Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Tears and a smile.

For many across America, the presidential election has left them distraught, awash with anxiety, fear, and dread. It seems surreal. A candidate caught on tape saying what he said, who launched a pernicious hate campaign directed at Mexicans and Muslims, a man who seemed to embody a sense of doom.

And yet? And yet, Donald Trump has snatched the brass ring, the prize of prizes of politics, his first and only political race and victory by doing so. He has made us political history. For good or ill, this election may transform American politics.

It would be accurate to say that economic discontent played a part, the result of the Clinton-era NAFTA pact, or the North American Free Trade Agreement. But that’s not all. The Trump campaign represented not just fear but profound paranoia and also white revenge for the darkening of America.

If Trumpism represented vengeance, then Clintonism represented betrayal for every constituency that voted for Bill Clinton—gays, blacks, you name it—the Clinton supported bills like DOMA, Defensive Marriage Act, the AEDPA, an anti-habeas corpus bill, or NAFTA, despite massive labor support, all built on betraying their interests.

But these are indeed dark days in Babylon. The politics of vengeance versus the politics of betrayal—it’s quite a choice, isn’t it? A smile? Yes. For this, too, shall pass.

From imprisoned nation, this Mumia Abu-Jamal.