sexta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2016

I thought I was just scared of Trump – but it's his America I fear

I thought I was just scared of Trump – but it's his America I fear
Jessica Valenti
Thursday 3 November 2016 17.12 GMT

Misogyny, racism and bigotry won’t go away if Donald Trump loses next week’s election; it was already here before he drew it out into the mainstream
With the presidential election less than a week away, my once-composed optimism has given way to panic. Sheer, stomach-churning panic. You see, up until now I had done a somewhat decent job of not allowing myself to imagine the unimaginable: Donald Trump winning. But as election day looms closer, and the racism and sexism that infects Trump’s campaign is ratcheted up, it’s hard not to be terrified.

In the past week, a Ku Klux Klan newspaper endorsed Trump and white supremacists announced their plan for widespread voter intimidation. Trump rally-goers shouted antisemitic invective at reporters, and a historically black church in Mississippi was burned and “vote Trump” scrawled across the side. Another woman came forward to accuse Trump of sexual assault, and a Texas official called Hillary Clinton a “cunt”.

This isn’t a political divide between left and right, Democrats and Republicans; it’s an immeasurable moral chasm. And so I understand why it’s been easier for many horrified by Trump to simply pretend there’s no way that he could actually win the presidency. Imagining the hatred underlying his campaign and politics being emboldened in this way is just too much to bear.

If Trump wins – a possibility, even if it is unlikely – what will our country look like? What will happen to women’s rights, not just at a policy level, but in schools and in homes? How much more afraid will immigrants and people of color have to become that they’ll be ripped from their homes or killed on the street by the very people tasked to protect them? Part of the problem is that we already know the answers to these questions: we’ve been living them.

This election has uncovered something vile about America. That so many people would support a despicable candidate is not news to those hurt every day by racism, sexism and xenophobia; we know it’s alive and well in our country. We’ve been dealing with it our whole lives. But to see this hatred on such flagrant, unapologetic display is something else entirely.

Even if Trump loses, this isn’t simply a bad dream that we’ll awaken from on 9 November.

A common refrain I’ve heard from Clinton supporters is that we’re better than this – the hatred, the harassment. But if this race has shown us anything, it’s that we’re not better than this. The bigotry and misogyny – that’s who we are. That’s what this country was built on. And even if Clinton wins next week, that’s who we will remain.

As wonderful as it will be to watch the first woman win the presidential election, it can’t undo the truth of who we are. The deplorable people who feel they no longer need to hide their hatred aren’t going anywhere after election day, no matter what happens.

So I suppose my panic wasn’t about the possibility of a Trump win, after all. It’s about the reality of the moment we’re in, win or lose. It’s about the slime that’s risen to the top, the stink we can’t wash off with one election or one president. We don’t need to panic about the future, because the present already contains more horror than we can handle.

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