Thursday, November 17, 2016

Final Thoughts on the Election

I suppose I could spend the rest of the next four years outlining all of the many and varied ways in which the recent election will turn out to be a horrifying prelude to all sorts of trouble, but then the people who read this blog probably already know and the people who don’t know rarely read this blog.  And I need to write about other things, at least for a while.  I’m sure I’ll get back to the subject, as this space is here for me to write about whatever crosses my mind and it will cross my mind fairly often, but there you go.

So, for now, a few more or less final thoughts on the late unpleasantness:

1. There have been four times in American history – 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 – where the winner of the popular vote lost the electoral vote and still became president.  Every single time it was a Republican snatching the office from a Democrat.  Every single time.  This does not include 1824, where the eventual president lost BOTH the popular vote and the electoral vote but still was declared the winner.  The Republican Party that we have today did not exist in 1824, but it was the Democrat who still lost.  One begins to sense a pattern.

2. As a straight white middle-class man I am well aware that this election will not affect me as much as it will many Americans, but that doesn’t make it any easier for me to stomach or any more acceptable.  It is morally bankrupt that the progress of the last half century in treating American citizens as American citizens is now being threatened by a violent and ignorant minority.  Privilege is knowing that this can pass me by if I let it.  Responsibility is using that privilege as a platform to do whatever is in my power to resist this immoral and un-American slide into monstrosity.  I was raised to be responsible.

3. Rest assured that I will treat the incoming president and his supporters with the same respect, dignity, and civility with which Barack Obama and his supporters were treated when the shoe was on the other foot. 

4. Apparently the incoming Trump Administration is so woefully unprepared that they may have to postpone the apocalypse by as much as a year.  Trump clearly never expected to win, and I rather doubt he wanted to win.  But here he is, dragging the swamp behind him, and utterly bewildered as to what to do now.  It is a sad thing that gross incompetence and dysfunctionality is the best we can hope for.

5. They’re already planning to eliminate Medicare and Social Security.  Do these ignorant buffoons not understand why those programs were put in place to begin with?  Do they not understand the consumer economy and how it functions?  Do they not have any sense of the history of the ancien regime and how it ended?  Apparently not.  For people who insist on being called conservatives they have very little grasp of the past they are claiming to conserve.  Also, given that so many of the people who voted for Trump are the ones most dependent on those programs, I wonder how it will turn out for them. 

6. The fact that Obama has said he would be doing extra tutoring for Trump has been the only silver lining in this dark cloud of post-election crisis.  Obama handled this nation with grace and effectiveness despite mindlessly fanatical opposition that bordered on and occasionally crossed over into subversion, and if there is anybody who might conceivably be able to keep the wheels from falling off the United States entirely at this point it would probably be him. 

7. Joe Biden memes: proof that comedy can survive even in the oncoming darkness.

8. The incoming Trump Administration is Not Normal.  It will never be Normal.  It can never be allowed to be Normal.  It represents a direct threat to the survival of the republic, a repudiation of everything the Founders strove to achieve, and a moral blot on the American character that will take generations to remove if it can be done at all.  Normalizing that is not an option.  It must be treated as the abhorrent aberration that it is, at all times.

9. You are who you associate with.  Enjoy the KKK and the Nazis, Trump supporters.  They speak for you now, whether you want them to or not.


Ewan said...

Advice - private or public - on what history tells us about the best ways to resist and *not* normalise would be welcome.

David said...

I don't know right now, other than to start within yourself and understand what you will and will not tolerate. To speak for those whose voices will be stilled. To insist that this will not stand.

I don't know.

I suppose I'll have to find out. I'll let you know when I do.