Three weeks ago tomorrow the improbable happened. It was not improbable that Americans would elect Donald Trump. It is never a total shock when Americans choose the candidate you thought sure to lose.
“You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore!” Really? Then, in 1968 they elected him. They’ll never put a second-rate former movie star in the White House. Meet Ronald Reagan 2.0, and Democrats helped elect him. George W. Bush seemed a laughable long shot in 1999, and we all know what happened then.
Trump campaigned as a scary clown in a season of scary clown sightings. He ridiculed cruelly: women, the disabled, the press. He threatened liberally: Latinos, Muslim, immigrants in general, our NATO allies. At the outset, many thought he was funny and too improbable to be elected. Some of us knew better. Some read the writing on Trump’s great wall.
The improbability was not that it could not happen. All my life I have been wary that it could indeed happen here. But every poll said it would not happen and had Hillary Clinton defeating Trump. After spending a year and a half reminding people that the only poll that matters is the actual vote, I too had come to believe that Hillary had this. I gave in to the certainty on the night before Election Day, unlike the Irish bookies who began paying out two weeks before the election. I kept working, but I really thought we had this at Independence Hall.
Now this, trending on Twitter. Trump’s supporters are speaking out in a most frightening way.
More on this here. I urge you to read it. Even dedicated Republicans like Ana Navarro are tweeting about this. You might want to take a spoon of Pepto Bismol first. If this doesn’t make you sick, you are foolhardy, ignorant of history, or perhaps sick in more serious ways than OTC meds can help.
The POETUS’s Veep pick somehow managed to get tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway which has a wait list longer than Stanford. Hillary’s supporters at the performance also spoke out. This happened.
Donald Trump rounded on the ‘Hamilton’ cast for addressing Mike Pence when he visited the show. But Brandon Dixon and his peers were speaking truth to power in the purest form.
It is heartening, for those who work in arts and culture, to see their work migrate to the front pages. It’s rare: The world of culture is seen as more rarefied than the 24-hour news cycle.
But the stratospheric success of Hamilton means it has often traversed both. It is that rare thing; an intelligent, stirring work of art that has found a populist home on stage on Broadway, feted not just by critics but by the general public who have been to see it. You’ll have seen its songs and stars on TV, if you haven’t seen them on stage. The difficulty of securing a ticket has become a mainstream joke.
The weekend bought the show back to the front page. One of the actors, Brandon Victor Dixon, gracefully read out a statement to the Vice President Elect Mike Pence, who was in the audience. It wasn’t rudely phrased. It wasn’t rudely spoken. It wasn’t rude in any way. We know this because it was videotaped. We can see it. If you choose to see it as harassment or rudeness, you are willfully misreading what you are seeing or hearing.
Dixon’s speech was a request from the heart, and—this seems to have been somewhat overlooked—a heartfelt plea to Pence to recognize and respect true diversity.
It was aimed at him because as Governor of Indiana he advocated for a range of discriminatory legislation, not least ‘conversion therapy,’ or discredited, cruel and downright weird ‘treatments’ to ‘cure’ people of homosexuality. He has also been accused of ignoring racism.
The gracefully read statement was immediately leapt upon by Donald Trump, the President-elect: he demanded the Hamilton cast apologize. They had been rude to Mike Pence. He had been in a safe space. How dare they?
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Some contrast was provided here but of the snide variety. We could have done without words like smug and gushed. For Ms. Okafor’s information, Hillary Clinton is very warm, caring, and loving and is eminently huggable and kissable. We love the Grandma-in-Chief.
Getty – Theo Wargo, Thomas Greff
The conservative and liberal worlds lit up in a firestorm when Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a performance of “Hamilton”’ on Broadway this past week.
The Vice President-elect was roundly booed and jeered by the audience, and he received a smug lecture from the cast before leaving the building. It went like this:
While the “Hamilton” cast ‘heroically’ stood up to Pence, they had no problem slobbering all over Hillary with hugs, kisses and gushing selfies.
Image Credit: Yana Paskova/Getty Images
Read and see much more here >>>>
What was most improbable was that Americans would vote for someone supported by white nationalists who say things like this.
“America was until this last generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation and it belongs to us.” – RICHARD SPENCER, an ideologue of the alt-right movement, speaking to 200 mostlyyoung men in Washington.
We elect buffoons, crooks, grade B actors. I did not expect us to elect a potential despot. I thought we dodged that bullet with Nixon. I thought we closed the book on registries with the Nisei internment camps. I thought women would finally shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling by electing the most qualified and prepared candidate ever to run in my lifetime. I thought we were moving toward a more inclusive society. I thought a lot of things.
This is #NotWhoWeAre.
No sooner had I posted this than this letter from George Takei appeared in my inbox.
Just a few weeks after my fifth birthday, in the spring of 1942, my parents got my younger brother, my baby sister, and me up very early, hurriedly dressed us, and quickly started to pack.
When my brother and I looked out the window of our living room, we saw two soldiers marching up the driveway, bayonets fixed to their rifles. They banged on our front door and ordered us out of the house. We could take only what we could carry with us.
We were loaded on to train cars with other Japanese-American families, with guards stationed at both ends of each car as though we were criminals, and sent two-thirds of the way across the country to an internment camp in the swamps of Arkansas.
For nearly three years, barbed wire, sentry towers, and armed guards marked home. Mass showers, lousy meals in crowded mess halls, and a searchlight following me as I ran from our barracks to the latrine in the middle of the night — in case I was trying to escape — became normal.
So when I hear Donald Trump’s transition advisors talk about building a registry of Muslims and his surrogates using the internment of Japanese-Americans as their model, I am outraged — because I remember the tears streaming down my mother’s face as we were torn away from our home. And I am resolved to raise my voice and say, loudly and clearly, that this is not who we are.
My mother was born in Sacramento, my father grew up in San Francisco, and my siblings and I were born in Los Angeles. We were American citizens, as proud of our country as we were of our Japanese heritage. But in the fear and mass hysteria of wartime, none of that mattered. When our government allowed hatred and racism to overtake our values, nothing else mattered.
We cannot allow our country to be led down that dark path ever again.
Rosemary, I am committed to fighting for our values, our democracy, and the moral character of our nation. And I am committed to standing with the Democratic Party against bigotry and oppression for the next four years and beyond, no matter what form it takes. I hope you will do the same. Add your name today to stand with me: