As some of you may know or have guessed by now, I am a registered Democrat. I am also of Middle Eastern and Central American descent, the son of two immigrants who happen to be physicians, not terrorists or rapists. I support fairly increased taxes for the top 1%, the lawful implementation of gun control, and the female population’s fundamental right to bodily autonomy. [Quick PSA – The constitutional right to own a gun and natural born right to own your body are not equal or even comparable. End of story.] I oppose authoritarian government and practices which foster it, such as denying people civil liberties or citizenship based on gender, race or religion. I am educated and secular. I voted to re-elect Obama.
In so many words, I am everything that Donald J. Trump hates/wants out of this country.
Which is quite alright by me, seeing as I’m not his biggest fan, either. When this whole thing started back in June of last year, when he announced his decision to run for President of the United States, founding his campaign on the promise of “Making America Great Again!”, I joined the ranks of so many others — and not just Democrats — who couldn’t help but not take him seriously. I vaguely remember cracking some joke about Paris Hilton scoring a Cabinet position if he got elected. But most of us never even thought he’d stand a chance of getting nominated. And yet, here we are.
Trump has consistently led in the polls, gaining momentum with every liberal he disgusts and conservative he titillates. To be fair, his opposition in the GOP has not been what you’d call formidable. Ben Carson’s campaign imploded spectacularly and hilariously, lending credence to my earlier contention that he is a decidedly more capable neurosurgeon than politician — not the sharpest scalpel in the debate, if you will. Jeb Bush, poor ol’ Jeb, is out nearly $150 million with only a wealth of public ridicule to show for it. Marco Rubio has maintained the most success simply by being the least hated, in spite of running on a number of policies which merit such hatred. Ted Cruz is a piece of shit. That is all he deserves to have said about him.
The Washington Post released polling data at the end of last month reflecting Republican voters’ answer to a simple question: Could you see yourself supporting Trump for the nomination? Over the course of ten months, from March 2015 to January 2016, the number of people who answered yes rose from 23% to 65%. During those ten months, Donald Trump has done more than just offend Democrats. He has condemned and marginalized whole races of people based on inexcusable prejudices, made a mockery of the GOP and its electorate, perverted our nation’s political system more than any one man has since Nixon. He has, in effect, taken a shit on what little was left of the American Dream.
But we already knew that. Anyone with a pulse and social media account has to be aware of the Trump phenomenon; that is part of his weird, revolting, demented genius. The man can brand, it must be said. It is now time for us to focus less on Trump 2016’s atrocities and more on how to stop them. If you are a Democrat, it is in your best interest to vote against Trump for obvious reasons. If you are a Republican, it is in your best interest to vote against Trump because he will be the ruin of your party, your politics, and eventually, your country.
There are some who say that a Trump presidency could be good for America in the long run, that the trauma of this man in office might snap us out of it, wake us up. I won’t say that’s impossible, but nor will I say that I want to find out. I’ve been pretty vocal in my distaste for Hillary Clinton’s fuckery since Day 1, as I have my apprehension to fully buy into the Bern (though he is the obvious choice, at this juncture). None of that matters anymore, though. If I could vote Obama again, I would, but I can’t. And the man needs a break. So it’s on to the next one.
At no point since its rise to world superpower status after WWII has America ceased being great in the literal sense. It has had ebbs and flows, committed crimes, endured economic slumps and unscrupulous heads of state. This country has pursued embarrassing military fiascos, survived terror attacks, overcome recessions and helped to lead the world through a very tumultuous 60 years (helped, not single handedly). And anyone who says President Obama has made his country any less great is not only an idiot but objectively wrong.
That said, we are now more than ever at perilous risk of losing that greatness, and at the hands of the very man who is promising to ensure it. I will not join the ranks of those who denounce Trump for being dictatorial, but I could easily see it going there. While our political system has acted unethically at times, both domestically and abroad, never has it come so close to being guilty of malice, of evil. Donald Trump is capable of taking us in that direction; he is toxic, dangerous, and no longer to be underestimated. Republicans can deny as many values and policies of the Democratic Party as they wish, but they can’t afford to reduce themselves to pettiness and spite in the interest of a childishly partisan agenda.
Not if they want this country to survive, at least.
It’s a popular belief that if Trump wins the nomination, the Democratic candidate will win the general election. That may be true, but I personally am not willing to roll those dice. Election years always reveal a great deal about our country, for good or ill. I don’t think it’s too outlandish to say that the really scary part about Trump 2016 is not its popularity so much as what that popularity indicates of our national identity. Scarier still is the ominous future that lies ahead if we let what began as a joke become a reality. Mocking, bitching about, or being appalled by this man’s campaign is no longer an acceptable response if you actually want to prevent him from winning. Vote or Die has never been more true.