Frank Gormlie / OB Rag
Back a few weeks ago, during a particularly “bad week” campaign-wise for Hillary Clinton, it looked like Trump could actually be elected President. It was during that period that the OB Rag asked a number of activists and progressives what they would do if Trump was indeed elected.
Today, still, Trump winning is not a far-fetched concept, for as recently as Monday, October 3rd, Rachel Maddow of msnbc made the plausible case that there could be an electoral college vote tie between Clinton and Trump and it all may end up in a divided US Supreme Court.
(The OB Rag also ran a readers’ poll on the very same question with some startling results.)
Not every activist and progressive responded – most of whom live in the San Diego area – but not all, but many did, and their answers follow, with my commentary. (Some agreed I could use their name, others didn’t – for obvious reasons.)
Some of the answers to the question reflected an unwillingness to accept that Trump could win or even think about it. One long-time OBcean said:
I have faith that the young, the minorities and the disenfranchised will not let this happen. I have no answer to your question.
Annie Lane, one of the editors at our collaboration, the San Diego Free Press responded:
I am unwilling to think of a world with Donald Trump as president. I have to – and I really mean have to – believe that collectively America is not that ignorant, fearful or racist. That the last 60 years haven’t been for naught. If I don’t believe in the progress that’s been made with the sweat, blood and tears of those who came before me, what’s the point of any of it?
Our own South OB Girl said:
Pray for the world.
To the other extreme – one respondent said:
Since Trump will bring a new American fascism, I will help organize an underground resistance.
Another cautioned – and we don’t blame them – :
I don’t think I want to answer this question in public. It just feels wrong.
In another direction, one friend of the OB Rag, Fstued, said:
I won’t do much different, but I will probably put investments in cash. I suspect that there will be a crash in the market. Our international partners probably won’t be any more, so investments will flow to foreign markets. We’ll see where the polls are at in late October and then maybe get in bonds or just cash. After November 8 it will be too late.
All the smart people in world affairs regardless of their political leanings are saying don’t vote for Trump. All 4 past living presidents and their opponents are against Trump. Most world leaders agree that he will be bad for the US.
A number of the activists/ progressives we asked are citizen journalists and related to our online projects – the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press – and many of them said they would continue their work. Writer John Lawrence answered:
If Trump is elected, I will continue to write articles critical of him and his policies. I won’t leave the country because my grandchildren are here in Palm Springs. That’s probably a safe place to be except for the fact that the temperatures there in the summer are approaching 120 degrees F.
I don’t think my life will change much. Climate change will probably accelerate, but that won’t affect my situation here. People living on the bluffs will probably find their houses falling into the ocean and PB, MB and OB will flood more often, but that’s not me. I will probably get more politically active as Trump’s policies continue to deteriorate the country.
Reporter Dave Rice shared this:
I’m pretty cynical in that I don’t think a whole lot of the policy he’s personally endorsed has any feasibility in the real world. If he does prevail in the election I’m assuming that means Republicans hold control of Congress, which could spell trouble in the more traditional sense of cutting taxes for the rich, slashing environmental regulations, and draconian cuts in social services. I think those have more bearing in the real world than the fact that we’ll once again be the laughing stock of the world, as we were under Bush II.
Ernie McCray, one of our steady columnists and retired school principal, sent the following:
If Trump is elected I’ll look around me, expecting to see Rod Serling smoking a cigarette, going “You have just entered the Twilight Zone.”
Then, knowing that such thinking is but a wishful dream I’d scream to the very universe “What the f–k, is wrong with us?” with God, going sheepishly, “Hey, don’t look at me. I gave your silly-asses a brain.”
Then, I’d think about what could have been, how we as a nation, had a chance to elect one of the most amazing human beings alive, a man who spoke to our hearts, who rallied millions of young people to take part, to get excited, to understand their democracy – and we shined it on and chose the most reprehensible non-caring over- hateful buffoonish cartoonish ignorant stupid-ass asshole in The Milky Way.
Then I’d face reality and get back to what I’ve been doing the past 78 years, try to make it “mo bettah” while once again having to live in an atmosphere where the racists, of the “angry white men” category, feel at home, and when these Yee-Ha fools feel free there is absolutely no telling what they will do anywhere, anytime. Hmmm, too bad it’s cold in Canada (smile).
The option of moving to Canada – or Mexico – has certainly been raised, as it was an answer in our readers’ poll. In that poll, nearly 8% said they would move out of the country (2% to Mexico and 5.5% to Canada).
One commenter Gordon S, told us he was in Canada already:
I’m traversing Canada right now scouting for a comfortable place to leave…just in case. Discovering Canadians are just as scared as I am. Love it here but it’s too damn cold. May consider Costa Rica as it’s beautiful there as well.
Former OBcean who’s currently living in Canada, Marc Snelling, reminded Gordon:
Cold?!? It’s still summer! :) You would not do well in Canada if you think its cold in September. A lot of people say they will move. I wonder how many really will. After Bush was elected for the first time (his second term) there were some OB activists who left bound for Costa Rica and Canada. Myself included.
And years later we are still here. http://Www.casamontezuma.com is my favorite place in Costa Rica but Ill take the cold over the heat! You can always wear another layer, bud.
Stewart Kocivar had a different thought:
The threat you hear from some people is that they will move to Canada but I cannot say that is something I would do. If it happens I will continue to support more enlightened and progressive causes and politicians. By the way I remember thinking it would be catastrophic if Ronald Reagan were elected president. Instead of making plans for what I’ll do in the event of Trump’s election, I will look for opportunities to do what I can to ensure that it does not happen.
KF told us:
I don’t see too many options if Trump is elected: Drugs, Canada, Suicide.
Most who answered our survey, however, weren’t that interested in leaving the country, but in continuing their activism. Posey, an OB organizer at the Green Center, said:
I voted [in the OB Rag poll] that I would take to the streets. He has literally called for violence in his rallies against protesters. Our right to protest is often suppressed now; example Dakota Pipeline! If this con man preaching xenophobic and racist ideas becomes President, it’s scary to think what will happen.
College prof – and former OBcean, Peter Bohmer, sent this in, calling for direct action to resist Trump’s plans:
If Trump wins, which is a possibility, especially if there is a low turnout, we need to make impossible what Trump claims he want to do: to build a wall with Mexico, to round up immigrants, especially Mexicans and Muslims, to lock up more people, etc.
We must put our body on the line in solidarity with those most likely to be attacked by a Trump led administration. We must totally resist the further increase in the police and surveillance state. This will require direct action, us challenging an even more authoritarian state than the one we have now, and building an anti-racist and anti-fascist mass movement that also is for economic, gender, racial and social justice and peace.
Trump is part of the 1% and that is where his allegiances are. If Clinton wins,although she is less fascist than Trump, we will also need to build movements to challenge her pro-corporate militarism.
That was echoed by Renee Owens:
What will I do? First I will have to recover from the state of shock as I will be in disbelief at the mind-boggling idiocy of so many Americans voting for a sociopath who cares nothing for them, their wants or needs, and gains power through 19th century bully tactics, racism, and misogyny.
Then I will do more of what I have been doing: promoting a progressive movement away from the status quo, supporting what Bernie Sanders has begun. But I will ratchet up my efforts immensely, because to do nothing or be an armchair critic is to be a part of the problem that got us into such a societal mess in the first place.
Former OBcean and long-time activist, Dickie, said he’d get more active especially in resistance to some of Trump’s border and anti-Muslim policies:
I suspect that I will continue living the way I do, but I will probably get more socially/politically active, especially in resistance to some of his more egregious proposals, like around the border and repressing Muslims.
I also feel I will pay more attention to the out ‘n’ out racist and fascist elements that he has emboldened and allowed out from under their rocks to do harm including including violent harm. I have considered them relatively marginal the past few decades till the last year or two, but no more.
And I will try to be ready if necessary to defend Black people and other people of color and immigrants from more repression an attacks, but also from continued neglect and cluelessness. I’ll probably keep on living the way I do if Hillary gets elected too, but I would probably have to be ready for more antiwar activity.
Brent, an editor of SDFP and community activist in Barrio Logan, responded:
As far as your question. I’m gonna keep doing what I do. Whether Trump or Clinton the issues in my community will always be the same. And the amount of time I spend on them will remain the same.
Another friend answered:
Prepare for a major recession and depression. Prepare to tell the rest of the world that it wasn’t our fault. It was stated to me once in an Irish bar by the locals “I can understand how you may have elected Bush once but twice!” What will the rest of the world say to us now?
One of our writers, Jeeni Criscenzo, had a response that deserved to stand alone as a post.
So, that’s it for now, as we ponder our collective futures and the consequences of the national election, a mere month away.