Like many American’s around the country this morning, I awoke to find out that Donald Trump had won the election to become our 45th President of the United States of America (I tried to stay up, but after 12:30, I had to call it a night). I am not going to make this a Democratic or Republican issue. I believe too much stuff gets swept under the rug when you frame an argument or conversation around the two parties. In truth, that’s what it’s intended to do. If there are two major parties, and they have a stance on everything, then you have to pick one, right (I’m being facetious here)?
So let’s remove the Democratic party versus the Republican party rhetoric and simply say that this is an American issue. We, either through action or inaction, elected Donald Trump to be our next president. So, whether you feel awesome or terrible less than 12 hours after the news that Trump is the president elect, we asked for this. We asked for a president that literally based his campaign on hate and used vitriolic speech to energize his base, which was quite literally the opposite of what President Obama based his campaign off of in 2008.
I’m not saying I’m surprised; back in September of 2015, I had a disagreement with a relative of mine when I said I feared Trump could actually win. At the time, she believed that Clinton would destroy Trump in a general election, and my argument was, “Never underestimate the power of hate and ignorance.” What can I say, Star Wars has taught me so much.
But, we asked for this, didn’t we? Insisting that we were “Bernie or Bust.” Equating Hillary’s transgressions with Donald’s and somehow coming up with the idea that they were the sam evil. Refusing to vote for her because of what Bill did during his Presidency, as if our future wasn’t at stake.
As a country, we insisted on claiming we were a post-racial society simply because Barack Obama was elected our president. We simply had to avert our eyes from the constant influx of snuff videos where black bodies were murdered for virtually every common human action one can conceive: laughing, walking, selling cigarettes, stealing a cigar, changing lanes improperly, sitting in your car, walking to your car, being directed to reach for your license while you’re in your car, and so on.
You know what–no–I don’t want to even talk about race right now–because it’s too easy. No. Because we asked for this. Over 100 million eligible voters opted not to vote. Donald Trump vilified Blacks and Latinos for over a year to his base, and still–12% of Black voters and 11% of Latino voters voted for him. We are all complicit in this. Despite what Trump has said and done to women, 48% of women still supported him. No–we did this. So, here’s what I want you to NOT do for the next 4 years: Complain.
I know this may be difficult for some of you out there, Lord knows we love to complain–about everything. But, if you voted for Trump, or didn’t vote, or voted for someone other than Hillary Clinton–if/when it starts getting crazy out there–do not complain. You have a Republican president-elect, and Republican control of the senate and house. You do not have the right to complain, and you do not have the right to blame immigrants, minorities, LGBTQ, or women for the next 4 years. When gas prices go beyond $4 for regular–remember–you asked for this. When your rights are infringed upon because of the color of your skin–remember you asked for this. When jobs and healthcare start heading for the exit, or Social Security and Medicare are up for raiding–do not complain.
We have given Donald Trump the power to select Supreme Court officials who have lifetime appointments–that alone could impact us for generations. Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christy as Attorney General are a real possibility. Newt Gingrich as Secretary of State–is a possibility.
I want you to consider in this moment–the KKK, Russia, North Korea, and Duterte of the Philippines have all either endorsed or showed support for Donald Trump. I want you to consider that Donald Trump has done nothing in the first 7 decades of his life to help others, and now you have convinced yourself that he has your best interests at heart. Consider that Trump made a habit of screwing over the average Joe, and that same average Joe elected him as their president. That he disrespected women at every turn, and they still supported him. That he reduced segments of the American population to mere killers, rapists, thieves, and drug-dealers–and those same people supported him.
Understand–corporations have been the puppeteers behind the politicians you support for years, and you selected an individual cut from that cloth. So when food and clothing costs become exorbitant–do not complain! Be honest in the aftermath that Trump beat out a candidate who was first lady, a US Senator, and former Secretary of State, and just happened to be a woman. If you voted for Donald Trump, I understand your position towards people of color, immigrants, the poor, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ, Muslims, Hispanics and Latinos because you openly accepted a racist, misogynistic xenophobe to champion the ideals of America.
The true ideals of America are written on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Trump does not champion or embody this.
Our ideals are written in the preamble of the US Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” Instituting a national stop and frisk policy flies in the face of this and the 4th amendment of the US Constitution.
Understand that if you work for a living, live paycheck to paycheck, believe in honoring debts, believe in working to provide for you and/or your family–Donald Trump’s interests do not align with yours. Therefore I want you to at least admit to yourself that you didn’t vote for him because you believed he would make America better, you did it so you could feel better about yourself and how you feel you fit into this society. So just like some folks claimed a post-racial America the second President Obama was elected, I am now proclaiming that we have entered the age of opulence where the average Joe finally gets a seat at the table and his cup overflows with affluence. False equivalency works both ways.
But hey, we’re going to make America great again. So let’s see how far you get before you start to complain about all the things you thought you were going to get. But, before you do–just remember that you asked for this, and you know who you are.
Random Prediction: Biden 2020?