Wednesday, November 9, 2016

After the deluge

...what then?

Words fail to describe our horror this morning at finding that Trump has won the electoral college (but not the popular vote).  We clung to each other in tears and fear.

White identity politics won.  Racism won.  Sheer nihilism won.  The desire to throw something through a window won.  Democratic incompetence, bad planning and a flawed candidate handed the election to Trump.

And incalculably much has been lost.

The Guardian editorializes:
Four particular fears now stand out. The first is the unleashing of an unbridled conservative agenda in Washington, now that the Republicans control the White House and Capitol Hill together for the first time in 90 years. Mr Trump and the congressional Republicans have differences; he is more prepared to use the power of government than many of them are. But they have a clear path now towards reshaping the supreme court and dozens of lower-tier judicial benches in their own image. The effect on race, gender and sexual-equality issues is likely to outlast Mr Trump’s period in office. The culture wars will reopen. Abortion rights are threatened.  
 The second is the impact of this result on race in America more widely. Mr Trump campaigned against migrants and against Muslims, insulted black and Latino Americans, launched ads that some saw as covertly antisemitic, and was cheered to victory by every white racist in the land. His voters will want him to deliver. Every action he takes in this area threatens to divide and inflame. After a half century of uneven but undeniable racial progress in America, the consequences of every attempt to turn back the clock could be dire.  
 The third fear is whether Mr Trump has any economic plan that will deliver for some of the poor communities that gave him their votes so solidly. Mr Trump connected with the anger that many poor and white voters feel. But what can he do about it? What do most congressional Republicans care about it? He can try to put up all the protectionist walls he likes. But it seems difficult to see how he can bring old mines, mills and factories back to life. A lot of Americans feel left behind and let down. But Mr Trump is playing with fire if, in the end, it becomes clear that he has used their anxieties to advance himself and his own urban rich class yet again.  
 The final fear, though, is for the world. Mr Trump’s win means uncertainty about America’s future strategy in a world that has long relied on the United States for stability. But Mr Trump’s capacity to destabilise is almost limitless. His military, diplomatic, security, environmental and trade policies all have the capacity to change the world for the worse. Americans have done a very dangerous thing this week. Because of what they have done we all face dark, uncertain and fearful times.

7 comments:

John CLIFFORD said...

Time to start to organize for 2018 and 2020, while there are still party organizations to join and hel[ direct.

John Julian said...

John, you forget that the Supreme Court will go down the drain—for entire generations to come. Imagine the 2018 elections (if they haven't been outlawed by then) with uncountable billions of corporation dollars supporting the Right-Wing-Trump operation with NO RESTRICTIONS of any kind. Think of the number of voters who will be disenfranchised by laws passed by those in power—now that all laws will be made and court-tested solely by right wing maniacs. The next four years are actually an unimaginable Dantean horror—and I am so grateful to be an octogenarian since when Social Security and medical assistance is cut—and they WILL be cut— I will probably be dead.

It is the end of an era—the crumbling of the 200 year experiment in democracy—like the fall of the Roman Empire—and the barbarians have just broken through the gates. Imagine how this will look to sociologists and historians in 500 years!

And to think that half of the American public is ignorant, petulant, hate-filled, racist, misogynist, and mentally unbalanced. What a judgment on our nation, our schools, and our churches that we could have engendered such a depraved population. How monstrously sick and twisted is this culture!

IT said...

Well, I am NOT an octogenarian, and I will fight, and resist. Clinton won the popular vote. There are more of us then of them.

Kevin K said...

John,

I am a never Trump Republican and I have to point out that he was not the primary beneficiary of corporate funding in the election. Secretary Clinton raised far more money, most of it from corporations than Mr. Trump. However, I am deeply concerned by this election. The center cannot hold...mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

John CLIFFORD said...

As another octogenarian, I share your fears and think they are all the more reason to begin organizing NOW, while there is still some chance to make a difference, to resist the Brown Shirts when they try to take over the local party in a regular way, before they just take it by force.

Marshall Scott said...

Things are not good, but there is some power left. The Republicans in the first Obama term, when there was a slim Democratic majority, were still quite successful in using the filibuster to prevent progress. I am hopeful that the Republican majority over the next two years is slim enough that active Democrats can prevent regress.

I also have some hope that activists can demonstrate that much regress would be bad for business - a constituency close to Trump's heart. The President-elect could consult with the Vice President-elect to learn how that can happen.

JCF said...

"now that the Republicans control the White House and Capitol Hill together for the first time in 90 years"

Hmmm, I seem to remember 2002-2006. A horrible time, to be sure---but we (those reading this) survived it. Don't give up!

"Democratic incompetence, bad planning and a flawed candidate handed the election to Trump." Don't forget James Comey! I'm not sure Hillary would have won w/o his "October Surprise"---but I am convinced he made it IMPOSSIBLE for her to win.

My other thoughts (cross-posted to Episcopal Cafe, here. http://www.episcopalcafe.com/election-2016-responses/ ) :

I’m very thankful for my faith today: “we grieve, but not as those who have no hope.”

As Christians, we’re told we have to take up our crosses daily: it’s the natural “way of the world”.

It’s hard—esp when even fellow Christians (as above! [anti-Democratic comments on the EC thread]) seem content to drive in more nails.

But “I don’t feel in no ways tired”. There will be setbacks—last night felt, quite literally, excruciating (and how much worse for those non-white or homeless or victims of our “justice” system). But we, as a people (the Imago Dei) WILL get to the Promised Land. Come, Lord Jesus!

“the struggle continues”