I feel like I should have been engaging in the online political conversation more this year.

I’ve certainly ranted in private, but at some point, I settled into a “don’t feed the trolls” mentality with respect to Donald Trump, so I’ve held back from retweeting/reblogging/posting digs against him, regardless of how strongly I agreed with them or how funny they were. At several points, it’s felt like the more we paid attention to him, and the more we treated this election as entertainment, the more power we were giving him, though I fully understand that ignoring him isn’t realistic either. It’s really tough. Regardless of what happens today, we’ll have years before the next presidential election to untangle what happened and how we can better approach a situation like this — where one candidate lowers the bar so far that any reasonable sense of perspective is lost.

A side effect of that drastic bar-lowering is that it’s been hard to know how to begin a conversation about Trump. Arguments against his candidacy are like the pathogenic traffic jam that somehow keeps Mr. Burns alive — there are so many reasons he’s unqualified that it’s hard to know where to start. Giving a quick, elevator pitch against him is impossible, because you’re inevitably going to leave a bunch of stuff out that, in any other election, would be instantly disqualifying. Still, I don’t feel right letting the election come and go without saying something here, so I’ll say this and only this: Donald Trump needs to be kept as far away from elected office as possible. Please — vote today, and I beg you to vote for Hillary Clinton, the one person who has the potential to stop this incredibly dangerous, wildly unqualified, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic fraud from plunging us into a political Dark Ages that would be disastrous for generations to come. We’re better than he’s making us seem. All of us. We’re so much better.

The same goes for the Richmond mayoral race, in many ways. I was leaning toward Jon Baliles, so I’ll take his advice and vote for Levar Stoney. (It’s RVA Coffee Stain’s advice too, incidentally.) Richmond deserves a sensible, reasoned path forward, and I don’t feel confident that Joe Morrissey can offer that, given his history of legal troubles and the (frankly scary) temperament he’s shown in certain videotaped interviews I’ve seen.

Speaking of scary, I’ve been following along with the 30 Songs, 30 Days initiative, and I thought I’d close with my favorite tune from the series, this link to find your polling place, and this link to info about what kinds of ID you’ll (unfortunately) have to bring with you. Let’s end this truly embarrassing chapter of our nation’s history in the least embarrassing way possible — by showing our daughters that the majority (or at least the plurality) of Americans respect them, and that they can be president of the United States, too.

Death Cab for Cutie — “Million Dollar Loan” [Spotify/iTunes]


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