I have fought depression my whole life. Sadness and isolation became my intimates when I was very young, and they have visited me tenaciously ever since.
Which is why I’m funny. Laughter is my defense. I’ve earned laughter since I was a little boy, because I figured out, in a life and death sort of way, that it’s good for me. But today I can’t find the funny, so my depression is rubbing his palms together like a safecracker.
“Donald Trump!”, he whispers, “Is gonna be President, and you’re going to have to take him seriously!”
Which is what we all should have been doing all along, all us clever people. But we didn’t, because he was too funny not to make fun of. And now he will have the nuclear codes.
I offer no solution to the problem, except this: Feel bad. Then fight.
I do it every day, in that order, and it’s the only right action under the circumstance. Feel bad. Then fight. Not sneer. Not dismiss. Not endure. Not accommodate. Not mock. Well, okay go ahead and mock, but Fight. We, the Electorate, are to blame for allowing this to happen. We watched while Bernie Sanders, our version of Donald Trump, the good version in my opinion, got shoved aside by the Democratic establishment, because he was ‘unelectable’. And it didn’t give us nearly enough pause that the other Party’s most ‘unelectable’ candidate was busy winning their nomination. We didn’t see what was right in our faces: that this year was completely different, because what the buffoon with the hair was doing was grotesque, and dangerous, and malignly brilliant.
Bernie Sanders reintroduced actual Left Wing American Politics to the Presidential race, and got treated very disrespectfully for it by the Democratic Establishment.
Meanwhile Trump tapped into a crack in the surface of America where all the anger and resentment, all the stuff that people don’t say but feel deeply, had been building up for years, and he just bellowed it out. It was artless, grotesque, appalling, ridiculous, and we were too busy mocking him and his supporters to see how well it was working. So instead of realizing the emergency, we kept insisting: they’re not smart, we’re smart.
Trump and Bernie were the only primary candidates saying urgent, appalling, unfashionable, radically blunt things. And for a long time they were both treated as sideshows.
Then Bernie got rudely shoved aside by the Democrats while Trump shoved all the other Republicans aside, and not enough of us were as alarmed as we should have been. Voices of truth, like Michael Moore who said over a year ago that Trump was going to win, were drowned out and papered over by all that useless smartness.
Last night Trump simultaneously blew up the Republican Party and became it’s leader, by overtly pandering to all the isms and phobias about race, sex, gender, religion and culture that ‘establishment’ Republican candidates have covertly used to get reelected for decades. It’s disgusting.
But what happened to the Democrats is worse. We outsmarted ourselves.
So now we have to fight. It’s all we’ve got. We have to fight this monstrous national dilemma the same way as, when we were children, we fought ourselves awake to escape a nightmare, and found ourselves, alone in the dark, awake and breathing, with life in our veins.