Stay loud, outraged, vigilant
As when we watched the towers fall in 2001, the unreality of this moment has engendered not only worldwide grief, but, for many, despair. We continue to reel in sick horror, shell-shocked by the incomprehensible, struggling to process the unthinkable, and daily, the Inauguration draws eerily closer.
But surrendering to the unprecedented elevation of a grotesque and loathsome racist to America’s highest office cannot be our only option. We cannot return to the racist idealism of the pre-civil rights 1950s.
The corporate-owned media, the Congress and the Republican party are seeking to normalize this nightmare, just as they normalized Trump’s flagrantly racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, self-aggrandizing candidacy. Collective shock can be paralyzing, but we must strain every nerve to combat this outcome.
These are the times when evil is done—Japanese internment camps, the passage of the PATRIOT Act, the Iraq War, warrant-less wiretapping, electronic voting—all ushered in during times of national shock, because shock takes advantage of ignorance and fear. Corporate media, with its endless blather, strives to convince us Trump’s presidency is a fait accompli—not a looming disaster to be derailed. In the same way, the media convinced Americans that there were weapons of mass destruction, that George W. Bush was legitimately elected, and that Bernie Sanders wasn’t a viable candidate.
At what point do we, as a nation, stand up and say no?
The corporate media’s goal of ratings over responsible journalism and the Democratic Party’s intentional sandbagging of the Sanders campaign can share the blame for this debacle. While barely mentioning Sen. Sanders’ record-breaking crowds and rallies, coverage of Trump vs. Clinton was non-stop, convincing viewers they had only two choices: Trump’s lurid, racist, disgusting behavior or Hillary Clinton’s dishonesty and Wall Street associations.
It is high time that voters sought their own reality and learned from these mistakes. We mustn’t be swayed, pacified or shamed into stepping weakly aside and accepting Donald Trump as commander in chief simply because MSNBC, NPR, Fox, ABC or CBS say we should. His election is by far the most terrifying result of the powerful 24/7 misinformation machine that hypnotizes our uninformed public into working against its own interests.
But no one gets a pass anymore. America has reached the end of the line, the nadir of our democracy—and no excuse is good enough for being uninformed.
Our remaining lifeboat is to arm ourselves with the truth. Fight the misinformation machine, do our research, follow the money, question authority, turn off the corporate noise box, and stockpile and share genuine, vetted information from independent news and information sites. They say, “The truth will set you free.”
Right now U.S. democracy is in lockdown. Being uninformed in the aftermath of this election is as dangerous as Donald Trump himself.