I am reading a lot of the “we have to come together as a nation” rhetoric from some of the most reasonable of my friends. I am not certain that is so. Don’t forget that Trump ran on the promise of oppressing a variety of American demographics, and he won’t just leave these racial, religious and sexual orientation grievances unaddressed. For me at least, that leaves not much room for coming together. As much as I suspect he would personally love to, he can’t just blithely betray the southerners and Midwesterners who ushered him in.
My honest impression is that he would rather spend his energies rewriting trade deals, shredding the ACA and unbuttoning business and environmental regulations than he would expressing the racism and bigotry of his constituency. The guy is from New York. He doesn’t personally mind gay people, black people or Hispanics. I think he does sincerely hate Muslims. But their usefulness as an aggregated bogeyman proved useful as an election strategy. He’s a charlatan, but he needs to keep the ruse going. The identification of “the other” as the architect of the white man’s misery is at the heart of what got him elected, and he will not be permitted to pay it mere lip service.
Trump won’t be able to build the wall. It will stand as a monolith, a hypothesized nothing that will ever stand as a metaphor for the gullibility of his base. Such a project would involve an endless string of eminent domain land seizures, each from someone bearing a strong resemblance to Cliven Bundy, the very ilk who elected him, and that would never happen. The wall will go down as his great unkept promise, his Guantanamo if you will.
What he will be able to initiate on the immigration front, however, is the mass deportation squad he promised, and that is an ugly thing. In order to slake the peasant bloodlust, it will be a requirement of the coming administration that brown families howling in pain be seen on television with some regularity, otherwise out come the hoes and pitchforks.
I have nothing in common with these people and I don’t intend to do much coming together with them. A massive schism presented itself this election, and it carved itself along gender lines, age lines, race lines and education lines more perfectly than any election in the modern era. It was my demographic, the working class white male, that saw the dying of its light and desperately clawed it back using the politics of fear. They are a sad, pathetic lot, and what they condone, I revile. What they seek, I seek to dismantle. What they love, I hate. So, as far as “coming together,” I don’t see much of that for me. I recommend dramatic, committed resistance in word and deed.