I appreciate the enthusiasm that people bring to the democratic process. It's been rare where politics on the national stage reflect the thoughts in my head, or the choices I've made with my life. It has happened once or twice, and that's about it. The 2016 presidential election definitely DID NOT jive with anything I was thinking. The pendulum is always going back and forth, left and right, but I didn't foresee the country taking such a hard regressive turn on a mass scale. It's disappointing to say the least. Such a feeling is made worse by the meltdown on the left and the tin ear of disconnect coming from the right. And now it seems like everyone is up in arms.
I join those who are basically mourning the decline of democracy. But, I can't say I'm totally surprised by the election or its aftermath. I'm depressed, worried, anxious, angry. Thinking about the dangers and the fight ahead, yeah. I can point to plenty of "reasons" for what happened - convenient media, the inability of a body public to resist the marketing, rampant unchecked bigotry, political narcissism disguised as purity, moral convenience, cultural tribalism, communal disconnect, subterfuge, poor strategy, the left getting in its own way, old fashioned stupidity - on and on. I understood this was all embedded into the process to some extent prior. But the results of the 2016 presidential election feel no less pathetic.
What next for democracy and the republic? Knowing people really care about this country gives me some comfort. This is a nation's work, divisions and all. With that said, I have no use for willful and harmful ignorance; that which would allow fear, intimidation and prejudice to leverage a point of view. Fascism is afoot. I think it’s important to cultivate, foster and encourage expression that fucks with anything that approaches absolutism in an ideological sense. Beyond that, it’s time to get stepping ahead of issues that are bogging us down. At some point, the talking stops and the work begins. The mission: build coalitions, get busy, and stay involved.
I’m under no delusions. I think things will get worse with Trump, potentially much worse. There will be many instances of bad behavior and worse policy ahead to deal with. But, the process of getting my own little house in order is reinvigorated, and the fight continues. For anyone claiming that they won something by all this – electing an “outsider” who inherited a fortune, built a society page celebrity brand as a glorified realtor, has a limited grasp on the constitution, who exorcises fascist tendencies, spreads racist invective, and exhibits a sociopathic penchant for lying – it rings hollow. They made a wholly uninteresting choice to be on the wrong side of history.