The same people who are rejoicing over the Electoral College’s crowning Donald Trump are precisely the same people who constantly post fake news on my social media pages. (Two of them actually posted fake news stories within minutes of celebrating Trump’s coronation.)
Of course, I’m not supposed to point out their fallibility and prejudice. My conservative friends say it’s not nice. My liberal friends say it will backfire and cost Democrats votes in the long run.
At this point, I don’t care.
It’s not nice to point out their stupidity and complete inability to question their own confirmation bias? Whatever. I’ve been studying Russian politics, history and culture for 25 years; I have a minor in Russian Studies. The fact that Trump loves Putin should scare the crap out of anyone with an IQ above 20.
I’ve also been following the “alt-right,” or as I prefer to call them, “white supremacists,” for 15 years. (Long story, but it has to do with a Holocaust literature class I took in my graduate program and the information literacy unit I teach.) The fact that Trump has chosen Steve Bannon for his staff is terrifying.
My conservative friends cry foul. “Does your tolerance not extend to Republicans?” they ask.
Yes, I can tolerate you despite your foolish, paranoid, dangerous and misguided decision. I won’t threaten you (unlike your elected president). I won’t hurt you.
But it doesn’t mean I’m not angry. It doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed in you. It doesn’t mean I won’t hide you on social media and avoid you as much as possible in real life. It doesn’t mean I won’t clam up and/or walk away when you start talking politics around me, trying to justify the mistake you’ve made. You’ve put our nation in danger. You’ve put my children’s future in danger. You put a man in office who reminds me of so many men who have victimized me over the years, a man who truly frightens me. Not because of myths I’ve heard from “the biased media,” but because of things that actually came out of his mouth.
I can tolerate you, conservative friends. I can even love you. But I don’t trust you.
Think of it in the same way you think of gay people – I can love the fool without loving their foolishness. See how nice that is? You like it? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Now, my liberal friends. I’m not supposed to tell these fools that they’ve made a disastrous mistake? Telling these people that they’ve been sold a bill of goods will hurt Democrats’ chances next time?
Your concern is pointless. It’s over. The Republicans now have enough power to disenfranchise minority voters. They can gerrymander. They can stack the deck even more in their favor. Americans are screwed. In this election, the “loser” got 2.6 million more votes than the “winner.” (In 2000, the Republican lost the popular vote by half a million.) Trump was right: the system is rigged, and it’s going to get worse.
Braver people than I are preparing to fight. Stronger people than I are ready to work against the oppressive wave coming. They remind me of the brave Germans who joined the Resistance when they saw the fascist tide turning toward them in the 1930’s. I hope they reform the Electoral College. I hope they block Trump at every turn. I hope they can reform our broken system.
Sadly, I am a coward. I battle depression and anxiety. And I have a lot to lose. I can’t join the fight.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve felt myself fading, quietly disappearing. Maybe I really am the intellectual elitist, the fragile snowflake I’ve been called. Maybe I’m melting.
Or maybe I’m taking my husband’s advice: “Keep your head down and don’t worry about things we can’t control.”
Or maybe I’m just getting ready to run.
Until it’s time to pull that trigger, il faut cultiver notre jardin.