My subject heading is stolen from Katha Pollitt's great article in The Nation Magazine. Here's the link:
I want to clarify who I am politically: I am a Green Party activist who switched my affiliation to Democrat so that I could vote for Bernie Sanders. I volunteered and donated to his campaign. I have not worked for a Democratic Presidential nominee since 1992. I feel this election is exceptional and it is close. So I'm all in with Hillary.
Since I wrote my last blog, I've heard from many friends who were waaay ahead of me in volunteering for Hillary. Bless you, bless you, bless you. On the other hand, I've heard from one Hillary supporter who believes Bernie is the devil incarnate and one Bernie supporter who prefers Trump to Hillary. And I've talked to several people who are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that Trump has no chance of winning, so they can just relax!
Ah yes, I remember those days. I KNEW he was going to do himself in. I didn't have to lift a finger. That was a nice feeling. Strangely, Trumpian self-destruction hasn't happened. And if the recent loathsome revelations of his complete contempt for women haven't done it, then I don't expect anything else to work. As of today, Hillary has a 5% lead. Five percent is NOTHING! That means if 3% change their minds, she's behind! And before the "locker room" tape revelation, she had a 1% lead! Folks, this is scary stuff. I'm writing this at 4:15 am because I can't sleep.
There are three important phenomena (at least) going on to cause the cataclysmic possibility of a Trump presidency:
Trump himself. You gotta hand it to him, he's a very successful demagogue (Demagogue: a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular prejudices rather than by using rational argument.)
The people who support Trump. This is harder for me to understand than Trump the individual. But certainly some of them are justifiably angry at the economic changes wrought in their lives by globalization. I also think people are terrified by cultural changes: gay marriage, a black president, a woman presidential candidate, gender-neutral bathrooms. Neither candidate talks about these issues, but I think a lot of Trump's support is fueled by people's unspoken anger at the symbolic and legal progress towards greater equality. It's just too much! (Frankly, even I have trouble with gender-neutral bathrooms, and I've been almost thrown out of women's bathrooms for being a man!)
Good old-fashioned misogyny. Wow! Who knew? Or, how COULD we know, since contempt for women is the very air we breathe? Even people who SUPPORT Hillary for President can't seem to refrain from debasing her! The New York Times, which emphatically wants Hillary to win, said in a recent news article that Hillary appeared "cold" in the first debate. Cold? COLD? COLD???? WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD A MALE POLITICAL CANDIDATE DESCRIBED AS COLD? Never! It's never happened! Men running for office are not COLD. They are serious, strong, authoritative, assertive, perhaps cool as in calm and level-headed --- but never COLD! A woman cannot escape being constantly trivialized, even by her supporters. We may have come a long way, baby, but we've got a looooong way to go!
Well. I've been phone banking, joined by friends, and having coffee after. Very enjoyable. I will again be doing:
Wednesday: 1 West Portal, 5:30-8:00
Thursday: 540 Alabama (18th/Mariposa), 5:30-8:00.
PLEASE VOLUNTEER, WEAR A BUTTON, PUT UP A HOUSE SIGN, DO SOMETHING! GO TO: