I made it clear that I was voting for Hillary, and why, in a post earlier this year. I was skeptical of the huge lead most of the polls projected, but I still thought she’d beat the foolish candidate of racism and misogyny.
Boy did we screw that up.
I’ve been grieving for the last 36 hours, and am just now starting to come to terms with the new reality, and what I’m going to do about it. Right now everything in my head is a mess, but I need to process it, and writing is as good a way as any. So, the following is a very-loosely-connected set of links and thoughts.
Liberal White Shock
Courtney Parker West wrote a piece on Medium about the shock and dismay that liberal white voters are expressing at the “racism revealed” by the election. I have to count myself among them (perhaps more independent than liberal, but that just means I had an even more rosy view of the state of racism in our culture) and Courtney’s article kinda broke my brain.
> But the real trigger has been the shock. The absolute unpreparedness. The need to proclaim this astonishment and all but out yourself as having been blind and truly unbelieving *of what we already done-told you was our reality* — all whilst being down for the cause.
(Emphasis mine) Courtney is spelling out that those of us who are out-and-out clutching our pearls over the racism unleashed in public during this campaign and in the aftermath has always been there, and people of color have been telling us about it since before there was a nation here.
> Don’t tell me you “just can’t imagine” because some of us — my little black and Indigenous ass — have a real big imagination when it comes to the racism and bigotry that has ruled our country for hundreds of years.
There’s more I’m still digesting, in particular the bits on institutionalized racism. Read it.
Scalzi on Racism
So… I did not personally vote for our President-Elect, but I have family and friends who did, and had a few things gone differently in my life, I might have as well.
John Scalzi (science fiction author of the Old Man’s War series and others, and general good thinker) came up with a metaphor to help us understand how we can’t separate our intentions/personal reasons for making a choice from the result of that choice.
> Pop quiz: In this scenario, did you just subscribe to Cinemax?
You can guess where it goes from there:
> And you say, no I’m not, I hate racism.
> And others say to you, but apparently you like these other things more than you hate racism, because you agreed to the racism in order to get these other things.
I know the exact reasons that some people did vote, and I would have voted in the past, for Trump. But there are disastrous consequences to not hating the evil enough to give up some hoped-for modicum of good.
Going Independent in Arizona
On a side-note, I’ve been a registered Republican for as long as I’ve been a voter. This year I marked a bunch of Ds on my ballot (but not all) and today, I re-registered as an independent in Arizona (“No Party Preference”). Arizona has open primaries, and you can bet I’ll be taking part in the future. To my shame, I stayed home for the primaries this year, not believing in the slightest that Trump had a chance.