There’s an extremely maudlin, hand-wringy op-ed in the Washington Post today sounding the alarm about the now very real possibility of Donald Trump becoming President of the United States.
If that happens, I don’t think it’s going to be because of a rigged vote. The GOP machinery is as horrified by the prospect of a Trump presidency as any of us, and frankly, if he were nominated it might suddenly become much easier to get Republican state legislatures to relent in their campaign to prevent young people and minorities from voting.
If he wins, it’s going to be because America — the actual America, the ugly, ignorant one we like to pretend doesn’t exist, but that we have all been helping to create — wanted him.
The elites at the helm of our politics, our media, our education system, and so on have spent the last thirty or so years exhorting people to be more like the myth Donald Trump projects — a wealthy, “self-made” businessman. He is literally the template for what a good citizen is supposed to look like. When you put all of the energy of your society into promoting individualism and accumulating property as the meaning of life, to the exclusion of everything else, this is what you end up with.
And the media has actually been doing a great job of pointing out that Donald Trump is not actually self-made, that most of his policy ideas are totally unworkable fantasy bullshit, and that his supporters are violent racists. It’s just that the American right wing has trained its more rabid supporters that the media are all liars, so it doesn’t matter what they say. And I hope it feels great for those right wing strategists to lie in that bed they made.
If we end up with Donald Trump as President, it won’t be because anything has “failed”. It will be a predictable consequence of the choices we’ve all made as a society. And we need to stop pretending that this is a “threat to our democracy”, because Trump isn’t actually threatening our democracy. He’s threatening to use our democracy to try out some monumentally bad ideas, but that is entirely within the rules.
The op-ed author is right in one sense — I’m not going to lift a finger to do anything about it. The last time I went door to door to get somebody elected, dude ended up murdering people with remote-controlled missiles and selling America out to the insurance industry for next to nothing. I’m not going to be a part of that again, under any circumstances.
One thing I would do, though, is help establish a fund for people to obtain passports that don’t already have them, because it’s easy enough for me to leave the country, but I don’t want to leave anyone behind.
Anyway. Good luck and God help us all.