Decades from now, when the election of 2016 is distilled to its essence, what will that be? Many hoped the central lesson would be a shattered glass ceiling and a cementing of the Obama legacy. An expansion of rights and tolerance.
Instead, a small electoral majority chose a candidate who openly embraced bigotry, who slurred war heroes and mocked the disabled, who bragged of sexual assault, who said he’d roll back the protections of a free press, who was cheered on by white supremacists, who said he’d upend our alliances and the world’s long-overdue climate deal, and who is ignorant and cavalier about the basics of safeguarding a nuclear arsenal.
There is no way to sugarcoat it. The election of Donald Trump is a brutal affront to women, people of color, Jews and Muslims, and all who value kindness and tolerance. Paranoia and divisiveness won the day. If we feared that the Trump campaign would give white nationalists and other political predators a road map for a lasting presence as a disruptive opposition, we have instead handed them the keys to the Oval Office, and the nuclear codes.