This election has me rattled and make no mistake. My normal policy is to get enough information to make up my mind and then move on; I don't have so much time in my life that I need to spend any of it learning anything about a candidate I've already decided against. I also don't watch "anti-hero" television shows or hang out with assholes. Still, there's a part of me that enjoys the delicious shiver of an insect in an unexpected place and so I have watched the debates. They give me nightmares.
I sometimes feel like I should go around stating to people who I am that makes Trump personally repulsive to me and I've fought the urge because it goes beyond personal revulsion. I can say that as a woman I find his sexism disgusting; that as an atheist I find his leanings towards religious tests incredibly backwards and threatening; that as a queer person I hear his "traditional marriage" dogwhistles and shudder; and that as an immigrant, I find his stance on immigration to be ridiculous, even if just in empathy with immigrants to the US. But then the implication is that I'm only reacting in my own self-interest... which, though it seems to distinguish me from a number of his supporters, is not entirely the case. I'm slightly whiter than milk and his racism is still revolting to me.
And I guess maybe this is why it's scary? Because I feel like as a human being, sometimes at a disadvantage (though very often at an advantage), I am able to imagine how it might be for other human beings in different circumstances. So I have trouble understanding the stunning lack of empathy coming from the supporters of a racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc etc. horrorshow. They don't even seem to understand how much he disrespects them, so eager are they to be on his side disrespecting the other groups he scorns. How can women support him? Mexicans? Muslims? People with the ability to make complete sentences? Is it just the played up fear of coming in last that motivates people to perceive the world as a competition they can never win unless they step on the other competitors, rather than try to see themselves as being on a team where the shared strength of every team member means winning on a larger scale?
So I think about that, about how I can understand that. I think about the GOP and Frankenstein and who the monster really was. I think about the internet and how the very thing that has made life so glorious for me (the ability to know about and connect with a world beyond my immediate neighborhood) seems to make the world so terrifying for other people, and what that means. I think about these things and then I fall asleep to dreams of a house where I am always hiding behind a panel, holding my breath, waiting. I've saved space for you here if you want to come hide with me until November 9th. I'm not ready to entertain the idea that it might be necessary after.