I’m reading a hell of a lot of posts from people (including some whom I respect and admire greatly) saying things like “this wasn’t about race” or “this wasn’t about gender”.
They’re saying that it’s about economics, about the city versus the country.
And it might be those things, sure. That can be part of it.
And the Civil War (or the laughable Southern euphemism of “The War of Northern Aggression”) was about state’s rights, sure. That was part of the concerns of the people of the time. But that wasn’t what was underlying everything. That wasn’t the root of the problem.
The Civil War was about slavery, no matter how much some people have liked to pretend otherwise.
This election was about racism and sexism and homophobia, in so, so many different ways – no matter how much some people would like to pretend otherwise.
There’s an old joke about Lincoln where he says “everyone has their price”.
And for a disappointingly large percentage of people in the USA, racism, homophobia, and sexism are well within their budget.
This isn’t just a simple reversal of fortunes. As David Wong wrote in Cracked, “That sick feeling some of you have right now? They’ve had that for the last eight years.”
Which, I guess, is true, if you listened to the right-wing shills who lied and created boogeymen that weren’t real. If the things that Obama and Hillary were accused of saying were actually things they’d said? Yeah, that’d be pants-shittingly terrifying.
The way the right’s felt during Obama’s terms is pretty much I felt during all of Dubya’s terms. I thought it was going to be much worse than it was (though it was bad). I had fears based on reading between the lines, not because of what they actually said and did. (Though still bad, I feared it would be much, much worse.)
This time there doesn’t have to be anyone ratcheting up the fear.
This time there doesn’t have to be anyone reading between the lines.
My conservative friends (and enemies) were worried about Obama taking away their second amendment rights, even though that was never, ever said. Or the “death panels” that weren’t ever really a thing outside the imagination of Fox News anchors.
We are afraid of Trump censoring and jailing reporters, of throwing his political opponents in jail, of persecuting people belonging to a religion because he actually said those things.
That’s an important distinction, isn’t it?
FSM, I hope I’m wrong. I want to be wrong so badly.
I want to look around over the next few years and see my fellow Americans realize what they’ve done, the kinds of evil they crawled in bed with, and come to their collective senses, and work with us liberals.
But I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong.
As far as I can see, it still looks like the “compromise” that the right (and the neo-Nazi “alt-right”) still wants is for us to stop existing.
It may start slowly, subtly. Perhaps by a Trump supporter going ahead and ranting, but then silencing any opposition by saying it’s not appropriate discussion for the venue. (Yeah, I’m talking about you, interacting with me, today, man.)
But it will begin.
And that is what they actually said and promised they’d do.
But be vigilant.
There is work to be done.