We Are Defiant
A sincere note of thanks to our political enemies
by DAVID AXE
Thank you, Donald Trump. Thank you, Republican Party. Thank you, racists, misogynists, homophobes, transphobes and bullies. Thank you, climate-deniers.
Thank you for showing us where America rots. Thank you for painting proverbial bullseyes square on your proverbial foreheads. Even for those of us who closely follow U.S. politics, understand the American system of government and participate enthusiastically in our shared culture, the 2016 presidential election revealed a few things.
That the Rust Belt is determined to destroy itself, and it doesn’t mind taking the rest of the country with it. In the face of economic suffering and a world changed by automation and globalization, you decided to retreat into the comforting promises of a strongman.
That young women, educated women, women of color and lesbian, bisexual and transgender women cannot trust many white women to give a damn about systemic sexism, reproductive rights, economic and professional opportunity and the many other problems that uniquely affect American women.
That racists and nationalists still thrive in America, and were trading their lies in the dark places of the internet while awaiting the moment when they could return to the public sphere.
That lies can thrive even in the absence of strong evidence. That it didn’t matter whether a Democratic president helped to stabilize and restore a recession-ravaged economy, reinforce America’s overseas alliances and extend greater opportunity and protection to a greater share of the U.S. populace while also taking modest measures to save the world from climate disaster.
The liars said Obama and his allies hate America. And tens of millions of Americans believed it.
Many of the roughly 64 million Americans who voted for Obama’s successor Hillary Clinton — that’s more than two million more than voted for Trump — learned all of these things in a startling few hours late on the night of Nov. 8, 2016.
But that doesn’t mean these things weren’t already true, many many years earlier. So thank you, Trump. Thank you, Republican Party. Thank you, racists, woman-haters, homophobes and liars. Thank you for dispelling the unfortunate misconceptions of the majority of American voters. Myself, included.
To the Rust Belt, Trump will not bring your jobs back. He can’t — and he doesn’t even want to. This is still the country that elected Obama and we know that you’re not all racists and bigots. But in 2016, you empowered a racist and a bigot. You stood aside while an obscene man made false promises and exploited your fear of immigrants, Muslims and women in power. He’s not yet in office and he’s already begun to betray you. That’s what con men do.
To the women who voted for him, Trump does not respect you. He has proved, time and time again, that he views women as inferior to men. He has promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who will fight to overturn Roe v. Wade. He doesn’t believe your bodies are your own.
To the organized racists, the internet fascists, the alt-right merry meme-makers, the neo-nazis, the white nationalists and every other person who deploys fear and and suffering to gain political power — fuck you. Celebrate now, enjoy this moment and establish your think tank. We know you aren’t going anywhere, but neither are we. Now you’re out in the open where we can fight you. We will resist and you will lose. Our struggle against you defines us. So … thank you.
On Election Day, haters and liars took advantage of the United States’ archaic electoral college system and handed the presidency — and, by extension, the U.S. Congress and potentially the Supreme Court — to a con man, a tax-cheat, a bigot, a woman-abuser and a would-be fascistic strongman whose insecurity alone disqualifies him from leading the world’s most powerful country.
On Election Day, ignorant and gullible voters bought themselves a few years of inflated power. But they also made it clear that they and their chosen leader are America’s true enemies. And they empowered the many millions of Americans — the majority, in fact — who want only peace, prosperity, fairness, justice and a livable planet for themselves, their families and their neighbors, even if their neighbors don’t look or worship — or fuck — like they do.
On Election Day, Trump and his cheerers gave we decent Americans something to fight for. So thank you. Thank you for making us Defiant.