I think that feeling you’re having about attacks on Hillary is hitting me in a different way. I am used to sexist attacks on her, because I have heard them since I was 18 years old and voting in my first election. To me, they seem like a continuation of a 25 year campaign to deride her skills and abilities because she’s a woman. I tend to think of this as the usual players. Indeed, there is a vast right wing authoritarian conspiracy to tear her down.
Here’s what’s freaking me out: the general rise of sexism and misogyny in our country. Add to that the rise of racism. I don’t believe these were ever necessarily better times under the surface than they are today, but what’s happened lately is the internet in particular is giving these haters a loud voice. For example, this Nikita person who keeps writing on Medium about how woman don’t really want equality. Her stuff turns my stomach so much, and kept ended up in my feed today, so I finally had to block her. Of course, she appears to attract every MRA on the internet to her essays so the comments are equally disgusting. Even worse, I saw men who say they are believers in women’s rights calling themselves “intrigued” by her thoughts. OMG.
I don’t think Trump alone has allowed racists and sexists and classists and xenophobes to get loud, that started with the tea party as a reaction to Obama. But Trump and the media have given these ideas acceptability and fertile ground. It starts to feel like it is closing in on me from every direction. I studied in Germany for a semester and our professor who grew up during Nazi Germany taught the history of the Third Reich. He had us read, Damals Wer ist Friedrich, which is the terrifying story of how it goes from being just a band of thugs to being the Kristalnacht where suddenly seemingly half the citizenry is espousing these anti-Semitic, pro-Aryan beliefs. I keep watching our citizenry being attracted to right wing authoritarianism with all the isms that entails, and I get freaked out. The fact a man who talks like Trump is the major candidate for one of the only two parties that ever wins elections frightens the hell out of me. Particularly, because I think there is a chance he could win.