It’s Time to Smell the Shit
People voted for Trump because he was speaking to them about their pain, and making unreasonable promises about how great the future would be for them.
At the same time he was unforgivably awful to all sorts of subpopulations of Americans. The people who voted for him either embraced that hate or ignored it.
This means two things for the rest of us.
First, it means we need to help Trump voters smell their particular shit, which is going to be hard for them, because many of them actually trusted Trump’s promises. That means we document all the ways their expectations have been unmet in the next four years. We have to keep track of the inevitable blame game that Trump is so good at, where he will vilify random people when he fails to deliver his promises.
Second, it means we need to carefully watch all those people who were willing to embrace the hate; they have been empowered and could be truly dangerous, especially when the shit first gets smelled. Nor can we rely on those people who don’t think of themselves as racist but who ignored the hate. They are willing to remain passive in the face of hatred, exactly what we cannot do. People, we need to protect one another, and in particular we need to protect the most vulnerable among us.
How do we document and protect? It starts with citizen journalism. As individuals, we need to use our phones, our blogs, and our conversations as opportunities to speak clearly about what we witness.
We need to train ourselves to intervene when we see someone get singled out for their religion or the color of their skin. We all need to get off of the toxic echo chamber that is Facebook and engage with people in a coffee shop that we happen to meet. Who knows, we might disagree with them, but that shouldn’t stop us from communicating civilly. We need to travel away from our cities and interact with people outside our normal lives.
We also need to organize locally to do more. This means more than a protest march. It’s a long game, and it needs to be strategic. It needs to reimagine the Democratic party as well a strategy to empower unionization or some other form or forms of working class solidarity. In my Occupy group we’re going to watch this video soon to know what that might look like.
There’s real risk that if we don’t document and protect, we’ll have a disappointed and angry mob casting their anger and blame on minorities with impunity.
We can do this. We can smell the shit together.