This is about two very different ways of seeing the world. [Read George Lakoff “Don’t Think of an Elephant” for a clear picture of those two different ways.]
“Hillary supporters believe in a diverse America; one where religion or skin color or sexual orientation or place of birth aren’t liabilities or deficiencies or moral defects…
“Trump supporters believe in a very selective America; one that is largely white and straight and Christian, and the voting verified this. Donald Trump has never made any assertions otherwise. He ran a campaign of fear and exclusion and isolation—and that’s the vision of the world those who voted for him have endorsed.
“They have aligned with the wall-builder and the professed p*ssy-grabber, and they have co-signed his body of work, regardless of the reasons they give for their vote:
“Every horrible thing Donald Trump ever said about women… has now been validated.
“Every profanity-laced press conference and every call to bully protestors and every ignorant diatribe has been endorsed.
“Every piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation Mike Pence has championed has been signed-off on.
“Half of our country has declared these things acceptable, noble, American.
“Those whose voices have been silenced will be further quieted.
“Those who always felt marginalized will be pushed further to the periphery.
“Those who feared they were seen as inferior now have confirmation in actual percentages.
“It’s about religion being weaponized.
“It’s about crassness and vulgarity and disregard for women.
“It’s about a barricaded, militarized, bully nation.
“It’s about an unapologetic, open-faced ugliness.
“…knowing that these things have been amen-ed by our neighbors, our families… That is the most horrific thing of all. We now know how close this is.
“It feels like living in enemy territory being here now, and there’s no way around that. We wake up today in a home we no longer recognize. We are grieving the loss of a place we used to love but no longer do… [this is also how I felt when I figured out what my FOO really thought of me]
“Grief always laments what might have been, the future we were robbed of, the tomorrow that we won’t get to see…
“…we had an opportunity… to let everyone know they had a place at the table… and we said no.”
I’m actually not surprised. This exclusionary way of thinking is exactly how my FOO treated me: they hold against me my personal choices of religion (lack thereof), family planning, politics, you name it, I’m wrong for it. And they are all in the Midwest, the reddest of states — with the exception of my sister, who lives in a suburb of Chicago, BUT it is one that is even whiter than the one HRC grew up in — and that’s extremely hard to do in Chicago, unless you have a lot of money.
That small-mindedness, that closed-in, closing-off fear of anything new or different, combined with a worship of the almighty dollar as the only measure of anything worth having, gets you conservative thought.
See, those things can be overlooked, as long as they don’t pertain to you and yours, and as long as there is the promise of economic prosperity coming out of that same sewer of a mouth. If it will make you rich, with no adverse social consequences to you, you can easily overlook the ugliness aimed towards “others” — and in some cases, gleefully join in.
I used to wonder how it was that the conservatives I knew (mostly well-off whites) claimed they “wanted a better world for their children” — yet they were always opposed to any kind of progress or opportunities for various other people: atheists, minorities, women, LGBTQ, whoever wasn’t just like them.
I figured out two things: one, it most specifically was THEIR children they were wanting this for — NOT for every child, everywhere, regardless of what their social condition might be. Like, say, Jesus is supposed to have suggested.
This I think has its roots in the conservative idea that children are somehow “born bad” and have to be “made good” by performing certain religious rituals, learning social rules, and being harshly disciplined as a little child for doing what comes naturally to a child: doing things that make them happy.
Happiness is not a value in conservative thought. It is debauchery. (If you think that makes for a bleak way of life, you’re right — I’ve been on both sides of that fence, and I can definitely say this side is better.)
And “other” children who do not undergo the same religious rituals as yours, or follow the same social rules as yours, remain “bad” and not deserving of being treated the same as yours.
The unhealthy idea that “children are born bad” is the one thing that truly, completely sickens me about conservative thought.
The second thing I figured out is that the “better life” they want for their children means exactly one thing: more money. More material wealth. Bigger houses, better vacations. That’s the only thing they mean by “better”. I suppose there is some grudging allowance for scientific advances in things like medicine, too, but the main thing is more money.
It’s a pretty poor way to judge a human life, but even so — I still don’t get how they think their kids are going to benefit in that way from the leadership of a man, and a party, that both have a long history of screwing over the average guy when it comes to money.
Yes, I grieve for what might have been, personally and nationally. The difference is that nationally, I also fear for the future.