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Destler Dodge

Pramilia Jaypal, Washington 7, house representative. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii 2, house representative. Eloise Reyes, California 47, state representative. Iihan Omar, Minnesota 60B, state representative. David Zuckerman, Vermont, Lieutenant Governor. Carmen Yulin Cruz, Puerto Rico San Juan, mayor. Proposition 59, California, overturn of Citizens United Act. Question 2, Maine, stand up for students initiative. Amendment 2, Florida, medical marijuana legalization. These clean money and people-powered candidates and ballot initiatives were just few of the many beacons of light shining through the start of the storm we have now found ourselves in. It is important to remember that not all is lost. We did have some victories.

This past election day the unthinkable happened. Not only did Donald Trump become the president-elect, but the House, Senate, many state governments and, by proxy, the Supreme Court were all swept into the control of the Republicans. A reality TV-show “star” and failed businessman will be our next president. A man who promises to bring terror upon minority groups and blames them for our all country’s problems, a man who has admitted to (and bragged about) sexually assaulting women and speaks as if they are all meant to be subservient pieces of meat, a man who promoted the slaughtering of civilians in other countries to combat terrorism, a man who thinks global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese, a man who scammed students out of every penny they had (and didn’t have) with a fake “university” and a man who promises to help working people but his economic plans solely benefit the rich and powerful, among a variety of other absolutely disturbing positions. He doesn’t care, about me, about you, about us. He doesn’t. That is who is going to be our next president, and that is totally and utterly disgusting.

We can point fingers and blame a lot of people, and a lot of things for this. You can blame the racists, sexists, homophobes and people of all other flavors of bigotry for voting for Trump solely to put other people down. There are many of them. Look at what is happening already. You can blame the people who were so frustrated with politics that they let themselves come to support someone who represents the complete opposite of their best interest. You can blame Clinton and the DNC for outlandishly cheating, lying and fraudulently orchestrating the primaries of their own party in every way imaginable, and then not doing any of that in the general election, for reasons I’ll let you figure out for yourself.

You can blame the DNC for all of their corruption and their shutting-out and silencing of Bernie. You can blame them for their oligarchic ways and choosing to support the wrong candidate. You can blame them for choosing to support any candidate. You can blame them for choosing possibly the worst presidential candidate in U.S. history. A candidate who, among being in the pockets of the billionaires, Wall Street and the oligarchs, among having the entire DNC and establishment behind her the entire way, among the millions of votes for Bernie suppressed or not counted by one means or another, among the millions and millions of dollars pouring into her campaign from corporate donors and among every other possible advantage a candidate could have, she lost. She could hardly beat a no-name Democratic Socialist from the smallest state in the union WHILE CHEATING, and she couldn’t beat the most hated political figure in this country and one of the most abhorrent people to ever scratch the face of American politics. Blame them. Blame her.

Hey, while we’re at it, blame the founders for establishing a system that lets someone win the presidency without the popular vote. Blame the Republican plot to suppress minority turnout. But don’t forget to also blame the voters who made it to the polls to vote for Donald Trump. Blame the system itself and the fact that we don’t even know if our votes count or if this is all a big façade. Blame the media for elevating Trump into making the election his own personal reality show, and blame the media for being biased and in the pockets of the corporations. Blame everyone else, everyone’s to blame. Blame them for turning the presidency over to a would-be fascist and handing complete power over to the Republicans, who still somehow manage to be worse than the Democrats, somehow.

But when you’re done blaming everyone, when you’re done fighting, mourning, drinking, whatever you’re doing to react to this, come back. We have work to do. Take a look at this map (and hey, why not this one too). That first map is what the presidential election would have looked like if only people under 26 voted. That right there is the future. Now, I’m not saying a President Clinton is a whole lot of progress. It is absolutely not. At all. But it is a step, and seeing how many people flocked to the likes of Bernie Sanders, bigger steps seem to be on the way (and already happening). The times they are a-changin’.

The future is not in those who voted for Trump (or Clinton, at least before she was the only other option). Now I’m going to be honest, we all might not see our ideal future in our lifetimes. Our ideal future without rampant racism, without sexism, without homophobia, without outlandish religious prejudice, without political deadlock, without money in politics, without the possibility of not even having an Earth to live on. We might not see it. But let’s do it for your children, my children, for the people who come after us, and the people beyond. Let’s fight and win so they don’t have to. If we don’t, they might not even have a country to live in, or a planet to live on.

Maybe, just maybe, there is a chance we will see it, but we’re not going to get there by letting ourselves get divided and conquered. To hell with the Republicans, with the Democrats, with the political establishment, with the corporations, with Trumpism. We are the people, and when we come together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. Now, I don’t have the answers, I don’t have the plan on how to unravel this whole circus we’re in the middle of. Maybe the future lies in groups such as Our Revolution and Brand New Congress, maybe it lies in something that we haven’t seen yet. I’m not even sure I believe the electoral process is capable of being fixed without a complete and utter overhaul from the government itself (and guess who decides how and if that changes…).

The point is, that we, the people, can no longer exist as a house divided. We can no longer go on constantly fighting each other while the puppet masters sit behind the scenes and benefit. We have to reject that, reject Trump and the Republicans and the Democrats and everyone else along with their divisive rhetoric, hell-bent on pitting us against each other. Right now we are in a position where we have to fight for the ability to fight with each other, the ability to debate and the ability to finally have a true democracy. I don’t have the whole plan worked out, but I do know the first step: unite. Now, to answer your next question:

What now?

The same thing we do every day, try and change the world. Together.