Surely you’ve taken a moment or two at some point to consider the Baby Hitler Time Travel Paradox which asks, obviously, “If you had a time machine, would you go back and murder baby Hitler?” It’s an interesting little thought experiment but also maybe a little dangerous and probably your answer ought to be “no,” because baby Hitler wasn’t guilty of anything and, also, importantly, was a baby.
If you’re going to murder baby Hitler, you should probably also take out millions of acquiescent citizens of Germany and the world who stood by and let that shit get horrifyingly out of hand. And that, I think, is really what the question is asking us to think about. Are there maybe things short of time traveling to kill babies that we can do to stamp out hatred and prevent terrible things from happening like, say, genocide?
For example, if you could go back to 1930 and, knowing then what you know now, deal a decisive and humiliating blow to the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (the Nazis) simply by lining up behind the Social Democratic Party, which stood the best chance of holding the line against Hitler, rather than wasting your vote on one of the other four niche parties—would you? That seems like a pretty easy call to me.
Or maybe, if you could only go back as far as 1932, you’d tell Thälmann and Duesterberg to fuck off in order to give von Hindenburg, whatever quibbles you might have with the man, a more decisive victory over Adolf Fucking Hitler in order to prevent him from gaining the clout he needed to be appointed chancellor?
I’d like to think I’d do that much to prevent the extermination of six million Jews.
Now look, I’m not saying Donald Trump is baby Hitler, but at the very least he’s an intellectually and emotionally stunted baby-man who, even if he’s not really the dangerous bigot he plays on TV, could very easily get a lot of people unnecessarily killed accidentally.
Personally, I think he’s a empty vessel filling himself up with and then spouting whatever hateful nonsense will make a bunch of cranky old white men erect for the first time in decades. But he’s spouting it nonetheless and thus represents the very worst of America and humanity and is giving fresh energy to ideas that should have been taken out behind the barn and clubbed to death a long, long time ago.
If you are a person who agrees with the assessment that Donald Trump represents something simultaneously old and new, something frightening and potentially calamitous, then I’m here to tell you this:
You have a patriotic duty to humiliate this motherfucker into the dark ages with your vote.
I would much rather be telling you why I think Hillary Clinton will make a terrific President of the United States—and I do—but that is way beside the point now. She will win and she will make a terrific President of the United States—but winning is not enough.
I don’t give care one bit what you think Clinton’s flaws are. They pale in comparison and, more importantly, they don’t represent a corresponding cesspool of aggressive hate in the electorate. We must stamp out this racist, sexist, low class, low information flame. We must crush it with the force of a hundred billion drunken make-up fucks. An America that defeats Donald Trump decisively is objectively a far better America—morally, intellectually, politically—than an America in which he comes within a hundred miles of the White House.
And no, I’m sorry, but a vote for Dumb Gary or Kooky Jill doesn’t cut it. Perception is everything: Clinton 45/Trump 43/Johnson 11/Stein 1 looks like a close shave; Clinton 60/Trump 40 looks like we resolutely rejected this big orange pile of festering hot shit and everything he claims to stand for. I would like to think we could do even better than that, but I won’t get too hopeful.
We must deal the death blow to his ego that the Republican Party couldn’t muster. We must show the fringe lunatics supporting him that they truly are the fringe. We must make it clear that this is not welcome here. We must put this rabid dog down or it will come back to bite us in the ass.
So please accept this phenomenally reasonable bargain. No time machines, no baby killing—just a vote against dangerous demagoguery before people start getting hurt.