Monday, December 19, 2016

Analysis of Trump

A friend of mine wrote this, but didn't want to post it publicly for fear of later personal and personal repercussions. He authorized me to copy it and post it unattributed.

It's not a hyperbole when people say the idea of American democracy is in jeopardy, but even a quick look into our history will show that we've never actually been a democracy and it's always been something we've been working towards.

Voter suppression, Russian hacking, one-sided document leaks, fake news, disproportionate representation, gerrymandered districts, obstructionism, and now this unconscionable bullshit that's happening in North Carolina -- these things are all an outrage, but this country has never actually been an ideal, shining democracy.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was only signed 51 years ago, and  voting rights at that time were violently resisted by state governments. The presidential primary system that we know today, where people vote for the candidate of each party, only began forming in 1972 and it's still not complete; before that, candidates were chosen in smoke-filled rooms that probably saw much shadier shit than we saw in the DNC email leak.

A lot of us were hoping for the best on election day and we got very much the worst, but we can't pretend that our electoral process is all of a sudden some messed-up thing we have to fix. It's arguably just as bad now as it's ever been.

This being said, if you are not outraged right now, I'm willing to say you don't care about democracy. The candidate who received almost 3 million more votes is not the president; the party that received more overall votes for congress does not control congress; and the party that will now control the government has made it clear that they're going to push for the most hard-line version of their agenda despite much of it being deeply unpopular even among their own moderate constituents. This is an outrage. We do not live in a democracy and anyone who tries to convince you that we do is lying to you.

If Trump has his way, the next four years will be ruled by a small minority of extremely rich, old, white men (and a couple of wives of extremely rich, old, white men) with demonstrably close personal financial ties to the very things they will be given executive authority over. This does not bode well for our country but it's ultimately not too different from the way things have been since the founding of our nation.

Those of us who believe in a free, democratic society will need to be vigilant these next few months. It is a mess and it's an ugly one.

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