Tomorrow is the big day here in the US of A. But the state I live in mails out ballots, so I voted last week. That doesn’t mean I am entirely comfortable with my choice for President, though. As you can probably guess, I voted for Hillary Clinton. You may find, however, that my reason for doubting my vote is harder to guess. It’s not because I would rather be voting for Bernie Sanders. (I would.) It’s not because I buy into all the right-wing bullshit about “Crooked Hillary.” (Really, I have enough policy quibbles with her as it is. I don’t need lies to reinforce it.) It’s not because I want to “send a message” to the DNC. (I do, actually, but I’ve looked at the other 20 — yes, 20! — POTUS candidates on my ballot, and none of them deserves my protest vote.) And it’s certainly not because I’ve decided Trump is the guy to vote for. (FUCK, no!)
No, I am just now realizing that I got something very important a little bit backwards. Well, maybe “backwards” isn’t the right word. “Sideways”? You see, I know very well that a Trump Presidency would mean a very bad scene for just about everybody in this country who isn’t part of the Trump/Pence theocratic oligarchy. Trump himself I am not so scared of, but it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to understand that Trump, being too lazy to actually do anything (besides swagger about and be braggadocious**), will simply turn everything over to Pence, who is a true nightmare. You thought John Ashcroft as Attorney General was scary? Just wait for the horror show that is Pence. Ashcroft may have wanted to turn this country into Atwood‘s Gilead, but he didn’t have the popular momentum that Pence would have, thanks to Trump.
Yes, Trump/Pence could send us into a real-life The Handmaid’s Tale, and that’s just their opening act. Before long, I and many, many people I hold dear would be in fear for our lives. But the sideways thing? “Before long” gives us a little bit of time to come up with some sort of escape plan. I’m not sure what mine would be, since I doubt I would qualify for citizenship anyplace else. My mormor’s family came to America several generations ago, and my dad’s family qualifies me for the DAR. So I would most likely end up frantically fleeing to Canada and begging my (distant) cousins there to hide me behind a bookcase or something. But at least I’d have a chance of survival, what with more than two months of a self-satisfied lull between election and inauguration day.
With a Clinton win? Not so much. I forgot to take into consideration that Trump and his supporters are not the kind of people to concede in a civilized fashion and step aside. Trump has already primed them with talk of a “rigged” election. He has taught them that the rules don’t matter if you’re a white male. And apparently he’s right on that one. All you have to do is compare the Oregon Wildlife Refuge incident to what’s happening now at Standing Rock. So if Clinton is declared the winner, the backlash will be immediate, and it will be bloody. And do you think Obama will do anything about it? HA! I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he will possibly try. But he would be trying to mobilize forces that — to phrase it delicately — have shown very little interest in standing up for “liberals.”
Would I be immediately targeted? Probably not. I’m a white female, so I have their misogynistic protectionism working in my favor for a little bit. But I am neither young nor attractive, so that magic is short-lived. And as soon as I open my mouth, the spell will be broken, because I am many things that they find repugnant. But I will still have a head start on my LGBTQ friends, my non-white friends, my Muslim friends, my Jewish friends, my pagan friends, not to mention all sorts of people I’ve never even met but who “offend” Trump and his ilk. They will be on the front lines. And this is unacceptable to me. Yet this is the November 9, 2016, for which I have voted.
** Can’t resist: