I have been told to keep my mouth shut about politics, by people who are arguably smarter than me. That there is no possible upside, that the only thing I can possibly accomplish is lose readers and hurt my career. And I have been sitting here for hours, agonizing over this post. I'm not a famous writer. I don't have an unassailable career, I can be hurt by backlash. Hurt enough to ruin me.
And yet today the cavalcade of Donald Trump's offenses against honor, against wisdom, against basic decency ramped up yet another notch, with a tape wherein he clearly discusses what is, let's call a spade a spade, sexual assault.
"I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."
"Whatever you want."
"Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
I could stand silent while he offered up nonsensical, counter-productive policy promises. Wiser economists than I have done a better job of tearing Trump apart than I ever could. I could stand silent while he made an utter boor of himself. Wiser pundits than I have done a better job of highlighting his inane anti-intellectualism, his sheer and staggering lack of third-grade civics knowledge, his financial incompetency when his only credential is "good at business," than I ever could.
But I can't, tonight. I fucking can't. Because I have the temerity to call myself a feminist, and if I didn't say something, I'd be nothing but a coward.
I won't tell you to vote for Hillary. Lots of my readers don't like her. That's fine. Hey, Gary Johnson is both a reasonable candidate and, insofar as I can tell from his interviews, a pretty solid human being. I'd love to meet the guy. Or Jill Stein, there's a viable option.
But don't vote for Trump.
Don't vote for a man who treats over half the human race like garbage. Don't vote for an entitled little rich boy who was born on third base and STILL managed to fail again, and again, and again, and yet thinks you should vote for him because he's...well...rich.
This isn't a slam on my conservative readers, because Trump is not a conservative. There is nothing conservative about praising Vladimir Putin. There is nothing conservative about wanting to censor the Internet, or rewrite libel laws to do an end-run around the first amendment and make it easier to punish people who dare to say mean things about him. That's not conservative. That's not Republican. That's fascism.
Let me lay my creds on the table: I'm a moderate with liberal leanings. My best friends include libertarians, lifelong Republicans, and Christian conservatives. I don't believe people have to agree on politics to be friends, and I've had some of the best and most ferocious arguments with people I love. People I'd do anything for, and them for me. We don't have to agree, in order to love. We don't have to agree, to recognize that we're all human beings, and riding this same crazy planet together. And we all want what's best for all of us, we just disagree on how to make that happen.
It's all about love.
But not for Trump. No, for him...it's all about him.
We have a chance, this November, to stand up to a bully. We have a chance to say, no, this shit is not okay. That we won't reward a man who treats women like trash, who slurs minorities, who preens around like a peacock despite being a woeful failure at everything he's done in his entire life, with the highest office in the land.
Hey, fun fact? There's a decent chance I'd personally prosper under a Trump presidency. His tax plan is a total giveaway to the rich, and while I'm not rich per se, I'm doing okay as a small business owner (never had to declare bankruptcy unlike, well, you know). I'd make some money. But this isn't about me.
I'm pulling the lever against Trump for every woman in my life. I'm pulling the lever for every GLBT person in my life. I'm pulling the lever for every person I cherish and love, and for every person Trump stands to callously hurt.
Fuck that guy.
Just fuck that guy.