Two days before the end of an election season that has left many Americans (including me) sickened and disgusted, polls show that Hillary Clinton is in a good position to become the next President of the United States. This is fine with me. She has earned it well.
Sure, I prefer Bernie Sander's positions on economic fairness, and Jill Stein's on the environment. But neither of those candidates had to stand alone on a debate stage against the worst, most offensive and most poisonous presidential candidate in American history and fight for a sense of decency and humanity that nearly half our country was willing to lose. For the past several months, one woman shouldered the incredible responsibility of holding strong against a fascist takeover of American democracy. Hillary Clinton stood strong.
In three televised debates, she never broke down and never forgot her game plan. Earlier, in the GOP debates, we watched a freak show of supposedly qualified Republican "tough guys" including Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Ted Cruz fail to meet the challenge of Donald Trump's siren call for fascism. Hillary Clinton proved herself stronger than all of those clueless politicians put together. Hillary Clinton's focus, determination and strength in the battle against Donald Trump showed America what a strong President she will be.
A year ago, it was possible to ask "what great things has Hillary Clinton achieved?". If she wins this Tuesday, there will be a new answer to this question. She took down Donald Trump. She took him down when the Republican party could not. She kept her focus even while many of our supposedly bulwarks of our free press (including CNN and the New York Times) couldn't figure out which way was up and paid more attention to a completely banal and ridiculous narrative about a nonexistent email scandal than they paid to the rise of a new American yearning for a brutal dictator. I'm ashamed for American media — though thankfully a few outlets like the Washington Post, Mother Jones and Vox managed to speak clearly through the ridiculous noise.
But what if a terrible surprise occurs (as many pollsters say could still happen)? What if Hillary loses, and what if Donald Downer aka Der Fuhrer aka Donald Trump is elected President on Tuesday?
Then, my friends, our fight begins. This calls to mind something surprising I heard from a friend who is unfortunately a Trump supporter (yeah, I have a few friends and relatives who support Trump, and because I am a pacifist and because I try to understand all points of view they have remained my friends, though they have had to hear me talk a lot these past few months).
This friend said he doesn't believe Trump is really as nasty and undemocratic and childish as he appears. This friend told me that Trump was just acting this way because he had been facing so much resistance in his rise to the top of our political system. Once he is elected, this rather deluded friend of mine said, Trump will be able to calm down, stop fighting back against hostile enemies, and grow into the role of a competent leader.
I laughed in my friend's face. If by some disastrous turn of events Trump wins, he will wake up on November 9 to the beginnings of the most determined, fierce and enraged resistance he has ever faced. Indeed, it is only because so many Americans don't believe this fascist can actually become President that many have not yet begun fighting back. The fight against President Trump is a fight I hope we don't ever have to begin, but it is a fight that we will never allow to end, even at the cost of our own lives.
Perhaps some find it curious that a pacifist speaks of "the fight". Well, if Trump wins, our battle will resemble the battles of Mahatma Gandhi and of Martin Luther King. It will follow the admirable working principles of Occupy. It will be a battle of nonviolent resistance. But, as we have sadly observed before, nonviolent resistance takes a lot of courage. When a campaign of nonviolent resistance begins, it's usually only one side that pledges nonviolence. That's why there's never been anything peaceful about the fight for peace, or the fight for freedom, or the fight for human rights.
I pray that Hillary Clinton will be elected President of the United States in two days. If this goes wrong, I'm ready to begin the new fight. Are you?
Excellent, well-thought out article, M.E. Stein!