My longest-time friend Carolyn (we were born a day apart and literally put into the same crib within days) expressed today her frustration with yesterday's election results and her mind is in the same place as my own. It's not that our candidate lost the election. I was on the losing side in 1976, 1984, 2000 and 2004. Political philosophy ebbs and flows and we're a republic so it happens. Note the years I was with the winner: 1972 (Nixon's the one!), 1980 (Saint Ronnie!), 1988 (Bush/Dole!) and the Clinton years. I also proudly voted twice for Barack Obama, Given that my mother was a Goldwater Girl in 1964, I can tell you all about both sides of the two-party system. I was also a reporter for 32 years, covering legislatures and politics in three states (AL, SC and FL).
I don't blame third-party voters for Hillary Clinton's loss yesterday. She came into the race with far too much baggage and was a poor political choice to potentially succeed Obama. But the DNC insisted it was her "time" and she was certainly the most qualified of any candidate of either party as the race opened a year ago. I'm not going to get involved in the, "Well, Bernie woulda won" argument because things simply never materialized that way. I also understand the deep distrust many voters have of her, given the (lemme roll my eyes here) email issues and other long-standing, shoulda-been-settled items over the past 30 years or so. Some folks just couldn't pull the Hillary lever and they just don't like Hill or Bill. Okay.
(A pause here. This "Crooked Hillary" and "lock her up" crap is bullshit. Plenty of very smart and experienced lawyer/lawmakers have spent years and millions of dollars trying to bring charges against her and nothing has worked. No charges, no indictment, no trial, no conviction. Some conspiracy nuts even try to say the Clintons have had witnesses killed. Seriously? The FBI has faced and beaten real gangsters with actual, real-live hitmen over and over. Guys like Capone and Moran and Gotti. They're not afraid of some pantsuited politician. Get over it. Jesus).
This nation has elected (through a sadly and tragically gerrymandered Electoral College) the single most undignified, unqualified, uncouth, unregulated, uncommitted, insensitive troglodyte ever possibly imagined for the role. Even apologists such as Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal and Rudy Goddamned Giuliani are comparative political gold compared to our new Orange Julius Caesar.
Note that I have not said anything about any of these men being dumb. They certainly are not. And neither is the electorate that decided Donald Trump should be the president-elect. The economic and political landscape that brought us to where we are (our economy is strong, job growth is good, the stock market is kicking ass, housing has made a comeback) is for better analysts than this one. But here's the deal....
I understand why folks couldn't vote Hillary. I know why they felt they had to go Stein or Johnson. But for the life of us (and we won the popular vote), more than half the electorate cannot understand why anyone could vote FOR Donald Trump.
The man can't tell a consistent truth. He doesn't pay his bills. He's a serial bankruptcy filer (disclosure: I've filed twice --once to save my house after Hurricane Katrina and then after Kim's medical bills became An Issue -- but I don't try to pass myself off as a successful businessman). He's on record multiple times spreading unfounded falsehoods about any minority you can name. He wants to boot Mexicans and Muslims without regard to circumstances. He encourages violence, admits sexual assaults and is, this day after the election, facing more than 70 court cases naming his companies and/or himself personally. He has been endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan and the list goes on. In short, he's a Major League, solid-gold, professional-grade dick.
My question, Carolyn's question and the question so many others of us have is just this: how can we in good conscience and in good faith continue to remain in contact with friends and family who have actively supported this kind of charlatan with an actual vote? I have a daughter and a granddaughter. We have friends and family members in who are LGBTQ. We are committed to, believe in and fully support inclusion. We cannot, do not and will not sanction, ignore or otherwise minimize a candidate or a voter who somehow thinks complete and open inclusion is not okay. In our world. we cannot and do not support any candidate who is also supported by the Klan. This is a deal-breaker. We were not raised this way. It is, in a word, UnAmerican.
This is why we're sad today. The fact our candidate lost isn't the issue. We get past that in a day or so. Even the 2000 election was a short sting. The fact the House and Senate are now Republican will change before long, given simply demographics. It's politics.
We are sad that too many of our friends and family members demonstrated they can actually cast a vote against equality and fair treatment and in support of racism, sexual assault, misogyny and xenophobia. We are shocked, disappointed, a bit befuddled, somewhat speechless and a little scared about what happens next.
But we're also very, very angry. If there's a silver lining in the Trump campaign, it's that it's apparently now okay to loudly and bluntly speak your mind without regard to consequences.
It goes both ways. We have the numbers, so buckle up.