I published the following post on November 5, 2016. I thought I would republish it today.
It’s clear that I have been unsually quiet over the last couple of weeks leading up to this election. While everyone else is doubling down with only days to go, I’ve done the opposite.
I’m fried. Burnt out. Frazzled.
I tend to think through things to see their logical end. When it comes to this election there are really only two possible outcomes since no third party candidate is even within shouting distance of being able to pretend they have a chance. And so, as everyone in the world has noted, there is going to be a President Clinton or a President Trump. Except that’s not the two outcomes I have been thinking about…
If Donald Trump loses, his supporters have hinted, or just plain came out and stated, that they will revolt. And since many of these same people are also armed and more than willing to use their weapons on someone who isn’t American-looking enough for them (or just give them the beat down anyway, as has been happening more and more lately), there is no reason not to take this threat extremely seriously.
Of course, if Donald Trump wins the same people have also made it just as clear that they will take the results as a mandate to get to right to work cleaning up the country and ridding it of anyone who doesn’t look, act, or sound American enough for them.
In other words, the same crap is going to happen regardless of who wins or loses. We are virtually guaranteed of increased violence against certain people based on their looks, their faith, the way they talk, and even what they think.
And so, what I have been musing on is not the election so much as the results. The political pundits have been honing their ability to divide people over the last few decades. The idea has always been to identify the differences between “us and them” and amplify it until people feel that the choice is no longer just political, but existential as well. The resulting divide has already harmed families and friendships, and caused irrevocable damage at the cost of a swing vote or two. But because these political operatives live their lives in this cesspool of divisiveness, they’ve forgotten that everyday people don’t. As a result, voters don’t see things as “just politics” anymore. What was once a “get out the vote effort”, has now become a road map for lasting civil strife in America.
I started this blog with far more noble intentions than bashing on an orange fascist. I wanted to explore the similarities that we all have, deep down. I wanted to unify, not divide. Instead, I too followed the same tainted partisan schisms, in an effort to somehow keep hate at bay. Only, you can’t stop hate, you can really only increase understanding. Understanding leads to familiarity, and with familiarity comes caring and concern. Until we can finally recognize that we are all humans seeking the same basic needs (clean air and water, food, clothing and shelter, as well as safety and security), then we will listen to the political static. We will follow the hyperbolic narrations that are designed to turn our neighbors into enemies, and politicians into saviors.
Unless we are willing to cross the street and shake hands with our political opponents, we are most assuredly heading into a dark period of our history. It will really all hinge on how many kind acts we can perform for one another, regardless of politics. If we can’t do that, then the election itself is meaningless. Hate has already won.