Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Biff is not my president

It’s been about 24 hours since I and others realized that Hillary Clinton would not be president-elect.
Last night, during the fray, some of my friends on Facebook, including those who I know in real life, told me to get over it and move on. Pundits, Clinton herself and President Barack Obama called for unity. Well folks, that isn’t going to happen for me. I am not going to move on, I am not going to be part of the unity. I will avoid using the president-elect’s name, hereafter referring to him as Biff, as in Biff Tannen, the obscene bully, in the “Back to the Future” films.

There is a wonderful saying, “Circumstances don’t make the man, they reveal him.” Even today, some people whom I know as friends and Biff backers are being ungracious “winners,” invoking a double standard by telling us to do the very opposite of what they did in 2008 and 2012. I find that revelation even more distressing than the anonymous racists, sexists, misogynists and haters who carried Babbitt Biff to his victory. But, remember and make no mistake about this: Biff is headed to the presidency of a deeply divided country. Clinton won the popular vote. The anti-Biff forces may be grieving now and we know that as part of that process will come anger. It has already started in Austin, Chicago, New York and elsewhere. Under the circumstances, though, I don’t think the grief will continue to acceptance. We will stay angry. If we have any moral fiber and backbone, we will fight Biff’s and his sidekick Neanderthal vice president’s homophobic, racist, misogynistic, plutocratic and authoritarian plans. I believe the true morality and ethos of the American people, Biff’s hateful followers notwithstanding.

When I came to Texas, George W. Bush and Rick Perry represented the opposite of my public policy views. In my personal discourse, I neither thought of them nor referred to them as governor. I feel the same way about Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton, among others, and don’t use their titles either. Like Biff, they haven’t earned that respect.

Toward the end of the campaign, the high-sounding mantra was, “When they go low, we go high.” Much of the talk today is that love conquers hate. But the last sixteen years and four election cycles forces me to conclude that isn’t true in American politics. The only love that conquers hate may be tough love. We may need that in very large measure.

Given how Biff won the Electoral College and now he, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell now claim a mandate, I want to remind all of us of the famous Martin Niemöller poem reflecting on the Holocaust:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Come Jan. 20, 2017, Biff will be inaugurated. But he won’t be my president.