Well, our big, fat, 2016 American election is over. Hillary Clinton lost, and by extension, so too did liberals, progressives, women, minorities, and sane and fair-minded people. And so eight years after America had to get used to saying “President Barack Obama,” we are now forced to face the reality of the phrase: “President Donald J. Trump.”
One step forward, two steps back.
Equally as frightening: Vice-President Pence, a.k.a., He-devil.
How did it come down to this, so many of us are asking post election.
We were up 3-1 in the NBA finals with two more home games, and somehow we lost to LeBron James and the Cavs? Oh, wait, wrong scenario.
We were up 3-1 in the World Series and lost to the Chicago Cubs, who haven’t won in 108 years. Oh, wait, wrong scenario.
Hillary Clinton seemed to coasting her way towards an unprecedented presidency and now it’s game over. She’ll never be president. The country is going backwards. Again. Like it did after the free-loving, civil re-righting 1960s.
That’s because, despite changing demographics, America is still populated by too many people who want to make America great for whites only again.
Great, white, deplorable hope.
Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. North Carolina. Florida. Other battleground states. Nearly all went for the petulant, narcissistic orangutan who knows nothing about politics and everything about being a groper, a bully, a draft-dodger, an adulterer, a shady business man who never pays taxes.
Hey, political science junkies: is there anything in political science annals about great empires coming to an end after electing the most unqualified joke of a leader?
Are we drinking what the Romans drank, you know, the lead-filled poison that rendered them dysfunctional and a thing of the past?
No, we’re just hearing the last echoes of great, white, deplorable hope.
As political analyst Van Jones put it, “we’ve had a whitelash.” There are still enough of them (selfish, racist white people) to come out of the woodwork, hide their true feelings from pollsters, and try to return America back to a place where blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, gays, and the rest, as they say on Gilligan’s Island, ride in the backseat of the American bus.
But … they can write all the laws they want. They can even send in the National Guard.
- Women are not giving up the right to control the destiny of their own bodies.
- Black people are not giving up on all the progress won over decades of blood, sweat and tears.
- And Latinos are still taking over the country with their sheer numbers, with or without anyone’s consent.
Racist white people—and those who think like them—may have slowed down the march of time, but they cannot and will not stop it.
Remember how the South first reacted after the election of a president who might free the slaves? They revolted, succeeded from the union, took up arms against their brothers, fought against the United States of America, sought to defeat it and re-make American soil into a non-American haven for slaveowners.
How’d that work out for them?
Long before the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the Western world was already coming to grips with the fact that slaves are people, too, and slavery’s eviction from a civilized, industrial society was only a matter of time.
The Southern rebels rebelled against the winds of change, but in the long run, they still lost.
Ditto for all perpetrators of Jim Crow policies and Ku Klux Kraziness who tried to keep blacks down for the last 150 years. They lost. They’re losing.
The progress of time cannot be stopped. It may be impeded. It may be forced to take a detour, but it will not be stopped.
Long ago, my sociology major taught me that society moves in ebbs and flows, expansions and contractions, pendulum swings, if you will.
We are now experiencing a contraction. Those who wish to conserve life to a moment in time (that they believe existed in the past) are overwhelmed by all the new kinds of people voicing their voices and fighting for their rights: blacks who think they can be president; Latinos who think they can become Americans; Muslims who may or may not be jihadists, queers who can now get married, of all things.
And where are all the jobs for the uneducated white man? Shipped overseas mostly, because that’s what companies are allowed to do in a capitalist nation that functions as an indispensable part of an increasingly global economy.
The world is changing—everywhere in the world—and everywhere in the world, there seems to be a knee-jerk counter reaction: desperadoes voting for some wild, outlandish, Hail Mary of a lunatic, or in the case of the UK, lunatic idea (Brexit).
From the Philippines to Philadelphia, we’re experiencing a recoil from the swiftly moving first decade and a half of the 21st-century.
But make no mistake. Progress may be impeded, but it won’t be stopped.
The minute they try to repeal Obamacare, insurance companies will once again will have license to cut people off at will and deny folks with pre-existing conditions. Does anyone think people will stand for that?
The minute they try to stop gays from marrying, well, let’s just say, you do not want to piss off a bunch of angry, empowered and privileged white queers.
And let’s not forget, soon might come a time when we elect nothing but Latino presidents.
And even if progress has been impeded by the outcome of the election, progress has still been made. Let’s not forget all the little black boys who have now been exposed to a black president. And all the little girls who have now been exposed to a woman who almost became president (and may still win the popular vote!).
You think all those kids are going to go backwards? If you do, you don’t know progress.