A while back a prominent blogger wrote a post called “Why didn’t you blog about Trump, Daddy?” The basic argument of the post was this — his blog was a professional space, and he liked to keep it about the subject he was an expert in, and let’s face it, how he came down on the vote wasn’t really going to matter to people anyway.
But against that there was this: this is not a normal election. This is the sort of election your kids and grandkids (or grandnephews and grandnieces) will ask you about many years from now. They are not going to want to hear about how your blog was really about information environments and UX and open content. They are going to ask one thing: “What did you do to stop Trump?”
I’ve put in my canvassing time, and made my donations. I’ve written pieces on DailyKos that attempted to patch up the Sanders/Clinton divide.
But I want to put this here, in this non-political space, that this is the most important election I’ve lived through. And it has driven me nuts watching commentators say “What is the big vision of Clinton? What is she about?”
For me, it’s right behind her on signs at every event. It’s in the speeches and the ads. It’s expressed positively and negatively. It has inspired the speeches of Michelle Obama as a surrogate, speeches which could stand their own with any of the great speeches of the last 240 years. It has brought Glenn Beck — Glenn fricking Beck — to re-evaluate his life choices.
The vision is this: we’re stronger together. When we see our differences as our strength, we all win.
If you wanted me to, I could dive down and show you how that is reflected in two dozen different policy details of Clinton’s plans. The difference is in every detail, from the approach to police killings of black citizens, to free college tuition, to the acceptance of the LBGTQ community, to the proposals to fix Obamacare so it works for everyone. On every issue, in every policy, is what has become the core idea of the Democratic Party: when we help people live up to their potential, we grow the pie for everyone.
The Romney and McCain campaigns argued that we, as a nation, had gone overboard in some places with these things. That too progressive a tax decreased our productivity, or in Romney’s famous formulation, increased the laziness of the 47%. That tensions between religious and civil liberties needed to lean more into religion, and less into civil rights. These were not things I agree with. I fought hard against them. I think there is some ugliness under these ideas, when you strip away the veneer.
But Trumpism is different. It is not talking about growing the pie, or even dividing the pie a bit differently. Trumpism means one thing: you win by punishing others or bringing others low.
It’s not enough that Trump wins: Hillary must go to jail. It’s not enough we build a wall: Mexico must pay. It’s not enough that we restrict abortion: women who receive abortions must be prosecuted. Mexicans, Muslims, African-Americans, the disabled: through the power of Trump they will learn their place. They will get in line behind us, where they belong. They will not dare to speak back, or look us in the eye.
I find this terrifying. It is not the politics of Reagan or even George W. Bush. It is the politics of a lynch mob. It is a politics of subjugation. Of punishment. Of mob justice.
There are some people out there who say that Hillary doesn’t have a vision. I think, in this election, she has the only vision that matters. We are stronger together. If you believe that, please go out and vote for Clinton tomorrow, and give her a House and Senate that allow her to govern.
Thank you, and we now go back to our scheduled programming.