Monday, November 14, 2016

On the dark side...

America has spoken.  I don't really like what I'm hearing it say.

In the words of Yoda,

"Fear leads to anger
Anger leads to hate
Hate leads to the dark side"

That was an apt description of the Trump campaign... Now it is an apt description of his opposition...

That's right.  Trump not only has won the election, now he is winning America... Every violent protest against Trump... that's hate.

Every time Trump supporters were described as "uneducated" that was belittling, insulting and hateful.

That is to say, the actions of some of Trump's opposition largely mirrors the actions of some of his more violent supporters.

To say that Trump won this election because America is racist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc. etc. etc. does have some truth.  That's unavoidable.  On many levels our phobias are systemic.  We have to own that.

But at the same time we reap what we sow.  We had two of the most unpopular candidates in US History running against each other.

I know a lot of people who voted for Trump weren't actually "Trump supporters", they just happened to dislike Hillary that much more.

And I know a lot of people that voted for Hillary weren't actually "with her."  They just weren't "With Him."

Let that sink in...  It's not that that many people wanted Trump to be President, it's that they felt that strongly against Hillary!

And while gender was the issue for some of them... heck there are some knuckle-dragging neanderthals in each party...  I'd counter it wasn't the issue for most of them.  Many of the people that voted for Trump were indeed women.

The issue for many who held their nose and voted for Trump because they felt he was indeed the "lesser of two evils" was that, to them, Hillary came across as elitist, smug, condescending, and downright sanctimonious.

To her credit and in her defense, this is only partially her fault.  I'd argue it's much more the fault of her supporters... Not the people who voted for her because they felt she was the lesser of the evils.  But the ones who actively supported her in the primaries, who found excuses for her mistakes and misdeeds, who belittled and insulted supporters of Bernie Sanders...  That only cemented the perception of her as a condescending, sanctimonious elitist shrill.  THAT is what drove a lot of people rightly or wrongly to perceive Trump as the lesser of two evils.

I'd argue a majority of America did NOT vote FOR Donald Trump NOR did they vote FOR Hillary Clinton.  I'd argue, in an election with two pretty much equally unpopular choices, a majority of Americans voted for who they perceived was the lesser of two evils.  A majority of Americans on election night felt that regardless of who won the election, our country was inevitably the loser.

Most of us are in the middle, we're centrist.  We lean in varying degrees to the right on some issues and in varying degrees to the left on others.  But we've allowed the far right to take over the Republican party and allowed  the entrenched political establishment to take over the Democratic party.  And those were the only interests represented in this campaign.

The trouble is, somewhere along the way, we got lazy as a country.  We let the media define us, instead of defining ourselves and forcing the media to sit up and take notice.

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