Believe me, this presidential race is not a fight I want to climb into. It’s not one that leaves any of us feeling better and none of our minds will be swayed at this point by anything said by someone on the other side.
But I have to say my piece because I want to be able to say in the future that I tried, that maybe I swayed one mind or got one person to shake their complacency and vote. So let me make my case:
In Central New York the landscape above the Finger Lakes between Syracuse and Rochester is a flat glacial plain with broad fields and not a hill in sight. But around Seneca Falls there is one large green hill that has grown over the years to a point that you can’t miss it as you approach from the south.
It is a huge landfill. A mountain of garbage standing tall amidst the flatness of the fields around it.
At first , the idea of it drove me crazy. It seemed intolerable that this mound of rubbish dominated the view in this area. But as time went by, this now grass covered hillock became normal, part of the place.
But inside it is still a pile of garbage.
That hill is Donald Trump.
This is a man who has so many faults, so many deficiencies, so many negative features that he has shown us over the past several decades that to stack them all would create a mighty mountain. Any one or two of his flaws would easily disqualify any normal candidate but his lies, his misrepresentations, his misdeeds are so prodigious that as they pile up before us we become inured to the sheer number of them. You can’t keep up with the all the truckloads of his crap being dumped on the heap.
After the past 18 months of campaigning, he and his awful behavior have somehow become acceptable in our eyes.
He has normalized racism with his dog-whistle overtures to the white nationalists and organized racists who support him. He has normalized anti-intellectualism with his constant trashing of the press and scientific norms. He has normalized a lack of faith in our government with a constant stream of conspiracies. He has normalized bullying, the idea that opposing views are not to be tolerated but shamed, humiliated and crushed. He has normalized the idea that nuclear weapons are there to be used and that he, an intellectually lazy real estate guy, has something to teach our generals and military strategists.
He has normalized the idea of prosecuting your political opponents. He has normalized fear and the threat of violence as a motivating force. He has normalized division among the races, religions and ethnicities of this country. He has normalized incivility among everyone. He has normalized empty boasting, outright lying and the coarsening of our discourse.
He has normalized the acceptance of a man with 75 pending lawsuits including one for racketeering and one potentially for child-rape as as the next possible symbolic figurehead for our nation.
He has normalized the me-first mindset.
There is so much more crap in this heap that I could point out. But what it comes down to is that before a single vote has been counted, whether he wins or loses, he has damaged our democracy.
You wanted change? Be careful what you wish for…
If he wins, this is the new normal– a man/baby with the emotional maturity of a 16-year old lashing out at every perceived slight or threat as he deflects all blame to everyone but himself for anything that will go wrong. And believe me –sorry for using one of his catchphrases– things will go wrong. They always do. That is the way of the world and reacting to those problems is part of being the leader of an entire nation. The president’s reaction sets the tone for our response as a nation.
And even if all the ridiculous claims leveled against Hillary Clinton were improbably proved true, her pile of trash would still be but a tiny knoll next to Trump’s Everest of lies, brags and cons.
You might get used to that mountain of garbage. But I know that no amount of grass (or gold-plating) will hide the fact that it is made of stinking trash.
Okay, I had my say. Vote how you will but vote.