09 November 2016


Well, then. The long, grinding election, which started for me early last year when I became interested in trying to help Bernie Sanders challenge the Democratic establishment to run for president, is over. The most nightmarish election night of my life, over. And the outcome the worst result I gave any thought to. I admit I didn't think it at all likely. Complete control of the government by a party that has become protofascist, led by a foolish and ignorant sociopath. I almost want to say, echoing Jefferson, that I tremble for my country. But it's worse than that. (And I actually do believe that Sanders, or maybe even Clinton if she had just given a version of Sanders's stump speech wherever she went, would likely have won, because what people wanted was someone who'd care about them, not Trump, per se, but this is not the time for recrimination). 

It's worse than that because I cannot embrace this result. I cannot say, well the people elected him. (It was close, but it appears the majority who voted, as in 2000, voted for the losing candidate. But will we finally ditch the undemocratic Electoral College system? Don't count on it). I am proud to live in the West Coast (which now includes Nevada)... a transRockian country that increasingly is culturally and politically separate from the rest of the United States, as is the Atlantic Northeast region. This is what disturbs me the most. Since 1860 we have never been more divided. The Upper Midwest failed to hold. Any semblance that the Progressive Majority in this country can make common cause with the people who elected Trump is a fantasy. We are condemned to a generation or more of horrible struggle and division. And we have lost, for now... and our loss will destroy the last vestiges of the social democracy our country more or less was from 1945-1974. I will not live to see a reformed and more enlightened America. 

And it's worse because the whole world must tremble at the prospect of a protofascist America. There will be no mobilization to address the Climate Catastrophe, which instead will proceed through crisis after crisis. It may well be too late already to delay another decade before taking strong global action. And ask yourself, seriously, with Republicans... these Republicans... in charge of all three branches of government... do you expect anything other than stalling, and continued reckless burning of every last drop of bitumen?

​I could go on and on. I am too old to live through this and come out on the other side. I will have to hunker down and just try to maintain. A friend even said on Facebook that he was going to give up even voting. I won't do that. I will focus on my own state and region, which are solidly Progressive, and hope that we can become a region of relatively enlightened policy despite the fact that we, like the Catalonians and Scottish, feel like a nation under occupation by the more militarily powerful dominant, albeit foreign, culture that controls the nation state we are forced to be part of. Yep, that is how it feels to us in Oregon and the rest of the West Coast. And no doubt to New Englanders, New Yorkers, and residents of the Atlantic States down to Virginia. 

But I do intend to just stop watching video media. Hell with it. I will read the New York Times (at least until Trump figures out how to kill it). I will engage locally. I will support Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders's efforts to hold a rearguard action... at least to a degree. But I am defeated. I plan to just stop talking about national politics. I will not watch Trump speak... ever. I don't see any reason to subject myself to that. 

If you voted for Trump (I don't think I know anyone who did well), or even for a Republican for Senate or a governorship, please unfriend me on Facebook and ask to unsubscribe from my e-mails. Sorry, but I don't care to know you. We don't share any common interest. 

For the rest of us. We must hold on. Politics never ends. This too shall pass. But my ability to do anything about it is kaput. So I will mourn. 

I hope for the best possible outcomes in our darkest national hour in a long time, for everyone I know and care about... and for those I don't as well. ​


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