This Election is Not a Referendum on Trump: It’s a Referendum on Us.
We Already Know What He Is. We We Will Now Learn Who We Are.
It has been widely circulated in the media that the upcoming mid-term elections are “a referendum on Donald Trump.” This notion is based on the logic that if the people vote in sufficient numbers to prevent a “Blue Tide” from taking place, that Trump will have won over a plurality, that he will have won, period.
We all — all of us, whether we acknowledge it or not — know that Trump is a very bad president and a very bad man. We know he is a Fascist, that he is sympathetic to Naziism, that he is a cold, uncalulating, stupid and brutal front for the USA, a man who embarrasses even those who support him, though many of them will still make weak arguments as to why that is not true.
We all know Donald Trump is a narcissist who hates the media because it reports the news and since Donald Trump has been The News for nearly a year and a half now, his rushes have not been good, that much of the media has panned him and that even the media who cover him indifferently print stories that are true and therefore make him look bad to the world. Well, except perhaps for Fox News (if that is an actual news source) and, say, Breitbart, though I feel certain even Andrew Breitbart is spinning in his grave by now.
We know Donald Trump will say anything on impulse, especially if he senses that his “base” wants to hear it, and he will never apologize no matter how reprehensible the statements, and that he will rarely, and only under massive pressure, walk back any of those statements. We also know he is so inconsistent that he will often contradict his own statements later on and, when confronted with this fact, either deny he ever made the original statement or, increasingly, just say “So what? It doesn’t matter.” In fact, of late, his motto seems to be “Nothing matters.” Of course we also know he has said that only he matters. Perhaps he is nothing?
We know Donald Trump not only came into office with no prior political experience but that during his tenure thus far he appears to have gained no political experience because he doesn’t pay attention to anything but his own image and to those who suck up to him. He doesn’t even seem to understand he is being sucked up to, enabled, used, by a GOP-dominated Congress that has found him to be a useful idiot in their echo chamber, to help sell ideas that are often against the interests of the people (except for the extremely wealthy, and of course that includes many members of Congress).
We know all this. We all know it. We all know what a “sig heil” looks like, we have seen him use it, we have heard his zombified admirers, at rallies, chant meaningless mantras like “lock her up” and “USA! USA!” and watched him beam as they do. We know of his admiration for dictators living and dead, and we know he sees our Constitution as a roll of toilet paper. We know he believes, like all effective dictators, that he can actually do anything he wants, and we know, most of all, that the current Congress largely supports whatever he says and does, led by Ted Cruz in the House and Mitch McConnell in the Senate, both capable at any moment of flashing what William S. Burroughs once described as a “leer of pure, educated evil.”
Yes, they know what they are doing. Trump doesn’t, really. He just does things, and they encourage and enable him.
We know all this. All of us have seen and heard it ad nauseum. So this mid-term election can hardly be called, with a straight face, a “referendum on Trump.”
What it actually is, is a referendum on us. What it will show and tell us is whether or not we, collectively, without any Electoral College involved, have turned into a fully, truly Fascist nation, if we are as bad as our worst, or as good as our better angels.
That is a singular problem with representative democracy: The majority speaks for all of us — and ultimately decides things for all of us.
If we, all of us collectively, in the good old democratic way we do things, do not take back control of the House of Representatives, which is the most direct form of democracy available to us, then regardless of what happens in the Senate (so near, yet so far away, it seems), then we will have spoken, and we will have said “Look out, world. We are coming to wreck you, even as we wreck ourselves,” because we also know, all of us, how the last great fascist uprising ended.
We still like to take credit for that, even though we were no greater a part of its undoing than the stoic Soviet Russian Army that led the Nazis into the interior of their vast country during a typical Russian winter and broke the back of Germany’s land forces, or Great Britain, who kept calm and carried on, frustrating Hitler’s lust for urban renewal and more liebensraum for der vaterland, no more than the French Underground and the Norwegian resistance fighters who simply kept blowing things up.
No, as Doug Stanhope has said in his famous diatribe against nationalism, “We didn’t do shit!” Certainly none of us did. Not those of us who all the time tell each other how we saved the world from Hitler. As for Japan…yes, we certainly shut them up, and in a way that seems to inform and inspire Donald Trump in his urge to dominate.
But I digress…
The mid-term elections, which in case you have been told differently (especially if you are a person of color) take place on this coming Tuesday, and they will be a referendum on us, on the very soul of our Republic.
It seems fairly likely the GOP will lose control of the House, and that will be a huge step toward ending this Fascist nightmare that began 50 years ago with the election of Richard Nixon (who is reflected in many ways by Donald Trump, though Nixon was far more intelligent than Trump and still couldn’t hang on to the office of president because the people drove him out).
When that happens, when the people drive Donald Trump from office, that will be a referendum on Donald Trump. But first we must find out the condition of the minds and hearts of the people, and that will happen on Tuesday (although I must remind you all: some of those districts will be very slow getting their results counted and returned, so don’t stroke out over the close ones that take place in slow districts).
“But what about the Senate?” you ask, as though that would change everything. Well, odds makers like 538 have the GOP holding the Senate and maybe even gaining a couple of seats. That could happen, so don’t be surprised if it does, but remember, for god’s sake, that it’s already very close in there, that the GOP only has a plurality of two seats, meaning if they lose one it’s tied (and so Mike Pence will have to settle a lot of votes, which is no better than things are now), or…dare I suggest it? They may just lose two seats — it could happen, things are that unsettled right now. If they lose two, they lose control of the Senate as well. Probably won’t happen, but damn it, it could.
The bottom line, sisters and brothers, is that if you don’t want this thing to turn out showing the world that we are a Fascist regime top to bottom, left to right, and vastly larger and more unstable even than Germany was under Hitler, then there is one thing and one thing alone that can be done: VOTE. Nothing less will do, and nothing is quite so easy, unless, of course, you are black or Latinix or incredibly lazy, stupid, apathetic or suicidal. People of color must have good people watching the polls to make certain there is no funny business, or at least that it is kept to a minimum.
And who will likely decide this vote in favor of sanity? People of color, women, and, yes, young people. So again, for the love of God or Dog or at least your own best interests and the Republic you take for granted, get out there and