I notice a strong push even in the presumably neutral or even progressive media, for Democrats and other progressives to “get over it”and admit that Donald Trump won the election and is, in fact, being inaugurated today. Personally I keep asking why those who preach hate have not been asked to be a little bit tolerant of those who do not hate and have no desire or intention to hate. And in addition to declaring my unalterable decision not to accommodate people who hate, I am writing this piece to explain why it is never a good idea. I also wonder when Trump supporters will admit that he did not, in fact, win the election.
Some people ask for tolerance and appreciate it. Others have a very dangerous tendency to mistake kindness for weakness. If you notice that people are moving over to make room for you, it is not a license to exploit and abuse them. Unfortunately I have met many people like this. As I grew more mature, I became aware of the pattern earlier in the relationship and began to move peopl;e out of my sooner once I had noticed it.
Thus we see the Trump supporters crowing about how they are going to start purging: purging our civil law of tolerance for those who are not mainstream, purging the Affordable Health Care Act from our legislation, purging “liberals” from the public forum. Yah-hah! Let’s git them liberals!
I already see that it is useless to point out the unreasonable nature of this attitude. When was the Republican campaign reasonable? Because they could not pin any misconduct on Hillary Clinton, the Right came up with a child prostitution ring operating out of a pizza parlor. Impressive. But for the wrong reason.
We see Neo-Nazi groups making high-profile planws to begin intimidating demonstrations against Jewish enclaves. We see legislators rushing to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act no matter how stupid that is. We see the proliferation of fake news because the ultra-conservative right wing has no actual program to put before us as an alternative to sensible policies of care for the poor and sick.
Poor, homeless or sick people are not our enemies–although one might be excused for thinking so in the present media atmosphere. The LGBT community and Muslim Americans are not likely to have any actual impact on the everyday lives of average Americans, even though the conservatives would have you believe that we are under all kinds of immediate threats from nefarious groups and individuals who lurk around every corner.
So when an incipient fascist government is being installed even as I write this, why should the liberals who object to hate be advised to pull over to the sidelines and put up with it? I will not be silent when American citizens are targeted for persecution or worse. When a rich and powerful group of privileged citizens lays out a plan to begin persecution, “..it is our right, it is our duty, to throw off such government and to secure new guards for our future security,” to paraphrase our Declaration of Independence.
Aspiring fascxists, look around you–Americans will not “go gentle into that good night.” I implore you not to wait until that one overreach triggers violence against each other in the streets of this great nation. There is a strong risk of going too far just now, and it triggered the Civil Rights Movement and the Peace Movement and Women’s Liberation in previous generations. We don’t want to go through it again, but the community of decent people in America will, if we must, go to the streets again, and soon.