I believe a Trump administration will do immense damage to America and the world. Unfortunately, we’re not just talking about four bad years. The damage will last for decades, maybe generations.
The political damage will extend far into the future, too. Putin now is emboldened. His power grab will damage Europe in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. Nationally, The odds are that some terrible people will become Supreme Court justices. States will feel empowered to engage in even more voter suppression than they did this year. At worst, we could see a overt forms of Jim Crow become the norm all across America.
And you have to wonder about civil liberties, too. The White House will soon be occupied by a man with obvious authoritarian instincts, and Congress controlled by a party that has shown no inclination to stand up against him. How bad will it get? Nobody knows.
So now, what do I do?
First I need to understand what happened.
I honestly thought Trump was the worst man ever to run for president. I assumed that a significant majority of my fellow citizens would easily agree. Clearly I was wrong.
The Trump campaign was unprecedented in its dishonesty; the fact that the lies didn’t exact a political price, that they even resonated with a large bloc of voters, doesn’t make them any less false. No, Jews are not rigging the elections though their International Banking and Media outlets.
No, our inner cities aren’t war zones with record crime. No, we aren’t the highest-taxed nation in the world. No, climate change isn’t a hoax promoted by the Chinese. And No, excessive regulations are not the reason the rust belt is losing jobs.
I am not going to concede in any way that the “Alt-Right’s” vision of the world is truthful or realistic. NO! Lies are lies, no matter how much power backs them up.
Will that stand eventually succeed? No guarantees. Americans, no matter how secular, tend to think of themselves as citizens of a nation with a special divine providence, one that may take wrong turns but always finds its way back, one in which justice always prevails in the end.
Yet it doesn’t have to be true. Maybe the historic channels of reform — speech and writing that changes minds, political activism that eventually changes who has power — are no longer effective. Maybe America isn’t special, it’s just another republic that had its day, but is in the process of devolving into a corrupt nation ruled by strongmen.
But I’m not ready to accept that this is inevitable — because accepting it as inevitable would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The road back to what America should be is going to be longer and harder than any of us expected, and we might not make it. But we have to try.