Traveling abroad back in September, it was literally an embarrassment to be an American and to have to explain to foreigners (i) we had not supported or voted fr Trump, and (ii) many Americans, hopefully a majority, were not Rump supporters and did not support the racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynist that Trump and his base espouse and embody. Tomorrow's election results in the midterm elections will prove whether or not America and a majority of Americans are different from Trump and the basket of deplorables (which includes 81% of evangelical Christian voters) who support him. Should the Democrats fail to retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives, perhaps the even the U.S. Senate, and numerous governors mansions, the verdict will be damning and Trump and all of the hate, racism and bigotry that he proudly supports will indeed define America. I, like a column in the Washington Post, pray that America will reject Trumpism and the Republican Party which has fully embraced Trump just as the Vichy french embraced their Nazi occupiers 78 years ago. Here are column excerpts that also sum up my hopes:
[O]n Election Day 2016, there was one thought that dominated my thinking. “America, prove me wrong.” It was a plea to my country to not do what I thought it was going to do: Elect a man president of the United States who ran an openly racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and nativist campaign. He dared turn over rocks and exploit the bugs of hatred and bigotry scurrying beneath that previous politicians thought better not to disturb. His reward was the Republican presidential nomination.My hope that night was that America would prove me wrong. I feared that Donald Trump’s ugly campaign that traded the dog whistle for a bullhorn and exhortations to violence would be rewarded.
This Election Day, one thought again dominates my thinking. “America, prove me right.”
It is a plea to my country to follow through on what I think it is going to do: Rebuke
PresidentTrump and his Republican enablers in Congress and restore some semblance of checks and balances by at least returning the House of Representatives to Democratic control.
Since the day after Trump’s inauguration, when millions swarmed Washington and other cities around the nation (and world) for the women’s march to protest the new president, the American people have raised their voices against Trump’s myriad affronts to norms, decency and truth. As horrendous as his I-don’t-give-a-damn response to the pipe-bomb assassination plot to take out prominent Democrats was, as callous as his look-at-me preening in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue slaughter later that same week and as heartless as his whine that both horrific incidents slowed GOP momentum in the midterms, nothing was more offensive to me than his ceding the moral authority of the Oval Office after the August 2017 murderous celebration of white supremacy in Charlottesville.
[T]hat shameful display is nothing compared with the unrepentant racism that is Trump’s closing argument in the 2018 midterm elections. Rather than run on his tax cuts (a constant Republican goal) and two Supreme Court justices (a constant conservative goal), not to mention the record number of judicial appointments to lower federal courts, Trump is railing against a slow-moving “caravan” of Central American migrants making their way to our southern border with Mexico. They are nowhere close to reaching the United States, yet Trump is vowing to send 15,000 troops to prevent them from entering the country. He said that he wants the military to think of rocks as rifles.
The audience gathered for my speech hosted by the Fulbright Center and the John Adams Institute in Amsterdam last month was as interested and concerned about the midterm elections as the Americans casting ballots. They are keenly aware that what happens on Nov. 6 will have an impact on them in some way. But it was in that speech that I expressed why I thought America would prove me right this time. Why the goodness and decency of the American people would win out.
My nation is not perfect, far from it. We get so much right and a lot of things wrong. But we are a nation that strives for perfection. It might take us a while, but when that Arc of the Moral universe bends towards Justice, more often than not it is at the insistence of the American people or of their leaders who had the foresight to see the right path forward.
In the lede of their Nov. 3 story, The Post’s Matt Viser and Philip Rucker crystallized the 2018 midterm elections. “Two years of political volatility will culminate Tuesday,” they wrote, “when voters for the first time since the stunning 2016 election render a nationwide judgment on whether Trumpism is a historic anomaly or a reflection of modern-day America.”
Prove me right, America. Prove that this is not a reflection of modern-day America. Go to the polls and send a loud and clear message to the nation and the world: Enough is enough.