Passionate Geeks: A Post-Election Follow-up

This morning this month’s Passionate Geek featured Gene’o and his reflection on being a politics geek.

When it was originally written and queued up to post feels like a lifetime ago in many ways. None of us actually expected what happened in the political world last night and today we both reflected on how jarring the original post felt given our current states. It just… didn’t fit.

Facebook conversations have been flying fast, and this reflection from Gene’o came as part of it. This, we realized, was a very good continuation – a follow-up – of the original post.

I will be posting more of my own thoughts and reflections soon – but for now I want to give you Part Two of this months Passionate Geek.

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After posting about this election practically every day for over a year, I feel as though I need to say something. I just don’t know what. My news feed is like a funeral parlor during a wake right now.

I’ll leave the postmortem of the election to more qualified people and just tell you how I’m feeling about all this after a few hours’ sleep and a few cups of coffee.

First, it is fair to say that not everyone who voted for Trump is racist or sexist. But that doesn’t change the fact that he openly aligned himself with white nationalists or that he brushed off serious sexual assault allegations by insinuating that his accusers weren’t attractive enough to warrant his attention. His campaign was driven by misogyny and racist resentment. Minimizing that fact and putting this loss down to distrust of the Clintons is naive.

For my part, casting a vote for a racist candidate is the same as doing or saying racist things yourself. It’s not about what people believe for me. It’s about how they act. I’ll say that to anyone, and I will not apologize for saying it.

Second. Trump is not Hitler and this is not 1933 Germany. But his authoritarian mindset and his willingness to tolerate political violence are deeply troubling. He threatened in a nationally televised debate to legally harass and imprison his opponent. His supporters threatened physical harm to their adversaries and in some cases, doxxed people. Those are also facts, and pointing out that he isn’t going to send the secret police to round us up on Jan. 20 misses the point.

A President Trump with a GOP-controlled Congress is a serious problem. Given the way he runs his own businesses, what do you think his economic policies are going to be like? There’s the ideological balance of the Supreme Court to think about. And what sort of foreign policy will we end up with? These are serious questions. The consequences of this election are real.

As for how we should respond. The best I advice I have is to stay engaged. Keep talking. If you were advocating for things like gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, an end to racist violence, sensible gun laws, prison reform, etc. before this election, it’s time to double down and get back to work.

If the election opened your eyes to some things and made you feel as though you need to be more involved, stay involved. Keep in touch with the friends you’ve made who care about the same things you do. Find a way to channel your anger and pain into something positive.

The worst thing we can do is close our eyes to all this and go back to not paying attention to politics. It is vitally important that we do everything we can to preserve the little bit of progress we’ve made during the last eight years.

Mid-term elections are in 2018. Turnout during off-years is typically low, and midterms favor the party that’s out of power more often than not. The first step toward getting ourselves out of this jam is to take back the Congress.

In the meantime, keep calling out the bigotry when you see it. Let people know it is not okay. Be firm, but don’t be mean. And if you’ve gotten to know me through the political stuff I’ve been posting here, please keep in touch.

This is a serious and unfortunate setback, but it’s not the end of the world nor the end of the republic. That’s all I’ve got for now.

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