There’s stuff that I just disagree with that Trump says. Let’s start trade wars to bring America’s jobs back, for instance. I don’t think this action will result in bringing jobs back, it will do many other unfortunate things through.
And then there’s stuff he says that makes me think he is unfit and dangerous. Threatening to use executive power to prosecute and jail his political opponent for instance. That’s language that banana republic dictators use. Discrimination based on religion is antithetical to our Bill of Rights, and blatantly so. Openly wondering why using nuclear weapons is off the table, when any cognizant adult knows what mutually assured destruction is and why it must be respected or we quite literally might scorch the entire face of the earth. His stated disregard for the Geneva Conventions, exposes us and our military personnel to charges of war crimes.
The former, things I just disagree on? That’s normal politics. The latter stuff though? That’s the stuff that makes me think differently about Trump voters. It makes me think they are time bombs just waiting to blow the rest of us up in their fear and fundamental lack of understanding about what a democracy is and isn’t.
I know in past elections, particularly ones where gay rights were at stake, I was disappointed by my friends and family who communicated their lack of respect for me and my rights via their political affiliations. I know they were deciding on many factors, so I willfully decided not to take it personally.
But this election is different. It’s different because our choices aren’t between two different interpretations on how our country runs best. It’s between one interpretation of how our country runs better and a different government all together, a totalitarian dictatorship.
Our media and election process is completely ill-equipped to deal with this new situation. The media is trapped in a box of their own making. They survive on clicks and shares driving the quality of their content down to the lowest common denominator of sound bites and sensationalism. They’ve interpreted unbiased to mean showing both sides of an issue as equal rather than exposing where the facts lie.
The proliferation of social media and “news” websites allow unsubstantiated content to stream into our minds. And our own self-selecting allows each of us to live in a bubble where only our own biases and opinions are reflected back to us, calcifying our worst tendencies to tribalism.
It’s all of these things together that make me gravely concerned. It’s all of these things together that tell me that even with a Trump loss in less than a month, we will spend decades dealing with the fall out. This is only the beginning.