To say that it was a shock when Trump was elected is an understatement. Over here in France, when people asked me, in hushed tones, if I thought he had a chance. I would always laugh and say “no way – Americans aren’t that stupid”. Not. I mean, seriously? A twice divorced orange-haired clown married to a bimbo who can’t even speak English? It’s a joke, right? I thought sanity would prevail. I was wrong. I ignored the shrill cry of the right-wingnut evangelicals, the despair of the factory workers watching their jobs going overseas, the disenfranchised, the discontented – those are the voices I missed. I immediately accused those who voted for him of being racist. I think a chunk of those who voted Trump are. But there are others.
Here’s what I hear when people try to defend voting for Trump: “I voted Trump because I don’t like the direction our American economy was going. I voted Trump because I don’t agree with abortion. I voted Trump because he wants to get rid of common core and the only candidate that stated anything about homeschooling. I voted Trump because he is willing to fight for my gun rights. I voted Trump because it was a vote against Hillary Clinton and her Clinton Foundation. I voted Trump because I don’t agree with what is going on in the middle east.”
But that is like looking at a lake and seeing the surface of the water. Those reasons all (well, one or two) sound sane enough. But it’s not the truth. There is far more than just the flat surface of the water. Gun rights? Please – the gun laws in the US are so lax you can buy a freaking machine gun. Home schooling? Go ahead – no one will stop you – and it will be your own fault if your kid turns out ignorant. You don’t agree with abortion? Well, don’t get one then, you fucking control freak. No one is forcing you to get an abortion. Get over it. The economy? It was getting better – under Obama the deficit shrank. The Clinton Foundation? WTF? And the Trump foundation or the 75 lawsuits he has for fraud? Seriously WTF? So all those reasons are bogus. The only reasons I’ll go along with are the jobs being shipped overseas and the fact that the 1% has 95% of all the country’s wealth, and that’s just not right. Anything else won’t wash.
No, the reason why most of the Trumpers voted for him was because he was going to build a wall between the US and Mexico, and because he came across as a macho, macho man who’d take care of all the riff-raff like the Muslims and uppity nig…blacks. I don’t need any other proof than the parade the KKK organized in his honor. That and the sudden upsurge in hate and bile being spewed by Trumpers all over the web. You’d think that they’d be gracious, maybe a little condescending – but no – instead there is aggressive fury as they sputter and huff that they are not racist and that Trump is not racist, nor is he a bad person because he doesn’t pay taxes, lies about his income…. while the religious right conveniently forgives his divorces and allegations of assault.
I am furious. Furious that this clown – this entitled clown – even dared present himself for office. It’s a slap, an insult – to the world. And the Americans who voted for him are enablers – like a woman married to a wife beater who forgives him and makes excuses for him. “He’ll change,” she says, pasting a bright smile on her bruised face. “He’s really a lovely man. He didn’t mean to hit me. I must have done something wrong…” Yes, women Trump voters, that’s you. 50% of white women voted Trump. Amazing. I blame it on Fifty Shades of Gray – a best seller that had a woman kicked around and beaten up by a billionaire. And you should read some of the white women bloggers who voted for Trump. They jeer and snarl at the whiners (like me) who won’t acknowledge Trump. They are spitting mad that we dare call them racist. I won’t. I will call them enablers, I will call them doormats, I will call them egomaniacs, because what kind of woman would vote for someone who has bragged about assault, slyly admitted he’d love to date his own daughter, mocked women as ugly…Ugly? Has he looked in a mirror lately? I know a lot of women who will be looking long and hard in their mirrors, wondering if they did the right thing conjuring this evil genie from his bottle. A bottle of orange hair dye.
98% of black women voters voted Clinton. They know what is happening. They live it every single day – how the US is getting more and more divided along the race lines. In the back of my mind, whenever I find myself trying to calm down about all this – try to relax – there is always Trish. It’s for Trish that I am the saddest. It’s Trish who pricks my conscious, tells me that I’m right – it’s not for me to forgive anything, it’s for the ones who voted Trump to start demanding he shape up and change his tone and discourse. I don’t have to explain Trish, except to say I miss her every day, especially now. I wish she was here, and at the same time I’m thankful she didn’t live to see the mess the US is in right now, as a bunch of angry, frightened white people take their last, desperate stand.
I see Trump’s choices for his cabinet. I see the slime he’s gathering around him. I have no illusions about the bald-faced lies he told to get elected. I can almost feel sorry for the people who voted for him, thinking that he would give them back their jobs, their pride, with scratchy black and white images from the fifties playing in their heads as they voted – Happy Days are here again music playing in their minds…where women and blacks knew their places and a man could hold down one job and afford to have a family of five. Don’t they realize that the only ones who took this away from them are the Bushes, the Kochs, the Waltons, and the Trumps of the world who have concentrated their wealth in offshore accounts, who started a financially disastrous war, and who offer nothing but empty promises? There is plenty of money, but it’s all in the hands of a few. There are plenty of jobs, but they don’t pay enough to live on… because people have been brainwashed into thinking that higher wages means more unemployment. That’s just not true. Higher wages means more spending power and more spending means a better economy, and a better economy means people who can relax and read and think, instead of being desperate and bitter.
The Trumps of the world need desperate and bitter. That’s what voted. Not hopeful and proud, which I was when I voted for a smart, capable woman. I will not let the Trumpers win. And quoting from the open letter to the world I just signed:
“The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering, and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you.
Facing your fear we choose compassion. Hearing your despair we choose hope. Seeing your ignorance we choose understanding.
As citizens of the world, we stand united against your brand of division.”
(You can sign the letter too – right here).
(This post is for Trish. I love you. I miss you.)