Yesterday I woke up to a new America, a new reality and I worked hard to put my thoughts in order and not rush headlong into the abyss of angry facebook posts. Eventually I posted my thoughts that America had made a vote for hate and that’s all I wanted to say. I was immediately assailed by a few Trump supporters one who called me immature and said I should give the man a chance. Another tried to make the case against Hillary Clinton, the corruptness of politics today. Sigh so much for having a day to put my thoughts in order. Through the day I read other posts about Democrats needing to stop whining, to give Trump a chance to pull in behind him and hurrah for Donald J. Trump, all of this less than a day after the most divisive election in American history. I wondered how it would be if the shoe were on the other foot.
I read an excellent article yesterday entitled “Here’s Why We Grieve Today” by John Pavlovitz that not only captured my feelings and beliefs completely but put the election in a different light that I had not thought about. You see in living and breathing the campaign for over a year I could not see the bigger picture although I was fighting many battles daily. The election was more than a contest, the results more than just a winner and a loser. I voted for twenty or so other campaigns Tuesday and lost many of them and not a one am I particularly upset about. The Presidential election was about more, it was about two different worldviews for the good old USA. The Trump campaign and victory is all about exclusion and the Clinton campaign was all about inclusion.
Another thing I was told yesterday is that it’s just rhetoric, just words and only actions can really hurt you. Really? You see I rather think that words are important. Have you ever gotten into an argument with your significant other or spouse or even a close friend that got pretty heated. I have and when the fur is flying I can say some pretty spiteful, hurtful things. I ca get to the heart of what makes you tick and the result is some pretty mean things coming out of my mouth. I am good with words. I have regretted and sincerely apologized for some horrible things that I have said in the heat of the moment. I have hurt people. I am not proud of it but you see this is a flaw I can work on, it is not a belief system. I don’t say these things in any prepared matter, at a podium, or even on facebook. And I don’t in any way think its okay to hurt people. Donald Trump said a lot of things and those things like all words matter. What America voted for yesterday was a validation of those things. When he said that all Mexicans are criminals, rapists, when he said he would deport them all, that matters. Today there are millions of Hispanics in this country who are worried about the future and whether their family will be torn apart. Because of that its a little less safe. There are many Trump supporters who are emboldened to hate Hispanics more openly because that is what your vote means.
Donald Trump said that women who get abortions should be punished. The GOP has long been Pro-Life, the most ludicrous term ever. Ludicrous because it has its roots in being tied too closely to the Christian Right. If you think that Roe v. Wade wILL not come under attack you are wrong. I think within two years abortion will be illegal in this country and women will resort to back alley illegal clinics as they did before. Over half the population won’t be able to make choices about their own bodies. More undesired children will be born who will be poorly nourished, poorly educated and for them the American Dream is just that, a dream.
Trump has said that he has no qualms about using a nuclear weapon. He wants Russia to be given a free hand in solving the problems in Syria and ISIS. He also says he knows how to defeat ISIS and will educate his generals, who he also called weak. He wants to ban all Muslims and has not made clear where he really stands on American Muslims. Will he tattoo them, place them in special re-education camps, use them to build bridges and other things. You laugh because I make a Hitler reference. I would hope that we would not allow that, but think on this. For over a year Donald Trump has told you what to be scared of, and who to blame for all of your problems. You bought into this and you validated it by electing him. Most ordinary Americans know little of how Hitler came to power and so you assume that Germany was filled with a bunch of anti-Semitic screaming murderers. There are a lot of books that dispel that notion. I love the work of Christopher R. Browning who wrote a book entitled Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101. It is significant because the Germans kept great records and the police battalions who followed the army early in the war were ordinary people, butchers, baker and yes a few candlestick makers. There is this notion and a defense that they were just following orders, but no, the records indicate that if there was an unpleasant duty like killing a few Jewish babies and women you could decline and some did. Others didn’t and participated. They did not start off being evil or hateful. The German population felt the great depression deeper than most because they took entire responsibility for World War I. It was not fair but that’s the way it was and it created a deep fear, a deep enmity for their lot in life. Then a charismatic leader came along who felt the way they did but had a vision and he told them what to be afraid of and who to blame and they bought into it, a few at first and then by growing numbers. When the war was over these ordinary citizens, these good men nd women had to look around and see what they had done. Sound familiar?
Yes I am grieving. I think Trump’s first one hundred days will be a bloodbath. Affordable healthcare is gone, count on it, Many of you think that’s a good thing. Twenty five million more people without healthcare. The police forces across the nation are validated and police reform out the window and so African Americans will be less safe. There will be a plan for attacking Roe v. Wade, it won’t be public but you can count on it. Women will be less safe less than regular citizens. There will be a plan to reduce the protections given to the LGBT community in the past few years and they will be less safe because that is what you voted for. They will have less rights and be less than other Americans. Hey if the religious right has their way we may even have a few public stoning because hey the bible right? Thee will be a plan for mass deportation developed and Hispanics will be less safe. Americans who lean towards the alt right will be free to mock and belittle the developmentally disabled, and all non white people because that is what you voted for. I grieve for my country, I grieve for the progress we made that will be undone. There will be a rise in military spending, more troops more money spent on new exotic weapons systems.and once you build something you are just dying to use it so I hear the distant drum beats. Good more American soldiers we can call heroes and remember with tears, more wounded souls to not care for because despite what Trump says about loving the vets it’s not a GOP priority, they have voted against such things numerous times before and now they have carte blanche. I grieve for my shattered worldview.Over half the country is now meaningless to the other half. It’s a new world.