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Writers on the US Election 2016: Christien Gholson

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Writers on the US Election 2016: Christien Gholson


Why I reluctantly voted for Hillary yesterday: Fear

Every four years the Democrats offer the same basic platform: “We are not THAT.” They have helped foster the widening gap between rich and poor in this country (I'll go over it again: NAFTA, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, Workfare), have willingly engaged in more and more wars across the globe, have even deported more immigrants than previous Republican administrations (Article on Deportation - Fusion, statistics can also be found anywhere else throughout the net), and yet come crawling to progressives every four years with the same plea: “We’re not THAT.”

From where we stand, they have become exactly THAT.

As usual, I did not vote FOR something, but AGAINST something. I did not vote FOR Hillary, but AGAINST Trump. And, even though the margin in my state (New Mexico) is five points up for Hillary, it looks like that margin is slipping rapidly. To be honest, the only person I wanted to vote FOR was Jill Stein, of The Green Party. (If you're progressive in any way, especially in a state that has Hillary ahead by a good eight-point margin - make sure the margin is wide, my friends - I encourage you to vote for Stein. The point being to get Stein's percentage points up to 5%. Why? If she wins at least 5% of the popular vote, the Federal Election Commission must classify the Green Party as an official "minor party." This designation will result in approximately $10 million in federal funding for the Green Party's presidential candidate in 2020. It's about the platform going national. Read it here.)

Let's face it, I voted from a base of fear. Fear of a Trump presidency. We have passed the tipping point for disaster to arrive in the form of climate change and Trump is a climate-change denier, so absolutely nothing will be done for the next four years; and our government is so dead-locked that the supreme court is the only place where policy can be established, and Trump will nominate someone so far to the right that the Supreme Court will continue to be the voice for corporate greed (Citizens United intro from Reclaim Democracy) for decades to come. 

Trump flaunts his racism, he is an open misogynist, a craven narcissist who is only interested in himself and his "ratings", he has – with a wink and a nod - even said that it would be okay to assassinate his opponent.

Trump's openly racist rhetoric is now bearing fruit in the form of arson. A church in Greenville, Mississippi was recently set on fire. The arsonist scrawled Vote Trump across the outside wall. That says it all, I think. "'We know what the black church means to the black community,' said Mayor Errick Simmons, Greenville's first black mayor, after the Hopewell fire. Calling the fire a 'hateful and cowardly act' sparked by Trump's incendiary rhetoric, he said, "This is a direct assault on black folks. It goes to the heart of intimidating folks...It happened in the ’50s. It happened in the ’60s. But it should not happen in 2016." (Washington Post article). 

If Trump is elected it will legitimize his rhetoric and you can be sure that there will be more of the same. Worse.

 

This extract is taken from a longer piece on the US Elections from Christien Gholson’s blog noise & silence which you can read in full there. Christien Gholson is the author of the novel, A Fish Trapped Inside the Wind (Parthian, 2011), and On the Side of the Crow (Hanging Loose Press, 2006; Parthian, 2011), a book of prose poems.