Who could forget that famous scene in the classic flick "What's Love Got To Do With It." Iconic entertainer Tina Turner, whose birth name is Anna Mae Bullock, is sitting in a diner alongside her abusive husband, Ike. A large cake rests on the table before them. He grabs a slice and implores her to take a bite. She refuses and boy, there is hell to pay.
Ike explodes in anger. As bandmates and onlookers gasp in horror, he pushes the cake toward her, smearing frosting on her face. He violently slaps her and eventually shoves her to the ground, all the while shouting the infamous movie scene quote, "Eat the cake, Anna Mae!"
On November 8 America was officially slapped in the same manner with the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States. And, like Annie Mae, unfortunately now we all must "eat the cake," or say American pie, that is Trump, being forcefully pushed into our faces.
It's a sobering reality for those of us who do not embrace, celebrate or condone Trump's divisive misogynistic, racist and xenophobic rhetoric (and worse the policies that will soon reinforce it) that helped him clench this unprecedented presidential victory.
The American electorate - well, at least those in the states that boast the right number of electoral votes - has spoken and Trump, in all his gore and glory, is now the president-elect of arguably the most powerful nation on the face of the planet. Yes, a man who still refers to people with melanated skin as "the blacks" and contends that most Mexican immigrants are rapist and criminals bringing drugs and crime to this country. Yup, the same man whom on the verge of bona fide senior citizen status boasted in a recording of kissing women and grabbing their genitalia without their consent because his fame means "you can do anything" will follow the first African American president to the White House. And let's not even get into that whole "birther movement" nonsense that he incited eight years ago.
Wow. Just, wow.
Though more than a week has passed it is still hard to believe - and even harder to accept - especially after eight years (10 if you include the preceding campaign season) of feasting on generous portions of presidential policies and a philosophies focused on diversity, inclusion and equity for all. For the legions of Americans who found President Obama's administration refreshing, it is time to hunker down, suck it up, pinch your nose (or do whatever it is you must do) to down the humongous slice of proverbial "liver-anchovy-Brussels sprouts pie" that will likely be our lives for the next four years.
It's a tough meal to digest, mostly because it's chocked full of all of the negatives that we naively thought - or at least hoped - was beginning to get behind us as a country.
The fact of the matter is that even with reports of voter intimidation and attempts at disenfranchisement at the polls, this nasty race was not lost by a close margin. The right came out in droves and a significant portion of the white female electorate made it clear that even graphic talk of grabbing their pussies, would not trump (pun intended) them voting for their deep-seeded convictions.
Some supporters say they like what Trump is about while others assert that pro-gun and anti-abortion rights, securing Supreme Court appointees, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and plans to ban Muslims and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico were simply more important. In short, they did what those who feel otherwise were begged to do - vote policy over personality (the personality of the two main part candidates) - and they prevailed.
As a result, we are all left to feast on a generous slice of Trump's American pie, generously topped with a dollop of racial profiling, LGBTQ-phobia and other regressive policies that threaten some core Constitutional rights, especially for the poor, persons of color, non-Christians and those of questionable citizenship status.
Though it is a tough meal to swallow, it is something we must do. And it is entirely possible to do so.
For example, I was recently on a flight on one of the few airlines around these days that still provides snacks and drinks to passengers at no additional charge. I watched intently as the flight attendants strolled down the aisle handing each passenger - regardless of where they were seated or how much they'd paid for their ticket - a tiny bag of simple wheat chips. No one was given a choice of another brand or flavor. The only acceptable response to the offering was "thanks" or "no thanks."
Just about everyone accepted the offering and the crinkling of bags opening soon echoed throughout the airplane. Within seconds almost everyone aboard - a diverse mix of people of different races, creeds, religions and political affiliations - was munching on the same type of low-calorie wheat chips. For some it was a tasty indulgence. For others, it was just something "free" that was offered, so they took it and ate it.
Unless you're saying "no thanks" to the whole America thing and making good on that widespread promise to escape to Canada or elsewhere in the world for the next few years, those chips are all you've got until the next presidential race.
The next few years will, at best, be a bag of bland chips. At worse, which is more likely, I suspect it will be a horrendous meal that'll make many sick to their stomachs.
If it turns out to be the latter, maybe, just maybe, enough of the dissatisfied diners will be inspired to spend the next few years wisely; doing the important legwork - whatever they deem it to be - that is necessary to ensure that another travesty of such epic proportion does not happen again. In doing so, hopefully when that flight takes off in 2020, we'll all be flying the friendly skies snacking on the type of chips that we really want.