Facebook isn’t going to cut it for this one.
Two (now three) days in on this hot mess, and while I can think of other things for small snippets of time, it’s still looming large in my mind. Donald J. Trump is our President-elect. This is a man, thrice-married, elected by a party of social conservatives. This is a man, a supposed billionaire, but definitely a tax dodger with multiple bankruptcies and likely criminal abuse of his charitable foundation, elected to balance our budget. A man who married a woman with questionable immigration bonafides but wants to “extreme vet”, build a wall, and deport all undocumented immigrants. Who called into question the ability of a federal judge to do his job (that he swore an oath to), due to where his parents came from. Who regularly shows disdain for women. Who speaks of citizens in urban areas in the most patronizing and paternalistic manner. Who thinks that having money and privilege allows him to sexually assault women without consequence. Who is going to trial for running a fraudulent “University” that bilked its students out of thousands of dollars apiece. Who’s first ex-wife testified of being raped by him in a divorce deposition. Who hired a campaign manager who was still doing work as an unregistered lobbyist for Ukrainians with strong Russian ties. Who threatened the first amendment with a promise to loosen libel laws against news outlets. Who threatened some of our country’s most critical allies with abandonment if they didn’t pay their “fair share”. Who received a deferment from the draft and serving during Vietnam, but heckles former POWs and families of slain servicemen.
This is who the country chose to be it’s leader for the next four years. This is his platform to enact in the first 100 days of his presidency.
I’m still not sure how to process this turn of events. I am scared of his temperament, of his ignorance, of his unknown loyalties and his vulnerability to flattery. I frankly am scared of his vision for our country, and that he may be empowered to bring it to fruition. But mostly I’m angry that we’ve so demonized the concept of pragmatic politics and reasonable compromise that we’ve thought Donald J. Trump is somehow a cure for what ails us.
He is not. He is a charlatan. And he gained office by stoking fear and resentment and hatred, and by making outlandish and awful promises that are opposed to the best principles and traditions our country has had to offer.
And he was enabled by a party that was too intoxicated by his following and his primary results to say loudly and unequivocally what needed to be said. That this was a man unfit for the office that he sought. So this is on Paul Ryan, and on Reince Preibus, and Mike Pence, and Kevin McCarthy, and Mitch McConnell, and Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, and so many others who tried to toe a line that should have been leapt over.
And he was undoubtedly benefitted by the actions of the Director of the FBI, James Comey, who violated longstanding norms regarding interference in a national election by announcing investigative activities toward Sen. Clinton just days before the vote, only to walk it back mere hours before.
And he was unbelievably promoted by a press that would rather do anything other than cover his policy proposals (or lack thereof) as long as it generated ratings.
We’re in the muck. And there are so many people who now feel targeted because our President-elect has in fact targeted them. And it’s wrong. And it’s cruel. And it’s on us to figure out how to keep it from becoming a disaster. And to figure out how to make it better. How to make our Union more perfect, for all.
But right now I just feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. Repeatedly. Ever since Tuesday night.