(Apologies in advance: this one won’t be very funny.)
Now that it’s here, I want to weep. (Full disclosure: I already have.) It’s unimaginable that this has happened.
I’ve seen (and agree with) many posts saying they’ll “never forgive” America for electing this man. The racists, the misogynists, the fearful, the fools (and, unfathomably, 54 percent of white women and 1/3 of Latino men). And yes, a surge of disaffected working class middle-Americans voted for him—and are going to suffer disproportionately as a result; no tears for them here.
(To those disaffected workers, I still ask why? In all the post-mortems, I’ve seen no reasonable explanation. Yes, those articles talk about the malaise of those left behind in America’s economic recovery, while reminding us of the magnified flaws of his opponent; both facts do nothing to explain the pitiable gullibility of those who thought a billionaire real estate tycoon with a history of self-absorption would rescue them.)
And by all accounts, the hoodwinked and the haters were outnumbered by wealthy white voters protecting their greedy self-interest. As they have for generations, because when the accumulation of wealth is the primary goal “more” is never “enough.” So yes, blame them too, and more harshly.
But I’m angrier at the media that treated this election as some kind of Kabuki theater and not the legitimate concern of world-shaking consequence it was. Jeffrey Zucker recently cried “foul” at the new president’s desire to “de-legitimize” CNN? FUCK. HIM. CNN’s dependence on Trump surrogates—including the post-election hiring of Jeffrey Lord (presumably so he can spar entertainingly with Van Jones for ratings)—did more to de-legitimize CNN than Trump ever could. I wish them a slow, painful slide into obsolescence. (Both sides of the political spectrum should have stopped watching CNN by now.)
And most of the rest of the print and televised media stand equally guilty of devoting billions of dollars in free, breathtaking coverage of Trump’s freak show—without acknowledging the “freak” part—while concurrently giving credence to every flaw—tiny, legitimate, or imagined—of his opponent.
(Ditto the many Bernie supporters who loved their candidate so much, but not enough to do as he asked—support Hillary’s candidacy—choosing instead to contribute to the negative echo chamber of their true adversary, deriding her via social media for being an imperfect candidate. How do you feel now? Berned?)
Blame them. Blame them all. And blame the hypocrisy of the “family values” conservatives who pretended a serial adulterer on his third marriage was the right choice for America; blame the evangelicals who absurdly supported a man with no religious convictions (“Two Corinthians—am I right? That’s the whole ballgame right there…”) married to a former porn model (while they wrung their hands over Michelle Obama’s bare arms) in their singular desperation to overturn Roe v. Wade.
But more than anyone blame the GOP enablers who foisted Trump upon us. Blame the Republican clown car of candidates who ran against him, and derided him, and called him unfit, only to fall in line once he got the nomination solely in the interest of furthering their own careers, with utter disregard for the needs of the vast majority of Americans.
Blame Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who repeatedly denounced Trump and condemned his statements, and refused to “endorse” him while somehow claiming to “support” his candidacy (WTF???)… then couldn’t embrace him fast enough once he—unfathomably, even to his own campaign—won the election. And once empowered via his ascendency, these party leaders IMMEDIATELY leapt into action to dismantle ethical oversight of Congress (a failed attempt) and gleefully recall the health insurance of millions of Americans—a death sentence for many.
When this goes bad—as it must, let’s face it (our Bloviator-in-Chief knows nothing about governing, or public service, and lacks the most fundamental skills required for the world’s most demanding job), we need to hold them accountable. These are the men who thought Donald Trump should be president—not because they believed for a second he was capable, but in their desperate need to maintain power. They chose their own self-interest over the nation they pledged to serve.
Blame—and hold accountable—the party that gave us Reagan, and Bush II—and risked Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency—serialized proof that they’ll do anything to pander to the lowest common denominator among us and put our democracy at risk, as long as it further empowers them. And now they’ve finally foisted upon America the ultimate insult: a demagogue with no experience in public service but an abundance of unacknowledged ignorance, a bully and misogynist with the impulse control of a toddler.
It seems inevitable that Trump will fail, that he leaves office before the end of his term… via impeachment, scandal, attrition by the overwhelming demands of the work, or his sheer disinterest in the job he never really wanted. He will flee the White House, likely in disgrace, almost certainly humbled were such a thing possible for his Trumpian ego… and the GOP leadership will tell us that we need to “move on” or “come together” or some other platitude of misdirection.
Terrible damage will already have been wreaked, of course, but they won’t care because they’ll still have what they desire above all else—their hold on power… with the added bonus of having jettisoned the no-longer-necessary, disposable nuisance of Trump.
That’s when we all need to remember You did this to us, and hold them accountable, and send them all packing, along with their failed surrogate, into oblivion.