I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, yet that brings me zero comfort. It’s been a week, and I’m still reeling. One week since this country handed power to the white Taliban. And no, that’s not an exaggeration of what happened. Not even a little bit. I woke up on November 10th, not exactly feeling hopeful, but questioning if Trump was as bad as I had made him out to be. I thought about the clips I had seen, where he made comments that flew in the face of his campaign promises. His support for Hillary Clinton as a Senator, Secretary of State and as a Presidential candidate. In my mind, I replayed the clips of him claiming to be pro-choice and a single-payer healthcare system.
I knew that, prior to President Obama winning in 2008, Trump was far to the left on almost everything that candidate Trump claimed. And hey, the guy had made millions by being a showman, so maybe his campaign was built on being that guy. The arrogant dick that NBC thought made for entertaining television. He knew how to get the spotlight, so maybe, just maybe that’s what he was doing. Drawing an audience. And I still don’t believe he ever wanted to win. From the get go, I was confident it was all a well thought out plan to build his brand to be something more than the guy who made buckets of money from firing people. He was, I thought, going to start a network to rival Fox. After all, they were making so much money, it put him to shame. And how would one make room for themselves in that crazy sandbox? Out crazy the crazies. So the “Trump Network” was going to make its debut in 2017.
He didn’t want to win. But I’ll be damned, he sure as hell did. So Wednesday I told myself, and my daughter, he wouldn’t be as bad as advertised. He just couldn’t be. Candidates say things to get elected, that’s what had happened. I woke up thinking that was the case, and went to bed that night feeling confident that I was right. Well, here’s the thing about confidence; it can trick you. Like I was confident Tuesday morning, that Hillary Clinton would win. Like the Cleveland Indians were confident (Cleveland confident, that’s a thing, but still confident) they’d win the World Series.
Why was I so stupid to allow myself to be so confident? Why was the rest of the left as stupid as me? He wouldn’t win a primary. Till he did. He wouldn’t win the nomination. Till he did. He wouldn’t win the Presiden…you get the point.
So it’s been a week, and the confidence I once had, that told me it wouldn’t be THAT bad, left the ballpark like Dexter Fowler’s Game 7 leadoff home run. Less than a day after we adjusted to the news, that he actually won, reports of hate crimes began taking over my social media feeds. It progressively got worse, proving the only thing America is committed to being progressive about is violence.
Okay, that’s the crazies celebrating the only way crazies can. Trump is a 70 year old man, who has made, lost and made millions so often, it’s like he was using conditioner. He’s going to surround himself with adults, capable adults who can help him lead a country. It won’t be that bad. Well, shit. It’s that bad. I loved “The West Wing” and I’ll always remember some advice that President Barlet gave the Designated Survivor, prior to giving his State of the Union one season. The exchange went like this:
Barlet: “You got a best friend?”
Tribbey: “Yes, sir.”
Barlet: “Is he smarter than you?”
Tribbey: “Yes, sir.”
Barlet: “Would you trust him with your life?”
Tribbey: “Yes sir.”
Barlet: “That’s your chief of staff.”
Great advice. I knew immediately who I’d name as my Chief of Staff. Now I don’t know if Trump watched “The West Wing” and that doesn’t matter (only, it so does) but he named the guy who admitted Breibart was “the platform for the alt-right.”
So…I’m legitimately terrified. I have no idea what I should tell my daughter, if she comes to me to discuss her fears. All I know is that we can’t allow this to change who we are. And right now, that “we” is simply just my family. We have to remain compassionate and passionate. We have to care about the truth and people. We have to work hard and be prepared, because there are rough seas ahead. Might even be an iceberg. In fact, I’m confident that there’s an iceberg right ahead. That’s the path we’re on now, I just hope we can correct course. And sadly, depressingly so, I’m not at all confident that we will.