I watched in astonishment last night as the election results came in. The national polling was all correct. But there was this sliver, and it’s going to be less than 100,000 votes, maybe closer to 50,000 votes, spread across a handful of states that tipped this to Trump. The exit polling is really clear, that this was white voters earning over $70,000 who decided that a man who’s committed sexual assault, who’s promising a regressive politics the likes of which we haven’t seen in our lifetimes, is okay because he might lower their taxes. It’s also possible that those folks really, truly, are just that scared of the idea of a woman being President, or of the black people and people of color they think might be in their neighborhoods.
I hope we’re all wrong, about how bad he’s going to be at this job. Like, all of the stuff I’ve been warning my friends about since 2015, that Trump is probably going to win the Republican nomination, that we should be getting ready to organize no matter what, that he has all the earmarks of a dictator and a 20th century tin-general kleptocrat, I hope I’m wrong.
If I’m right, we had better get ready. We had better be vigilant. And we had better do everything in our power to hold on to our democratic institutions. Because, these kinds of folks, once they get into power, they want to do whatever they can to stay there. And that means unthinkable things like taking away voting rights, and breaking the law whenever they can.
That’s the thing I want to be really wrong about. Trump has promised to be a Law and Order President. Men in the United States who’ve made that in the past have ALWAYS meant that THEY make the Laws, you take the Orders. In other words, Trump and his cronies will most likely regularly break the laws, and there’s going to be a pundit class so shaken by this they won’t even know how to respond. There’s going to be a desperation to make this all look normal. And I hope I’m wrong.
I hope even folks like Susan Sarandon are right, in their way, that this is the start of a new awakening in politics. She and folks like her won’t have to worry about it much, though. Being rich and white has its advantages, not the least of which that the kind of change that Trump brings won’t ever affect them directly.
We’re going to need to resist, to be a resistance to what’s coming. And we, the regular folks on the ground, we have to be the ones in charge. And even more specific, the people in charge can’t look like me. We need to follow the women of color, the folks with all of the advanced degrees and the doctorates and the experience. We need to meet, and trust, and build our rings of truth so that we can do something about what’s coming. So that we can turn the tide, as fast as we can, and avoid the pitfall of history our nation just blundered its way into.
The only punchline I got today is if you’re happy to make smart folks like me feel dumb, well, good for you for ‘winning’ today. And I really do hope that I’m wrong about how bad it’s going to get, even for the Trump supporters who don’t yet realize they’re going to get hurt, too.