What the Hell America

0-9jzicdodmhkgda85I have written this, rewritten this and then written it again. My words have stopped one hundred times. My ability to place into words, written or otherwise my thoughts on the tragedy that is our current national mood, I am at a loss.

We are three weeks from the election of Donald J. Trump and his God Awful running mate Michael R. Pence. I watched, numb and mostly in stunned silence as this travesty took place. Actually, I watched for months as Trump stomped, whined, insulted, bullied and assaulted our senses without a single person truly taking him on, not the media, or the opposition, not the majority of his own party and not the public.

I watched as we all shook our heads, thought never would the GOP allow this buffoon and life-long Democrat to represent them, to take over their party or be elected POTUS. We ignored what was before us every step of the way.  We whined when he insulted entire groups, when he bullied, when he assaulted, when he got into twitter wars, when he suggested his opponent be murdered, when he suggested a foreign nation hack our systems and interfere with our election. But we didn’t demand he be taken down by the systems we have in place such as the Justice Department or the FBI.

No, we did nothing at all, we piled onto our own nominee instead…Benghazi and Email all the way.trump-pence-03

Like so many I watched as the perfect Manchurian Candidate plowed through practiced professionals, chewed up the press and sucked in the disenfranchised, left-out, angry and ignorant with the aplomb of the reality star he had been for decades. We shook our heads as he selected as his running mate the most far right homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic, hate and fear mongering insider there was out there and we said not one damned word.

The DNC offered up Hillary Rodham Clinton as the anointed candidate for our acceptance. With little in the way of opposition and despite her many flaws the Left was told it was her turn now. It seemed we were to be led by dynastic houses rather than the democratic process.

We laughed and shook our heads, we polished our wit as we watched Martin O’Malley be skewered and drop out. Bernie Sanders snuck up from the true progressive left claiming ideals and ideas at odds with Mrs. Clinton and the DNC and forcing at least a conversation, carrying a true populace standard. What did we do? We impaled our own candidates, at least those with the nerve to challenge the anointed. We disregarded the corruption of the super delegate system, we disregarded the voice of challenge. We disregarded the message. We laughed as we ushered Hillary onto the stage as the pre-determined and anointed candidate of choice.

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One thing on Hillary, one thing only. I have never been a fan of Mrs. Clinton, however, I also believe at least 70% of what is said about her is flat out smear tactics that have stuck because it has been said often enough over the past thirty years. She is not the devil most believe her to be, in fact, she is an accomplished, knowledgeable, well-educated public servant. Is she perfect? No, but then who is. Has she made mistakes? She absolutely has, so have we all. My problem? If even 10% of what is said is true then she is corrupt, who the hell wants to elect a person to the presidency knowing they are corrupt. I know I don’t.

But it seems this nation did not care if the President Elect is corrupt, so long as they got to choose the corruption.

This nation has elected a president who wants nothing more than to enrich himself and his family. Yes, that’s right that is his primary goal. Make no mistake, this is not a man who looks at the Presidency and says to himself, “How am I going to do right by the 325 million people in the United States over the next four years.

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He isn’t concerned, he doesn’t give a shit about the lives of those people, not the ones who voted for him and certainly not the ones who didn’t vote for him. If this isn’t obvious yet, it will be.

What can we say? What can we do? I have watched as some have taken to the streets. I have listened as some of those on the streets have espoused their anger at election results in one breath while in the next admitting they did not vote. What? I have watched as one with the least to lose has challenged results in multiple states, raising money to do so, okay this is good right? Yet, where does the excess go? Who will benefit in the end?

I have watched old friends vent their fury at the outcome, draw the lines that are at once ugly and specific.

If I am White I am to blame. No matter how I voted.

If I am a White Woman, I am to blame. No matter how I voted.

If I am Heterosexual, I am to blame. No matter how I voted.

If I am White and Heterosexual, I am to blame. No matter how I voted.

If I am any or all of the above, I am to blame and I have no right to any opinion. No matter how I voted.

If I am any or all of the above, I am to blame, I have no right to any opinion, no matter how I have voted this year or in the past and no matter what I have done throughout my life to open doors or make positive change. The lines have now been drawn. Friendships are now set aside. Civil Discourse is no longer possible.

I have watched this play out time and again. I am saddened by it. I am silenced by it. I weep for friendships lost. I weep for our nation, for the fear engendered by this election, for the hate boiling over in all corners, for the normalization of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny. I weep for where we are going. I fear for all of us, mostly I fear for those who will be most harmed by what is to come.

I wonder, how do we begin to attack the hate and bigotry being normalized and enabled by this election, by this President Elect and the cabinet he is nominating? Where do we start if we are unable to even remember our own friendships and alliances? How do we even begin to undo what is done if we are only willing to fight within our house. We came out. We voted. Did alliances hold? Not always, but we have to look beyond and we have to talk rather than point our fingers. We have to reach out rather than beat down. We have to work together rather than lay blame within. We cannot afford more loss, more giving ground.

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Comments

  1. Dear god Val, I am mesmerised/gobsmacked by the fam photo of Trump, Melania and Barron (on the lion). I got nothing…sorry.

  2. This is an excellent post. It was worth the rewriting several times. Your work is well written and puts the truth right out there. Hugs, Barbara

  3. Somebody said this morning well after 4 years he’ll be out.. but I reply with the statement that he can do a lot of damage in those 4 years! We shall see… I totally get why you wrote and rewrote the post as there’s so much to say and also it makes our heads spin! Well written, as always x

  4. There are no words to fully explain what happened. We reap what we sow and whether we want to admit it or not, we all had a hand in the outcome. Four years. I hope it’s only four and not eight. The sound you hear is me cringing.

    • Me too Monica. I think though, honestly he didn’t think he would win thus now he is also reaping what he sowed. Odd, right? We now have a POTUS Elect who is ill prepared for his office, more so than any in history and to back him up, a stacked Congress ready to enact their wish list against the American People. We are in deep trouble if we don’t rise up.

  5. I keep thinking that, if the Obama Administration had made a concerted effort to prosecute the financiers responsible for the 2007 recession, Clinton and the Democrats may have stood a better chance of winning this year’s elections. At the end of 2010, for example, Democrats still held a majority in both houses of congress and could have let the Bush-era tax cuts expire – tax cuts that contributed, in part, to the economic collapse. Instead, they let the Republicans bully them into allowing an extension of those cuts, lest benefits for the long-term unemployed be severed. Obama rightfully called the latter group “hostages” in those negotiations. Letting the tax cuts expire wouldn’t have created more havoc in the economy. The Republicans didn’t like Obama from the moment he announced his run for the presidency and publicly announced their determination to circumvent his agenda even before he’d taken the oath of office. So, what difference would it have made? They would hate him regardless.

    I don’t like either Clinton or Trump, although Clinton is the proverbial lesser of two evils. I feel the Democratic and Republican Parties are essentially the same group of slaves to the Washington political establishment. They’ve both failed the average American.

    • As I said, HRC is not my favorite and I resented having her shoved down my political throat as the anointed candidate. Nevertheless, I won’t fall into the trap of saying the two parties are the same, they are not. I think the DNC has lost its way, if it doesn’t find its way back we will not have a ‘major’ political party in two years; that is a problem. The Left seems to be losing their voice and their direction. Moving to the center to appease what they see as the majority, I think we need to rise up and remind them who cast the most votes and why.

      I think you are right on your overall assessment though, we will lose our voice in Congress now. Despite Warren and Sanders speaking out, we showed with the re-election of Pelosi to minority leader, the DNC hasn’t learned.

  6. Oki i truly dispise Trump for pretty much everything he stands for but talk about a wakeup call for everyone. If he got the vote then something is disturbingly wrong. And I can totally understand why he got the votes, we are fast food consumers. Not a lot of people fact check but rather enjoy a bold quick fix statement rather than thinking about the reprucosions long term. We want it and now . Can Trump deliver, well same as the politicians in the UK he pretty much backtracked on everything. Surprise well no. But we as people are very shortsighted. I kinda hope he will be do his thing for his term and doesn’t cause too much harm *fingers crossed *

    • There are a few reason he got the Electoral College we aren’t talking about yet, one is the way the states have drawn their maps. Despite all our chest pounding about the Blue Wall, we have a great number of losses in those states to GOP Governers and local legislation. Maps are redrawn so they can keep that power in their hands. Does the DNC need to consider this? Yes, they do. But until they really start looking at their electorate, their base and their message it simply isn’t going to happen.

      Like you, I despise Trump. I am also scared of what the world looks like with him as POTUS. We have no choice but to wait and see.

  7. Your voice is always courageous, Val, and this post articulates what I have not been able to put into a post. Like almost everyone else, I did not think Trump would last in the primaries, let alone win the presidency! We all looked on in shock as he insulted everyone with no consequences. Perhaps as you said we all to blame. Hillary was not perfect but her faults and mistakes did her in and the Dems did not find a viable alternative. As president-elect Trump continues to insult and whine. We must not let him win and take away the gains we have made in rights for all, especially the LGBTQ community. One by one we could reach out. Nice to see you back and fighting! Cheers!

    • Maybe this is where I differ from many others. I believe the DNC is fully to blame, or at least 75% to blame. I believe they prevented qualified and interesting candidates from even throwing their hats in the ring. We should have had at least five, if not more to choose from. We should have had young, interesting candidates to choose from. Candidates with moxie and new ideas. Candidates who could have energized the young voter. We didn’t get that, what we got was Hillary, who is a Clinton, who was flawed by 30 years in the public eye, who was protected and anointed.

      Was she all bad? No, certainly not but she was tainted by 30 years of the GOP painting her with terrible theories of corruption. Say something often enough, well it becomes the truth or at least it becomes possible. Then there was Bill, many simply said they didn’t want her husband back in the White House. They didn’t want the possibility of his bad behavior. Was this fair given the option? No, certainly not. But for some reason the GOP has a lock on the ‘family values’ title despite those who are standing on the platform.

      Frankly with Nancy Pelosi winning leadership in Congress, it is obvious to me the DNC still hasn’t learned a fundamental lesson. I worry what will happen in 2018. More to come.

  8. There were plenty of those who stood up to Trump and called him on his insults – journalists, politicians (even the Republicans), newspapers – and none of that mattered because his insults were, to his voters, a proof that he “tells it like it is” and therefore honest, factchecks be damned.
    And he was investigated by the FBI, but they decided that only Clinton investigation deserved an open letter to Congress.

    • Standing up, small bits and pieces yes I know. Nothing near the vigor of what was done to HRC. Scrolling the news daily, it seemed more of the standing up was done in the private domain than in the public, it was discouraging, heartbreaking even. I never thought I would see the day I would cheer on some of the Republicans I would normally being hating on, but I did. Unless something dramatically changes, this is our POTUS for the next 4 years, at least and I am terrified.

  9. Val it is so good to see you…

    Like you, I’m devastated by this election. The wounds are reopened with each and every mediocre billionaire given power in the administration. I fantasize about the recount.

    I don’t agree that Bernie had a better chance, but the issue is moot. And once I really looked at Hillary I truly liked what I saw — an educated, intelligent, caring person who has spent her life trying to help people. She would have made an excellent, albeit unexciting president.

    Today I was on Capitol Hill doing an awareness walk for Crohn’s and Colitis. The first office we stopped at was Tom Price’s. Somehow I managed not to barf. Sadly, he was busy and I didn’t get to chat. Or tell him that he is a horrible choice for his new post.

    • Thanks Elyse. It is good to being climbing out of my self-imposed retreat and funk. I am going to try hard to get back into the swing, write and read.

      I also fantasize about the recount, but am pragmatic enough to think it will only prove HRC got the popular vote and will not change the Electoral College. Don’t get me wrong on Hillary, her background and contributions are not in question. I simply believe some of her actions are and if even 10% are it proves she used bad judgement, it makes me question whether she should have been running instead of simply retiring, moving out of the way so others could step in. Stay tuned, I will be talking about political dynasties in another post.

      Not barfing, good job. I think I public servants forget who they work for.

  10. I admit that I never thought he would get the nomination – let alone win. To me, what lies ahead is a great unknown – at that even assumes no crazy global event happens that can change a lot. At the same time, I have continually proclaimed that the current environment is a lousy time for a single-party control. We are without a check-and-balance – and that worries me more than the president-elect. …. and to me, your last 2-3 sentences carry the most meaning for me. …. and good to see your return to posting!

    • Halo Frank. I am getting there, it has been a bit of a steep climb believe me. I had a terrible feeling he would win once he got the election. Then all I could do was watch. I thought if Bernie got the nomination, well maybe the Left stood a chance. Not an absolute chance but a chance.

      Yes, like you the lack of check and balance terrifies me. The loss of the Supreme Court, well that absolutely terrifies me. I don’t think people have really allowed the ‘terrible’ to sink in yet. More on all of it later.

      Starting to write again, both this and poetry. It feels good to see daylight. Starting to read, my next goal.

      • What he does with the Court in the future is his business, … and that of the Senate … however, what the GOP did with Merrick Garland is pathetic. Overall, my GOP senator (Portman) is good … not a wingnut … but I didn’t vote for him solely because of Garland.

        Meanwhile … bring on that poetry … well, the ones that deliver a bit of steam. 😉

  11. I thought what you said was beautiful and poignant.

    What scares me, being a Black woman, married to a first-generation immigrant (from Ukraine), having a Muslim sister-in-law, and having numerous gay and Latino friends…Trump’s presidency is frightening. And the night of the election, I made this really awesome vegan dinner and I couldn’t even eat it. I just got drunk and went to bed, though I barely slept.

    Seeing what’s happening with his cabinet picks and his twitter fingers go all out, is not surprising. What is surprising are his supporters who are thoroughly shocked by what he’s doing. And it’s like, really? We’ve been telling you this for well over a year but your hatred for All Things Clinton skewered your critical thinking. Now you’re seeing a man who is threatening to make everything privatized and more expensive for the average working classman.

    But…they were fed – and not by force…they willingly ate it up and went back for seconds and thirds…everything Trump claimed he would do. He’s backtracked on several of those promises already and he’s not even officially inaugurated.

    I do think this time around especially with how many white people voted for Trump, it’s negatively affecting all Whites. You hear stories of many people becoming emboldened with their racism because well, Trump was elected in light of it (or in spite of it). I have White, conservative friends who didn’t vote Trump at all. They just couldn’t bring themselves to do it.

    What we can do, though, is support those who need it. Trump kept saying how he was going to build a wall (which will never happen), so we should take his words and build a wall of love, hope, peace, and kindness amongst each other and defend each other when one is being attacked. I have a suspicion Trump won’t last four years, however, his replacement (Pence) I feel, is more dangerous and he actually knows a thing or two about government. We need to start now.

    • Stay tuned my friend, I will be addressing much of what you have said here in the future. My mojo appears to be returning, my fury swirling.

      I am also fearful, for those I love both near and far. For those who don’t look like me, think like me or believe as I believe. I fear for those who think like me and those who don’t.

      Thank you for being brave, voicing your thoughts. Please know they and you are always welcome here.

  12. Brilliant blog. You have voiced what so many of us have felt after we stopped being paralyzed by the outcome of the vote of the United States of America. I still cannot totally believe it and keep hoping I’ll wake up in the morning to find it was a horrible nightmare. Before the election, when I wrote a paragraph on FaceBook suggesting that I had heard his hateful rhetoric before in World Warll, a few friends thought I was too harsh with my comparison with a dictator. Well, millions of Americans bought the carny blarney of an apparent narcissist/sociopath. Now, we do whatever we can to build bridges to overcome the horrors that are in store. The politicians ran tail and let us down. It is the patriotic people who need to step up and take peaceful, effective action in whatever area they can.

  13. We start by writing blog posts like this one.

    Thank you for your measured take on the whole travesty. It’s greatly appreciated. I’m in a state of disbelief myself, still, nearly one month later.

    • It has taken me this long to get this out. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I had to edit, rewrite and simply throw away. Impossible. But now, time to start writing again. Time to start reading again. Time to rejoin the world.

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