It disgusts me that a small, misinformed portion of the country has decided the future for the rest of us. I understand that anger at the establishment led a lot of voters to choose whom they thought would change things. I agree that many in this country have sunk into the lower middle class (and beyond) because of decisions made by the government. I acknowledge that fear and ignorance can lead to desperate choices.
But, come on.
That government everyone thinks has made those bad decisions? It’s not the President alone. So many people in the country don’t understand how the national government is organized. They don’t get that the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches are separate. They think the President alone is responsible for every good and bad thing that happens. So when the country “goes bad,” blame the President and re-elect all the Senators and Representatives who blocked any opportunity to improve things, even at the expense of their own constituents, just to give the finger to the other side of the aisle?
So many “establishment Republicans” were re-elected to the House and Senate. These are the same Republicans who have railed about how bad the country is and how they want to make it “great” again. They’ve been in charge for years. They’ve been vigorously obstructing any possible positive change that the House and Senate tried to put into place. Even bi-partisan bills co-authored by Democrats and Republicans were blocked by these people because they have demonized the opposition. And these same folks were re-elected to their offices.
Think about it. The same people who ranted about how badly the country was being run are the people who have been running it. And they were re-elected.
So, sure, 25% of the country has decided that an anti-establishment demagogue billionaire will change things up. But they also decided that all the old establishment Republicans that have been running the Legislative branch for years should just keep on blocking any positive changes because Heaven forbid they try to compromise. The establishment is still in charge, folks. And, worse, they’re being joined by actual real-life white supremacists. They aren’t even pretending anymore.
And millions, millions, of votes were discarded because of overly-strict voter ID laws that do nothing to stop voter fraud, because there is hardly any voter fraud to stop — voter fraud is a lie perpetuated by the right-wing establishment to disenfranchise ethnic minorities and those who would vote against them (https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/voter-fraud). North Carolina’s most recent attempt at voter ID laws was struck down for being blatantly and intentionally racist (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/court-north-carolina-voter-id-law-targeted-black-voters/). You want voter fraud? This is voter fraud. This is disenfranchisement. It is unconstitutional, illegal, and immoral. And in no way will any of it make this country “great again.”
This country will only be great when its most vulnerable, least powerful citizen can enjoy his or her basic human rights — life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness — without being denied those rights simply because he or she doesn’t fit what 25% of the country has decided is “American.” This country will only be great when every citizen who is of the legal age to vote can walk into that polling place and cast his or her vote without being stopped because laws have been passed that say he or she isn’t “American” enough to vote.
This country will only be great when Republican voters realize that “Small government” and the current right-wing establishment — an establishment that has put forth laws to prevent people from voting, marrying, or getting birth control; laws to allow billion-dollar corporations to fire whoever they want, for no reason, and to prevent their own employees from standing up for their rights; laws that blatantly mock the separation of church and state by promoting one, narrow, extremist view of Christianity over every other religion and religious sect in this country; laws that allot billions to the military but gut medicare, medicaid, educational funds, and infrastructure; laws that promoted the interests of large corporations over the interests of the people affected by those corporations; laws that allow people to own guns that can kill millions of actual, existing humans in a moment, but ban abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or an unborn child who will not survive outside the womb and whose birth will kill the mother — could not be farther apart.
“Government so small it fits in my uterus,” indeed.
I can’t pretend that none of this matters. My vote was sort of counted. I’m “American” enough, though the White Supremacists would prefer I was barefoot and pregnant, in the kitchen while my husband works, bending my will to his and not standing up for myself. But otherwise, I’m “American” enough for my vote to be counted as a legal vote. And yet it wasn’t enough. The electoral college has invalidated my vote and the votes of millions of other people in my state. I used my voice, and it was silenced.
Don’t anyone tell me that this election was the result of “the country” speaking. Only one quarter of the country made this choice. Disenfranchisement prevented millions from being able to choose. Apathy and misinformation kept others from even trying. And now we’re stuck with a self-important billionaire who has been accused (with good evidence) of so many different types of crimes it’s not even funny; who was denounced by all of our living past presidents and was endorsed by the presidents of Russia and North Korea; who is planning to give offices to white supremacists and KKK supporters; who wants to wall us off like East Berlin so that we don’t have to deal with any of those icky foreigners who don’t look like good old fashioned white Americans; who wants to criminalize the act of living for so many people just because they’re different. His associates want to revisit WWII internment camps for Muslims; want to criminalize protesting and journalism that goes against them (goodbye, first amendment); want to force women who have undergone abortions and/or had miscarriages to pay for funerals for the fetuses; want to take away affordable healthcare from those who desperately need it (medicare, medicaid, ACA); and want to flat out make this nation a nation for white people only (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/us/politics/donald-trump-presidency.html?_r=0).
(By the way, here’s the Merriam Webster definition of ‘fascism’: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascism.)
I see all of these things, I hear about all of these things, and I think about all of the people I know and respect and care about whose lives will be damaged and even destroyed by these policies. And I think America is far from great, and is only going to sink farther still.
I’m sick about all of this. And I’m far from the only one.