I haven't blogged directly about the presidential election until now. I felt that there were many very smart people who were expressing my sentiments better than I ever could. But I'm posting about the election now - not because I think I'm brilliant, not because I think I'm articulate, but because I'm haunted by fear and I just need to talk about it.
Donald Trump is a serial abuser of women, and if that's what brings him down, I'm glad. His attitudes and behavior towards women and girls are degenerate. In his twisted mind, he has kingly authority over half the human race because he possesses wealth, power, and a penis. The fact that we as a society have finally advanced to the point where such Stone Age views can actually cost someone an election is heartening, but even that result isn't a sure thing, and of course if it does happen it's pathetic to even count it as a triumph. Still, no one will be happier than me to watch Trump crash and burn on November 8th because some diligent reporter discovered that 20-year-old videotape.
But I am very frightened whenever I consider all the revelations about him that haven't, even potentially, brought him down. When Trump was a young man, he and his father were charged by the government with racial discrimination in their hiring practices, and former employees have given statements indicating that the policies did indeed exist and that they were blatant and deliberate. He has mocked a reporter with a physical disability, and reportedly referred to the actress Marlee Matlin as "retarded" because she is deaf. He proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, and comes very close to equating all Muslims with - one of his favorite phrases - radical Islamic terrorists. In a supreme irony, he calls Mexicans "rapists." He is an outspoken fan of Vladimir Putin, whose critics in his country have disappeared with alarming regularity. In fact, Trump has invited Russia to hack into Clinton's emails - an invitation Russia appears to have accepted. He has threatened to jail Hilary Clinton, and makes no effort to silence his supporters when they speak of executing her. His major theme is that, due to the machinations of a vast ring of conspirators, virtually everything is wrong with this country, and that he alone is strong enough to fix it. In short, he is an ubermensch.
Is it just me, or does this man remind you of anyone? Trump is proud of his ignorance, which does not mean that the rest of us can forget history. Have we learned nothing in this century about the dangers of following narcissistic, populist cult leaders/demagogues? Is it a coincidence that white supremacists and neo-Nazis deem Trump the first mainstream politician to whom they can pledge wholehearted support? Is it a coincidence that both Trump and his son have reposted items from white-supremacist websites? IS ANYONE LISTENING??
I don't believe that it can't happen here, in this bastion of democracy. I believe that this country is in grave danger from Trump, his supporters, and the do-nothing bystanders in the Republican party. And I can't remember ever having felt so afraid.