Does it not feel like we've been spinning our wheels 18 months straight, mining for something that represents hope or redemption or comfort from this endless, numbing thumb war between a troglodyte billionaire and a duplicitious millionaire?
I do deeply fear a world with Trump in the Oval Office, not because his campaign platform is basically Word Salad: Bigotry Edition nor because there's no telling what sort of catastrophic foreign policy decisions he might make. What I really fear is how Trump's presiding would impact us culturally. If the election of Barack Obama galvanized bigots who could never read the coded racism of the GOP of yesterdecade, Trump's campaign has been their nearly two-year pep rally in preparation for.....what, exactly? You've seen the Youtube videos where Trump supporters feel comfortable pushing, shoving and verbally accosting dissenters, where black men are assaulted and security comes over to scold them(!). What happens when the spray-tanned savior sits smugly in the Oval Office with his finger on the button? I live in San Antonio, where many people both in office and out look like me. But Texas is also one of most conservative states in the Union, which means I will be looking over my shoulder when I find myself in paler shades of the city or state. Especially because it sometimes feels like a Trump-Pence 2016 sign is the new burning cross.
That said, I do find reason to hope. Not because Hillary Clinton can win and make history both as a woman president and as someone who broke the cycle of Dem-Dem-Repub-Repub-Dem-Dem these past 25 years. If Clinton wins, she will probably continue President Obama's legacy, that is to say, she will placate progressives rhetorically and, occasionally, with real action, while expanding executive power, quietly bombing other nations and allowing Gitmo to slowly become the U.S.'s banana stand.
The real reason I hope is because, as Corey Robin from Jacobin states, Trump's campaign represents the remains of the GOP, after the false bullets of "family values," "fiscal conservatism" and "bootstrap mentality" have all been stripped away. The throbbing nucleus driving it all is free-association bigotry, wrapped in money, piety and the most fragile substance on the planet: white male ego. The truth is so ugly that even Republican "lifers" are finding themselves disgusted with both candidates and voting for the guy who did this. So for the first time since 1912, when Teddy Roosevelt carried six states for the Bull Moose Party, the U.S. may seriously consider third party candidates.
I say this not as someone who cared strongly about Gary Johnson or Jill Stein (but maybe that's because I have "Wi-Fi Head"), but as someone who, like most of us, would rather get swabbed at Planned Parenthood than feign any more hope or interest in the two-party system and its embarrassing ambassadors. The hope is that today's proceedings are not so disastrous as to prevent a more varied body politic to spring from the concrete that is this nation's state, one bloodied by the foreheads of an electorate gone mad.