1. It’s Tuesday, November 1, 2016. It is seven days until Election Day. It is the Feast of All Saints.
2. I’d still love to see the Cubs win in seven. The odds are long, but if that’s the only long-shot bet that comes in this month, I’d be relieved and happy.
3. I spent Halloween night at the movies, in very large part because I’m not a fan of trick-or-treating. If that makes me Halloween’s version of Ebenezer Scrooge, I’m happy to accept that.
The movie I saw was “Denial” and at its center is true, unmitigated, serious horror. For those unaware, the film depicts the trial of an Emery University professor who wrote a book about Holocaust denial. She was sued for libel in the U.K. by one of these morons.
In Britain, as Trump has happily pointed out, the burden of proof for libel is on the accused – the professor had to prove she didn’t libel the denier rather than, as here, he didn’t have to prove the case.
“Denial” is an OK movie. It holds your interest. The acting is good. Occasionally, there’s background music when there shouldn’t be – just seeing Auschwitz should be powerful enough.
But seeing this movie was hardly the way to forget my troubles.
4. And right now, those troubles are my anxiety about this election.
The odds are still 3-to-1 in Hillary Clinton’s favor, according to Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com. They’re a little less than 9-to-1 in her favor, according to The New York Times.
But they’ve been dropping. They were falling even before last Friday’s disaster, when the director of the FBI picked the scab of the Clinton email controversy with his letter to Congress.
Normally, as a bleeding-heart liberal, I fear the worst in an election. It’s usually hyperbole.
I don’t feel that way in 2016.
A Trump win would empower the very people depicted in “Denial.” There’s already a depressing, frightening rise in anti-Semitism as seen as Trump’s rallies and in social media. That’s coupled with surging hatred of others – Muslims, Hispanics, Asians.
If you want to read a depressing story about the looming Age of Trump, read this one from the Times that’s likely in the paper this morning. It’s about the hostility the founder of the yogurt maker Chobani faces because he is a Kurdish immigrant, and is putting action to words by hiring refugees.
In a normal world, Hamdi Ulukaya’s story is feel-good. If those making threats were as Christian as they say they are, they would recognize that Ulukaya is doing God’s work.
But they’re not. The fire lit by their anger about whatever it is they’re angry about rages out of control. It is like one of those wildfires in California, except there is no percentage of it that seems to be contained.
They hate those they believe have taken over American life. They would have been revolted by Halloween at my nearby mall, where kids of all shades were decked in costumes of their heroes and villains with their parents trying to ride herd.
Again, I’m not a Halloween fan, but this was beautiful. It’s what America means to me.
All of that is at risk in this election. What I saw last night shouldn’t be otherness. The people on the other side of this want that. They fantasize about a return to a time that can’t possibly exist again – not without hurting people who have made strides in our society because we’ve worked hard to overcome bias.
When Hillary Clinton called them “deplorables,” they took it as a badge of honor. They’ve been lying in wait for the chance to lash back at those who they see advancing with help they didn’t get. African-Americans. Latinos. Asian-Americans. Whoever.
5. There are those who can’t imagine a Holocaust or the kind of mass madness that tarnishes history books here. They’ll deny that the people who support Trump are that evil.
But the evidence is there.
It starts with the threat, echoed by the jackass candidate himself, to imprison his opponent.
Despite all the fanatical statements on social media, on comment pages and anywhere else you can imagine, Hillary Clinton has committed no crime worthy of incarceration. A cottage industry has spent a quarter-century fouling the water about her.
Yes, she hasn’t helped it – is there any chance we can go back in time and tell her to lose the e-mail server idea? But her penchant for secrecy is likely a conditioned reflex to the siege she’s been under since becoming a national figure.
The easiest promise for Trump to keep if he wins election next week is to try to imprison Hillary Clinton. Especially if his efforts to rip up Obamacare and the Paris climate agreements stall for any amount of time.
The scum who support him are clamoring for it. The “Hillary for Prison” signs are not far from here. At some of Trump’s rallies, there have been calls for her execution or murder. One suggestion came from the candidate himself.
It’s a short step from jailing a political opponent to going after others who supported her. To going after those who don’t fit their description of an American. It’s why they love the wall with Mexico idea. It’s why they expect Trump to deport every last undocumented immigrant.
It’s a road to perdition. It’s the end of this country’s experiment of trying to form a more perfect union by creating a placating of the decrepit.
So I might have gotten out of answering the doorbell several times by going to see “Denial.” But I didn’t put my fear of what could happen in seven days in abeyance.
This can’t happen. But my fear is that maybe I’m in denial about that.