Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Letter to my Daughters

Dear Leah and Dani:

This is in response to Leah’s text about Hillary Clinton’s plummeting polls. It’s too hard to text an elaborate message on the tiny iPhone, so I send this by e-mail:

Like you, Leah, I have become extremely agitated about this election. Maybe more than you. I need to work hard at not going nuts over this.

I have been tracking the numbers, for instance on Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight site. When one is retired, one has time to do such things.

I have extrapolated Hillary’s average daily decline over the past couple of days: by November 8, she will have lost the election.

So we have to seriously consider that America will have elected a severely unbalanced, politically utterly ignorant “fascistoid” aberrant personality, who has already announced an agenda which will be utterly repressive, unjust, militaristic and plutocratic, which will do NOTHING for the suffering blue collar workers who overwhelmingly vote for him.

We will then have to somehow adjust to an America which, for the first time in its history, is governed by someone with clear fascist characteristics.

Let’s not quibble over this label; let’s not quibble over the extent to which Trump’s ascendency is reminiscent of Hitler’s. Of course he is no Hitler. Of course the word “fascist” is used loosely and abused a lot – by me and others. If you prefer, you can call Trump a “strong man” in the tradition of Juan Peron, that wacko bird Duterte who is now in charge in the Philippines, or the late Hugo Chavez, or Putin, take your pick.

However we want to label him, we do know that Trump is a MONSTROUS choice to preside over our democracy.

 * * * * *

One thing I will do, if he wins, is to clarify in my own mind who I blame for the catastrophe.

I will hold accountable NOT JUST wacko Trump himself, or even the 60 or 70 million people who voted for him. I will hold accountable the rest of country as well, just as we must hold accountable ALL of Germany for what that country did in the 1930s-40s, not only Hitler, the SS, the Hitler Youth, etc.

The obvious culprits include the Republican party, the hate mongers at Fox and on talk radio (Rush Limbaugh, Scott Hannity, Charles Krauthammer, Bill O’Reilly, you name them) . Add to that Comey and the FBI, who have become ACTIVE players to throw the presidency to Trump.

But we must also hold accountable the ENABLERS, the complacent assholes, the collaborators. Included in this category are the so-called “mainstream,” “moderate,” “progressive” media, the oh-so simpatico Chris Matthews, Don Lemon and Wolf Blitzer types.

For months, these folks - driven by the sole motive of ratings (=$$$$$) - have devoted a majority of air time to sensationalism, to the accusations slung by the fighting parties at each other. Thereby, they have given equal time to the two sides. Salman Rushdie said it better than I ever could:

“So, to recap. Trump will go on trial in November accused of racketeering, and again in December accused of child rape. He is a sexual predator, hasn't released his tax returns, and has used his foundation's money to pay his legal fees. He has abused the family of a war hero and.... oh, but let's talk about some emails Hillary didn't send from someone else's computer, that weren't a crime anyway, because that's how to choose a president. Come on, America. Focus.” 

The so-called “opinion leaders” have granted moral equivalence to a pathological character and his supporters on one side and a slightly flawed (aren’t we all?) but highly competent candidate and her supporters on the other. These cowards have partied and laughed all the way to the gate of fascism - which the country may well enter next week. They failed to panic and to rally overwhelmingly on the side of reason, decency, sanity and normalcy. They spent this past year having a grand time debating the pros and cons of Trumpism vs. Clintonism - asif there were ANY CONCEIVABLE comparison.

I will hold these people accountable, as I will hold responsible anyone who did not vote, who did not vote for Hillary Clinton, who did not spend time and money to support her, anyone who voted for a third candidate, all those Sanders supporters who, absurdly, switched their support to Trump!

The impact of a Trump presidency will be catastrophic, but it will be gradual. Nothing happens immediately at the macro level. Brexit, for example, was an enormous blunder, but the pain it will cause to Britain will only grow gradually. Trump’s election will be catastrophic in the long run, and - something which I actually relish - its victims will first include the liberal elite which failed its responsibility: The Trump administration can be expected to borrow a page from Putin and undermine the First Amendment. It will stack the courts and pass restrictive laws. So to some extent, the chattering class’ goose is cooked.

Let’s hope that on Nov. 9, we can see this message as hysterical nonsense on my part, hopefully... 


© Tom Kando 2016;All Rights Reserved

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