Eleven months ago, back when this whole 'Trump is running for president' thing was still a joke that no one really believed could ripen into the shitfruit it just has, I wrote a blog post suggesting that Hans Gruber was a better villain to compare Trump to than Hitler, though both are appropriate, and that we, as a people, could be John McClane and throw him out the window.
It's no longer funny. In retrospect, I guess it never was. Instead of throwing him out the window, we made him CEO of the whole goddamn Nakatomi Corporation.
I can't tell you everything is going to be okay. It's most certainly not going to be okay for a whole lot of people. I've got a Korean wife and multiracial kids, and I'm more than a little bit terrified for them, as we live deep in the heart of bigot country.
But what I can do is offer a few observations I've made in the hopes that we can breathe a little easier. It won't heal the damage done. It's not even a Band Aid. It's more like booze to numb the pain a bit. But it's all I've got to offer right now.
1. Racism is alive and well in this country, but it's almost unanimously out of fashion.
Trump ran on a platform almost entirely centered around bigotry. If you supported him or voted for him, you supported ignorance and hate, plain and simple. You are a bigot and an asshole.
How many will admit it? Precious few.
We've all got that one racist uncle who makes everyone uncomfortable during Thanksgiving dinners with his rants about "the blacks".
I grew up in the deep south, and have heard a lot about "the blacks" as far back as I can remember.
I've got one uncle whose every third word that comes out of his mouth is "nigger", and another who claims "David Duke has a lot of good ideas," and routinely sends me chain letters about how Obama is a Muslim terrorist.
None of these people believe themselves to be racists, at least not openly. It's enough that they haven't personally lynched anyone and enjoy the occasional "Denzel movie".
Speaking of David Duke, do you know who else claims not to be racist?
The Ku Klux Motherfucking Klan, that's who. An organization whose sole reason for existence began with and continues to be racism.
The fact that these people and organizations don't want to be perceived as racist at least demonstrates that they know racism, however they bizarrely define it, is wrong. That's a step in the right direction, I guess.
2. On the longer timeline, we're moving steadily forward.
This country's founding document, the Declaration of Independence, explicitly stated that "all men are created equal" while keeping the institution of slavery legal. That's fucked up. We got off to a rough start.
Less than a century later, hundreds of thousands of shitheads signed up to lay their lives on the line to defend the rights of a handful of rich plantation owners to also own human beings. But even more signed up to lay their lives on the line to put an end to that shit.
Since then we've seen women's suffrage, civil rights, marriage equality, etc... Each of these, in their time, were viewed by shitheads as crazy liberal bullshit, and each would and will go on to be remembered as "What the fuck were people thinking before then?" by generations to come.
I know it seems like we've taken a big step backward this week, but I truly believe it's a temporary stumble on a journey that will continue to move forward.
How do I know? I don't. But I'm basing this speculation on common sense rather than just blind wishful thinking.
Take marriage equality as an example of something that currently divides us. We have a segment of the population who is totally cool with it, because who gives a shit what other people want to do with their junk? And we have a segment of the population who continue to bleat out that homosexuality is a sin, because it says so in the Bible.
Each segment is going to raise their kids according to their own beliefs. Some of the latter segment's kids are going to give it some thought and wonder why that's the only part of the Bible everyone gets so bent out of shape over? Why don't they care about the part about shellfish?
As difficult as it is, some of them will come to realize that a lot of what they were brought up to believe as solid facts of life is, in fact, utter horseshit. They will then go on to pass their updated beliefs on to their own children, and society on the whole will be that much more enlightened.
Does that door swing both ways? How often does a child who is brought up to believe that there's nothing wrong with people having different sexual orientations grow up to come to reason that what consenting adults do with each others' junk is somehow their business? I suppose it happens, but I'd wager that it's far less often.
More and more people are waking up to the hypocrisy of people claiming to believe in the teachings of Jesus, then turning around and voting for a party of hateful warmongering assholes.
The hypocrisy is a glaring neon sign, and people are waking up to it. Enlightenment is always going to prevail.
But if that's the case, then what the fuck just happened?
3. We're still in the race. We just stopped to change our shoes.
How the hell did the United States of America, just seventy-one years after the end of World War II, just elect Hitler the Clown as their president?
It's not so much that Trump won, but that Hillary lost.
Only a quarter of eligible voters voted for Trump. Hillary had a pool of nearly three times that many to draw votes from. How did she choose to woo us?
What the fuck was that? It may literally be the most cringe-worthy thing I've ever seen, and I've seen Carrot Top's Chairman of the Board.
"Pokemon Go to the polls." That fourteen second video, to me, is a microcosm of her entire campaign, and reflects just how much the DNC thought they had this shit in the bag.
"It's Donald Fucking Trump," I'm sure they were saying. "He's ranting like a madman. We've got this shit locked up. Let's go home."
People on both sides of the aisle wanted change, but only one side delivered. You can point fingers at "Bernie Bros", third party voters, the electoral college system, or those FORTY-SEVEN FUCKING PERCENT of voters who stayed home, but that's not going to change a goddamn thing. In accordance with the rules we all knew going in, Donald Trump won fair and square.
What can we do about it? The right foot has changed its shoe. Now it's time for the left foot.
We shat the bed with this lap back in the primaries. We had a John McClane who was all set to yippee-ki-yay that motherfucker right off the top of Nakatomi Plaza. His name was Bernie Sanders, and he inspired the shit out of people.
Who did the DNC force down our throats instead?
Dishonest, unlikable, stealing the spotlight. The Harry Ellis to Bernie's John McClane.
Was the Democratic primary rigged? I don't know, but it sure looked that way. The most disheartening and damning slogan I saw in the race was this one:
What does that tell me? "We're going to feed you a shit sandwich, and you're going to eat every bite. Or else you'll get Trump."
Fear and threats are not how you inspire progressive-minded people. That's how you inspire conservatives. And say what you will about Trump, he inspired those mouth-breathing neanderthals to crawl out of their trailers and vote. He told them it was okay to hate again.
Hillary didn't inspire shit. She was in bed with the banks, she supported the Iraq war, and she only flipped her stance on marriage equality when she thought it could scoop her up some votes. She looked a hell of a lot like a Republican to a hell of a lot of people.
And again, nobody liked her. Sure, a lot of folks came out of the woodwork to say, "I'm not voting against Trump. I'm voting FOR HILLARY." What does it say about the state of affairs when one feels the need to emphasize in all caps that they don't feel that the candidate of their choice is a complete pile of shit?
We fucked up this time. Four years from now, will the DNC continue to tell us that our voices don't matter to them? Or will they learn from their mistakes and give us a candidate who can offer us more than not being as shitty a human being than Donald Trump?
Christ, I fucking hope so.