Friday, November 11, 2016

Bracing For Deplorable Times

Imagine you are driving down the street. Suddenly a kid breaks away from his mother and runs into the street in front of you from your right. At the same moment, a car is approaching from the opposite direction on your left, and you can vaguely see the faces of a family, maybe headed to church or a soccer game.

You have to choose: run over the kid, or hit the family head-on.

This is an example of the kind of decision that leaders make every day. If you kill the kid his family will forever blame you and hate you, and it is just as bad if you drive head-on into the oncoming family. Either way, if you live, you have to make a deal with your conscience. You can't not-choose, and there is no choice that is good.

It is easy to sit on the sidelines of history and complain about the choices that are made -- there will always be something wrong, because the choices are impossible. President Obama has made wise choices in a dignified way, but someone always found something to complain about. When he promoted fairness and egalitarian values they denigrated it as "political correctness," as if the Thought Police were not allowing people to have opinions of their own. As our population and technology and economy have changed, the President has made the best decisions he could, respecting the rights of new citizens, women and minorities, and young people, as well as the traditional white Americans who did not want change. But there is always something to complain about, you either hit the kid or the oncoming family.

I don't think Trump meant to win. It is easy to work a crowd up into a frenzy, complaining about things, but he does not have a plan to make things better. "Bomb the hell out of ISIS" is not a plan, it does not take into account any of the complexities of religious and tribal affiliations in the region, Russian ambitions, the wishes of the petroleum-baron sheikhs in neighboring countries, the innocence of civilians, our alliances in Europe and around world, anything. A wall on the border: it's not going to happen. It's easy to complain about people speaking Spanish and "marca uno para español," but a wall is not practical, rounding up millions of people and deporting them would be incredibly disruptive, expensive, tragic, and ineffective -- it is a fantasy, not a plan. We have almost no real trouble with Muslim immigrants -- banning them will be expensive and, again, tragic, will embarrass our country in the world, and nothing will get better. It is easy to ignite stereotypes but making real choices in the real world is harder than that. It is easy to invoke stereotypes of irresponsible welfare mothers and show horrible pictures of dead babies in arguing against abortion, but real women have complex choices to make in their real lives, and a supportive and sensible policy needs to be thoroughly and sympathetically considered. Somebody will complain, it's not about that, it is about being fair and sensible and kind, and doing the right thing.

It is not just the Presidency. The Republicans have both houses of Congress and will poison the Supreme Court as soon as they can, too. Checks and balances, the brilliant cornerstone of American democracy, will not exist for the next four years. Never mind what has happened at the state level, which may turn out to be the big story.

Our side was not prepared for this, any more than their side was. Everyone overestimated the reasoning ability of the populace, but after all these years of talk radio and Fox News the message has sunk in -- uneducated white Americans do not feel they should have to share the power or bother to understand people who are unlike themselves, they want "their country" back.

It is never too late to start fighting back, I hope. The key is in that word "uneducated." The right has undermined education at every step for many decades, and now they have a great dumb mass of people who cannot think objectively or critically, do not respect facts over comforting rumors, do not know the difference between logic and self-aggrandizement. These are people who are easily persuaded by simple images and cheerleading. Our long-term goal has to be education. If the people have knowledge and can reason competently they will not fall for a gang of evil clowns like we just elected.

In the short term we must not let bigotry and ignorance become normalized. You will hear the talking heads on television making tacit assumptions about immigrants, Muslims, LGBT people, women, about jobs and energy and the environment and the economy -- do not accept them when they adopt the language of the fascist right. We have to speak up every time. My intuition says that the ACLU is going to be central to this effort, they are the ones who will actually file the papers and fight back in the legal arena, and we need to get behind them. We have to grow an underground, we need to be explicit among ourselves, the decent people, about what is true and what is important, and we need to cling to that and to each other through these times.

Trump may establish a new order where our freedoms are lost forever, or he and his Basket of Official Deplorables may simply flounder foolishly, in over their heads, for four years. Whatever happens, this is time to organize and stick together, to resist and undermine bigotry and small-mindedness. It is going to get bad, one way or the other, and we want to pull through it intact. I believe America is full of good people, and we need to stick together and regain control of our own history.

I see a lot of people on the Internet saying this is just democracy, one side won and now the other side gets a turn. But that only works if you maintain freedom of speech and the press, if the government is committed to representing everyone, and this team does not care about that, or want it. This democratic experiment only works if we make sure those basic fundamentals remain intact. We can endure four years of narcissistic vanity and incompetence if the Constitutional framework is upheld, and it is our job to see that it is.

Our new President believes in getting even, believes in humiliating those who cross him, he is not going to let criticism go unpunished. Good people who speak their mind will be our new heroes.


Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Outstanding and insightful Jim - well done.

November 11, 2016 4:01 PM  
Anonymous oh, horrors! said...

heavens to murgatroid, Jimbo, you've done it now

you criticized Trump!!

what kinda punishment do ya think you'll get?

November 11, 2016 4:02 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Jim said "I see a lot of people on the Internet saying this is just democracy, one side won and now the other side gets a turn. But that only works if you maintain freedom of speech and the press..."

Never has there been a bigger threat to freedom of speech and the press than Trump.

Foreshadowing the Naziism to come Trump threatened the first amendment right to free speech. When asked why he supports Putin who has murdered critics Trump implied his approval for that by saying Putin was a good and strong leader. In all of his campaign rallies he attacked the press and supporters threatened the press with so much violence in some cases they had to be escorted from the rallies by police protection.

At one rally Trump promised to greatly expand and open up libel laws so he could sue the press at a whim saying "We're going to make so much money!". He then mentioned how some had criticized Putin for murdering members of the press and Trump then said "I wouldn't do that, I don't think" and then then gave a "thinking about it expression" to show he hadn't ruled that out. Trump supporters then chanted "lying press" in German just as Hitler and the Nazis used to do.

As Jim says, "Our new President believes in getting even, believes in humiliating those who cross him, he is not going to let criticism go unpunished.".

The first time the news media publishes an article critical of Trump could be the beginning of the end for freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the States.

Its scary how much the rise of Trump mirrors the rise of Hitler.

November 11, 2016 4:06 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/bad anonymous will be, as Stalin said, a "useful idiot" in the fascist regime Trump builds.

November 11, 2016 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Pa, it's Opie! said...

I shudder to think what punishment TTF will receive for criticizing the Dear Leader

and they can't go to Canada to escape:

Canada strictly controls their borders

November 11, 2016 4:23 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "I shudder to think what punishment TTF will receive for criticizing the Dear Leader and they can't go to Canada to escape: Canada strictly controls their borders".

Of course they can come to Canada. Canada is far less restrictive about our borders. Canada has agreed to take in 100 times as many Syrian refugees as Obama has allowed in. Canada takes in several times more immigrants per capita than the U.S. This is an open, loving, and accepting place. Anyone who's threatened by Heir Trump is welcome here.

November 11, 2016 4:27 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Lena Van Manen

"And so the reign of fear begins...

I had a meeting with an associate at Starbucks this morning and arrived early. I set up my computer and received a FaceTime call from a deaf friend. As we were chatting on the computer I felt a glare from across the room. Americn Sign Language users are used to having people stare but this was different. This guy came marching up to me and got up in my face. "This is White American now. Take your retarded self and go somewhere else. Trump is president now.". He's two inches from my nose, screaming at me - and no one is saying or doing a thing. I was so shocked and shaken, I just packed up and left.

This is what America wanted. This is what America got. God help us all."

November 11, 2016 4:28 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Pro-Trump Nazi Site Launches Campaign To Harass Gays, Women, And Minorities Into Killing Themselves
Newsweek reports:

"The Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi website, published a list of dozens of Twitter users who expressed sadness over the election outcome on Wednesday, urging its readers to target and harass them to the point of suicide.

The frontpage of the white supremacist website shows a large photo of President-elect Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, meeting with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. “You should probably go ahead and be afraid now,” writes Andrew Anglin, the website’s publisher. The post suggests it’s readers “can troll these people and definitely get some of them to kill themselves.”

Several of the tweets embedded in the Daily Stormer post show fear over the fate of women, people of color and LGBT individuals in the U.S. under a Trump presidency. One person says they’re worried about possible nuclear war. A disclaimer on the page reads: “We here at the Daily Stormer are opposed to violence.”

Reports of hate-based violence against Hispanic people, Muslims and women continue to be documented around the country in the wake of Trump’s victory in the polls on Tuesday."

November 11, 2016 4:49 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

And no doubt Wyatt/bad anonymous "can't stop smiling" about this:
From Mother Jones:

"Two LGBT suicide prevention hotlines told Mother Jones that calls to their services have spiked since Donald Trump was elected president.

Trans Hotline, a nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention for transgender people, has received at least five times the call volume it normally gets. And the Trevor Project, the nation’s only LGBT youth-focused suicide prevention hotline, received more calls, texts, and online chats on Wednesday than it’s gotten on a single day in four years, more than double its normal daily volume.

“We started getting increased call volume at about 10 p.m. on election night, and it hasn’t slowed down at all,” said Gretta Martela, director of Trans Hotline, on Thursday afternoon. “In fact, it’s on the rise still.” The hotline receives about 100 calls a day normally. In the 24 hours prior to speaking with Mother Jones, Martela said it had received 523 calls."

Wyatt/bad anonymous is a sociopath. He can't feel empathy and sees people like this as deserving of being taken advantage of. Because he sees people as objects to be used to get what he wants he doesn't want people to know he's like this, so tell everyone!

November 11, 2016 4:51 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

"Holidays can be difficult for LGBTQ youth who feel all alone. In fact, winter is the busiest time of year for our emergency response volunteers. Last winter, we spent 402,300 minutes talking with youth who reached out to us for help. And this season, we’re taking steps to be as prepared as possible when the phone rings.

$30 helps us talk to one youth for 30 minutes and $60 helps keep our lines going for nearly an hour. With your help this season, we can fully ensure that LGBTQ youth know they are never alone.

You can join us in our fight year-round by turning your gift into a monthly pledge. When you select the monthly option today, we’ll also automatically welcome you into our Friends of Trevor membership program which supports our young people 24/7, 365 days a year.

Donate to the Trevor Project

November 11, 2016 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are nuts.

Republicans work for a living.
we don't have time to harrass people.

We just want to go back to work and we will trust Trump to put the rest of the country to work too... (ie the 95 million that are currently unemployed).

that is not a bag thing.

Have a great evening.

November 11, 2016 9:54 PM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

There are more people working now than ever worked in the Bush administration, or any other, for that matter.

Start the health at 1972 and you can see how people have done with convenient lines in election years.

Obama has done a respectable job reducing the unemployment rate since the Bush administration too, with no thanks to the Republican Congress:

It was 4.9% in June of this year.

"Republicans work for a living.
we don't have time to harrass people"

You must not be a Republican then.

November 12, 2016 12:54 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

"Start the health" should be "Start the graph..."

"Autocorrect" is often a misnomer.


November 12, 2016 12:57 AM  
Anonymous the most sincere blog said...

does anyone know if TTF got their punishment for criticizing Trump yet?

also, did TTFers say if the Great Pumpkin left them anything after they passed out on Tuesday night?

November 12, 2016 8:41 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Hair Gropenfuhrer hasn't even been sworn in yet. He has to get into office before the pogroms can start. Be patient.

It was disturbing to see how quickly men like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan went from sober and somber looking on Monday to smiling, suckling sycophants on Wednesday morning, eager to please their new master.

Democrats in Congress should take a que from McConnell and treat the new president with the exact same deference, cooperation, and respect that he treated Obama.

November 12, 2016 9:41 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Theresa said "Republicans work for a living.
we don't have time to harrass people."

Bullsh*t Theresa. Last time I spoke with you you told one horrible lie after another about me and trans people. You LOVE harrassing people and do it to the extreme.

November 12, 2016 11:58 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "does anyone know if TTF got their punishment for criticizing Trump yet?".

Stupid Wyatt pretends that if Trump's clampdown on freedom of speech and freedom of the press doesn't happen over night there's nothing to worry about. Obviously there's nothing Trump can do before he takes office January 20 and even then it will take time for him to make the changes and for the policies to take effect. As I've been telling stupid Wyatt/bad anonymous since 2008, it takes about one year after a new president takes power for his policies to take effect so the facist policies will start taking effect January 2018 and freedom will be taken away bit by bit over the 3 years after that.

November 12, 2016 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Vigilant said...

From CNN Politics: Omarosa: Trump campaign keeping 'list' of enemies

"Let me just tell you, Mr. Trump has a long memory and we're keeping a list," Manigault, the campaign's director of African-American outreach, told the Independent Journal Review, an online news outlet started by two former GOP staffers aimed at a center-right audience.

November 12, 2016 1:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home