Friday, September 16, 2016
Washington Heights, New York
Today I had the unfortunate opportunity to witness the worst, most disturbing political circus of my lifetime. Donald J. Trump corralled the media at his new hotel in Washington D.C. with the promise of a long awaited statement on the “Birther” movement which he once lead. He forced the media to provide him with a half hour of free coverage populated by former military personal pledging their fealty to Herr Trump. “He’s what we need. A strong experienced military man”, they called him, this fat, obtuse, fraud who himself avoided military service. How easily they can be seduced when they are motivated by irrational feelings of hatred toward those different from themselves when motivated by one just like them.
After a half hour of “Trump-Love” the demagogue himself took the podium and announced that the genesis of the “Birther” movement, its founding mother, was no other than Hillary Clinton and that he, and only he, had finished it, in the President’s favor no less, by forcing President Obama to produce his birth certificate. He then pronounced the President a true native-born American. Thank you, Donald!
I’ve been voting since 1975, before many of you were born. While the election of President Barack Hussein Obama will always be the most significant political event of my lifetime, this election will be the most important. Why? Not because Hillary Clinton is a woman, which in itself is a pretty big deal, but because if we want President Obama’s legacy to move forward and grow we must not permit the election of Donald J. Trump. He is a bigot stuck in the 1950’s, a time he views as a watershed for people like himself; white, male, Christian.
I, like many of you, voted for Senator Bernie Sanders in the New York primary. But the fact of the matter is he lost the primary battle. Now, it’s irrelevant whether you or I think the primary was “fair.” The choice is no longer between Hillary and Bernie. It’s between Hillary and Trump, a sure step toward fascism. It’s not a matter of coming back in four years to win. It’s a matter of whether there will be another election in four years. And no, I’m not being melodramatic. If you study the history of fascism, whether we talk about Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Trujillo or Peron, they were all duly elected (except Franco) then seized power from the inside.
The time for pouting is over. You may not agree with everything that Hillary has said or done. I don’t. But I know one thing for sure. She isn’t the end of the Republic. Not so sure about “the Donald.”
Sadly, the newest polls indicate a drift of many former Bernie supporters to the candidacy of Gary Johnson. If you understand the nature of our system you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he can’t win. You are all by virtue of your political beliefs liberals and voting for Johnson and deluding yourselves into believing there will be a ground swell of support that will sweep him to victory is a childish fantasy that draws votes away from Hillary and propels Trump to the one place he should never be, the White House.
So here’s my suggestion. Toughen up, hold your nose if you have to and don’t just vote for Hillary, call all your friends and relatives, especially the ones who live in swing states like Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada and convince them to do the same.
Bernie’s revolution hasn’t ended; it’s just waiting its turn. There is no turn if Trump wins.
A.J. Sidransky is an author and lives in Washington Heights with his wife and son. His most recent novel, Forgiving Mariela Camacho, was the recipient of the David Award for Best Mystery of 2015. Learn more about him at www.ajsidransky.com.