Final Words

dog-lick

According to one media account, this is why Trump won:

It was an appeal to the heart, not the head, and his supporters overlooked his obvious flaws.

But whatever the reason, let’s hope each of us can lick our wounds and/or celebrate without attacking those who disagree with us.

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40 thoughts on “Final Words

  1. They set off fireworks in my neighborhood last night. I heard screaming and yelling for joy coming from people living in a state ranked dead last for well being. A people who are the most impoverished in the country, 3rd World conditions, due to a deeply Red rule — the Southern Strategy — which has kept us stagnant for decades. They firmly believe that this win was a good thing — that turning the rest of the country into Mississippi was a good thing. I guess misery loves company.

    So, if you will excuse me, I will forgo the celebration, and work through the 5 stages of grief.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m considering just staying with “denial” for the next four years. Then if we are still alive, with breathable air and drinkable water, and not in the middle of WWIII, I’ll think about being civil about things. For now, if I try to get past denial, I just run into so much anger and fear that I can’t function. Right now, I just don’t want to live in this country anymore.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. At least his victory speech held out the hope that his governing strategy might be less extreme than implied in his electioneering.

    I was glad that he was generous in his comments in regard to Hilary Clinton and also it was noticeable that he did not mention ‘the wall’,

    My hope is that he might be a bit like Reagan and surround himself with technically competent people to handle the day to day governing.

    Perhaps better to hold onto hope than fall into despair.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I take it you don’t share my hope.

        I must admit my comment was based on hope rather than knowledge. a bit like religion really.

        I understand the new VP is a YEC.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No, I don’t share your hope. I think it’s easy to stand on the sidelines and be a cheerleader when you live in another country who actually gives a damn about its citizens. I think you’re well meaning, Peter, and have a heart of gold. But the reality is, many people will die when 20+ million people lose their health insurance. Many people will go into poverty who weren’t before. That’s the way the Southern Strategy works. They aim to “break your spirit” — keep you from getting too “uppity”. I simply don’t see any good coming from this except that people will WTFU (eventually) and acknowledge SNAFU (situation normal all fucked up). If given the chance, Pence would make the U.S. a Christian theocracy.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/07/mike-pence-radical-christian-extremist/

          “This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.”
          — U.S. Representative Christopher Shays, R-CT, (New York Times 3/23/05)

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes Victoria I do tend to be hopelessly naive.

          It is easier to be hopeful when one is not directly involved and has less at stake.

          The irony is that Hillary Clinton is likely to win the popular vote, such is the vagaries of the electoral college system. So Trump will not really have a mandate for radical change, but i suspect that won’t stop him.

          Also seems that the Republican obstruction on appointing Supreme Court justices has been vindicated. This is very sad, it is like rewarding a bully. I gather Trump has little interest in the supreme court and will allow VP Mike Pence to handle the selection. In this case Pence’s choices might actually be worse than Trump’s.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Treasury secretary

      “Trump himself has indicated that he wants to give the Treasury secretary job to his finance chairman, Mnuchin, a 17-year-veteran of Goldman Sachs who now works as the chairman and chief executive of the private investment firm Dune Capital Management.

      Attorney general

      “New York City Mayor Giuliani, one of Trump’s leading public defenders”

      Interior secretary

      Trump has said he’d like to put Palin in his cabinet, and Palin has made no secret of her interest.

      And this:

      Agriculture secretary

      Sid Miller, the current secretary of agriculture in Texas, who caused a firestorm just days ago after his campaign’s Twitter account referred to Hillary Clinton as a “c—.”

      and

      Commerce secretary

      “Trump is said to also be considering former Texas Gov. Perry, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and even Christie for the job.”

      Health and Human Services secretary

      “Ben Carson — Trump went out of his way to praise Carson by calling him a “brilliant” physician. “I hope that he will be very much involved in my administration in the coming years,” Trump said.”

      Education secretary

      Ben Carsen — Trump has made clear the Education Department would play a reduced role in his administration — if it exists at all. He has suggested he may try to do away with it altogether.

      The GOP nominee has also offered a few hints about who he would pick to lead the department while it’s still around. Among those who may be on the shortlist is Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who ran against Trump in the primary but later endorsed the Republican presidential candidate.”

      http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/who-is-in-president-trump-cabinet-231071

      Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree, Peter! I trust, and even think it’s absolutey necessary, that this will not be wishful thinking. For the first time since the campaign, I’m sure that his governing will be more moderate than his announcements. And that is where the persons of his choice come into the picture, in order to check-and-balance.
      .-

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  3. It is my belief the voters tied right into the racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, overtones in this election. It will take some time and some unexpected leadership qualities to change my feelings of Trump and the idiots who voted him in.

    The sun rise this morning, so I suppose that’s a start.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Nan. I worry about the country that votes with its heart instead of its head. Why is education such a low priority here. Why do people not give effort to critical thinking? Why do the masses let themselves be led? Why is an education mocked and belittled? Is being stupid and uninformed such a badge of honor? I am confused by this election, the circular firing squad is already started. I am not hearing any helpful or useful information on how or on what the Democrat party can fight back. How can they rein in the worst of the republicains wishes and actions? What can they do to recover and again promote progressive values in the sudden hateful threatening times we are in. The very first thing I seen when I went on line this afternoon was a meme of an assault rifle with the words below it “now we are coming for you fagots”. How do we fix the mess half our country created? worried hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Has anyone thought back to when tRump indicated he would refuse to accept the outcome of the election if he didn’t win? Conspiracy Alert! Maybe he knew something we didn’t? Hmmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m still in shock. I was wrong; it got uncomfortably close at times, but I never thought it could actually happen. And not just one state as an electoral college tipping point, but several blue states that went red.

    A writer at The Atlantic said something insightful: the media and many on the left took Trump literally but not seriously, whereas most Trump voters took Trump seriously but not literally. Meaning (a) most Trump supporters don’t actually think Trump is going to build a literal high wall, or that Mexico will in fact pay for it (and all the other ridiculous promises he made); to them, he was using hyperbole to forcefully express what they *felt*. It was, as you said above, an appeal to the heart. And (b) the rest of us were judging him, at least in part, based on the ridiculous mismatch between what he was claiming he could do, and what we knew was possible for any President to do (let alone one so unqualified), and we blew him off as a non-serious candidate. There was more to it than that (his character, temperament, offensive words and deeds, etc.), but I think a big part of it was too much wishful thinking based on head judgment and not heart judgment.

    Tim Urban over at “Wait But Why” (great website!) wrote an article yesterday, titled “It’s Going to Be Okay”. I don’t totally agree with the piece, but he said two things that got me thinking. (1) That shock and despair and worry that many of us are feeling? This is how lots of other people in the country felt in 2008. They cast that moment in the same apocalyptic terms in which we are prone to cast this one. I think that’s useful to consider. And (2) our most important task now is to understand the perspective of the millions who put this man in office; understand their worries and fears and hopes, and learn which legitimate ones might be addressed, lest this happen again in 4 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ” our most important task now is to understand the perspective of the millions who put this man in office; understand their worries and fears and hopes, and learn which legitimate ones might be addressed”

      A very sage suggestion Brent. I see news reports of many people protesting the result. That might make them feel good but it will achieve little. Far better to seek to understand why so many people were prepared to vote for Donald Trump despite his glaring deficiencies.

      The ongoing portrayal by many commentators of most Trump supporters as racist and sexist xenophobes is also unhelpful.

      Likewise I find it disappointing that some commentators are suggesting that it was misogyny of white men that caused Hillary Clinton to lose. Such conclusions are very unhelpful, in my view.

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      • People are going through a grieving period, which explains some of their reactions. But anyone who doesn’t think that racism, sexism and xenophobia were not major deciding factors in this election are not paying attention. I live in the thick of this mentality, which is why it remains a very extreme right-wing state.

        I also thought it was interesting how the world is reacting to this, and I think they have every reason to be concerned. I found it interesting that an editorial in a Mexican paper used the term “disgust”. This perfectly compliments the neurological findings that conservatives tend to have increased gray matter volume and more activity in a region of their brain associated with disgust. Disgust, in terms of the Other. Anyone who is different from them.

        A Moment of Great Peril’: Foreign Observers on Trump’s Success

        The editorial also said that voters here do not feel represented by their government. It’s interesting to note that here in Mississippi, most people do feel represented by their government, which is why they continue to put and keep people in office who reflect their personalities. The writer states that the third and perhaps most serious is that this disgust is easily exploitable through populism: telling people what they want to hear.

        You see, people here in Mississippi are willing to live in deep poverty, and stagnation so long as their representatives tell them what they want to hear — that it’s OK to be bigoted, sexist, xenophobic, and racist.

        I am sorely disappointed in my fellow Americans. Human rights only apply to their tribe.

        Liked by 3 people

        • It’s interesting to note that here in Mississippi, most people do feel represented by their government, which is why they continue to put and keep people in office who reflect their personalities. The writer states that the third and perhaps most serious is that this disgust is easily exploitable through populism: telling people what they want to hear.

          You see, people here in Mississippi are willing to live in deep poverty, and stagnation so long as their representatives tell them what they want to hear — that it’s OK to be bigoted, sexist, xenophobic, and racist.

          This is very helpful to hear. I don’t want to be restricted to just my own experience, which is part of why I was so wrong about this election.

          And yet: That is not how the blue-collar middle-to-lower-middle-class folks in the big manufacturing states in the north, or the coal states of Appalachia, etc. talk about their concerns… not from what I’ve read and listened to. Their jobs have gone and nothing comparable has come to replace them. They don’t want to live in poverty; they want to be able to support their families without working 2 or 3 part-time jobs and worrying about when they’ll lose one of them, or their house. They see the rich getting richer as they fall farther behind. These folks used to be solidly in the core of the Democratic Party, but I think it’s clear they believed Trump when he said Clinton was an “elite,” part of the “establishment,” not someone who would look out for their interests.

          It’s not surprising to see red across the whole south in any election year. But for someone as vile as Trump to sweep the blue states across the north line from Pennsylvania, to Ohio, to (probably by a little bit) Michigan, to Wisconsin, and nearly Minnesota… states the Clinton team thought were safely theirs… something remarkable is going on there that isn’t fully explained by racism, sexism, and xenophobia.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Brent, thank you for your thoughtful reply. Here’s where I’m coming from. If people want change so badly, why do they continue to re-elect the same people on local and state level? The very ones who didn’t implement retraining programs when the jobs went overseas. The very ones who are destroying unions. The very one who want to do away with minimum wage laws, or bring in businesses that provide people with a living wage. The very ones who refused to expand medicaid. The very ones who created bills to discriminate against others. The very ones who support for-profit prisons. The very ones who undermine education, and use the money to give subsidies to big corporations. As I mentioned elsewhere, even if Bernie had won, it’s likely we’d still have the same neoliberals running the show. If this was really about jobs, don’t you find it a wee bit odd that most neoliberal incumbents held their seats?

          Btw, I’m not a big fan of mainstream media, but Rachel Maddow gave the best commentary I’ve ever heard from her. I think it’s well worth the watch.

          http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/trump-threat-best-met-with-civic-activism-805380675880

          I’m all for unity. But I agree with one of my FB friends when he wrote:


          “I’m not angry that my candidate of choice lost (that happened in the primaries), I’m angry that the candidate that won has promised to strip away rights from people I love.”

          Why did Trump win? Because he knew his audience well.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Wow! That Rachel Maddow commentary is fantastic. Thanks for sharing that. I agree with her.

          Her list of “what makes us America” (not at the founding, but right now) — and that we need to work to keep those things, in the face of a President who derides and dismisses them — is really important. Peter Sagal (host of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”) did a great miniseries on the Constitution a few years back. He has been saying the same thing: There’s nothing magical about our founding history and documents, or the particular structures we’ve put in place. What holds us together is a shared idea and agreement — and we can lose that if we don’t value it. And the really sobering thing is that we wouldn’t lose it to an invading foreign power — we would lose it to OURSELVES.

          So she’s right that we’ve got work to do. Some people (with Trump being top of the list) will have to be opposed. Others, I am hopeful, can be brought to realize not just that Trump can’t deliver on his promises, but that America has something valuable that we should not throw away.

          Liked by 1 person

        • If people want change so badly, why do they continue to re-elect the same people on local and state level? […] If this was really about jobs, don’t you find it a wee bit odd that most neoliberal incumbents held their seats?

          Here we’re shifting to talk about Congress and not the Presidency. Congressional incumbents almost always get reelected; that’s been true for a very long time. There’s this really weird dynamic: (1) Congress’s approval ratings are in the basement; (2) people regularly rant about how we need to “throw the bums out,” or start to talk about term limits; (3) “except for my guy; he’s doing a good job.”

          So I know Congressional politics (in which people get dissatisfied and yet most incumbents get reelected) is very different from Presidential politics (in which people get dissatisfied and the pendulum tends to swing radically from one side to the other)… but I don’t have an answer as to why. Maybe people think of the jobs problem as more of a thing that Presidents and Governors solve, not Congresses (whether that’s really true or not). I don’t know.

          Liked by 1 person

        • “I’m not angry that my candidate of choice lost (that happened in the primaries), I’m angry that the candidate that won has promised to strip away rights from people I love.”

          Agreed! And as I said, when it comes to civil rights, he needs to be opposed.

          Why did Trump win? Because he knew his audience well.

          …and manipulated them, just like he did the pigeons he snared at Trump University, and just like everyone else he’s used for his own benefit without really caring about them. Knowing and exploiting seems to be his one talent. Trump’s #1 priority is what’s good for Trump.

          The media is already starting to raise questions about what Trump is going to do with his businesses while in office. This is the guy who used his own campaign as a vehicle to promote and pour donors’ money into his own coffers. Who thinks he will stop that now (raise your hands)?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, Trumps a salesman, and not only played on their fears, but he said, out loud, what they were thinking and believed. That is the ugly truth. He validated racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc. I’m not suggesting that everyone who voted for Trump are racist, etc, but he got to where he is, now, by saying what they wanted to hear, and it wasn’t just about bringing jobs back.

          Getting back to the president and state legislators, the two are intertwined, so it matters who people elect in their states. I thought you might find this article interesting, because, quite frankly, Trump needs the GOP and the GOP needs him. Those who kept the legislators in power hold similar tribalistic values, but it’s going to backfire on them big time. As the article points out, it’s hard to imagine Trump using a veto to prevent these kinds of reforms and cuts, by the GOP, from becoming law.

          http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/9/13572172/donald-trump-white-working-class

          Liked by 1 person

        • That chart in the Vox article on children in extreme poverty is heartbreaking. That should not happen in America. The Christians, if they really believed what Jesus taught, would look at that and weep.

          Regarding state and local elections: Another reason local races are very important is that state governments are the ones that draw the precinct lines every 10 years. The Republicans did a lot of gerrymandering in 2010 and lots of people have shown their research on the effects that had. The 2018 elections will be important in this regard; 2020 is coming.

          But: “Repealing and replacing Obamacare” is not going to be as easy as some people are making it out to be. Just having a Republican president and Congress is not enough to make it a slam-dunk. The Democrats shrank the Republican majority in the Senate to only 52 (probably; one race still pending). A normal vote on a piece of legislation would need 60 votes if the Democrats filibuster (which on that issue, they likely would). The Republicans could do it with budget reconciliation with only 50 votes, but doing it that way can only affect the money — it would leave in place the legal requirement that insurance companies must cover everyone. The insurance industry would scream bloody murder if the provisions that fund the ACA went away, but they still had to cover everyone. They would never let that happen.

          And: I read an article (can’t find it now) from a journalist who went and talked to a lot of people in the deep red south, which presented the numbers on how many people have already enrolled under the ACA. Their point was that while Republicans tend to decry quote-unquote “government handout” programs (entitlements), once they are put in place, such programs become very popular with everyone, including Republicans. Look at Medicare and Medicaid. The ACA is pretty new, but is it possible that enough white working-class Republicans are already using it, and would pressure their senator not to take it away? Could three such Republican senators be found? I think it’s possible. We’ll see.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I concur, Brent. The ACA will be very difficult to dismantle, but as the LA Times states, the GOP can vandalize it. I also agree that the poorest states, which are traditionally red, receive more federal funding than the blue states, which means they take more than they give. So it’s ironic that the state and local governments demonize the federal government, yet their citizens are totally dependent on it because state and local legislators have other priorities, like catering to the rich and creating laws to discriminate.

          The state I live in didn’t expand medicaid, as with most red states. But, surprisingly, Kentucky did, and they want to keep it. Quote from article I linked:

          “Many provisions of the Affordable Care Act are better appreciated by the public than GOP rhetoric would have one believe. Repealing them won’t necessarily be a crowd-pleaser. Jeffrey Young of the Huffington Post points to Kentucky, where right-winger Matt Bevin rode into the governor’s mansion on a platform of unadorned Obamacare hate and a promise to dismantle it, root and branch.

          The problem is that Obamacare had worked spectacularly well in Kentucky, reducing its uninsured rate to 7.5%, from 20.4%, thanks to Medicaid expansion and an efficient state-run exchange, Kynect. The law’s provisions were broadly popular, even if Obamacare’s image was widely abominated.

          While I am still greatly distressed over all that’s happened, there is a possible silver lining. Many people who supported Trump and their religiously conservative, neoliberal state and local legislators, will (hopefully) do a lot of self-reflection once they realized what they allowed to happen.

          Right now, the way things are going, we could very well end up like Romania in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, where the dictator provided only nominal social benefits and programs, and severely restricted abortion and contraception, causing a proliferation of children that parents couldn’t afford to keep, so they were sent to state institutions who were not prepared for the influx. When ABC’s 20/20 visited the orphanages in the 90’s, they found babies stacked on carts like loaves of bread. Many, if not most of these children ended up with severe mental illnesses, like attachment disorders.

          The lack of a sufficient social safety net, and over population in Romania created pandemic poverty and starvation, and their economy collapsed. If you read the Vox article I posted, about what the GOP plan to do, you can see this same pattern happening.

          Aldous Huxley wrote:

          “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”

          Liked by 2 people

        • Brent, you wrote: “The Christians, if they really believed what Jesus taught, would look at that and weep.” The thing is … few Christians ever look beyond their bible. And even though their Leader teaches them to care for the sick, the poor, the weak, few follow his words (except, perhaps, to use that highly effective act — prayer).

          Liked by 1 person

    • Re-reading my comment, and where this little thread went, makes me realize I wasn’t very complete in what I said.

      I want to be very clear that I absolutely believe that Donald Trump is racist, sexist, and xenophobic. And, that he enabled, encouraged, and incited a percentage of the population who are the same way to feel safe in loudly expressing very ugly and morally wrong views, and in some cases acts. For me, the dividing line between “let’s wait and see what he does; this isn’t the end of the world” and “this man needs to be forcefully opposed” is on issues of the Constitution and civil rights. Where those are concerned, there can be no “coming together with Trump for the sake of uniting our nation”. Those are absolute. We need to be watchful, and vocal, and defend the ideas our nation is based on, lest we lose them.

      But: It’s a percentage of Trump’s supporters that are racist, sexist, and xenophobic… not all of them. Reasonable people can argue what the percentage is — I’m not going to disagree with you, Nan, about what it must be like in Mississippi; I lived there for four months and was in culture shock the whole time. But I know there are many who were disgusted by Trump’s words and behavior, even Christians who know Trump does not live out Christian values, and yet voted for him anyway. I’ve talked to some them; I’ve read some of their stories. They valued other things above civil rights and the equality of all Americans. They were wrong to do that (and in so doing, they enabled racism, sexism, and xenophobia)… but I express that belief as someone who’s employed and reasonably comfortable and for whom America is “working”. As Urban said, people who are in pain vote for what they believe will alleviate that pain. Trump exploited that to a fare-thee-well. It’s an age-old technique: Find struggling, angry, disaffected people, and craft a narrative to explain their issues with a scapegoat they can vilify. At the risk of committing a Godwin foul, that’s Germany post-World War I.

      The danger, in my view, would be to write off every person that voted for Trump. The combination of people with morally toxic views and people with legitimate grievances (some had both) were enough to win it for Trump this year. We need to peel off those who would never behave as Trump does or say and believe the things that Trump does, with respect to women and people of color — and try to engage with their legitimate issues. For example, how different would this election have been if the income gap between the ultra-rich and the middle class was not a chasm (that’s still growing)? How different would it have been if people felt the politicians in Washington were looking out for their interests, and not those of lobbyists and businesses and the rich? The group of voters who voted for Trump solely for racist/sexist/xenophobic reasons, I believe, would not have been enough to put a candidate in the White House by themselves.

      I was wrong, and many people much smarter than me were wrong, about how this election was going to go. We need to understand what happened in order to keep it from happening again.

      Liked by 1 person

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