Don't go. Seriously, Joni, don’t go.
Don't participate in the Pro Trump Rally happening right now in Hanover. Yes, the announcement of the rally on the local listservs made it clear you are invited. "Liberals welcome," the posting began, and for one fleeting moment you thought, Why, look, a Trump supporter, who is actually interested in discourse. But the next line obliterated that glimmer of a charitable feeling: “You will see how your frivolous spending on social services got this country no where [sic]. We have organized a march of good hard working Americans who will show you how we will make America great again."
Haters. Bigots. Misogynists. Nut jobs. Haters. Haters. Haters. You know you are only getting yourself more worked up. You know your name calling is just as juvenile and inciteful as that of the man whom, heretofore, you will only refer to as, “He Who Shall Never Be My President.” But, right now, you have no other words. Who would put a bigot in the White House, but another bigot? Who would cast a vote for a man who brags about grabbing women’s private parts, but another misogynist? Who, but a nut job, would rally for a nut job who calls Mexicans rapists, mocks disabled reporters, wants to ban all Muslims from the country, attacks the bereaved parents of a dead soldier, discounts global warming, and boasts at a campaign rally, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters”?
I am sorry, Joni, that you are feeling horrified, heartbroken, and sleep deprived, the emotional equivalent of mixing lighter fluid, matches, and a pint of pineapple-flavored vodka. But if you attend that rally, you know you would not be going with an open heart or mind. You would be going to collect names. You would be going to put faces to those people you loathe at this moment. And make no mistake, several of those faces will be those of your friends and neighbors. Through your rage-colored glasses, you won’t be seeing individuals, you will be seeing stereotypes. You will be seeing Red States, White Males, and Ann Coulter in every blonde. You will be seeing that scene from Where the Wild Things Are, where the monsters parade and make trouble.
Don’t go, Joni. Please. Step away from your Prius. Let the Pro Trump rally-goers march in peace. You are a good person, a patriot, a teacher of creative writing, yet incapable of meaningful, productive dialogue, at least for now. If you go to that rally, you will be going low when you should go high. You will be no better than anybody else who lashes out in blind anger and resorts to name calling. You will be sorry. Almost as sorry as all those other good people—people just like you only different—who wanted to make America great.
Your Better Self