by Charles M. Blow
If you’ve been in a funk over the results of this election: Buck up. It’s over. Dry the tears, push back against the malaise, burn away the fog and stiffen the spine.
There is work to do. Your country needs you, now more than ever. The loyal opposition needs your energy and your moral imagination.
You may be out of power, but you aren’t powerless. Righteousness is a self-propagating energy source. Indeed, there is most likely something to be gained in the midst of your loss. Sometimes, it is while wandering in the wilderness that purpose is perfected and voice is clarified. New champions will rise from these ashes, ones who may not now be apparent, and a new path forward will appear. Such is the way of the world; such is the precedent of history.
Donald Trump was elected on a wave of fake news, fake minority outreach and an 11th-hour email head fake by James Comey.
During the campaign, Trump lied with the ease of breathing and made promises he knew well that he could never keep. He positioned himself as a champion of the disaffected, all the while imagining himself a dictator.
Furthermore, Russia may in a way have won a new phase of the Cold War by dabbling in our hot mess of an election. And through it all, Trump nurtured an unhealthy bromance with Vladimir Putin.
Since winning the election, Trump has taken aim at some fundamentals of our constitutional democracy by not only attacking the media, but individual reporters, while also threatening to revoke American citizenship for the constitutionally protected act of flag burning.
Perhaps even more important and more ominous, he is assiduously assembling a team of advisers made up of billionaires and bigots, homophobes and Islamaphobes, climate change deniers and white supremacy believers.
Last month, David Axelrod called the budding cabinet assemblage a “Monster’s Ball,” and that may be too mild a phrasing.
During one of the debates, Trump boasted, while referring to Hillary Clinton: “I will do more for African-Americans and Latinos than she can ever do in 10 lifetimes. All she’s done is talk to the African-Americans and to the Latinos.”
And yet Trump has named as his chief strategist Steve Bannon, who helped to rebrand Nazis with a new name, alt-right, which sounds more like a computer command than a batch of fanatical racists clinging desperately to poisoned ideas. Trump also named as his nominee for attorney general Jeff Sessions, a man once denied a federal judgeship over charges of racism, who fought for public school funding inequity in his home state of Alabama and who has been a stalwart foe of immigrants.
On the campaign trail, Trump claimed that he was going to be a “real friend” of the L.G.B.T. community, and once even unfurled a rainbow flag — albeit upside down — with the words “L.G.B.T.s for Trump” scrawled on it. But the British gay news service Pink News claimed Tuesday that “every single Trump cabinet member so far opposes L.G.B.T. rights.” That was before further appointments were announced, but the point is well taken, as they methodically documented the individual appointees’ personal positions on equal rights.
On the campaign trail, the self-professed genital-grabber Trump said that he would be the “the best for women.” This week, Trump named anti-contraception, pro-fetal personhood Tom Price to be secretary of Health and Human Services.
On the campaign trail, Trump claimed that he wanted to drain the swamp in Washington. But his cabinet choices suggest that his plan is simply to replace the murky water it contains and the smarmy ecosystem that it conceals with one more to his liking.
The same Trump who blasted Clinton for being “owned by Wall Street” assembled a cabinet that is a roster of the superwealthy, including at least two billionaires, and is considering other top-crusters including the miserable Mitt Romney, who is debasing himself by groveling for the secretary of state job before a man whom he once called a fraud. The Washington Post’s Wonkblog published a piece on Wednesday under this headline: “Trump said hedge funders were ‘getting away with murder.’ Now he wants one to help run the economy.”
Donald Trump is a fraud, and a dangerous one. This country is depending on morally principled patriots to never let that fact be shifted from center stage.
Trump rode to victory on a cloud of vapors and vapid promises, and now he is assembling a council of acolytes and opportunists. Now each of us must demonstrate our fortitude in vocal, steadfast resistance.
Trump must be made to know, in no uncertain terms, that he was elected president and not anointed emperor.
Not every battle can be won, but every battle must be waged. This is the proving ground. Are you prepared to stand your ground?