It might not be as bad as I first thought.
It has helped me enormously in the days since the election to learn that Clinton did indeed win the popular vote, by quite a large margin.
The Electoral College worked against us, just like it did in 2000.
The pundits are still evaluating the effect of the repeal of the Voting Rights act and new voter restrictions enacted in 14 states. It will take time to know how much these factors contributed to Trump’s victory.
But when you add it all up, it was enough to make the difference.
Yes, there is still a whole enormous segment of the population that sees a different reality than I do, and yes, that is a massive problem. But at least now I can tell myself that most people are sane and rational, that they know the difference between right and wrong.
Those of us who are in touch with reality, those of us who see a clear difference between right and wrong: Our complaisancy allowed this to happen. We cannot afford that luxury anymore.
What do I do?
It’s mightily tempting to again turn my back on all this crap, which is what I did in 2000. “Look, you people elected him; you deal with him. You deal with the fallout of his decisions. You deal with his fucked up wars. I’m not wasting my time or energy on this travesty. Fuck you.”
Look how that ended: The entire Middle East in flames, a global financial meltdown in 2008, renewed tensions with Russia. All of that can be laid at GW’s feet, and he was a genius compared to Trump.
Trump would happily burn down the whole world for his ego. Trump’s attitude about collateral damage to innocent bystanders: Fuck you. Sue me.
So I don’t think I have the luxury of turning my back on any of this now. None of us do.
I’m quite sure it’s going to take every single one of us fighting every step of the way to get through four years of this without the world being burned down.
What does it mean for the next four years?
We will need all of us to become involved in the process ourselves. We can no longer trust our elected officials to act on our behalf. Each one of us needs to identify the areas we feel most strongly about and determine how we can contribute.
We will need vigilant watchdogs for the next four years. The smarmy cretins in positions of power will have massive resources at their disposal to side-track us, bamboozle us, and confuse us. They will do all they can to make us feel powerless, to convince us that there is no recourse, no hope, no alternative to their plans. They will bait-and-switch. They will try to divide and conquer. They will do their best to manipulate and neutralize opposition.
We will have to be smarter, more committed, and more stubborn.
Not one of us can afford to sit on the sidelines now. Everything has changed.