"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them."
By LINDY WEST-New York Times
I’ve felt a guilty alienation from the chorus of “not my president” that’s been building among the left since the supposed free election of Donald J. Trump. Not because I have any connection or loyalty to the man, but because the phrase itself is something of a Trumpism: “Not my president” was a favorite refrain of the Tea Party, a fundamental buttress of the racist delegitimization of Barack Obama, an incantation that, in retrospect, recalled some of the first stirrings of Mr. Trump’s rise to power.
Watching the inauguration — looking over the sea (or, more accurately, the smallish pond) of white faces celebrating what they clearly believe to be a white victory, a reassertion of the natural order — all reluctance left me. Mr. Trump was shoved into office by the desperate, violent and unconstitutional machinations of a minuscule sliver of super-rich, traditionalist white Americans.
Feeling their grip on global supremacy slipping, they’ve snatched one final, improbable chance to bleed us to death so they can buy a few more gold toilets before the biosphere collapses. Mr. Trump isn’t my president. I don’t mean it emotionally; I mean it literally. It’s not sloganeering; it’s observable truth.
Mr. Trump has no intention of representing me, my family, the people I care about, or the majority of Americans, from the imperiled to the comfortable. It is a stretch to call him anyone’s president but his own.
In the last days of the campaign, my husband said to me, “This election is part of the Civil War.” Today, my friend Tracy Rector, an Indigenous activist and filmmaker, wrote on Facebook, “The slave masters have taken control.” It’s not a coincidence that the proto-Trumpist Tea Party so obsessively worshiped our slave-owning Founding Fathers, or that Mr. Trump was installed by the Electoral College, a mechanism designed to disproportionately empower slave states.
Those who believe that straight, white men have a mandate to burn the rest of us as fuel, to sell us for parts, to mow us down and climb up the pile, never truly conceded that war. They have been biding their time, and this is their last great gambit. But I live in the America that won — the America with art and empathy and a free press and fierce protest. Not my president, not now, not ever.
Lindy West is a columnist at The Guardian and the author of the memoir “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman.”