Last night, as a country, we mutually writhed in dismay while tuning in to the presidential debate. In recaps this morning, my friends compared it to an SNL skit, while another friend said her eight-year-old had commented, “These guys want to be president? Interrupting is rude!”
While the debate was almost funny it was so bad, I was left feeling amazed, yet again, that anyone had voted for Trump in the first place. As he eagerly shouted facts he made up on the spot, I leaned forward and covered my nose and mouth with my hands.
How many people out there believe this? I wondered. Some of his facts were true, some were false and bizarre, like a boy playing “well MY robot can do this!” at the kitchen table. I wondered how many people were taking his words at face value.
All politicians lie, but this was next level.
This morning, I find myself mulling over all the people I know who voted for Trump. Four people that I’m close to voted for Trump in the last election. One voted for him purely as a Republican act of loyalty. Another voted for him because she is pro-life and believed she had to support the pro-life ticket. Another claimed, “I voted against war with Russia.” The fourth was an elderly woman who thought Trump was a delight. When I asked her what she thought of his misogyny, she said, “Oh, no no,” with an aggressive smile, “I think he’s a good man.”
Those four people all believed Trump would be a good choice for the country. Now, four years later, three of the above people have since changed their minds — they writhe a little when I remind them they voted for Trump, and they assure me they’re voting Libertarian this year.
It’s easy to chalk Trump’s presidency up to Bad Breakup Hysteria. Obama left us, and some Americas hadn’t been ready for a black president. They panicked and chose the extreme opposite. We reeled; we needed bangs. We needed to do something crazy.
That’s all over. In the cold light of day, we’re still looking at this man and his lies. We realize what we’ve done.
Trump’s first term could be waved away as a fit of madness, a freak-out after too much change. An ornery ten-year-old “oh yeah? well so there”, a shot from the hip.
If we reelect Trump again, it will say so much more about the character, values, and beliefs of the American people. I will see my country as something closer to Nazi Germany than a land for the people, by the people.
We need to do something if we are going to prove our humanity remains. For now, we have to sit tight and watch old men interrupt each other. Here’s a bit of humor to close us out:
“They should have had a woman run the debate last night,” a friend of mine commented.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because women have a lot of practice getting interrupted.”