All many of us have, myself included, are opinions. Largely unresearched, unproven, straight-up personal opinions, perhaps based on what we hear on our news channels of choice, or from an angry, disenchanted uncle. What’s also in the mix, since Trump and probably before, is a more emotional gut reaction, perhaps rising from the way we were brought up, the kind of people we hoped would be elected to office, and the ensuing disconnect between expectations, assumptions, and reality.
Over the years and during mostly Presidential election cycles, various candidates either appealed or didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t think much of Al Gore, for some reason, though I came to see W. like many others did— riding coattails and assuming responsibilities that had “way over his head” written all over them. The Republican candidates from then on started taking on the look and sound of anachronisms, mostly white men and an occasional woman with sticks up their asses and ideas that sounded recycled and uninformed and paranoid and cold and old.
I was one of many who cried a bit– tears of joy– when Barack Obama won in 2008, and was relieved and elated that he won again in 2012, in no small part because of that stunning “promise” from Mitch McConnell about making sure Obama would be a one-term president. Fuck you, Mitch.
What happened in 2016 was in part the result of a motivated and scared-shitless white base who wanted to make sure another black man wasn’t elected on their watch. With the additional help from a foreign power and the less-than-satisfying Electoral College, along with a certain Clinton fatigue, we ended up with Trump. And the rest has been one long gut punch, history of a decidedly sordid variety that has alot of us wondering who and what America is.
And maybe how much longer it has.