So This Is Real.

So this is real. This is happening. This is now.

Re-litigating the election or the primaries doesn’t do much good. Maybe you supported Hillary all along, or shifted to her after the primary. Maybe you supported Bernie. Maybe you went with Johnson or Stein or McMullin. Maybe you were so disgusted by the general election you didn’t vote. Maybe you thought it didn’t matter. I’ve got thoughts about all that, of course, but far more pressing concerns are now at hand.

Or maybe you voted for Trump, and maybe you don’t consider yourself a racist. Maybe you really just wanted to shake up the system, you thought he wouldn’t win and your vote was a protest against the same old same old, or maybe you didn’t take the uglier stuff in his rhetoric seriously. I could rage about how that’s a mistake, of course. Doesn’t change the past. The election was last week. This is now.

The question is whether you’re okay with what is happening, and if you’re going to say or do anything about it. Trump suggested some dark, awful, ugly things in his campaign, and it’s irrational to pretend that will all just go away. You need to decide if you’re going to fight it.

It is…understandable to say it’s time to put the election aside and give Trump a chance to unite and heal the country and all that. At least, that was understandable in the first couple of days. I hesitate to say that’s a reasonable reaction since he said what he said during the campaign and that shit doesn’t go away, but I get that people will have that reaction. The problem is he has already shown he’s unprepared for the job and didn’t realize what he’s getting into. Worse, he has already made decisions to show he’s not interested in uniting or healing anything.

You will note that very little anger or even hot air came out of Trump selecting Reince Priebus as his Chief of Staff. That’s because, like him or not (I don’t), Priebus is a competent choice. As a former RNC chair, he has the familiarity and the managerial experience for the post. He can do that job. He’s also not a racist, or a white nationalist, or an anti-Semite. However, that’s exactly the guy Trump installed as his top advisor.

So let’s grant that you’re not a racist or a sexist or a fascist or whatever. You wanted to shake up the system. Are you okay with Steve Bannon, a white nationalist and anti-Semite whose website, Breitbart, makes those views plain? He’s the CEO. Doesn’t matter if he didn’t write any individual article; that stuff is on the site, he’s the CEO, and he was the guy to take action on it if there was a problem. There was clearly a problem—the problems are all over the site, in big, bold headlines, and he’s okay with them.

Are you okay with that guy having a chief advisory role in the White House? If not, and if you’re not a racist and you’re not anti-Semitic or whatever, regardless of whom you voted for (even Trump), then it’s time to call your representatives in Congress and say, “Hell no.”

And then there’s the rest of the transition shitshow. Trump and his transition team are plainly making loyalty a priority over all else, including competence or experience. Even if you’re a loyal Republican, even if you voted for Trump because you agree with him on the economy or thought he would “drain the swamp” or whatever, this should alarm you.

And they’re already talking about their Muslim registry. And making nice with Putin, despite how the sitting chief of the NSA has now called out deliberate interference in this election by the Russian government.

If we pretend this will all pass, if we hold to the notion that the responsibilities of the office will mellow him out and the checks and balances of government will limit any excesses or abuses, we are ignoring history. This guy’s party has a majority in both houses of Congress, and they like being in power. They will eventually put more people on the Supreme Court and then they’ll have leverage over that check on their power, too.

Right now my most realistic hope is that Republicans in the Senate will co-opt the Trump administration and the House will follow and we’ll have an erosion of the “imperial presidency” as it’s called in government studies. I would love it if the shift we see is just a bunch of right-leaning stuff I can’t stand rather than the real nightmare possibilities.

I would love to trust the Republican majority to protect basic civil liberties and to block incompetent crony appointments to the cabinet and elsewhere. I want to believe that McCain has found his spine and will dust it off and fight for what’s right along with Lindsay Graham and other Republicans who’ve spoken up against Trump. I would love to believe that John Roberts and other conservatives on the Supreme Court will exercise independent judgment and basic humanity and reject this Muslim registry shit out of hand on First Amendment grounds. More importantly, I would love to believe it will never get that far.

History shows we cannot expect all that on good faith. Japanese internment is still within living memory. That actually happened. It’s not hyperbole. It’s not something that happened in some other country. And to think that worse can’t happen here is to ignore history.

Even apart from Trump—even pretending, for the sake of argument, that Trump somehow has nothing to do with it—we’ve seen a spike in hate crimes and harassment. I can tell you my friends have witnessed and intervened in Islamophobic harassment and sexist harassment and more right here in nice, liberal Seattle, but that’s all anecdotal stuff. What isn’t anecdotal is the FBI confirming such incidents are on the rise across the country. So, laying Trump aside: are you okay with that? No? What are you going to do about it? Anything?

Trump has installed a white nationalist and anti-Semite as a chief advisor. That’s real. That happened. As Molly Knefel observed on Twitter, “Critics say Bannon is a white nationalist, while white nationalists say Bannon is in fact a white nationalist.” Are you okay with that? What are you going to do about it?

What are you going to do if his administration wants to register Muslims? History has shown what follows. Are you going to speak up against it? Are you going to fight it?

If you’ve ever looked back at history or even the awful regimes elsewhere in the world today and wondered, “How did people ever let that happen?” your example is now. The test is now. I will love, LOVE to be proven wrong and for all of the ugly possibilities here to fade away. I will be SO HAPPY if in a couple of years everyone can give me a ton of shit for warning people of a government of fascist and racist oppression when nothing of the sort ever came to pass. But history is far too clear to take any of this lightly.

None of this is normal. Do not expect anyone to treat it as such.

One more quote from Twitter, this one from author April Daniels: “First they came for the Muslims and we said, ‘Not this time, motherfucker.’”

Call your Congressional representatives. Calling is more effective than emails or printed letters. Tell them who you are, tell them you’re a constituent, and tell them to speak out against Steve Bannon and the rest of this shitshow. Even if they cannot block his appointment, their opposition matters.

And if you’re looking to do more:

Donate to the American Civil Liberties Union:

Southern Poverty Law Center:

Two last notes:

1) Any assertions that authors (or artists/actors/musicians/athletes/whichever) should keep their politics to themselves will be rejected out of hand. Don’t even bother. That’s crap. Anyone who thinks my work didn’t have my “politics” in it right from the first page of my first book simply failed to notice.

2) I have no compunctions about deleting any racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or pro-harassment comments or memes from my online spaces.

25 thoughts on “So This Is Real.

  1. Junebug

    I’d just like to add a few other really good places to send a few dollars if you want to help:

    Stay safe, stick up for each other. I, too, hope I can look back four years from now and have it turn out nothing terrible happened. But in the meantime, we have to treat every ugly word as a *promise*, and we have to make sure those promises don’t come to fruition.

    Not this time.

  2. passerby

    The conclusion I draw is that you can’t trust the news. Whether it’s Britain leaving or Trump being elected, the news we are getting does not correspond to what’s really happening.

    We’re in this for the long haul. Four years of Trump, eight if he gets re-elected. If you allow yourself to get carried away like this, by the time Trump leaves the White House your marriage will be over, too.

  3. Ondrej

    Oh man, I feel your pain. Looking at the U.S. from Europe, in the last 25 years it went downhill, first slowly and since 9/11 really fast. From the shining beacon of freedom and opportunity it became a World-class bully and a police state whose citizens tolerate politicians who openly promote torture, public schools which consider Creationism an alternative to Evolution, courts which operate completely in secrecy, nation-wide ELINT dragnets, everyday murder of poor foreigners by drone strikes (they don’t even make the news nowadays!), white cops being exonerated after they kill unarmed blacks, and a lot of other crazy stuff. It looks like your national standards for what’s right and how much to be angry about what’s wrong are so eroded that Trump is not even that big a surprise, just another crazy thing coming from America. Soon the movie Idiocracy will have to be re-classified as a documentary.
    Really – first the fiasco in Syria, now Trump – how can anyone take you seriously anymore?

  4. Justin

    Given the state of the media, it’s fitting that the best analysis of the election came from a comedian:

    What makes you think that Steve Bannon is an anti-Semite? That’s an honest question by the way. Have you seen any actual evidence or are you just taking other people’s word for it? And don’t point me towards statements form white nationalists. They have a long history of jumping on bandwagons to try and gain supporters. I’m no more likely to believe that they’re Brannon supporters than I was to believe that they were tea party supporters. Provide specific examples or I’m dismissing this as talking points bullshit. As for brietbart itself, it’s a conservative pundit website, not the daily stormer. Take a breath man.

    Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic; the left overplayed their hand with the constant labeling of people who disagree with them. These terms have been overused to the point that people are more likely to roll their eyes at accusations of racism than to take them seriously. That’s a scary thing when racism still exists in this country and it was the left did that, not that right. It was exactly this type of overreaction and propensity to label everyone who disagrees with you as racist, that allowed Trump to walk into office.

    There’s an old joke on the right. How do you know when you’ve won a debate with a leftist? When they start calling you names. If the media had spent less time looking for “got-you” sound bites in an attempt at character assassination and more time listening to what trump was saying to voters, then they would have known that the rust belt was in play months ago. Field a better candidate. Stop labeling everyone as the evil racist “other” and actually debate them. And maybe, just maybe the next election will go better for you. Or don’t, dismissing trump as an unelectable bigot worked out so well this time around.

    As for criminal activity, it’s funny that you didn’t mention the riots or the multiple confirmed reports of violence against trump supporters. Including the man dragged from his car and beaten for voting for trump. Since we’re making broad statements about groups of people based on the actions of a few. What does that violence say about the democrats? Are you OK with what’s happening?

    “Then there’s the rest of the transition shitshow.”
    If I wanted a Washington insider capable to making a smooth transition to the white house, complete with legislation drafted by think tanks years ago, I would have voted for Hillary. The fact that trump is fumbling around a bit, not really sure how to make that transition to the white house is a promising sign. He’ll figure it out.

    1. Elliott Kay Post author

      Also a lot of nonsense. Again, you can find Bannon’s opinions in the things he has said and what he allowed on Breitbart.

      Never, ever accept the excuse that racists or Nazis are “only trolling” or “only joking.” They’re only joking until they can get away with worse than jokes. And frankly, Hillary Clinton wasn’t wrong to talk about Trump’s support from people with racist, misogynist, or xenophobic views. Polling data from Trump supporters backed that up. And being glad to see a man who doesn’t have his shit together for a transition into the most powerful position in the world is not a good thing. You’re fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

      1. Peter F Foley

        How can any Obama supporter ever question anyone else as a candidate? Two years as a 4th rate Senator… He organized the black on black murder capital of the West… Fascists are a lot closer to functional then any Commie /socialists dystopias ever been…

        And let us not even go to the massive Crony business partnerships BHO(S) has formed to forward his dream of an ever weaker America .

        Remember when BHO claimed to be born in Kenya for 11 years prior to his run up to President……
        he was the only President to appear on the cover of Time magazine with Lip burns…… The USS Choomobile Totaled again…
        Try reading your opinions as the scribblings of a selfish twit. They are a near prefect match.

        I don’t expect good writers to agreed with my politics, but I demand they have some integrity….

  5. Audiofile

    I guess I’m willing to let it ride for now. Don’t know what to think. I really wanted Bernie. I’ve never trusted either Hillary or Trump. They both feel dirty to my gut. To me no one could win this election regardless of the winner. We all lost when Trump and Hillary became the only candidates. That will probably ruffle some feathers but I gotta say it. I feel as if this election more than any before it shows how messed up a two party system can be.

    To randomly tack this in, Trump’s VP staggers me with his incompetence.

  6. Monk

    I considea myself up to speed on politics and pulled the trump lever and mixed party further down the ticket for races I knew about in my beloved blue county. Mainly for the wikileaks reason with a side of “what is allepo.”

    Breitbart is my beloved second read of the day, after the Guardian. Watching both those sites distort truth and push narrative was excellent political theater.

    From my POV, one of the more corrupt political persons currently alive ran a lackluster campaign. And my only real alternative, and i still can’t belive it, was Donald Trump. One of my more religious friends remarked “signs like that usually aren’t so obvious.”

    Breitbart, at its core, is roughly the answer to, what happened when kids from 4chan try serious journalism.

    Is 4chan racist? Well there are certainly racist content there but, when you sort out the jokes the actual percentage of real racists is low. It should be lower, yes, but it’s at least low. But being real, both the right and the left have their own unique flavors of racism and bigotry.

    If you want to get what breitbart is about, look up milo yinappolis. You might hate what he says yet you have to appricate him as a person.

    I would just posit that “white nationalism” might better be called western nationalism, that being the shared values of the western world and it’s associated civilization. Those values are flawed but, they remain the best option among current societies. Personally I am betting on this really being a break away from “globalisation” into a restructured regional focused system.

    Could be good, could be bad. If Trump goes full retard, I’ll be right there with you guys. And it won’t be long till Warren 2020

    1. Elliott Kay Post author

      I’m sorry, no. All of this is nonsense.

      You don’t have to go any farther than Bannon’s own statements and the stuff he allowed on Breitbart as its CEO to know he’s a monster with no appreciation for the truth.

      And fuck Milo Y. Forever. Fuck everything about that guy. Dude was so pissy about a break-up that he threw a tantrum so bad it wound up in front of the United Nations. I have no respect for him or his followers. Far as I’m concerned he should be in jail for orchestrating a campaign of threats and harassment, only he’s not because law enforcement still doesn’t know how to handle that kind of stuff when it involves the internet.

      The only thing I can agree with here is Warren in 2020, but that’s only if she actually wants it, and we’re a long way out from there.

      1. Monk

        Other than Breitbart’s love of Yellow Journalism Headlines, it’s really only boilerplate republican positions, just Trollish. But I could be wrong and it’s not like I am going to change your mind on the issue. It was as south park stated, a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

        Points to you for getting Yaw right in the usage. Negative points for failure to respond to any points and declare nonsense. It’s a different viewpoint, tis all. One of the more humbling things about reality is that the other side usually has valid points even while having garbage conclusions.

  7. McDiel

    Alright, I’ve been writing quite a bit not 5 minutes ago, most of it rambly and with a sighing subtitle… but you know what, I’m not gonna get into it. I think I mentioned last time that discussing politics online leads to nothing, so I’m keeping myself out. Especially since I voted for neither, thanks to the fact that I’m european.

    But you people got that “problem” now, so… the future will show where it’s gonna get you.
    Just do me one favour: Don’t dismiss any point of view strictly on the principle that you consider yourself educated. It’s a fallacy. By which I do not mean that you’re not educated, but wisdom is also considering the others point of view – no matter whether or not you personally think they’re just bigoted, racist, or otherwise flawed. Open discussion is the key to those things as well. Discussion and debate.

    “Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny, and old wounds open all too easily.” (Adm. Aken H. Bosch, Freespace 2)

  8. adam diran

    As an author of Science fiction and Fantasy, on one level you should be delighted with the presidential outcome.

    After recent events any crazy thing you have a group of people think or do can’t be said to be unrealistic. We have new and unexplored boundaries to credulity.

  9. Tyler

    So…what about Obama spitting in the face of Israel on his way out? That seems pretty “anti-Semite”…

    1. Elliott Kay Post author

      Telling Israel the settlements are awful isn’t spitting in Israel’s face. Nor is getting out of the way while the UN condemns the settlements. Israel buys itself far more problems than safety or stability with the those settlements.

      Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism.

      1. Carl Talbot

        Just a brief note to say – first of all – what a big fan of your work I am – love your Rich man’s war series – just amazing, hard to put down writing.

        But a brief note on your despair of the election of realty-star Donald Trump. I really appreciate that you have responded so reasonably to the ppl I usually refer to as “Trumptards”, well done. Spewing insults is not the way reasonable people discuss issues, so congrats and kudos for your reasonableness.

        I did want to not the logic used by the Trump supporter – You noted that Steve Bannon was an antisemitic – which of course he is. I will go over the hundreds of disgraceful quotes from that disgrace of a human being. I will go over how mind boggling I find it for someone to say “Breitbart is my beloved second read of the day”. wow. What can one say about that.

        However the Trump supporter’s logic is than to accuse president Obama of being anti-Semitic. Interesting logic. Assuming for the moment that President Obama IS anti-Semitic, what possible baring is that to whither (sp? wither?) or not Steve Bannon is anti-Semitic? Its a standard tactic for the right – one sees it every night one can stand to watch the corporate yell-fest that is called news now. The basic of his argument is broken, and without meaning.

        This is why basic logic should be a multi-term course taught in junior and senior high school, instead of an elective in college. If the electorate is going be able to responsible vote for what is in the best interests of the Republic – they need to be informed. They NEED to have rational minds that come to decisions – rationally.

        Someone who reads Breibart news is – by definition – is being miss informed. Very sad to see.

        Thank you for your amazing books. I can’t get into the demon/angel series because of all the sex. But thats just me. The other stuff is absolutely brilliant. Thank you.

  10. Richard

    It is time to get involved locally, to counter this insanity, in addition to donating to entities that will help to rein in excesses of the new administration. “Indivisible” is an on-line document that explores how the Left can use the tactics of the Alt-right effectively. It is worth knowing that there is a coherent fight that can be made,even if all we do is read:

  11. Mark

    Reading these comments at this time, (after a few weeks of Trump’s reign and the subsequent partisan battles), I can only say this:

    Our country is in a downward spiral due to the polarization of it’s people. The two political parties are more concerned with their dynasties than with the good of the people. The Media, Hollywood, etc. each have their own agendas that appear to be socially driven but are really what’s best for their bottom line. No one want to overcome differences and SERVE the American people any longer… and that’s sad. The last superpower is dead by it’s own hand.

    I refuse to call all Trump voters racist because they aren’t. I know many that were just too outraged at the possibility of Hillary getting elected due to her alleged crimes and attitudes. I do know that calling these people racist DOES drive a wedge further into our society as these people do resent being labeled such and will be much more likely in the future to side with the people not calling them names… same goes for anti-gay, anti-Semitic… the words are being overused and are losing any meaning save anger.

    We need to “Make America Great Again”, not by following Trump… not by attacking Trump… rather we as a people need to stop buying into the divisive crap coming out of Washington and Hollywood and work together for a better future. Let’s demand someone worth voting for next election. I for one and tired of voting for the least objectionable candidate. Let’s stop the riots and start the talks to begin healing these rifts. You are a writer sir and I enjoy your work greatly. I respect your opinion and value your right to it but please, use the power of your audience to bring us together. Until someone does that, well… America doesn’t stand a chance.

    1. Alex

      Yeah….except when 80% of Trump supporters in polls answer favorably to racist statements, we actually get to generalize that they are racists. We get to attack racism for the sake of humanity and civilization. I’m all for tolerance and diversity and multiculturalism, but when the other guy is advocating crackdown on immigrants, fascism, degradation of women, and Christian white nationalism, it’s not the time to resort to the “all opinions are valid cultural gems in the sparkling necklace of our diverse society.” It’s time to call the anti-human garbage people what they are, and not accept their views, and not entertain ideas that everything is ok. It’s not time to “heal the rifts” because racist d-bags need to be on the OTHER SIDE OF THE RIFT from acceptable norms and the basic concept of civilization. Period.

      If someone voted for Trump, even as a low-information voter, then that speaks volumes about their character. Volumes and volumes.

      Don’t let racist buffoons cynically appeal to liberal concepts of tolerance when they finally gain the reigns of power. They don’t value tolerance for a second and are only using whatever language lets them hold onto that power longest.

      1. Mark

        Your answer is as knee-jerk, bigot oriented as any KKK member response could possibly be sir. Is it ok to label someone that just couldn’t vote for someone they considered a criminal and bad for their country and instead voted for the other very flawed candidate instead a bigot? No. They made an informed decision and acted within the appalling parameters they were given. Your response is the typical reaction of those on the left that want to bully everyone to their way of thinking considering any ideas other than theirs to be wrong. When people start labeling… bigotry happens. You sir are a label-monger.

  12. Al Errington

    Next Good Intention maybe introduce a new demon with orange skin, not very intelligent, lies a lot, and has the ability to warp people’s perception of reality.

  13. Eric

    Is calling half of your potential customers racist because they don’t see things the same way you do the best idea? Apparently, your business acumen is as savvy as your political knowledge. Quit believing everything the media tells you to believe. I’m not a huge fan of Trump, but I have personally seen Hillary treat the people around her like dog shit she had just scraped from her shoe. Just ask ANY Secret Service agent that protected her ungrateful ass! The fact is, Trump would have been a joke if the democrats could have presented a candidate that was even a little bit reasonable. So, go ahead and call me a racist, but don’t cry when your next book has terrible sales. Business and politics don’t mix. I don’t shop at Hobby Lobby anymore either.

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