November 1 in NorCal is like flipping a switch. Weather, time and the end of daylight saving cause the seasons to turn on a dime, and it’s definitely got more in common with “fall of the year” than the kind of color-spattered gradual shift of a Tennessee or New England. The week before Halloween sees temps in the 80s (this year it touched 90) but roll over to the eleventh month and just like that, it’s dark and cold and threatening rain all at once. There’s not much here in the way of autumn; this is as close as you get.
I don’t think I noticed last year. Partly because I was coming from Minneapolis where I needed my bomber jacket every day, and by the time I got back to California it was already cold and dark to match. But the sudden change and the memory of last year is a somber wave that I honestly thought would have been lightened by the results on Tuesday in the old patch, never mind everywhere else. But proud as I am to carry that 703 phone number this week, it doesn’t make me any less grim. If anything it’s worse, because one tenth of this extra effort applied last year could have changed everything.
It’s not like we didn’t know. It’s not like it wasn’t telegraphed. People deluded themselves, and keep deluding themselves if the endless wave of Trump-voter hagiographies are to be believed. I stand by what I believed last year and for years before that: there is no point chasing the Old Ones. Ring-fence, contain them, and wait for them to die. Only now there’s another step: quit your whining and your sorrowful self-deception and accept that you’ll have to vote for some people you may not like 100% of in order to get 100% Not Trump.
Mostly Republicans I’m thinking of here. Yes, Hillary was the ur-demon of your mythology for a quarter century, but wouldn’t you rather have a President you loathed who didn’t make you worry the world was going to end? You indulged this shit for decades and then the mangy cur you kept feeding and poking finally caught the car, and bit your leg off. You’re going to have to vote for Democrats now, and wait for the poison to burn itself out. This is what you deserve and worse, so you might as well take your medicine and get it over with. You’re going to have to decide whether a tax cut is worth sinking American prestige in the world, whether poking Obama in the eye is worth lighting the economy on fire, whether not having to say the words “President Hilary Clinton” are worth sitting on the edge of the sofa wondering if today’s the day someone tries to lob a nuke into San Diego or what the incipient senility case in the White House is going to give away to Russia or China today.
If everybody who doesn’t like Trump pulls in one direction, we can stop this. We may not get everything we want, and we may have to haggle over a lot of shit, but we can put the Trump faction on an iceberg and wait for it to melt. Because reason doesn’t enter into it. Policies and goals and actual metrics of reality don’t enter into it. He gives certain older, whiter, more racist people special feelings in their chicken parts, and you can’t logic your way out of that. We just have to regain containment and start trying to repair the damage, and we’re going to have to learn humility and re-learn how to take half a loaf along the way.
Rebel forces striking from a hidden base in Virginia just won their first battle against the evil Empire. We’ve had our Rogue One moment. Now we have to start planning the attack on the Death Star. Brace up. There’s a long road ahead.