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America Grabbed by the Pussy

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Cake, Death, and Beer

If you’re like me, you slept about three hours last night, only to wake up and rationalize the ways in which Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton could somehow still win. You woke up crying, seriously disillusioned by the majority of Americans who prefer a sham businessman with zero political experience over the first woman president, possibly the most qualified candidate ever run. You cannot believe THIS is the same America that elected Barrack Obama twice, and you are terrified that a Republican White House, Senate, and House will be able to do whatever they want for the next two years, effectively rolling back all progress made in the past eight years and then some.

I am with you, feeling all the stages of grief–for myself, my son, and my country. I feel despair.

Why did an electoral college-determined majority of Americans vote for a man who openly talked of groping women, described Mexican immigrants as rapists, and was endorsed by the KKK? How can anyone think a man who doesn’t even pay his employees and has declared bankruptcy six times can improve our economy? Basically–why do they think their lives are so terrible that they have nothing left to lose?

Like most of you and the mainstream news around the world, I’m still shocked by the election of Donald Trump. I never took it seriously enough. I never believed it could happen. “Look at all the crazy nonsensical ignorant shit this man spews,” a rational mind thinks. “Americans cannot possibly be this stupid or self-destructive.”

We now have the electoral votes to prove that we were wrong.

An electoral (not actual) majority of Americans are not happy with our political system and feel left out of our growing economy. A majority of Americans do not like career politicians and want real systemic change. I feel like this was something I overlooked this election, but it’s obvious now.

We can look to our Uber-Blue state of Maryland to prove the case. We elected Larry Hogan, a Republican real estate developer with zero political experience over Democratic Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown in 2014. In Maryland, as with our presidential race, there was a sense that Martin O’Malley, the two-term incumbent Democratic leader, was ‘anointing’ an heir, rather than a proper vetting by the party. In Maryland, Heather Mizeur was a fantastic, progressive candidate for governor and, as an outsider, would have been much more electable than Brown, a politician who was wholly forgettable. Our Democratic Party supported Brown, the political insider, despite signs that our population was unhappy with O’Malley and the status quo, and kept Mizeur out of the race.

In the last MD gubernatorial race, Brown and the Democrats outspent Larry Hogan 5-1. They had the power and the money, but no message that resonated. The same happened a few years back when Republican Robert Erlich was elected: former Lutennant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend ran a lackluster campaign after being ‘anointed’ by the Democratic political elite. In hindsight, we can argue the same failure happened on a national scale with the selection of Hillary Clinton and we have the emails to prove that Bernie Sanders, and other more viable contenders, were strategically kept out of the running from inside the party.

Or perhaps it’s a case of pure misogyny, as many allege. Maybe people hate Hillary Clinton more for being a woman than they hate Trump for being a douchebag? Or, maybe Clinton, in retrospect, was the wrong candidate for the populist movement sweeping the globe currently? It’s possible that a fairer vetting process in the Democratic primary would have yielded a stronger candidate. It’s also possible that HRC’s years of politics were flawed to the point of un-electibility, and that her husband’s bad behavior in the White House would always stick to her. We should have seen this coming, but we hoped for the best.

Personally I think Hillary Clinton would have made a fantastic president and I believe that experience is actually a helpful quality in a candidate for the most important job in our nation. I support her fully and am deeply saddened today.

However, it also makes me realize the Right has been working harder than the Left at cultivating support. As liberals, progressives, Democrats, Independents, Green Party Members, we need to do better. We need to make our message more inclusive and to accept that a wide swath of our country is frustrated and struggling. We need to fight for better education, better news media, better access to voting, and to make our voices heard clearly.

Although I’m still not understanding why this happened exactly, I’m mulling three possibly concurrent possibilities.

  1. One: America is filled with a lot of racist, xenophobic, uneducated haters of women and a lot of millennials chose not to vote. In this case the only hope for the future is to support issues that interest millennials, like smoking weed legally.
  2. Two: This election is a part of a global trend towards populism, fueled by frustration, poverty, lack of education, and misinformation from Alt Right media. In this case there is some hope–that progressives can become better at sharing their agenda which advocates fairness for everyone. Education and message are key here going forward.
  3. Three: A lot of people in America hate the Clintons and showed up to vote because they truly despise Hillary and Bill. We cannot deny that President Clinton’s legacy is tarnished by unethical personal judgement while serving as president. In this case, our only hope is to clean house within the Democratic Party and to choose a stronger candidate next time through an unfettered primary process. There is hope.

Either way, I am not ready to give up on my country. I am ready to fight. I am ready to shed the complacency and decorum that I, as an educated and therefore “elite” member of this country, possess and build a movement. I am ready to stop relying on partisan and over-hyped news and consider the reality of those who are different from me. These are some of the same people who elected Obama twice–can they really be racist women haters or are they really suffering and misplacing their blame?

Looking back over the past eight years, I don’t think we realize how good we’ve had it. Maybe President Obama was too good for this country? Maybe he is, sadly, better than we deserve?

In America, as well as ‘Murica, we get the government we show up for. It’s time to stand up, really stand up, and fight.

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