There was a time, a while ago, when driving along Route 128 through Burlington, down the Southeast Expressway through Quincy, on Route 6 in Eastham on The Cape, anywhere, in fact, in The Commonwealth, where you could find yourself behind a car with this affixed bumper sticker — “Don’t Blame Me, I’m From Massachusetts”.
It was 1972, and a few months earlier Massachusetts had voted for George McGovern for President. The other 49 states in these United States of ours had gone the other way, for one Richard Milhouse Nixon, who a couple of years later found himself on a fast helicopter out of Washington D.C., leaning out the side door yelling “I’m not a crook” to the six or so people still listening.
Forty-Nine states voted for Nixon. But not Massachusetts, not us. You couldn’t blame us.
And then last Tuesday the great state of Massachusetts, The Commonwealth, the “Don’t Blame Me” state, went to the polls again and voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump and more closely for Hillary Clinton. The people of The Commonwealth went to the polls and voted their approval and support for the two most deceitful, insidious, arrogant, ego-driven, lying candidates on the two ballots.
Donald Trump is the worse kind of hate monger, a term defined as “a person who kindles hatred, enmity, or prejudice in others”. His rallies are cauldrons of boiling anger and vitriol and, more and more, violence. ( http://www.vox.com/2016/3/2/11146110/donald-trump-rally-push-shove ). He’s the head cheerleader for this, encourages it, makes outrageously unbelievable provocative and demeaning statements for someone seriously running for the Presidency of our United States. He looks into the news cameras day after day and lies and lies and lies — obvious lies, contradictions for which no amount of “flexibity” can suffice to explain. And yet there is a percentage of people in this country, and nearly 50% of Massachusetts Republican primary voters, who turn a clear eye for a deaf ear and continue to support him.
At the heart of it all is racism. That’s what it is — flat out demeaning, denigrating racism. Do I believe that every individual who supports Donald Trump is a racist at heart? No. Lots are no doubt, and maybe most, but not all. Just like I don’t believe that every German citizen in 1939 had it in mind to mark an entire race of people for extermination. But things have a way of getting out of hand. As it is, Donald Trump would be nothing more than a clown if he wasn’t so scary, and if the legions of the semi-conscious citizens (including a number of my close friends) who support him didn’t continue to prop up and encourage his bitterness. His ugliness.
And then there is Hillary. In the 2008 Democratic primary in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton, with the collusion of her highly respected husband, brought the ugliness of racial hatred and fears, she played on this, to her campaign against then-Senator Barack Obama. She flat out attempted to stoke racial hatreds to cop some votes, and I was so incensed by this that I wrote a letter to The Boston Globe that the paper not only refused to publish but red-flagged as inflammatory. I wouldn’t have given a rat’s ass if the FBI had showed up at my North Truro door as a result. That’s how disgusted I was.
It hasn’t gotten better. The woman is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and a consummate denier, truth-evader, politically-animalized Washington insider, ever waiting for the never-ending handout and pinky-swear of tit-for-tat support from the likes of Monsanto and all the big boys up and down on Wall Street. She’s a whatever it takes kind of girl, and speaking of girl, the idea that she should receive your vote and mine — and triply so if you’re a member of her gender — simply because she is a woman and it’s long overdue time for a woman President is the same kind of call for lemming mentality that Donald is fostering regarding all the members of the Islam faith of the world. It’s bullshit. Run someone like Elizabeth Warren or Tulsi Gabbard or Bernadette Devlin or Joan Baez and I’ll be right there with all my sisters.
But not now, not this time, not with this woman.
The idea that the citizens of this country, you know, the ones of all colors and all faiths and all heritages and all personal choices and all dreams for the future — the tired, the poor, the wretched yearning to be free — are on the edge of a 2016 choice for President and leader between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is beyond shocking, beyond the last edge of disbelief and dismay and discouragement, beyond anything I think the likes of Salvador Dali and William S. Burroughs and Ursula Le Guin could even have imagined.
But we are closer to that reality today, thanks in some small part to the primary voters of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Where we use to be able to shed any blame. But not anymore.