By now I know we’re all fatigued from this election, sick of the sniping, the lies, the backbiting, the complete media saturation, your one weird cousin who won’t shut the fuck up on Facebook. I myself have been guilty of posting about a meme an hour. But the time for laughs is over. I’ve hesitated to write this post, not because I’m at all shy about my feelings about this particular election, but because I have had trouble condensing all the anger, fear, confusion, and disgust I have into one coherent series of sentences. So I guess I’ll settle for incoherent ones.
This is not a political post, because I don’t believe our votes this time around are a political choice. They are a moral choice. A moral imperative, if you will.
Voting for Trump is an immoral choice.
I imagine I will get a lot of angry push-back on this post, for a variety of reasons (don’t worry, if not here, I’ll probably piss you off below). I don’t care. It does not change the truth. Maya Angelou famously said (I think to Oprah?) that “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Trump has shown us who he is, time and time again. He has shown us that he believes in himself first, and perhaps only. He has shown us that he does not value other opinions, has no time or patience for disagreement, and cannot tolerate anyone telling him he is mistaken, even about something minor. He has shown us he is mean-spirited, hostile, and capricious. He has shown us that he does not care about women, minorities, or the poor. He has shown us that he takes pride in taking advantage of those that do not share his privilege, his money, or his gender.
Having been in an intimate relationship with a narcissistic sociopath, I recognize this behavior. I am not engaging in an ad hominem attack or hyperbole. He is unhinged, and dangerously so. He has shown us who he is, and he is a demagogue-a demagogue for whom I may have to work, come January, a thought that occurs to me as I post these things, because I legitimately fear retribution under a Trump presidency. But post I must.
So, what are you going to do on Tuesday?
If you’re a Republican, I am so, so sorry, my friends. I know that this man does not stand for the principles of your party, and I truly feel for your lack of a legitimate choice this election. I hope that this causes a true come-to-Jesus moment for your party, to be able to stop your leadership from embracing fringe elements of the far right, and fomenting racism, misogyny, and homophobia in the base. Trump is an attack dog; he does his job from the porch, and GOP leaders have been happy to let him, thinking he was safely chained up outside. But somehow he got inside the house, and now they’re are shaking their heads as he tears apart the pillows and shits on the rug. He’s an attack dog. That’s what they do. But the Republicans I know are people of conscience, reasonable people with whom I simply disagree on policy, but I know would never put this man in power. And so you have my sympathies. I know it may be painful, but I urge you to vote against Trump, and spend the next four years fighting the Democrats in the Senate and the House, in service to our democracy (or come over to the Dark Side, friends! We have Beyonce!).
If you want to vote for a third party candidate, please don’t. I get it. You don’t like Hillary or Trump. But we’re not in an election where you get to be a special fucking snowflake. I’m sorry. As a 2000 Nader voter (calm down, Minnesota still went Gore), take it from me: now is the time to hold your nose and get on board. Even Bernie has been telling you so.
If you don’t want to vote at all: grow the fuck up. It is 100% ok to vote against someone. Pick the one you like least and vote for the other person, against that person you most dislike. Just fucking vote. You’re not a child, and whining that you’re not going to vote because you don’t like anyone is what a child does. We all often have to make a choice between the lesser of two evils, and while I don’t think that’s accurate, if you do, fine. Choose between a human dumpster fire who has openly embraced the KKK and doesn’t understand why we don’t use our nukes more often, and a hawkish, somewhat out of touch, quasi-Dem who misused an email server. But vote. People died for the right, and again, that is not hyperbole. It is the height of privilege to not vote. Don’t be a douchbag.
I’ll admit it: Hillary might be a terrible President. I don’t think she will be, but she might be. But I know for certain Trump would be a terrible President- he has shown us that he would be. And, not just for us, for the rest of the world; that is what’s really at stake. Most of the people reading this will not be all that effected by a Trump Presidency, because they are insulated by class, money, race, etc. But this is an election, perhaps more than any I’ve lived through, where my vote is not for myself. It’s for all the people who Trump has explicitly said he would persecute: my friends in the LGBTQ community. My friends of various races and immigration statuses. My family from Palestine. Every woman I know. The elderly living on a fixed income. My friends in other countries whose jobs depend on positive relationships with the United States. Children. Veterans. We vote for them.
Look, I know you’re tired. I’m tired too. But we’re almost done. And tired isn’t a sufficient excuse. Justice, fairness, doing what is right, is exhausting. Doing what is easy, what is simplistic, what appeals to our base natures, that wastes no effort at all. And this country is worth an effort. It has always been worth it. This isn’t about politics. It’s about being the people we believe ourselves to be, worthy of a great nation. Worthy of one another.