I’ve had a couple of thoughts for posts over the last day or two. There is the post that is enjoyable, involving music and memories and songs that have endured for me for years. There is the post that is horrible and painful and about fears of what could be. Both posts are too long to merge into one post. So, I have to pick. Yes, you know me well enough by know…
The upcoming Presidential election seems to be a catastrophe in the making. This article suggests that America’s “soul” is in the balance. This article suggests that Trump’s ascendancy to the Republican nomination may result in a needed destruction and rebuilding of the Republican party. This post presents a well-written academic perspective on the thing.
I’ve spent the last year resisting the idea that we’re facing a catastrophe. That any of this is a real risk to America. That this coming election is about the soul of the country. For one thing, I fundamentally don’t believe there is “one soul” of this country. If you hang out enough on right wing blogs, as I do, you realize that there’s a whole other country out there that occupies the same space as the rest of us. It’s the country where people really do believe that Obama is a Muslim. That he hates this country. That he is intentionally trying to destroy America and ignoring terorrists and so much else. There is a huge swath of our country that beliefs this just as you and I believe that the sun rises in the east and the sky is blue.
As a result, the idea that our “soul” is at sake is just a bit far-fetched. America doesn’t have a soul, as much as we’d like to think otherwise.
Another thing I have a problem with is believing that Trump is really as dangerous and scary as he seems to be. For months, I’ve downplayed his chances to get the nomination and now to actually win the whole thing. To me, he is playing a role — this election has turned into a gigantic reality show for him, where he is seeing just how much he can say, how extreme he can be and remain viable. I’m not so sure anymore, however, and because of that, I’m not so sure he isn’t dangerous or scary.
A couple of days ago, I had a conversation with a relative who insists Trump is a fascist. I’m not yet there, but I can see why people reach that conclusion. There’s a piece of me that still believes he is not as bad as he seems. If he were to actually win the election, much of this would go away. He would realize all of these things he has spouted for months now was just a ploy to win and once he wins, he’ll recognize that much of it is bad, bad, bad, and he would govern more reasonably than his campaign suggests.
The problem is that with each week he just gets worse. More extreme, more bigoted, more … well … fascist-like. It’s getting harder and harder to minimize what he is saying and the possible impact his election might have.
So, I go back to that first article. Maybe this election really is about something related to the “soul” of America. Maybe this election really is about something fundamental and vital to the idea of America.
I only wish that the other choice was more worthy of consideration. When it comes to what makes up the “soul” of America, I’m not sure Hillary Clinton represents that “soul” any better than the Trumpster.
This is the worst Presidential election and choice I have had since 1982 when I first was able to vote. I’m not sure either choice preserves our “soul.” Instead, it is a choice between two evils and that isn’t much of a choice at all. For weeks and months now, I have been saying that I will not vote for Clinton. The more Trump speaks, however, the more plausible a vote for Clinton becomes because of just how far he is willing to go in playing to people’s racism and bigotry and intolerance. As bad as Clinton is, from my perspective, unless Trump changes his tune, I’m beginning to buy in to the notion that he must be stopped. No matter what.