Donald Trump’s Massachusetts Victory Will Forever Be Our Great Shame
This all reads like a particularly dark Vonnegut novel.
Some bumbling palooka sets in motion a series of catastrophic events that nearly kills off all humanity, or, if we’re lucky, society as we know it. But instead of the all-consuming ice-9 in Cat’s Cradle or the microbe-sized Chinese folk in Slapstick, our reckoning will be Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and the aquifer of pure, liquid, American hate he’s tapped into.
Nearly 300,000 people across Massachusetts cast a vote for Donald Trump in Tuesday’s GOP primary. They’re our uncles, barbers, Market Basket cashiers. Not all of them bad or bigoted people necessarily, so much as they’ve fallen under the spell of a stubby-fingered Svengali. They confuse empty bluster for plainspokenness; compulsive lying for political adroitness; shuttered Atlantic City casinos for success. Presumably a fraction of Trump’s vote tally Tuesday, thanks to our modified-open primary, were Democratic saboteurs sniggering at the prospect of running a former Secretary of State and New York senator against a failed steak salesman come November.
It isn’t funny anymore—it’s terrifying. And now, Massachusetts is an accomplice to this nightmare.
Granted, the alternatives are scarcely palatable. Sen. Ted Cruz is as loathsome a character as the Senate has ever produced. Hapless Gov. John Kasich, the so-called “moderate” option, recently took a break from campaigning against things moving too gosh-darned fast these days to defund Planned Parenthood, while Sen. Marco Rubio opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. But Trump? The guy who, for over a decade, called for disabled veteran street vendors to be cleared off New York’s Fifth Avenue because it cheapened the aesthetic of his eponymous tower.
With Tuesday’s primary win, Massachusetts joins the self-important cockalorum’s long list of enablers, from the conservative pundits who cheered him on as he demanded President Barack Obama’s birth certificate years ago, to the television executives who are fully aware that we are junkies, and live shots of Trump rallies are our most coveted fix. Here, it’s in our nature as Red Sox fans to buy a commemorative brick without batting an eye. Well, we just bought one in Trump’s wall, and it’s ours forever.
Wrap your weary mind around the fact that the same place that gave America its first newspaper, Publick Occurrences, voted for a man who threatened to “open up the libel laws“—that is, revise the First Amendment—to ensure that some of our country’s finest journalistic institutions, the New York Times and Washington Post, “have problems.”
The same place that saw some of the most revolutionary advancements in medicine—the first X-ray, the first public demonstration of ether anesthesia, the first limb reattachment, the first MRI, and that’s just Mass. General—voted for a man who used the platform of a nationally televised debate to suggest to millions of Americans that vaccines are the cause of an autism “epidemic.”
The same place once home to NAACP cofounder W.E.B. Du Bois voted for a man who refused to disavow the Ku Klux Klan, a domestic terrorist organization hellbent on putting African Americans back in chains, or its former leader and vocal Trump supporter, David Duke.
The same place that banded together after the 2013 Marathon bombing and put on a proud display before the world of the transcendent power of love voted for a man who proposes killing the families of our enemies abroad in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions.
You ought to be angry. You ought to be enraged that thousands of us have abandoned all that has made us great to embrace this boundless hate.
“Where’s evil?” Vonnegut wrote in Mother Night, a novel about an American turned Nazi propagandist. “It’s that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It’s that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive.”