I am officially panicking. Last night I heard Michael Moore tell Bill Maher he thinks Donald Trump is going to win in November. From what I've heard around me this week I'm afraid he's right. Normally level-headed, well-adjusted and good-hearted Americans have accepted the most insane, misogynistic, violence-infused propaganda ever to be spewed upon the U.S. public, and they're going to help get this nightmare and his one-heartbeat-away-from-the-presidency VP, LGBT and reproductive rights enemy elected to the highest offices in the land.
I'm not talking about the racist hate-mongers who would never vote for Barack Obama because he's black or Hillary because she's a woman. I'm not talking about the die-hard Republicans that would rather pluck out their eyes one by one than cast a ballot for a candidate from another party. No, I'm talking about smart, moderate, liberal, even progressive Democrats and Independents who've suddenly, unaccountably morphed into red-faced, terrible-two's toddlers, gnashing their teeth and stamping their feet, spouting verbatim the GOP's most vitriolic spin, fiercely announcing that they will never ever vote for Hillary Clinton. Here are some examples:
A New Age goddess-lover and natural healer who will not be voting at all this year because the Universal Powers have already decided who the winner will be in November. Honey, that is a vote for Trump.
A soft-hearted animal activist who will not be voting either because, though he hates everything The Donald stands for, he can't bring himself to vote for "Shrillary" -- a liar, warmonger, corporatist, a Secretary of State who is responsible for the deaths of Americans in Benghazi. That, my friend, is a vote for Donald Trump.
A brilliant environmentalist and rabid Bernie Sanders supporter who tells me that he and all his friends are casting their votes for Jill Stein, spouting the same aforementioned rationale, crying, "We want to vote Green and start a revolution!" Sadly, that ship sailed when Bernie lost the nomination -- by fair means or foul. My dear, you and your friends will be casting your ballots for Donald Trump.
Okay, let's talk turkey here. Has Hillary Clinton ever lied? Duh. Of course she has. She's a politician. Is Hillary a hawk? Hell yes. She, and 342 fellow congress people voted "yea" on the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq. She sat in the Situation Room holding her breath with President Obama and others watching Navy Seals put a bullet in Bin Laden's brain (no doubt cheering about it). Is she responsible for four Americans dying in an attack on our embassy in Benghazi? Who knows? Most assuredly that tragic episode has been extrapolated and criminalized by Republicans into a full-blown scandal with the sole purpose of sinking a Democratic candidate.
More upsetting to me personally is that Clinton supports fracking, Monsanto and frankenfood -- some of the most environmentally suicidal positions conceivable.
Donald Trump cannot under any circumstances be allowed to win this election. I don't have to tell you why. Just remove your thumb from your ass and take a huge dump. It'll make you feel better. It'll clear your head. You can wipe the shit-storm of Republican slander out of your eyes and look at Hillary Clinton objectively. Remember that as First Lady she became the first public figure to fight for Universal Health Care (and got cut off at the knees for doing it). Recall that she was the New York senator who fought tirelessly for women's and children's rights. Recognize that she was the Secretary of State who helped take out the #1 terrorist in the world. Oh, and she's the first female presidential candidate in America's history.
You can take a moment to bless Bernie Sanders for staying in the race long enough to force Hillary to accept for her platform the $15 minimum wage, debt-free student loans and expanded Medicare. Most importantly, she will be appointing at least two Supreme Court justices, she has just pledged to push for a constitutional amendment to end Citizen's United in the first thirty days of her presidency and, by the way, find out what's going on at Area 51. Remember that whether or not you agree with all her principles, she does not deserve to be jailed as we heard chanted at the RNC or -- wait for it -- put in front of a firing squad and shot as a traitor.
She is imperfect. She may be a friend of Wall Street. Her admittedly shrill tone of voice may sound like fingernails on slate. She may in fact be the lesser of two evils. But please, quit your whining and foot-stomping. Go out and vote, and vote for her. If you have friends or family who need convincing, open your mouth and fight with them. Because a ballot not cast, or cast for anyone but Hillary Clinton, is a vote for you-know-who.
I don't think I'm overstating it to say that a Trump presidency would be the end of the world as we know it. Like the Brexit regretters discovered -- there will be no do-overs.
Robin Maxwell is a Los Angeles Times bestselling author of ATLANTOS, Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan and The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn. Her first HuffPo Post - "Hillary Boleyn" - was published on the Politics Page in 2007. She voted for Bernie Sanders in the California Primary. Painting: "Anger" by Tom Ellis.