Racism and misogyny are on the ballot this year. Even white men can now feel the effects. I think that's what the last twelve years in the US have been about. Here's the story. George W. Bush was so awful, we needed an antidote, and we liked Obama. We liked how sassy he was, and smart, and how well he spoke, his confidence and ambition. The whole package. It was his moment. Trump is the reaction because there were a lot of Americans who felt tremendous fear and resentment in having a young sassy (they'd probably say uppity) black man as president, no matter that he brought the economy back from the wreck that the Repubs left us. Remember how they drove it into a ditch.
So in 2016 it was Trump vs HRC. But before that it was Sanders vs HRC. That's where I, a white man, learned how men keep women down. In the debates I was so angry that Sanders interrupted and screamed over HRC, his arms waved into her space. She had to take it. Could she respond in kind? No way. Not sure what the women's equivalent of uppity is, but it's a real thing. And because she was my candidate, I felt it, felt it in a way I had never felt it before. I was enraged by it. But it seems most people couldn't even see it.
The people who hated that a black man was president sure as hell weren't going to follow him with a woman president. No matter that she's smart as a whip, would have been a great president, and look who she was running against. What a slap in the face for women as equals -- that so many people chose a huckster, buffoon, Putin surrogate, man-child, tax evader, draft dodger, rich kid, criminal, instead of HRC. It really says something.
This morning while getting ready to write it hit me. The last four years have been a symbolic lynching of Barack Obama. Anyone who still approves of Trump, if they have a mind, must be driven by rage, the kind of rage that results in a young confident black man being strung up on a tree. They're willing to let a virus decimate the country in order to express their rage. Anyone who votes for Trump this time, imho, should lose the right to call themselves an American.
It was something of a puzzle to me why racism became the big issue this summer, as the virus was raging through our population. But it would have been even if there had been no virus. Maybe we don't realize it at a conscious level, but the humiliation of the last four years, even for white men in the US, has been that the hatred of blacks and women in our fellow Americans has been exposed, they can't hide from it now. It's out there for everyone to see.
It took a fully competent African-American president and a fully competent woman candidate for white men to really see it. Some of us liked the idea of putting racism and misogyny behind us, and others hated it. But it's fully out there now.