I spent all day Wednesday in a state of total shock and massive depression.
I found myself uncontrollably grieving without warning time and time again.
I still can't talk about my daughter growing up with this jackass as her President without choking up - what father would ever want to see their daughter sexually assaulted? He bragged about walking up to women and "grabbing them by the pussy" without their consent. That's sexual assault. I'm at a loss to name a parent who wouldn't beat the ever loving shit out of any man who did that to their daughter. I'm at an equal loss to explain why any parent could vote for such a man.
But I woke up this morning and realized that we're so not out of the fight and we (the majority of American voters who voted against Trump and all he stands for) can totally win this in a way that will be talked about for generations.
“If those measures pass Congress on GOP votes alone, and Trump signs them, Democrats will have a case to make to the Rust Belt. They'll paint Trump as not a Mr. Fix It, but just another politician, willing to sell out workers to help the powerful. Trump appears to understand this well. Which is why the next year of policy negotiations might be unlike anything we've seen in a long, long time.”
The last paragraph is key. They're screwed either way - the coalition cannot last. A lot of people will have buyers remorse in four years. Also, a significant number of Trump voters will have died by then (he won the elderly in spades).
We're the ascendant majority. This election was the last awful hurrah of the baby boomers. I'm done waiting politely for my generation's time. We have to seize it. Now. Because we will live with the ramifications of this dumbfuckery for decades. For example, our current elders will be long dead before the real damage of climate change dooms us and our children.
So to my fellow Americans, I offer you the following insights and ideas as a guide:
1. We win through populism and being the party of the middle class - regardless of where they live, level of education, career, etc. We also win by continuing to unabashedly living our values and standing up against any and all oppression as we encounter it.
2. We need to win local and state government so that by 2020 we can control redistricting and ensure we end gerrymandering forever. We should be dedicated to the idea of free and fair elections as a sacrosanct principle.
3. We've faced way tougher odds. 100 years ago, women didn't have the right to vote. 50 years ago, we lived under Jim Crow. Now, while our society is far from perfect today, at least we can (usually / for now) all eat at the same counter. And, a woman just won more votes than any other to be President. That's real progress against seemingly insurmountable opposition and odds - yet, we did it. If those who came before us can triumph then, who are we to give up now (moving to Canada)? They didn't quit on us - we can't quit on future generations. Too much is at stake.
4. We need to ensure that all Americans (regardless of who they voted for) act as guardians of the liberty, freedom, and respect for democratic norms and institutions that truly makes this country so great.
•My Trump friends - we need you to help us denounce the xenophobia, sexism, and racism that's been clearly unleashed during and (esp.) since the election. If you remain silent, too many will regard you as tacitly supporting and allowing this bullshit to continue. Ball is in your court.
•My Hillary/Johnson/Stein friends - protest (by all means exercise your 1st amendment rights) but don't engage in violence. We cede the narrative and moral high ground the nanosecond someone torches a car or beats someone up for being a Trump supporter. They go low, we go high. It worked for Gandhi, it'll work for us.
•All of us together - talk to each other. Democracy cannot survive without discourse. And, join together in ensuring our nation isn't stolen from us by tyrants or foreign powers. We should all be deeply concerned that Russia has admitted its maintained ties to and assisted the Trump campaign throughout the election. Imagine if Hillary had been in direct contact with the Chinese or Saudis as they covertly assisted her campaign. I wouldn't tolerate that of her - none of us should tolerate that of Trump or any other candidate. Surely we all can agree that no foreign power should ever meddle in our elections. We must unite together to be the eternal guardians of freedom and liberty our founding fathers hoped we'd be.
5. Go get a beer/wine/coffee with someone of your opposite political persuasion. Today. The instant we segregate ourselves into groups of like minded individuals is the moment we become truly divided. Divided we fall, united we stand.
Jazz is amazing. The first true popular music to transcend culture and race in America. Many have called it the most unique and original American art form. It's brilliance is twofold: it incorporates the best of all from which it borrows and imports (just like America) and it destroys hate. Hatred is all encompassing. If you hate someone, you hate everything about them - their favorite food, song, etc. And, that hatred is made all the more easier by never interacting with that individual and thus, never getting to truly know and understand them and vice versa. But, suppose you did interact with The Other. Perhaps you'll find you share not just a common love for the same music, art, food. From there, you may discover that you share even a few policy provisions - you're only limited by your imagination. Once you can find common ground, only then can you work in mutual dedication to continuing and protecting the fundamental aspects of our Republic. When you sit down with someone of your opposite political persuasion, begin by trying to find things you share - music, art, food, family. Build common bonds of understanding - it’ll make the more difficult subjects easier to tackle and deflect some of the emotion that results from debating.
Finally, remember the wise counsel of Marcus Aurelius. You are powerless to control the events that happen to you and all around you. But, you are powerful over your perception and reaction to them.
We’ve got this. Now go get to work. America needs you now more than ever.