The result of Tuesday’s election was an open-handed slap to the face of every woman, immigrant, person of color and supporter of progressive thought in the United States and the world. The election of Donald J. Trump as the head of state, regardless of any good that might come from it in the end, stands as an eternal testament to the American electorate’s willful ignorance and blind rage against systems they don’t and don’t want to understand. Anger can be useful and the desire for change can be positive. However, when that anger is wielded without plan or design and desire numbs the senses and stifles critical thought, the consequences can be serious and irreversible. What we witnessed this Election Day was, on the surface, the flawless execution of American democracy; millions of citizens went to their assigned polling stations, cast their ballots for the people they, for one reason or another, thought would best direct the many layers of American federation. There were no accusations of harassment, no signs of tampering and, as elections go, was fairly transparent and free. The procedures, arcane and opaque as they are, were followed, ballots were tabulated and a victor was determined. We won’t have an armed uprising of Clinton supporters and we won’t have Sanders supporters breaking off and starting a leftist insurgent movement. There will be continuation and there will be a peaceful change of government come January. If the nation was able to survive assassinations, resignations and eight years of George W. Bush the union will manage to get through one term of a Trump administration.
Still, whatever this Trump administration might accomplish, what this election has demonstrated is that vast swaths of the American public care nothing about reputation, responsibility, courage, moral compasses or even basic politeness. Millions of our fellow citizens chose to cover their ears, shut their eyes and embrace fear of an inevitable future that will, ultimately, leave them even further behind. An astounding number of Americans, many who claim to hold some kind of ‘traditional values’, absorbed everything he said along the way and nodded in agreement. Every vote cast for the Trump ticket was, I’m sorry to say, a vote in favor of every belittling, hateful, ridiculous and reprehensible position that tumbled out of his mouth. Every yard sign pledging allegiance to the Trump regime was a salute to his undisciplined, spiteful, insulting and ignorant platform and plans for the United States. No amount of calls for unity and togetherness can absolve this caricature of a man from the remarks he has made over the past year.