(One joy of writing like this is the ability to copy what happens during every NFL game: “Upon further review…” and edit. That’s what I’e done here.)
Over a year ago I wrote that the presidential election would eventually come down to answering a simple question: “Do you dislike Hillary Clinton more than you fear Donald Trump?”
Well, we’re here now and, at the risk of violating a longstanding personal rule (Rule #1 Overconfidence can defeat you) come January, Hillary Clinton is going to become our 35th president and our first woman president.
But here’s the rub: While a majority of American’s will celebrate, millions of our fellow citizens will lose.
And even if Donald Trump disappears from television (he won’t), somewhere around 40% of America’s voters aren’t going anywhere. They’ll go back to their pre-Trump lives; home, work, family, friends and jobs. They will return to whatever their normal is all about with one big difference.
They’ll be really, really pissed-off.
So it’s going to be our responsibility to help them detox from the spiked Trump labeled KoolAid. For the sake of our country, we’ll need to help them come out from the fear and darkness of Trump’s cult. And it’s not going to be easy.
From Trump Tower or some Trump labeled golf course, the failed campaign leaders will be fighting like made to keep their people under control. They’ll make Senator Mitch McConnell’s 2008 election night pledge to “Make Barack Obama a one term president” seem quaint. They’ve already started pushing their supporter’s “dislike” of soon to be President Hillary Clinton into explosive and sometimes violent “hatred.”
Trump’s speeches are laying the groundwork for it. He’s getting his supporters primed to explain his embarrassing loss as the result of a nationwide Clinton-directed conspiracy to “rig” the election against him. After all, he’s Donald Trump. The “winner.” He can’t just “lose.”
You can see the early signs of a Trump ”enemies list” taking shape: media figures, Republican officeholders identified as “traitors,” political operatives, opposition pundits and melting pot Americans: Blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, Asians, LGBTQ Americans…and Jews; they always get around to Jews.
I wish I knew what to do about the harm that Donald Trump and his buddies are doing to our country. But I don’t.
What do we do when 40% of our fellow citizens believe this election is “rigged,” that every unflattering fact about Trump is just a “lie” and the news media is part of that “conspiracy” to prevent him from winning? What do we do when entire segments of our society are vilified and blamed for all of our problems?
I don’t know how to answer those questions, but I believe finding one starts with opening our eyes so we can see that none of this is new. You can see validation with any American minority population past and current. We’ve had ongoing outbursts of anger and hate before in the United States but nothing of this magnitude.
But the world has. And still does in
It is too easy to invoke the names of dangerous, delusional and evil men who, rightly so, should never be tossed about carelessly. But I believe we are seeing the European history of the 1930’s, that those men created, being repeated here in 21st century America.
Author Naomi Wolf has much more in-depth thoughts along these lines that pre-date Trump and the current situation.