Who we blame

I've been thinking a lot about who's to blame for the election of Donald Trump. I've been seeing a lot of people named for it, and it's really upsetting me. I want to talk about that. 

We need to start by resisting the temptation to blame people who didn't want this to happen, for not trying hard enough. This is not the fault of third-party voters who couldn't stand either of the major candidates. This is not the fault of Black and Latin@ Americans who didn't get out to the polls in the same numbers as they did for Barack Obama. This is not the fault of liberals who are exhausted with the system.

Next we move to the media, who did a lot wrong. But it isn't their fault that Trump got elected, either. The media gave coverage to a monstrous man saying monstrous things as he sought to gain immense power. We can say a lot about how they should have done that, but at the end of the line, that's their job. We were informed. We knew what Trump stood for.

Next, the conservatives who never really believed in Trump, who thought they were casting a protest vote. Now, they did wrong by doing so. Let's not pretend they didn't. But they are not where this conversation needs to stop.

Because the people to blame are the huge white supremacist constituency that voted for Trump because they enthusiastically supported this message.

These are the people who see a victory in this election. These are the people who knew exactly what they were doing, who worked toward accomplishing it. These are the people who labored, campaigned, rallied for Trump, and who turned out to vote in unprecedented numbers. 

Without the enthusiastic white supremacists, Trump would not have won.

Every other group I named should look at this experience and think about whether we made mistakes, how we can learn from them and be more effective participants in democracy, how we can mitigate the damage to come.

(Particularly, middle-of-the-road conservatives: Now is the time to write your congresspeople and let them know you don't want to see them attacking LGBT+ rights or Roe v. Wade. If you voted for extremists hoping they'd turn moderate, you need to fucking tell them so.)

But there are people who knew what they were doing, who expected this and wanted this. The full force of blame belongs to them.

We need to blame the fascists, because we need to acknowledge the fascists. They are here, they are fighting, we're sheltering them from resistance if we focus our anger on the people who regret the part they may feel they played in electing Donald Trump.