We are now a bit more than eighty-two hours before the first returns are reported, so it is time to draw some conclusions about the election. Conclusions? Am I not getting ahead of myself? I think not. It is certainly too early to say who won, but it is not too early to say what we have learned.
First, it is no longer possible even for the most determined both-sides commentator to hide from the truth about Trump. He is a flat-out unapologetic racist and a wannabe fascist dictator. Most of us knew that, of course, but it is always useful in the public arena to have manifest truths confirmed and acknowledged.
Second, there are roughly 230 million or so Americans eighteen or over, and at least sixty or seventy million of them are flat out racist lovers of fascism. I say this because at this point, it is not possible to support Trump strongly and not be a racist who yearns for fascism. The Republicans may lose the House. Nate Silver even says they have a slender chance of losing the Senate. They may lose as many as ten governorships. When the election is behind us, Trump may be indicted, impeached, forced from office, or defeated in 2020. But when he is finally gone, there will still be sixty or seventy million racist lovers of fascism in America. That is the America we live in.
Third, there is a sizeable cadre of supporters of progressive policies, some of whom are even comfortable calling themselves socialists, whatever that means to them. How many? It is difficult to say. As a percentage of the population, fewer than there were when my grandfather was young, to be sure, but they exist, and their numbers may actually be growing.
Fourth, the Democratic Party is threatened with a significant progressive transformation, one that the leaders of the party will resist as strongly as they can get away with. It is at this point quite unclear how that struggle will come out, although I am pretty sure that our cause has been helped by Trump. Does this mean socialism has a chance? I am afraid not. Socialism is bad for business. Enough said.
Kant posed three questions: What can I know? What ought I to do? What may I hope for?
I can know that I live in a country founded on racism, nurtured on inequality, and committed to as much in the way of world domination as it can manage.
I ought to do what I can to make this country a little less unequal, a little less racist, a little less imperialistic.
I may hope that before I die, I see Donald Trump humiliated, impoverished, and ignored.
Now, I shall sit by the television set and await the results.