I keep hearing people say: “We’re almost there” or “It’ll be over soon” when talking about the election. While I’ll gladly concede that the election will be decided on the 8th, I think focusing on that fact alone misses the forest for the trees. Even if Trump loses, which I think he probably will, this isn’t over. If that anus mouthed leathery tangerine can come this close to the white house, imagine for a moment what a calculating liar could accomplish. Seriously, imagine that for a moment. Imagine a person, skilled in deceit, and ambitious to a fault. Imagine them watching how effectively Trump has rallied the most disenfranchised among us. Imagine the plans that person will hatch for the next election. Imagine if that person ran in a future election under the same divisive banner that Trump did, but with actual self-control, with a thought out plan, while listening to advice from experienced advisors. How would the polls look if that happened? I doubt Nate Silver would be predicting a 15% chance of victory for that terrifying campaign if all that were the case. Who’s to say that fictional campaign will exist? The more important question is, who’s to say that it won’t?
Since the beginning of Trump’s bid for the white house, I’ve said to myself, as many have, that what’s terrifying about his success has nothing to do with him. There’s plenty of assholes in the world, what’s terrifying is what it reflects. It’s terrifying in what it has pointed out about the American electorate. Or more specifically, the opportunity that this chunk of the electorate affords men like Trump. I must also be clear and say, I don’t mean to attack the electorate that supports Trump, the single most important thing I have learned in this election cycle is that Trump supporters, just like xenophobic, racist, or bigoted Americans aren’t monsters (mostly) they are humans. They, like any other human, are a product of their life experience and as any rational observer would expect; when you learn about their life experiences, the way they are casting their vote makes complete sense. And yet, it still means there is a dangerous opportunity in this country for a calculating demagogue (rather than an imbecilic sociopath) to claim the presidency. And it doesn’t take much study of history, to know that the situation we are in is the same that ruined many great civilizations throughout history.
I believe the laziness and greed of the present day Republican party is to blame for creating this situation. They’ve built the political climate and fed the propaganda that created this ignorance and anger. They’ve been using divisiveness and personal attacks to accomplish their goals for decades, and now we are all reaping what they have sown. But at this point, it matters little who is to blame, the point is this: we are where we are. We must in this moment of history, be mindful of our surroundings, set a new course, and act, or else our democracy may very well slip into memory. And take note, I said we must do this. We the people must change, if our government is to change. We cannot continue to be so disengaged. We can’t afford to write it all off as corrupt. We can’t blame the system and refuse to participate, because like it or not, that system is headed down a darker road than the one it’s been on. If we don’t change course, we may no longer have the luxury of dissent, or even liberty.
So, what’s the point of this depressing rant about the sad state of American politics? I aim to remind myself, and anyone else who listens, that it is time to get involved in politics. Now may very well be our last chance to save America from herself. If we all just continue to refuse to be active participants in our democracy, we’re fucking handing that democracy to the next Trump. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Chancellor Suttler controlling America. If we don’t start participating, if we don’t get involved, there is a very real chance he will. So Let’s fucking go! Let’s do this! Let’s be the change we want to see in our government. If we all get out there, if we all get involved, I have the utmost faith that we will succeed. So get involved! Ask a trump supporter some serious questions, listen to the answers! Go learn more about senators, representatives, and local elections in your states, vote, canvas, phone bank, participate. Educate yourself on our government online, take a civic’s course at a community college, or just talk to people (don’t forget to not be an asshole). Don’t just get out there and vote, get out there and fucking participate in the politics that will shape our future!
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