans give a damn about my neighbor and I certainly don’t think they care about me. But the Democrats didn’t hear the pain either. They heard Trump but they missed the pain. And they lost.
8. The Trump campaign has been a permission statement for some of the most disgusting things in this country. The KKK certainly feels listened to. Racism and bigotry have been given the status of common sense and it only seems a matter of time before violence and hurt become a part of life for so many people.
9. I think Trump can destroy us. I have never believed that before. Not even Nixon. The potential problems are too many to even list. I don’t see one area that I think he has the knowledge, the skills, the values, or even the self control to do well in. Perhaps a major crisis may destroy us but I think it just as likely that we may bleed out more likely with a thousand small cuts.
10. There are people in this country who believe that someone is coming to get them. We have children who believe there parents may be taken. It is the fear of a Gestapo type presence in this country that has no place. It is worth everyone standing up to.
11. Much of the campaign was about trying to keep the Titanic from hitting the berg. We have hit the berg and the task now is to find safe boats for everyone least they be swallowed up by rising waters. It means finding our way past our hurt, our rage, and our sense of betrayal. It means acting more rather than less. It means fighting a war in which many battles will be lost. It means knowing no matter how bad the moment that the war will never be lost as long as we refuse to leave the field.
I don’t know how much sense this makes or even if it speaks at all to your experience of this horror. I have more to say but it can I think wait for another day.
I don’t know any answers. I will try to address it in coming posts. Whatever the answer I don’t know that I believe it has much to do with either being more Democratic or Republican. Our government has lost contact with its people. It is hard to believe otherwise and any answer has to have something to do with the people being hurt feeling heard and responded to. It has fallen to a charlatan and a scam artist to be their spokesperson and we let that continue at our own risk.
Donald Trump is to become the president. I don’t know he will ever be my president. Everything written tonight is part of me trying to make sense and nothing should be considered anything close to a final thought. These I fear are dangerous times for us all.
May God bless you and yours.
Take good care please.