An Electoral Catastrophe

I cannot express the fear, anger, and disdain I feel when I heard that our next President of the United States will be a man whom I can never respect in any capacity. Our country doesn’t deserve a man like Donald Trump as its leader. I find it especially shameful that many of my friends, neighbors, relatives, and even my home state went to this most wretched man. I know this man won’t keep his promises because he makes them with no intention to fulfill them. This man doesn’t give a damn about anything or anyone but himself and his own gain. This man has never made sacrifices, never accepts responsibility, never did any good for goodness sake, and never felt any remorse. He’s a man with no interest in anything but his own money, power, and fame. He doesn’t seem to value education, possess any intellectual curiosity, appreciate culture, or hold the truth in high regard. He’s a man of no ideas, political experience, and no understanding of the world he wants to lead. I know this man cares nothing about our country, our history, our values, our institutions, our rule of law, our democracy, or our people. This man won the presidency by stoking many of the worst sentiments of human nature as well as saying that our country is a wretched human wasteland.  His victory is a disaster for democracy at its worst and sets a horrific example for the world as well as our children. His campaign represents a rejection of our democratic norms and put fascism on the ballot while white, working class rural voters responded to his vile, bigotry, and false promises in droves to vote “Yes.” I absolutely loathe Trump so much I’m not sure if I can respect the presidential office during his term because he absolutely doesn’t have the character of someone whom I could be truly proud to say he’s the leader of my country. And at no time in my life have I felt such shame for my country, my extended family, many of my friends from both high school and college, my community, my state, and even my neighborhood who elected this black hole of humanity on anti-minority statements or outright hate that even white supremacist terrorists happily joined in. Except me and my parents who only had the only Hillary Clinton sign in the whole neighborhood and were possibly the only people who voted for her. For that I feel such a sense of shame for the hatred so many people in my life believe about people who are different than themselves. So for anyone who voted for the repulsive unapologetic racist, then may I be the first to say shame on you because it’s your racism that’s wrong with this nation.

Electing Trump as president doesn’t “make America great again” and never will. It does just the opposite by giving acceptable license to such a despicable man’s behavior and rhetoric that can harm millions of Americans. And it doesn’t help that most of Trump’s supporters voted for him because of his racist comments that they were willing to overlook his other unsavory qualities. Perhaps I could be among the few white women in America who’ve not only supported and voted for Hillary Clinton, but also actively wrote about racism throughout my blogging career. Despite overcoming my own prejudices with a great degree of success while writing these and reading a few books by minority authors, I am not proud of it. In fact, I’m absolutely horrified that so many white people in this country don’t actively share my disdain for racism that they’d at least not let the racist candidate win. This especially goes for my fellow white college graduates. It’s no wonder that minorities are scared to death since Trump’s election sends a resounding message that an overwhelming number of white people doesn’t want minorities here which I feel is utterly unconscionable. I’m even more upset that these racists who don’t want minorities here are people I know and people I grew up with. I am deeply disgusted by that fact because I’m well aware that it does not make things okay for many of my fellow Americans who’ll be subject to the Trump administration’s worst abuses. Trump’s presence will embolden white supremacists who supported him to be more audacious as well as push further and more extreme actions. Mosques will be vandalized and perhaps temples, synagogues, along with black and Hispanic churches. Mexican and Latino Americans could be targeted to a degree not seen in decades while Trump’s plan to deport undocumented immigrants will divide thousands of families which to me is beyond the pale. Police departments could be filled with black suspects that are stopped and frisked with no good attorney general willing to stop them. You can also take into account that lax gun laws will allow white supremacists and other right-wing terrorists access to firearms as well as more mass shootings and law enforcement deaths. So I’m not too off about how electing Trump lets the terrorists win. I can’t accept a man as my president whose message that racial discrimination is good and prudent to the entire citizenry because I know such attitudes don’t keep Americans safe from the threat of right-wing domestic terrorism which will undoubtedly rise but will probably be unsurprisingly ignored.

Trump’s presidency will solve none of our problems in this country that desperately needed fixed. As president, Trump intends to repeal Obamacare and has the majority to make it happen, which will result in at least 22 million Americans losing their health insurance, which I won’t stand for because I don’t want our healthcare system go back to the Bush years. Denying healthcare to anyone in need is unconscionably cruel to me because I believe medical care is a basic human right. Besides, despite Obamacare’s faults, the law is a huge success that has lowered the uninsured rate by half and if we didn’t have it, things would be worse. I know that Republicans have pledged to do this since its passage for 6 years saying it’s made things worse. But in reality, they were opposed to it from the very beginning due their party’s free market ideology and contributions from health insurance companies. As for the environment, Trump is sure to reverse Obama’s efforts to curb climate change like the Clean Power Plan, emissions standards, signed on to the Paris Climate Deal, and renewable energy funding. Trump not only wants to reverse all this, he also wants to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency altogether (which was established in the 1970s). The effect on emissions could be enormous which can reverberate for thousands of years and affect hundreds of millions of people. Without drastic emission reductions, global temperatures will continue to rise. Meanwhile the ice caps keep melting, the seas will rise, Florida will go underwater, and mega droughts could affect the Southwest for generations and generations. Not to mention, Trump’s presidency will give a free ride to Paul Ryan’s fiscal plans with 60% benefitting the richest Americans, make devastating cuts in social programs, and tax cuts for the rich with Food Stamps and Medicaid ending as we know it. Not to mention Medicare could be voucherized while Social Security could be privatized. Such a plan will not only keep the rich from paying their fair share, raise taxes on poorer and middle-class Americans, but also tear into the social safety net on the nation’s poorest Americans as well as put millions of children in extreme poverty. In short it will be a disaster because government should play a key role in reducing inequality like granting paid leave, equal pay for women, affordable childcare, and tax increases for the rich. But that’s not going to happen. And I know far too well that the next 4 years will have a presidency that believes in a self-serving capitalism with no conscience that Donald Trump personifies to a tee. Rejecting such legitimized greed in my country is critical part of my progressive Catholic identity. I cannot accept this from a government to undo so much progress this country has made under Obama and I will not bow down to Trump for it.

Trump’s presidency will also tarnish America’s reputation as a respected world power and beacon of the free world. It’s bad enough that Vladmir Putin and WikiLeaks were able to help Trump with the election by hacking into Hillary’s e-mails. But Trump is sure to be Putin’s puppet since his commitment to the Trans-Atlantic Treaty is shaky, doesn’t believe in NATO, and is extremely sympathetic in Russia’s dominance of neighboring countries. He also thinks Putin and Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad are bombing ISIS when in reality, they’re focusing their assaults on non-Syrian rebels. Yet, Trump’s win should also encourage Assad and don’t expect him to lift a finger on behalf of his victims. It doesn’t help that Putin is greatly feared in Russia who’s left a trail of dead journalists. There are also possibilities of a trade war with China that could cost millions of American jobs, dismantling the Iran deal, the possibility of Trump turning Eastern Europe over to Putin, and his stupid wall he thinks Mexico should pay for. Then there’s the fact Trump supports torture which is a human rights violation in my book along threatening to alter American foreign policy in dangerous ways. I have no confidence that Trump could ever honor diplomatic ties or treaties and thus, I could never call him my president.

Though I might’ve known there may have been a chance that Trump would win the presidency, I always had faith that the American people will wise up and vote for Hillary Clinton despite all her baggage and beliefs. I thought despite whatever issues she represented or personal feelings toward her, Americans would choose a candidate who’d make people feel proud to live in such a great country like the United States. I thought my fellow Americans would put their country over their self-interests when they came to the voting booth this Election Day. And no matter how bad the race got, I somehow had faith that this day would pass and our national nightmare would be over. I thought Americans were better than to elect a sociopath for president like Donald Trump, a man who’d nobody would want to associate with in their every day life nor would want as a role model for their children. I was wrong for Trump’s victory and upcoming presidency thus marks the winter of our discontent. Today my faith in the American people is now shattered beyond recognition.

I know Trump supporters aren’t bad people. I know they work hard and take pride in supporting themselves.  I know that many are angry. But what they did to “make America great again” was selfish, shameful, and disgraceful. And I will make sure they regret it for the rest of their lives. I know such a phrase will evoke nostalgia but it’s of an earlier time that only exists in a dream. I don’t want to go back to a time when they thought things were better when they were actually worse. I know these people want respect. I know these people want change. Hell, I even want change and so does everyone. But they should understand that they don’t get that by entrusting their vote to a wolf in sheep’s clothing who’ll fleece them and turn this great country into his little fiefdom. They say he’s an outsider and doesn’t represent the elite. In reality, he’s an elitist to the core whose interests always go against the common working man he sees an unsuspecting pawn and nothing more. They should also know that blaming vulnerable minorities for their troubles and lack of control doesn’t give them what they want either. What they got was an outright fraud who’s never had any respect for them, their values, their institutions, their freedoms, their country, or their rule of law. In effect, what they thought was a protest against one set of elites was really submitting to another elite as a license to screw them. They didn’t take their country back. They had their country squandered by voting a sociopathic demagogue who appealed to their baser natures. Because I’ve seen people take these deals before and I know the little guy gets swindled every time. Trump won’t fix it and he won’t make their lives better. He has already lied to them like he does all the time. He’s already given them false hopes and promises he never intends to follow through. He will rob them. He will cheat them. He will hurt them. He will let them down. But many seem taken with conservative media like Fox News or so set in their pessimistic reactionary worldview that they may not even realize this. But what’s more disturbing about them is how much they’re willing to overlook Trump’s inexcusable sins like they just don’t care that he was unqualified, temperamentally unfit, dangerous, and represents a major threat to American democracy. It’s as if they have no moral standards of behavior in a presidential candidate whatsoever. Or how their political choices may inspire their children to bully minority kids in their neighborhood or school. In the end, all I know is their support for Trump will give them nothing they want and may be even worse off than they were. And they’re doing with their votes is just bringing the rest of us down with them and dragging us through the mud. I guarantee he will wreck this nation and make the rest of us live with the consequences for the rest of our lives as well as those for generations to come. If they’re wise, these Trump supporters will regret voting for him. Maybe not today or tomorrow. But someday and for the rest of their lives. How do I know this? Because he’s screwed people who’ve trusted him left and right. And Trump supporters will be no exception.

Yet, though these Trump supporters try make themselves seem like they’re rugged individualists, the reality is that many of them aren’t. They’re actually kind of pathetic like many of the rest of us. Sure they may be religious, but they lack real Christian courage and they tend to choose their Un-Christian politics over Christian virtues. They think they’re tough with guns which they think will protect them. Yet, in reality, cling to their guns because they believe the world is a dangerous place and that the police can’t be trusted. Some may believe that government spending is out of control despite that they’re on welfare and food stamps because their job pays a shitty wage and doesn’t offer benefits. And they’re so afraid of being fired they’re so unwilling to stick up for themselves to their employer who’s exploiting or possibly robbing them. Many of them feel their lives seem hopeless no matter how hard they work they tend to scapegoat minorities and others poorer than themselves for being lazy or getting special treatment. Many also believe that if their candidate doesn’t win, then the election must be rigged by rampant minority voter fraud. They also have a tendency to fall prey to people who’d promise them a better life but actually using them for their own ends. But they always seem to cling onto a right-wing ideology that’s failing them and makes them think the world is a far worse place than it actually is. I have very little confidence these people could ever support a man like Bernie Sanders because these people are so adverse to liberal ideas that may sound even a teensy bit Socialist to them even if he best represents their interests, let alone a politician who calls himself a Socialist. I know all too well that these Trump supporters would’ve never accepted him. Many may be distrustful of government feel that it doesn’t support their interests even when their assistance helps them or is necessary that they feel they’re disregarded, disrespected or left behind. And they live in the same old patterns because they’ve been told not to stand up for themselves, revere the rich as successful people who they say earn their money, are so stuck in their ways, or accept everything as God’s plan. I’ve grown up around these people all my life and while I don’t dislike them, I tend to see many as misinformed, ignorant, self-serving, cowardly, hypocritical, and pathetic. Not to mention, I’ve heard their subtle racist comments all the time which are nevertheless damaging. But now I’m absolutely sick of their latent bigotry and won’t tolerate it any longer. Not even on special occasions when I’m supposed to be polite and keep my mouth shut on political matters. Even worse, many of them don’t seem to consider how this election will have on their children. I mean Trump allegedly sexually assaulted several women and teenage girls he called liars and threatened to sue as a form of intimidation. While he owned the Miss Universe pageant, he used to go into the dressing rooms when the contestants were partially clothed or naked, even during the teen competitions. It doesn’t help that his 3rd and current wife is a college dropout who modeled in porn and he objectifies women on a regular basis. He even suggested that he’d date his daughter Ivanka if he could. It doesn’t help these girls’ mothers sold out their political views to this orange piece of human garbage. The fact that Trump’s election may normalize, excuse, or even encourage everything he’s said is particularly troubling. I don’t know if I can call a man like Trump, “Mr. President,” because I don’t want to normalize sexism. Or how Hillary’s defeat could prevent women from entering politics for fear of such a vicious backlash that won’t guarantee them victory (though Hillary did win the popular vote and thank God). Yet, the fact so many parents are willing to overlook Trump’s sexual predatory behavior and misogyny in this election somehow implicitly validates that these actions are acceptable. I am ashamed that American parents everywhere would even do such a thing since it sets an exceptionally horrible example to kids. And I refuse to tolerate it.

However, most importantly, I can’t accept Donald Trump as my president and because I don’t believe he respects the US Constitution as well as Americans made in order to form a more perfect union where all are created equal. He is more of a figure from authoritarian politics, not the American tradition and a democratic constitution that empowers such a leader has misfired badly. It’s very clear the Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act as well as legalized voter suppression and intimidation played a huge role in his victory. In this election, Trump ran on a platform rejecting the Constitution as well as its underlying principles of democratic self-government and individual rights. Other than the 3rd Amendment, there’s hardly a provision in the Bill of Rights or later amendments he didn’t explicitly promise to override. For instance, declaring open season on journalists is a huge violation of freedom of the press as would banning Muslims and shutting down mosques be with freedom of religion. Others include freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures like stop and frisk, the right to counsel along with the Fourteenth Amendment right to birthright citizenship and equal protection to Fifteenth Amendment voting rights. It’s like he offered Americans a bag of magic beans in an exchange for their rights and their form of government with nearly 60 million complying (which didn’t include me since I voted for Hillary who won the popular vote). I deny their right to give Trump my rights or those of others who can’t defend themselves. No result is legitimate threatening the constitutional promise “secure the blessings of liberty.” No amount of angry and frightened voters has a right to strip minorities of equal status and protections or throw away a democratic future of posterity. American national leaders gain their legitimacy by competing in compliance with not just outward forms but the clear values of our Constitution such as equal dignity, religious freedom and tolerance, open deliberation, and rule of law. These sacred constitutional principles don’t bind Donald Trump. In fact, norms of decency don’t apply to him as he shrugs off the very burden of the fact itself. Like Old World dictators, he uses the mass media to lie, insult, to strip individuals of their dignity, to commit the grossest falsehoods against religious and national groups, as well as encourage persecution, torture, and violence. He actively campaigns against any notion of sexual, religious, or racial equality. He threatens those opposing him with the unchecked power of the state. Sure there was a decay in American democratic norms before Trump who took advantage of a political system hardened in hatred that it’s caused constant gridlock as well as the growth of mass surveillance and toxic government secrecy. Though Trump was elected president on November 8, he’s not my president nor ever will be.

Advertisements

One response to “An Electoral Catastrophe

  1. I feel your pain. I have many of the same concerns about the next 4 years. Remember that Hillary won the popular vote. There are many people out there who don’t agree with Mr. Trump. I am hoping that our country may learn from this- and maybe positives change will come. Also hoping that Trump does better than we are assuming he will- nobody can tell the future! Don’t give up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s