“Buy the ticket. Take the ride.”
Hunter S. Thompson
It is the morning after the nastiest, most divisive presidential election ever. Not just in our lifetime. EVER. And while banshees scream about the death of democracy, the dogs of hell are already barking and howling a victory song marking the beginning of what may very well be a long, nasty period in American history.
The Trump years will be a horror. Now that the Republican Party has sunk its talons into the heart and soul of Washington, the repercussions will be painful and long-lasting. Generations will feel those effects. Trump-ism will allow the Republicans to pass massive regressive tax cuts, yank access to medical care from the poor and sick, deregulate the financial industry, gut the EPA while looking away as polluters and fossil-fuel emitters rape the environment, and promote racism disguised as patriotism under the banner “Making America Great Again”.
What a load of shit.
As if America ever stopped being great.
And sadly, that is just the beginning. Trump is a monster. He is an impulsive, egotistical bully, intolerant of any and all criticism and attracted to power like a shark to blood (or maybe in his case – a fly to shit).
HST’s comments about an equally evil individual once in power (Richard Nixon) are appropriate: Trump represents that “dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character that almost every country in the world has learned to fear and despise. Our… president, with his Barbie-doll wife and his boxful of Barbie-doll children is also America's answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the Werewolf in us; the bully, the predatory shyster who turns into something unspeakable, full of claws and bleeding string-warts on nights when the moon comes too close…”
The fifty-nine million Americans who elected Trump will not be helped by his agenda nor any of his programs – he avoided policy specifics in every debate, so it’s difficult to say for sure what those programs might be, except that they will all be “tremendous”. To the people who bought into his bullshit, Trump-ism represents the opportunity to rebuild our nation and renew the American dream. “Tremendous potential. It’s going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential.”
Except that they won’t. Not if they are Black. Or Hispanic. Or women. Or Muslim. Or refugees. Or LGBT. The only people who might be satisfied by a Trump presidency are the ones who voted for him because of racial and cultural resentment.
The depths of a Trump presidency defy any sane, rational person’s imagination. Based on the seismic divisions within our country – race, cultural, religious, and gender – that his candidacy preyed upon like a vulture eating road kill, it’s safe to assume his presidency will not be popular. At least not for long and not with everyone. And Trump, his henchmen, and gnarly co-horts will most likely respond with vicious anti-democratic measures that threaten the basic tenets of our Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees. But fighting for democracy is part of America’s heritage – it’s what we do. We fight to make things better and stand up to racism, bigotry, misogyny, discrimination, and oppression. It may take us a while to get it right, but we stand up for the rights of others.
No matter who is in the White House, we need to fight hard for all people of color, LGBT rights, religious freedoms, a woman's right to choose, medical care for people who cannot afford healthcare, etc. - maybe now more than ever. We are stronger together. And we need to keep fighting.
It is the morning after the nastiest election ever. The sun still came out. Many of us still woke up next to the person we love, surrounded by family or friends who matter. Still hopeful for a better future than the one our parents gave us. I love this country. I believe in it. I still believe in America. I’m not leaving - I’m going to stay and defend truth and democracy. There are a lot of people just like me, who feel the same way I do. We are not going anywhere.
We are going to stay and fix this.