Its political rant season, y'all! How are you celebrating?
I think one of the most frustrating parts of this past week has been the realization that all of our political satire may be a big part of the problem, and that we are every bit as responsible as Fox News, but I am getting ahead of myself...
It has taken every fiber of my being to avoid jumping head-first into a rage-filled rant over the past week.
Here are some podcasts that have calmed me down, and some of my favorite key points to remember.
Common Sense 311 - http://www.dancarlin.com/common-sense-home-landing-page/
The democrats ran an establishment candidate in a counter-establishment election. I personally like Hillary. She is obviously not the ideal candidate, and not the ideal female candidate, but in 2016, she is the only female candidate who can make it to the ballot.
Trump is the first non-politician to take the white house since Eisenhower. Trump is not nearly as Republican as he has been claiming to be. He was the least-Republican option out of the entire primary lineup. He is a third-party candidate in Republican clothes. His election is clear evidence of the need and desire for the dismantling of the two party system.
The Republicans and the Democrats both lost this election. Perhaps we will now have a robust third party which follows the Trumpian system. Obviously, I would have preferred that the Libertarian or Green party were the ones to rise to real prominence, but the results on Tuesday clearly show that the two parties are not satisfying a huge portion of the US.
Trump actually managed to flip a LOT of Obama voters. We are led to believe that most Americans are die-hard fans of their own party because they are the ones that make the news. In actuality voters are very open to voting for the other side. There is clearly room for a third party or some serious re-imagining of the two party system.
All politics in the US is a pendulum. Both sides effectively take turns steering the ship. The country leans a bit too far left, and then starts turning right for a while. The net direction is forward. One side steers too far, and the other side seizes control. This is how we prevent civil war.
The voters Trump electrified feel their way of life slipping away. Now, as a straight white male liberal, it is easy for me to say "grow up, because your beliefs are backwards and wrong." This helps no one. It frustrates me and angers those who disagree. I wish I could tell every poor uneducated white Trump voter that nobody is going to force you to get gay married or take your goddamn handguns, but that is only part of it. The real fear is that the bigot redneck way of life will disappear because parents can no longer force their children to agree with them. There is just too much information available.
It certainly feels like the US just became Republican Conservatives overnight. That is not true. We are the same country today that we were last week. 26% of us voted for Trump. 26% voted for Clinton. 2% voted for 3rd parties. 47% stayed home. Polling-wise, as a country, we are still more progressive than we have ever been. Gay marriage had no support 30 years ago - 55% are in favor of it today. Legal abortion is favored by 56%. Universal healthcare is favored by 58%. Global warming is a concern for 64% of us. 3 of the Trump states voted to legalize marijuana.
The Trump presidency will force us to have a rational debate about issues that seem self-evident. There was a time that politicians had to have actual debates over the pros and cons of institutionalized segregation. It certainly felt like we had all digested that information and moved forward, but clearly we need to brush up on some of the basics. The problem is that it is too easy to scream 'fascist' when we hear thoughts we deem unthinkable. Debates about the value of multiculturalism feel beneath us, but that mentality allows us to ignore the debates entirely. Just saying that xenophobes are backwards monsters means we skipped the part where we actually discuss why.