Jack Tame: My worries for America

My friend is voting for Donald Trump.

It isn't a protest vote. My friend isn't trying to bring about a faster revolution, a la some of Bernie Sanders' supporters.

My friend doesn't fit Trump's demographic base, if there's even such a thing. My friend isn't a white, uneducated, angry man from Hicksville, Iowa. She is an educated Hispanic woman who lives in New York and works in a reasonable middle class job. She doesn't trust Clinton.

I have another friend whom I suspect will vote for Trump as well. He and I used to debate politics at the pub, but we haven't lately. I don't know for sure what candidate he's voting for because I chose not to ask. It just doesn't seem worth it. Instead of speaking to each other, we inevitably speak at each other when we get onto politics. I'm no screaming fan of either candidate, but just playing devil's advocate over a round of beers can get you in trouble, fast.

This is an awfully personal election.

I've covered the campaign for the last two years. I don't know for sure what Wednesday's results will bring. The structure of the Electoral College and current polling in various states make Clinton the favourite for the White House, but no shoo-in.

Trump could win. He shouldn't. But he could. You wouldn't bet the house.

I worry for America. I worry that such an enormous and diverse place is effectively limited to a two-party federal system, and that rather than meeting somewhere in the so-called political centre, those two parties are bitterly, hatefully partisan.

Hate is extreme but hate doesn't overstep the mark.

I worry that this country of might and diversity is so angry, a cartoonish demagogue can ascend to power on the backs of forgotten people, while blatantly contradicting the values they claim dear.

This, a land of immigrants. This, a land of liberty. One nation under God, and all that.

America is now, if not in the majority at least in sizeable part, a land where people cheer for Muslims to be banned and Hispanics to be hunted by a Deportation Force.

It is a land where a leader can gloat of sexually assaulting women, mock the disabled and boast of having not paid taxes.

He can discriminate against black people by banning them from living in his buildings and perpetuate a preposterous racist lie about a sitting president.

Tens of millions of people will vote for him.

I worry about anger. An African American church burnt down in Mississippi. 'Vote for Trump!' spray-painted on its side.

Right wing militia running training drills in anticipation of a 'stolen election'. Violence at rallies. A candidate who says he'll "keep you in suspense" as to whether or not he'll accept the result.

Finally, this campaign is over. America is set to decide.

On Tuesday, she votes and no matter the result, on Wednesday the sun will rise. But over what, I wonder?

- Herald on Sunday

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