by Daniel J. Durand
Good morning, America; sleep well? I would like to take a moment to briefly talk about what happened last night.
Last night, on November 8th, 2016, we, the American people chose Donald Trump as our new president.
To those of you who voted for him, congratulations! You did it! To everyone else… sorry. I’m so sorry. The following is an open letter, which I’m going to break down into parts in order to better address each of the major groups I see in play right now. Here goes:
The Democratic Party
You guys really blew this one, you know?
At best, before the election, you controlled maybe eight states–now you have nothing.
You threw all your eggs in the Hillary basket, kicked Bernie and the Millenials to the curb, ignored the problems facing organized labor, African-Americans, the LGBT community, and everyone else, all somehow in hopes of getting Hillary to the White House. Don’t believe me? Look at the early exit polling–you guys lost everyone you claim to represent, and by a scary margin.
The party structure is now drained of resources, and Democrats are fractured into those who supported the establishment and those who supported a Bernie-style movement. The party is now meaningless outside of the northeast and the west coast, where strongholds still remain.
In short, you guys done fucked up proper, and now you have a lot of work to do.
The Republican Party
You guys are asssholes, but you won this round despite that. Kudos! I still hate your guts, but mad props for pulling it off.
Politically, I will never agree with Republicans, and I doubt many liberal voters will, either–but we all understand how dangerous Trump’s presidency could be, and if The Donald goes nuclear, Republicans and Democrats have to be ready to work together
Try not to get us into another war, okay? If Trump turns out to be the nightmare president we are all afraid of, you, the Republicans, are the only group capable of stopping him. .
There is no way you don’t have this coming. Now, suck it up, and put your incredible political machine to work alongside Bernie Sanders’ movement.
You weren’t the right candidate to go up against Trump, and it cost America. Voters made themselves clear last night that we don’t trust you, we don’t like you–but you still have the DNC at your fingertips, you still won the nomination and made it this far, and you still have serious clout.
Don’t retreat. Keep moving forward for progress, for the Democratic party, and most of all, for Bernie Sanders and the movement he started.
You are never going to rule the land–you can, however, be a key to power for the next generation of liberals. I know you don’t play second fiddle well, but for the sake of the progressive future we could have had, that we should have had, you have to try.
Because of you, I woke up this morning and realized that I am living in the plot of a bad 80s action movie. You have no clear policies, no plan, just a bunch of hopeless conservative platitudes and a boorish personality.
And yet, you won.
So, Mr. Trump, do the country a huge solid, and surprise us. Earn the office you’ve somehow taken. Prove your opponents wrong, stand for the future America needs and not the apocalypse that we expect you to usher in. Rise above the petty.
Don’t fuck this up.
Okay, you guys are the group that matters most. Whoever you voted for individually, I doubt anyone who voted last night is happy with where the country is right now. Those feelings probably spurred you to vote in the first place, and guided you to the candidate you ultimately chose.
But regardless of whether your candidate of choice won, there is something very important that voters need to remember: the fight did not end at the ballot box.
Healthcare still sucks. Education still sucks. We’re still bombing or at war with seven countries. Our government is still spying on us. Money still has too much influence in politics. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, times a million, ad infinitum.
If you believe that your vote every four years is all it takes to fix these problems, then you are a fool.
We are the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. We are the people. We are the masters of our own fates. We will not solve our problems with one election, but we should also not let our problems hold us back.
Take a moment to relax and recuperate. As a country, we need a breather. But then, get ready for the next round of elections–local, state, midterm, whatever. Do volunteer work. Write to Congress. Look for ways to better yourselves and to help those around you.
No matter what side you were on before, now, more than any other time, we need to be in this together.
We made ourselves sick with insanity over the last 18 months. Now, let’s make ourselves sick pushing forward, working to fix the problems that led to this terrible, awful election cycle in the first place.
Hell, let’s even start a hashtag, and stick it on everything: #progressisours, until we think of something catchier.
Own your country. Own your fate. Own your passions. Don’t wait for the White House to solve your problems; it’s time we banded together as an electorate, and took care of ourselves.
End of rant. Have a nice day, everyone.
Daniel Durand is a Boise-based writer who wants a stiff drink and a vacation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org