Published: Nov 18, 2016 12:00:00 PM

sunrise-november-9-2016Teaching all the people who voted for Donald Trump that they did a bad thing is going to be a lot of work. I didn't want to have to do that work. That's selfish of me.

I rooted against selfishness. I hoped America's collective national identity could look upon evil and recognize it. You know, from all the stories they've heard, or from all the history they've been taught, or at least from the tyrants, living and dead, that aimed to conquer Westeros in Game of Thrones. I don't care where people learn about evil. You all should know what evil looks like, sight unseen. That is fiction's lesson, its gift.

I can never assume though. Now things have started to swirl. The sky literally turned red the morning Trump was elected.

We all have to go back to school.

\\\ Processing patient hate.

What inspired the Republican win? Hate, fear, and an easy way out. Whether unspoken or subconscious, roughly twenty-five percent of the American population was tricked into voting for Donald Trump, a man that Christopher Nolan might create if he were rebooting Krusty the Clown as a realistic, gritty supervillain that feeds off attention.


Bells were rung deep inside people. They saw themselves in this twirling balloon animal. Trump was earning attention for tapping basic hatred. Hate is tenacious and patient. Hate is a default setting for the fearful, where individuals are not only confused, but perhaps even gullible. Trump stated a few years back he would assuredly run for president as a Republican because their voting base is stupid and they'd believe anything they were told.

Nobody minded.

Rallying behind him, supporters were collectively, willfully, proudly ignorant. Trump's hateful rhetoric to these supporters might've felt like the greatest kindness anyone had given them in decades.

Trouble is, when you've enjoyed unrealized privilege for centuries, modern equality suddenly feels like persecution. Except it isn't persecution, it's just the passage of time. A Trump voter struggles with that logic jump, not because they're evil, but because their misbehavior is always excused.

I'd estimate most enjoyed misbehavior as their primary communication method unto their surrounding environment. It's the most immediate and satisfying. Assured ignorance is an endless chocolate milk, welcoming you back over and over, and when you're slurping it down, man, nothing else matters. It's a clear, dominant emotion that dominates all others.

Hate is America's addiction. Trump's campaign is the traveling opium den. This will not be a revelation to most, college students have shouted about Marxism and opiates of the masses for a century.

Yet, it's persists. All the history and knowledge in the world and still the road crowns and erodes, sliding away into the ditches running parallel.

Hate is patient. Hate is kind. 

\\ The road grows crooked, and we have to work hard.


This election is a national loss. It's a call to action. Even if Trump has won the office, there is no throne for him, to paraphrase a conversation from The Avengers and make no mistake, the country's forward momentum is vengeful. Check any map of voting by demographic and you will find a very blue America among millennial voters. This isn't the end. This isn't even an act-break. This is counter-punch from the competition. This is the last gasp of a desperate man.

Trump can bring all the bluster and lunacy we know he will, but it's all on him. He has a short life expectancy. Our responsibility is to mitigate damage however possible.

For many, the road has suddenly become crooked. I fear for my friends who aren't white, cis male, targets of the patient, dominant, normalizing hate. I fear for people without health insurance. I fear for Americans afraid of other Americans. I fear for our friends around the globe that I hope will be patient while we endure our time with a coward so transparent that you'd be able to see his failing organs through his skin, if he didn't love spray-on tans so fucking much.

Instead of letting the current carry us downstream toward the future, we have to go to work. That sucks. But we've done it before.

\ There are more of us than there are of them.

Trump won the electoral college. Clinton has won the popular vote by more than 2.5 million people. This is terrifying. What really sucks for Trump is, we know how to deal with terrifying.

An entire generation has been sitting on its collective hands, making do with what the world tosses, and learning how to combat maniacal regimes. There's been no plague. There's been no war. There's been no apocalypse that we would recognize in TV or film.

There's been an election. It's been horrible. We know how to fight this. We know we do. The shock has worn off and we begin to recognize the path forward.

Not through combat, but through empathy and education. The Trump voting base has been deceived with simple, crushing fear. They've been manipulated with calls for racism, and sexism, and homophobia, and xenophobia. The alternative was not thoroughly explained. Their chosen path was simpler for them. The consequences will not be simple.

Our task is a tougher bell to ring. We must prove to them the harder path, the inclusive path, the progressive path, the potentially colder and scarier path, is the superior path. All actions following the election must be focused through that lens.

It will not be simple because it never is.

Tell a friend. Tell the friend to tell a friend. Strive for a future of clarity and compassion. Let's do something original.

-- Alex Crumb
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