Dear Middle of America,
We haven’t really met, although I did go to grad school in one of your finest institutions, University of Wisconsin-Madison, but I was mostly in the library or huddled near the heater. It was a cold winter and I’m from the West Coast so you can imagine, I wasn’t prepared.
Just as I wasn’t prepared for last night’s election, in which you played a larger than life role. Seriously. Everyone is talking about how mad you all are about the direction the country is going in. How angry you are that maybe the country doesn’t look like what you think it should. How this vote was a giant middle finger to the rest of the country that simply does not seem to realize how fucking angry you are. Only Trump realized how angry you are. And only Trump was able to capitalize on it.
I hear you don’t really support the candidate’s racism, xenophobia, sexism, and complete lack of a seriousness about very serious issues. Campaign rhetoric, nothing more, you told yourself. We’ll see. You voted him in because he best served your desire to break things, kick the whole damn system and resister a loud and clear protest. A protest. You elected a man that scares the holy bejesus out of the rest of the world and repulses 60% of this populace–why? Oh yeah, out of protest.
Of course, not all of you did. I recognize that. But enough. And enough of you didn’t say No and enough of you said Yes. So here we are. You did it! Congratulations! You’ve really shaken us up beyond your wildest dreams. You never knew how strong you were and now you do. Congratulations.
Perhaps you are seeing yourself with new eyes, Middle of America. Perhaps you are primping in the mirror of Activism. Perhaps you are in fact saying, Yes, We Can, but in a whole different way than has been the case for the last 8 years. You’ll show us.
Well, it’s true. You can. You did. This will not change manufacturing or trade or your own economic outlook, however. You need to know this. And for that, I actually feel bad for you, because look, no one, No One, likes to be a fool. No one likes to be a sucker. I’ve been there, trust me. So in a couple years when it’s clear that Yes, We Can really only applied to your protest vote and that your candidate never, ever had any intentions beyond his own self-interest? Seriously, I feel for you. If only because that particular truth is going to do serious and lasting damage.
So okay, Middle of America. Middle finger held high, the world watching, you did this thing. We hear you.