Okay, I need to vent. Institutional politics is why Trump triumphed. He did not just destroy the Democratic party in November. He took down the Republican establishment as well.
Mr. Trump proved you do not need to be part of an organized political party to win an American election. He trumped and trampled over 16 establishment republicans, from John Kasich to Jeb Bush, from Ted Cruz to Marco Rubio.
The Democrats were dumbocrats. They should have seen it coming when Bernie Sanders, a socialist from a state with about one third of an electoral vote, started beating up Hillary in the primaries. But the party in power rewarded the status quo, instead of the political tide. They listened to the rhythm of jazz instead of the rattle of hip hop.
We nominated Hillary Clinton, the first lady from a quarter of a century ago, to be the first woman of the 21st century. The LGBT community was swept into the establishment, endorsing and embracing Hillary as if she was the second coming of the first Messiah.
This newspaper is as guilty as anyone else. With a history of defending LGBT rights as human rights, along with an amazing record of emerging as one of our community’s staunchest defenders, we backed HRC through thick and thin. She rewarded us too, even showing up right here in Wilton Manors days before the election.
The question we must now ask, looking at the nationwide results, is how dumb were we? If the Democrats are supposed to be the party of the future, why are we so stuck in the past?
For eight years, we had the presidency, but the only candidates who emerged for the Oval Office were a 71-year-old Vice President, a 67-year-old First Lady, and a 74-year-old socialist. What were we thinking?
Seriously, there is a wealth of emerging voices in the Democratic Party, from California to Texas to New Jersey, but we ignored them all. It was only eight years ago that we saw Barack Obama easily defeat Hillary, but we endorsed her nevertheless. Then we saw Bernie Sanders knock her off in places like Wisconsin and Michigan in the primaries, but we stuck with her. Why were we so foolish?
Have we learned anything? This community loves Debbie Wasserman Schultz, even after the most obvious subterfuge of the democratic process of the primaries occurred under her watch. We re-elected her locally despite a valid challenge from a legitimate insurgent. When do you let go of the one you love?
Nationally, we know no one in Washington, D.C., or the Republican establishment gets along too well with Nancy Pelosi, an establishment lightning rod who is trans continentally polarizing. Okay, she is delightfully supportive of our interests, but when do grandmothers start baking cookies? After decades, wasn’t a change in order? The establishment of course crushed her challenger. Democrats went with the status quo, and boy, will we ever get it.
In the past 48 hours, Joe Biden just said he is in all likelihood a candidate for 2020. Really? Again? The guy who first ran in 1988? You gots to be kidding!
I am all for anyone but Trump. Hell, I would likely endorse the neighborhood monkey over Chief Orange Hair, but hell, is that really the way the Democratic Party wants to go?
Wasn’t it bad enough that our last vice presidential nominee looked and sounded like your high school English teacher? I mean, we had and still have Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Corey Booker in New Jersey, Gavin Newsom in California, or Julian Castro in Texas.
If we are looking for new leaders with establishment credentials, don’t we need to turn our eyes to a new generation? We had the foresight to do so in 1960, and the vision to do it again in 2008. If Democrats want to win the country again, then they have to have the courage to open new doors and speak out for old truths.
By the way, those truths don’t mean tolerating intolerance. Call the bastards who want to destroy us what they are. Terrorism has no political party. Donald Trump appealed to the heart of America- jobs, the flag, the safety and security of our nation. There is no reason for any Democrat to ever be defensive about our nation’s defense. Our borders need security, not walls, but don’t ever be afraid to say illegal immigration is wrong. Don’t deny that the world is unsafe. Don’t ignore that millions are being slaughtered in the Mideast and whatever the hell it is we are doing, it is not enough.
Maybe Trump was right. Maybe the average taxi driver knows more about ISIS than all our generals. They sure did not turn out to be the ‘junior varsity.’ Let’s learn something from this election. Again, Donald Trump reshaped politics. He proved you don’t need an organized political party to get elected, just a massive following on Twitter, a big plane, and bigger mouth. He also has other parts he has told us are big too, but let’s not go there.
Donald Trump appealed to America’s heart, not its head. He screamed and screamed about what concerned us most. And who he was did not matter as much as what he said. Hell, if you can get elected as a chauvinist, misogynist, mocking the disabled, dodging the draft, lying and concocting transparent lies and false stories, blaming everyone else for your own failures, you don’t need a political party, just a failed university, bad steaks, three wives, and a short slogan to go on a baseball cap.
Will Rogers once opined that he did not belong to an organized political party, as he was a Democrat. Our next ticket could be Oprah Winfrey and Alex Baldwin, which is as good a reality show as you can get. Everyone voting for Oprah gets free membership into her book club.
Finally, if you are one of those foolish apologists whining about how Hillary beat Chief Orange Hair by 3 million votes, you are missing the point.
Obama won by 10 million, and so should have any Democrat that ran against a racist, right-wing demagogue whose candidacy was disgracing the country on a daily basis. That the Democrats could not find a leader to beat this mad monster makes us the real jackasses. And that's the way it is.
Hell, yes, Trump scares me, and no, I don’t want him to get the nuclear codes. I feel safer this week learning that President Obama has revamped the codes, making them all more than 140 characters. But the truth is the President Elect is aligning and affiliating himself with a ragtag band of anti LGBT voices, which have never been supportive of us or our dreams, our causes or our aspirations. It will fall upon us to stand up to the voices that will so willingly seek to put us down.
As Mr. Trump travels this week from airport hangars to coliseums, in self-congratulatory and self-indulgent rallies, you will see him gloat and rant about his successes. It is going to be our duty to raise our voices in opposition. It is going to be up to us to find new voices to do so.
Unless we are dumber than dirt, and I am not sure we are, the Democratic Party will seek out newer leaders with vibrant solutions, without the baggage or burdens of past failures. This does not mean Chelsea Clinton. It means reaching into the heart of America and finding new pulses.
It could be you, or it could be Tim Cook or Tom Hanks. They can’t do any worse than most of the officeholders in power today. The water is poisoned in Flint, factories are abandoned in Detroit, everyone is getting shot in Chicago, there are oil spills in Louisiana, bridges are collapsing in Michigan, the borders are porous in Texas, ties are being made in China, your mortgage calls are forwarded to answer centers in Asia, and you are lucky if someone from AT & T calls you back in this century.
Do we get it yet? No, Nancy Pelosi is not the answer. You are.