Perspective of a White Voter
By Robert C. Cuddy
The white men who have run this country from the get-go and the world for the past couple of millennia had a close call early this month when a woman almost became president of the United States of America.
But the white men prevailed, and made it clear that in today’s America, women are expected to stay in their place; black people, people of Hispanic or Asian or Middle Eastern or American Indian descent are not welcome; Christianity is the only acceptable religion; and poor and powerless people belong poor and powerless.
The opposite message almost got delivered. The white guys must be thinking, Whew, that was a close one!
Of course, their victory will be short-lived. I take the long view, and in the long view the wheel of time will crush them. They’re on the wrong side of history.
Alas, until then we live in the short view. And in the short view the vision of America put forth by Donald Trump and his 60 million minions will prevail and harm many, many people.
I mention the Trump-voting minions—I’m going to call them the 60 Million—because to me they are as responsible as Trump for what America is about to become, perhaps more so. Trump is such a man-baby, tiny arms flopping wildly, babbling like an infant, that you would be hard-pressed to scold him if he soiled his drawers.
But the 60 Million knew what he was and what he was going to turn America into and they put him in control of the country anyway.
Here is what you have given the rest of us, 60 Million:
• Sexism and contempt for women as an established societal norm. If you’re a 60 Million woman and a man grabs your private parts, or a man and some lout makes a grab for your wife’s or daughter’s privates, you have no beef; you’ve pronounced it acceptable.
• You have, 60 Million, declared loud and clear that it is OK to break up families and send some members, including children, to another country.
• You have said you don’t care if a child is sick and can’t go to the doctor because his or her parents can’t afford to send him.
• You have said Muslims don’t belong here, and all of them are shady and suspicious.
By now, most of the 60 Million have stopped reading and those who are still holding the newspaper are frothing with righteous indignation. “We didn’t say any of those things,” you’re fuming.
Sorry, my friends, that’s horse pucky. Trump and his frightening, thuggish legions wouldn’t be headed for the White House if you had not made it happen. Own it. Take accountability. Tell your children and grandchildren what you authorized. Tell your granddaughters in particular.
Here are some more things we all can look forward to, courtesy of the 60 Million.
• Congressional investigations of Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, and the Clinton Foundation.
• Millions of people who now have health care losing it.
• Violence on a mass scale. Some of the 60 Million who also have roots in the nation’s flourishing neo-Nazi and other white supremacist movements already are targeting Muslims and minorities—1,000 incidents in the first five days after the election—because they think it’s OK to do so in the U.S. After all, beating up dissenters drew cheers at Trump rallies and applause from President-elect Trump.
• The continued dominance of money in politics. By giving the far right control of the Supreme Court for 20 or 30 years, the 60 Million have ensured that Citizens United will not be overturned in our lifetime.
Well, I could go on, but others have already done so. There is genuine fear in the air, a feeling of impending dread, and it’s widespread. I’ve been voting since Goldwater-Johnson, and I’ve never felt such an End of Days mood seize the country. More than half of the citizenry feel there is something ominous and evil coming.
This was not a normal election, they believe. This is not Goldwater-LBJ or Bush-Gore or Nixon-McGovern. There is something dark and sinister slouching toward the United States of America.
I have to admit that I share the mood, in part because the values I’ve held for a lifetime have been jettisoned by the nation, thanks to the 60 Million.
It may be corny, but I’ve always believed that stuff about America being special in the world. I believe in welcoming people and giving them a fresh start; you know, that Statue of Liberty message. I’ve always believed that we stood for protecting people who were powerless against the bullies. I’ve believed that we were free to gather and speak without fearing arrest or a pummeling. I believe in treating women with respect.
The 60 Million believe otherwise.
Beliefs like that are personal, part of your core identity, and to discover that the country no longer represents those values is tough, very tough.
I have one other major concern going forward. I worry what the 60 Million will do when Trump fails to deliver, which is, of course, an inevitable outcome. If they voted for him because they’re angry, imagine their rage when his promises aren’t kept.
They’re not going to turn on him, though. Those who control the nation’s media will feed the 60 Million some scapegoats—minorities, Muslims. And the 60 Million will buy into it and act accordingly.
If you want to know how this works, read George Orwell’s Animal Farm and pay particular attention to the character Squealer.
I see only two good things about the hostile wasteland the 60 Million have pushed America into. The first is that it will be temporary. But it’s hard to feel good about that when you consider the tremendous pain and suffering the 60 Million have authorized.
The second good thing is this. The 60 Million are outnumbered. More people—2 million more—voted against this dark new America than voted for it. Call them the 62 Million.
They have no institutional power, but they’re not going to roll over for this. From all indications they are going to fight every outrage, every offensive act for as long as it takes to get the America so many have struggled to create for two and a half centuries to come back to us.
Robert Cuddy is a writer who lives along California's central coast. This opinion first appeared in the New Times of San Luis Obispo and is republished here with permission.