Panic is the product of awareness of the need for immediate action combined with uncertainty about what that action is. Panic seldom results in the best choice.
In previous elections, every election, “You aren’t voting for my candidate so you are letting the other guy win so you are a <insert favorite calumny>” would come up now and then. Of course, the “you are letting the other guy win” is business as usual, but the added insult, or expression of hatred, was rare. One would write the individual off as not worth talking to and move on with one’s life.
This election is different. This is happening a lot. For those of you who, like me, are not voting for either of the two major candidates (I’m voting for the Socialist Equality Party), I’m just writing this to suggest patience. This election is distinguished by a more extreme crisis among the two capitalist parties—indeed, it pits the two most hated candidates in living memory against each other—than I’ve ever seen. More, it is a reflection of an entire society in crisis, and masses of people feeling the increasing need to find a way forward, and less and less understanding of how to do so.
My point is, we need to try not to take the insults and abuse personally. Hell, I’ve felt it myself, the desire to scream, “WHY DON’T YOU PEOPLE GET IT?” This reaction isn’t helpful, but it is understandable. The threat of Trump, who was (in my opinion) produced exactly by the system personified by Clinton, is hitting us hard. Things are scary.
Trotsky’s words describing the activity of the Petrograd Soviet in 1905 were, “patiently explain.” This has never, in my life time, been harder to do, and never been more important.