Let’s realize something: from 2009 to 2016 people like me lived in our own little sphere. After all, we’d elected the president we wanted and watched that 2008 love fest in Grant Park when we, once and for all, squelched the idea that a black man could not be president and that there was even a scintilla of racism left in the country. All was pretty much right with the world.
But long about 2010 with the growth of the Tea Party, we began to sense there was another side to the issue—that the “bad people” didn’t like Obama. The bad people weren’t all racists, though there was a well-defined racial and concomitant economic factor to the hatred. Still, we didn’t care. And when Obama was reelected 2012, we cared even less.
It took the bad people eight years actually to get rid of their nemesis, but remember, it took only two years to cripple him. That’s worth remembering.
We’re not going to get rid of Donald Trump next Tuesday—or for many Tuesdays after that—but we can cripple him the way the Tea Party diminished the governing abilities of President Obama. We can help create some oversight to keep Trump and his toadies from running roughshod over our basic human rights and the laws of the land. We can put the brakes on, and though we may not stop this off-the-rails crazy train, we can slow it down.
We can defend Roe v. Wade and women’s reproductive rights, retard the rush toward more carbon and methane pollution, save a few coral reefs and a national park or two, make life tenable for the LGBTQ community, reunite immigrant children with their parents, relegate white supremacists to the fringes from which they came, and even secure voting rights for the millions Trump wants to disenfranchise.
That can all be done on Tuesday.
Of course when we wake up next Wednesday morning, Trump will still be in the White House tweeting, and he’ll be infuriating us with some asininity about the election. It won’t be over by a long shot. But letting him know that we’re still actively involved in the governing of this nation will at least remind him of the root of the word democracy, and of the fact that the cult of personality does not extend to people who can see through it.
My wife and I have this election-day tradition—we vote early, then go out for breakfast. It isn’t very complex. In 2016 we followed the plan and wound up in a very nice place in a neighboring town. That evening the results came in: we haven’t been back since. Not to worry, the breakfast joint is doing fine without us, and will again this Tuesday when we’re eating somewhere else. We just can’t risk it again.