Clutching at mental straws

I am sitting at our kitchen table clutching a gigantic mug of tea with milk and sugar, and clutching at mental straws, both for comfort. I made the mistake of looking at preliminary poll results for Super Tuesday (a name we’ll have to change now, I think) and I’m reeling. I keep hoping some reporter is going to pop up and say, “You’re on Candid Camera, America!”

I zig-zag between thinking, “Oh my god, what has happened to this country?” and, “It will be okay. It’s only four years. America has had terrible presidents before, and survived.” And I know I’m jumping to conclusions that are by no means predetermined, but I am fighting down a panic attack over thoughts of what might happen to this country if Donald Trump is elected.

What kind of message is America sending when a large percentage of voters are choosing a man with the kinds of values Trump seems to have? What kind of message does Trump’s success send to Black people, hard-working immigrants, and non-Christians who are citizens of this country? Equally important, what kind of message is America sending to the world? It is naive to think that how the world views us is irrelevant; 9/11 taught us that very clearly.

Many articles I’ve read espouse the theory that it is disenfranchised white males, terrified of losing their majority, who respond to Trump’s antics (what else should I call them?). But poll numbers across the nation would indicate that it is not simply those white males who are supporting him. If it is, then they are the only Republicans showing up to the polls.

How does a citizen who lives in a country founded on the principals of freedom, justice, and equality (even if the birthing has been a long, tough one and is still not quite over) give any credence to a man who spews hatred at his worst and tomfoolery at his best, every time he opens his mouth? Why are the racist, bigoted, uneducated, half-formed ideas of a man with no consistent platform or ideas for running our country resonating with so many citizens? A man interviewed about his support for Trump said it was like voting with his middle finger. Really? This should be considered an admirable way to make a decision?

What happened to voting as an act of thoughtfulness, or of hopeful defiance, instead of an act of rage? I am disgusted with our current two-party system, and with the utter disregard our politicians seem to have for the ordinary men and women who make up this nation. But when I choose my candidates, I do it with the idea that voting is an act of hope, not a “fuck you” to the people of this country with whom I don’t agree.  I’m all for change, attained by radical means if necessary, but the idea that a president who thinks, “saying it like it is,” is an acceptable excuse for hate-mongering goes against everything decent for which our founders strove.

And we haven’t even gotten into whether or not the man has any capability to handle the president’s duties in foreign policy.

I am truly frightened for the future of this country if Trump is elected president. It feels like it will be a reversal of everything we have achieved in the last 150 years, both on the “freedom and justice for all” stage at home, which is pretty wobbly, and on the stage of world opinion, also wobbly. The slog toward November is going to be a long one.

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6 thoughts on “Clutching at mental straws

  1. Denise

    Unfortunately the problem is there are not enough good candidates standing up for America. It’s got a lot to do with who has the bigger bank account….very sad. Those that would be a more ideal president do not have the backing to fight against the current front runners..also very sad…

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  2. Jean

    Joe and I share your concerns. All I can do is pray daily that more eyes are opened to what you are saying. We still find that most people we talk to feel as you do. The primary results amaze us!!

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  3. Fran

    They are scary times, indeed. When someone gets up to give a victory speech and can only talk about the hotel they are in and the subtle differences in taglines b/t himself and an opponent it is clear that he is more than just unqualified. It’s disgraceful that he could get so far along and that he is even being considered for this nation’s top job. He doesn’t have one substantial thing to say on any topic and can only call names. He is a bully through and through. Our boys actually went to Bernie’s rally here in Milton Monday night and we are all crestfallen at yesterday’s results. We are with you in spirit. It’s a day to mourn lost possibilities and hope that people are ready to ask hard questions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts this morning!!

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