Why didn’t we listen to Michael?
There’s actually a critical point here– the anger and disenfranchisement of what used to be the middle class in this country has been out in the open for quite some time, and it has been given voice/exploited by movements of the left and right. The Tea Party and the Occupy Movement, Trump and Bernie Sanders, have all addressed, in different ways and from different angles, the collapse of the old economic order in this country. To me, obviously, some of these approaches are more legitimate than others, but they are all talking about basically the same thing. The part that grieves me is that Hillary just could not get across to those caught in this upheaval that she, and not that shyster Trump, would be better able to help right our socioeconomic ship. For sure, it’s now clear that this is a core issue that can no longer be explained away, nor can those suffering because of it be patted any longer on the head and given blithe and vague assurances that everything will be all right in the end.
Hillary failed to make that connection, and that’s on her. In truth, she had her issues and she was not the most inspiring candidate. But it is also an evident truth that she rode into this campaign with the weight of twenty-five years of right-wing lies and character assassination on her back, and that had to have contributed to her defeat. Well, congratulations, FOX News, et. al.– you finally achieved your goal, the destruction of a competent and qualified public servant’s career. You can be proud of yourselves, I guess, in your narrow-minded and mean-spirited little way, but when the bill comes due in the next six months to a year, don’t come back to us whining that you didn’t know how horrible it was going to be under President– and soon, Il Duce– Donald Trump. What goes around, comes around.
I’m trying to find silver-linings around here, although they seem elusively scarce. One is perhaps the thought that Trump is going to unite those of us who see through his bullshit and who want something better for the country. Another is that, just maybe, when everything sorts itself out this country may be in a position to finally face up to and deal with all the broken promises and lost hopes that fueled the anger that Trump fed upon, or which generated him in the first place. But it’s an open question how bad things are going to get in the interim, how much suffering people will have to endure before this is over.
Note: here and there on the blogosphere I am detecting the occasional “Trump better watch out, look what happened to….” insert your favorite assassinated politician from history. So far I’ve seen allusions to Caligula and JFK. We need to knock that shit off, right now. We’re supposed to be the ones who respect Constitutional process, guys, and part of that is having the patience and courage to let it work out. Muttering about political violence only feeds the paranoia of the other side; actually committing political violence is the last act of desperation, when all other means of redress has been exhausted. That, by the way, is called ‘revolution’, and we are not there, people, not yet. Pray God we won’t have to go there. So put a sock in it.
Personal note: in my posts from yesterday I tried to sound an encouraging note on the lines of ‘carry on with normal life while getting ready to oppose Trump’. I will admit that the first person I am trying to calm down is me. I am positively oscillating between taking deep breaths and screaming out loud. I hear the words ‘President-elect Trump’ on the radio and I want to puke. We have entered a danger zone such as we have not seen in this country since 1861, and it’s hard to not to panic over it. But just as you don’t want to panic while swimming or on the road, so we don’t want to panic over Donald Trump. This disaster– and I have no doubt it’s going to be a disaster, unless God grants us an unwonted measure of grace– is going to take some months to unfold. We need to keep our heads about us and work on ways to resist what is coming.
Sad/scary note: Trump, of course, is the effect, not the cause. He was produced by the anger and dislocation of millions of ordinary Americans, which has been aggravated and exploited by decades of right-wing propaganda demonizing anyone perceived as ‘progressive’ or ‘other’. Americans, in fact, have spent the last generation dividing themselves along ideological lines, to the point where we no longer see each other as fellow Americans.
The logical end of such a path is, to put it bluntly, civil dissolution and civil war.
Pray God, we can find a way off this road before we get near that destination. But we need to understand where we’re headed, in case anyone was unclear.
Geez, I was going to try and end on a positive note. Okay, here goes– there are millions of people who worked for Hillary and voted for her, and we are not going away. We were even a majority.
More thoughts to come.