"We should host people to watch the election results," my husband said. "We can serve Champagne if Clinton wins, and prune juice if she doesn't."
"Not prune juice," I said. "We should serve bleach if she doesn't."
I was kidding, of course. Sort of. I want Hillary Clinton to win because I think she has some damn good policies. Because I admire her tenacity - this a woman who has been metaphorically punched in the face billions of times over the years, and she shrugs it off and keeps going because that's what she does. Because I love that she's a policy geek and a pragmatist. As my friend (who, right after Clinton won the nomination, swore she could not ever vote for HRC) wrote:
My favorite thing about Hillary is that she is politically expedient and will do what's popular. (Also my least favorite thing about her.) So, if we raise up, en masse, grassroots, and show her what we want, she's likely to do it, if only to maintain power. I'll take it. This is where all of us passionate Bernie progressives really flex our muscles and get stuff done.
I agree: WE CAN GET REALLY GREAT STUFF DONE! It's rare that I think that because I'm a pessimist. This election, though, made me think big. We need to rise up, en masse, and say we want good change.
The alternatives scare the shit out of me. This summer, when Trump won the nomination, I called my sister. I told her to get passports for herself and my nephew immediately. "You have to have them now," I said. "You can't wait because it takes weeks to get one, and God forbid we'll need to leave quickly."
She obtained them at the end of August, and I breathed easier. Am I being paranoid? Maybe. My grandparents are Holocaust survivors. They lived because they fled their towns just ahead of the Nazis. None of their family member who remained home survived. None. If I do not learn anything from their experience, I am more than a fool.
Do I think that Trump is Hitler? Not entirely. I think he apes a lot of Hitler's language, and he certainly uses Hitler's hateful rhetoric to gain support. His even more dangerous sons spend a lot of time cozying up to Nazi and white supremacy groups.
I actually think Trump is more like Stalin: paranoid; subject to staff purges; promising to imprison his political opponents; promising to purge/relocate entire ethnic groups; horrid economic plans that devastate the nation but enrich himself; not accepting of democracy. (Weirdly, Stalin's daughter also was married to a Jewish guy, but that's not a flaw - just a freaky coincidence I can't shake from my mind.)
Let us not forget: As many as 60 MILLION PEOPLE DIED UNDER STALIN. And I think Trump is like Stalin. That is terrifying.
Another friend mentioned on Facebook that he understands people's worries about Trump, but he will never vote for anyone who supported the Iraq war. This friend is male, cis gender, hetero, white, and from a very comfortable upper middle class background. How fortunate he is to have the luxury of ideological purity.
The racial hatred that Trump's supporters so freely spew clearly won't directly impact him. On Twitter, someone told me that he couldn't wait for Trump to win so I could be "deported on a cattle car to Mexico." I was told that the Holocaust was fiction, but now I'll know what it was like. I felt lucky that, unlike many other Jewish people on Twitter, a photo of me wasn't superimposed into a gas chamber or behind the famous "Arbeit Macht Frei" gates. I don't think I could have handled that.
This election matters. It is a clear choice between a smart, competent person who we can work with to do important, progressive, life changing work, and Stalin. Please go out and vote for Hillary Clinton. Use this chance to turn Congress blue. This is not the time for self-congratulations that you rose above politics and didn't compromise or whatever. Don't let Trump-Stalin and the GOP who allowed him to come to utterly destroy whatever good things we have.
I'm really hoping to drink Champagne on Nov 8, not bleach.