Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Why I'm With Her

I was out of the country during the Republican and Democratic conventions, and even though the place where we were staying had a TV in every room, no one in our villa turned one on. Not once. Not even me. That didn't mean I wasn't on my phone every morning, obsessively checking what had happened the night before. I didn't hear Trump's speech at the RNC though I did see all the stories calling it "dark and frightening" and the tweets suggesting that someone should check whether he'd plagiarized from Mein Kampf.

I did call my son in New York and ask him to tape the Democratic convention on the night that Obama spoke, and on the night that Clinton spoke, which meant I not only got to watch my president's transcendent address, but also gutsy Joe Biden, fed-up Mike Bloomberg, schulmpy but sincere Tim Kaine (who I very much like for Clinton's VP), inspiring Rev. William Barber, and yes, the Khans, the heartbroken parents who gave a quietly elegant speech about the sacrifice of their son, a fallen Muslim American solider who died saving the lives of his fellow combatants in Iraq in 2004.

Our return flights to New York delayed, we got back home at 4 a.m. on Thursday morning. Everyone else went to bed, but I sat up till daybreak watching the speeches, tears flowing down my cheeks as I listened to Obama, so proud I was of him, and so moved anew by his sheer human decency.

A day later, the opposite of human decency was on full display in Trump's response to the grieving parents, the way he disrespected them for days after, going so far as to try to link them to radical Islamic terrorism. His lack of compassion should have been astonishing, except it wasn't. What flummoxed me was the degree to which he couldn't understand that his response was so absolutely wrong in tone, so politically stupid, and worse, it seemed no one around him could hold him back from his hissy fit that the Khans had dared to call him out.

Someone wrote that his lack of emotional discipline was staggering. Many others questioned his sanity (to be fair, many have questioned his sanity from the start). Warren Buffet asked, "Donald Trump, have you no sense of decency, sir?" Rhetorical question. (Buffet went on to point out that Trump's eponymous business interests have operated at deeper and deeper losses every year—so much for his vaunted business instincts). "One wonders if Republican leaders have begun to realize that they may have hitched their fate and the fate of their party to a man with a disordered personality," the Washington Post mused. The evidence is just too voluminous to bother citing here.

And yet, people intend to vote for this demagogue, of whom Hillary Clinton said, "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with the nuclear codes."

Honestly, whatever you may feel about Hillary Clinton, she is far more prepared to be president than the Republican alternative. She's been in the political spotlight for 40 years, and she hasn't done everything right, but she knows what she's about, she's whip smart, and she's far more likely to stand up for my children and yours than any other candidate in the race. And while we're at it, let's just get real about the fact that independents Jill Stein and Gary Johnson have absolutely no chance of winning the presidency, therefore a vote for either of them is effectively a vote for Trump. All the idealism in the world won't negate that fact, so to my mind, if you're planning to vote for anyone other than Clinton-Kaine, I'm seriously questioning your grasp of the situation in which we find ourselves.

Besides, do you really think Trump wants to run this country? And one last thing: Paul Ryan and all the other Republican politicos who have endorsed Trump will forever be marked by history as having supported the forces of bigotry, despotism and hate.

As you've probably figured out, #I'mWithHer


  1. And I agree with every word you said.
    And oh- by the way- have you seen any of the pictures of Tim Kaine from when he was a young man?
    And he plays the harmonica! I sort of have a little crush on him.

    1. Mary, omg, yes! He looks like a movie star. Youth is so freakin radiant! And I have a little crush on him too. He's so decent. I find core decency incredibly sexy!

  2. I am far away from your country but we have our own European demagogues waiting in the wings, clapping and cheering trump as they go along.

    I am beginning to think that this all has nothing to do with decency or how on earth can anybody vote for him when he is so blatantly wrong, when she is so much more educated and skilled etc. Of one side trying in more and more detail to expose the lies and failures and shortcomings or the other side. All that argument seems to mean nothing.

    I think we must realise that people who will vote for him or any of his European version are doing is because they can, like kids doing something they know is wrong and nasty.
    A woman living in the UK I have known for along time, a clever person, a mother, academic, experienced, artistic, wrote to me that she voted for brexit simply because it felt so "liberating" to do the unexpected, to be rude for the first time in her adult life, to let out all her frustration and anger for a little short moment and see what happens next. She is not a single nut case (and is beginning to regret). But I am sure there are many more out there who just loved the idea of finally letting it all out, whatever it is. And then look at the mess and say, so there.

  3. The DNC was so inspiring and brought out the best of American ideals. I am really flummoxed at how anyone could support Trump and his platform of fear and hate. He seems most popular with the uneducated, which shows me the importance of college to enlighten us towards independent and critical thinking. I do not mean that to seem elitist but folks need to educate themselves rather than watching Fox "news".

    Glad you enjoyed your vacation and are safely home.

  4. "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with the nuclear codes."

    As I sit up here in Canada, feeling somewhat removed from all the chaos, I know on a very real level that what happens in November is going to affect every single person on the planet. He can't get along with anyone who dares to disagree with him. How is he going to respond to North Korea? Russia? How is he going to respond to Canada? Our current Prime Minister just marched in a Pride Parade and is welcoming immigrants and refugees with open arms. He is not going to buddy up with Trump, not in a million years. Then what?

  5. Yup, yup, yup, yup. And I'd add that those Republican leaders who are openly supporting Trump are quite literally spineless.

  6. There are some creepy, creepy people out there. Apparently more than we thought! I felt so afraid last night after a talking head said on Charlie Rose that if all the people who never vote come out and vote for Trump, he could win. I actually shivered and felt sick. Sometimes this feels like a horror movie and we won't know how it ends until Nov 8th and maybe not even then. ARGH! But we all have each other, and we will not go backwards, no matter what.

  7. It feels simply incredible - and not in a good way - that things have progressed to this point. Beyond the pale. And as one guy said recently, no matter what party you are, this is a time to choose country over party. I hope voters take their responsibility seriously. I only wish non-Americans could have a say, too!

  8. I'm with her too, for all that and more. I have a friend who's planning to vote for the Green Party candidate rather than Hillary. I told her in no uncertain terms that now is not the time to make a political point. We have to think practically and strategically, and that means keeping a Dem in the White House and maintaining a liberal majority on the Supreme Court. It HAS to be Hillary.

  9. Brilliant yeah. You've got it exactly.