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Respect President Trump? Forget it! 

When Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were elected president I was depressed and angry. I moaned and protested, but they were my presidents so I got on with things. It was hard respecting them, especially George W, but I always respected the presidency. Not anymore.

Respect President Trump? Forget it!

This time conservative America has gone too far. No one who voted for Trump can pretend they didn’t know what kind of human being he is. I realize they couldn’t know what he would actually do as president. He lies so easily and frequently that it is impossible to know which of the things he said he will actually act on. But they did know who he was. Did it ever give them pause that the KKK and various Nazi groups enthusiastically supported him? Did they think it was a good idea to hand the world’s largest economy over to a man who has declared bankruptcy several times? Did they want him to grab their daughters’ pussy? Did they even think about his questioning why the US doesn’t use its nukes more often? Not only is what they’ve done stupid and against their best interests, it is dangerous. How dare they let this man into the White House. They have shamed the Oval Office.

Respect the presidency? You can forget that too. The presidency is an idea. Unlike the divine right of kings and queens, the idea’s integrity, legitimacy, and power comes from the people’s integrity, legitimacy, and power. Conservative America has become a deceit, a counterfeit, an abuser of power. When the people fail, the idea fails. The people’s voice is not sacred. Conservative America let itself be bought by lies, hatred, and fear. It has polluted the idea of the presidency with a brutish male bogus of a champion.

Have those who voted for this great pretender ever pondered the very close relationship between democracy and fascism? Do they know what fascism is?

Here’s a very simple definition for them: an nationalistic right-wing and authoritarian system of government and social organization. Is Trump a fascist? Well, it depends who you ask, but have a look at Trump’s ideas, speeches, proclamations: He uses ethnic stereotypes and racist identifiers; he plays on and manipulates people’s fears of foreigners; his campaign slogan, Make America Great Again, is reminiscent of past American fascist flirtations; his proclaiming and persuading people that the nation is in decline even when it is in recovery; his aggressive foreign policy to defeat our enemies and arrest the decline of the nation.

Is Trump a fascist? We hesitate to use the word, but all the above are right out of the fascist playbook. Trump is not Hitler. Only Hitler is Hitler. But it’s not too much of an exaggeration to suggest Hitler would have approved. Do I think he will usher in a fascist regime in America? While I think he has the potential to do considerable harm, no I don’t think that will happen. It’s the next Donald Trump who comes along who scares me more. As I said in Election Day Hopes or The End of the Dream is Being Televised:

Trump is to politics what porn is to the internet: something that should have been controlled, limited, and generally unacceptable has gone mainstream. Every society has its dark side, or dark underbelly. It will never be expunged, but a good society keeps its less desirables under their rocks. Trump has lifted all the rocks and the racist, xenophobes, misogynists, fascist bastards are out and shouting and packing and just being themselves.

The alt-right has found its voice in Trump. It’s loud and aggressive. During Trump’s victory speech a supporter shouted, “Kill Obama” loudly and at least twice. True to form, Trump did not rebuke the man. Think about it. The president-elect has encouraged violence at his rallies and let the suggestion that the standing president be killed go unchallenged. What we have witnessed is demagogy and violence in our political life become normal and acceptable to many. But what is really frightening is the thought that the next alt-right hero will have a ready built platform on which to call out our darker selves.

This is what conservative America has married to the idea of the presidency: The alt-right, KKK, Nazi, fascist, brutal male playbook.

Do I think all the 59,427,652 Americans who voted for Trump are fascist thugs? Of course, not! But I do think they saw what was going on and voted for him anyway. And to those almost 60 million voters I say: He’s yours now. My friends and I will pay the price along with you, but he belongs to you. With nude photos of your future First Lady flying around the internet, your president elect due in court over alleged fraud and the rape a thirteen year old girl, with the New York State investigation into his charitable foundation beginning and the possible federal investigation into some of his advisers’ links to Russia, it’s time for you to step up and take ownership. Talking about emails won’t wash anymore.

Donald Trump is not my president. I would rather be in the political wilderness, dislocated, homeless.

To the 59, 626,052 people who voted for Hillary Clinton, the 4,054,130 who voted for Gary Johnson, and the 1,206,015 who voted for Jill Stein, come January 1st the majority of elected officials and their staff in the majority of state legislatures, governorships, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House, and soon to follow the Supreme Court, will be people embracing a kind of pre-enlightenment, anti-science, and, for many, religious fundamentalist worldview. If you've not worried about climate change, this will be the time to start. If you thought the fight to secure the rights of the LGBT community was nearing a victorious end, think again. If you thought Obamacare was finally secure, don’t look now. Abortion rights? Marriage equality? The social network that many depend upon? In fact, most everything you thought was good in the last eight years may be up for grabs. Conservative America has given complete power to a party in disarray, controlled by right-wing ideologues and religious fundamentalists. Conservative America has handed the presidency to a man with absolutely no experience in politics, as if it had elected a man to a council seat in a town of 500 people, with a temperament which is frightening. As Bob Dylan said, a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

A good number of my friends and acquaintances have already begun the rallying cry to fight the good fight. I’m glad they are doing so. But for me, it’s a bit too soon. I’m not yet in a mood to make lemonade, to make the best of a bad situation, to keep the faith. This election was a game changer. I’m psychologically weary, morally exhausted, emotionally drained. These will all pass in time. But for now I'm getting my head around the reality that the Uniited States of America just elected a despicable and dangerous man to the precidency.

Copyright @ 2016 Dale Rominger

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