Thursday, November 10, 2016

Empire in Decline

This isn’t what I set out to write. It isn’t what I originally wrote.
But - the world as we know it has just changed a great deal, and I feel a duty to write about that. 

This election is about anger. The anger is real. I believe it is misplaced, but that really doesn’t matter now. The angry people have spoken, and the rest of the nation and the rest of the world will be living with the consequences for a long time to come.

Some social media snapshots from friends around the world:

From the UK: “World leaders are in shock. Apparently, Marine LePen is the only politician outside the US who has congratulated Trump, which is unprecedented.”

From Australia: “Come on, it's pretty funny that the USA has elected a clown, an actual one with makeup and wig, to govern. If you don't laugh you will go mad.”

From the UK: “Welcome to the Brexit Club, America.”

From Panama: “On several levels, it's the end of an era for the USA. Geopolitics and economics are generally forces for continuity, but in case you haven't noticed, the United States is not the power it was. Other countries' leaders and people who shift money to and fro around the world surely notice.”

From Australia:
“So it's looking like Donald Trump will be the president of the USA. What does that say about a political system that endorses a candidate like this lunatic? It is ok to be a bully? It's perfectly fine to be a misogynist? To be racist? To be a billionaire and not pay any tax? It's no problem at all to be a liar? It's ok to deceive people with conspiracy theories and manipulate opinions with empty statements that cannot be substantiated? To my American friends who I know did not vote for Trump. I'm so very sorry.”

Sorry, world. The US has just officially become a rogue nation.

The recriminations have begun. The Clinton supporters are blaming the third party voters. The third party voters are (in some cases) blaming the DNC for misreading the political climate. The Democratic Party has moved so far to the right since 2000, that they’re no longer the friend of the working stiff, in a year when it was terribly important to be that friend.

Republicans are not friends of the working class, either – they just have better PR. People with stagnant incomes hear “tax cuts” and they think that will mean more money for them. They do not understand that those cuts will be for the wealthy. People heard Trump talk about bringing manufacturing jobs back to this country. That was a cruel message to people who badly need good paying jobs. Manufacturing is never coming back. Trump’s own products are manufactured overseas. We’re a nation and a world on the verge of big economic changes, and we’ve chosen an ill-informed carnival barker to lead us into the future.

As a nation, we’ve never gotten past racism. We tried a few times, but it’s not over. As a nation, we have never confronted our misogyny. We just elected a guy who has said awful things about women, and admitted to assaulting them. A man who says we need to build a wall to keep out Mexicans. He mocked a reporter with disabilities. He was cheered on by angry people who applauded him for “telling it like it is.”

That’s what we do here. When the economy is lousy for us, when we are fearful for our future, we blame THOSE PEOPLE. Whoever they are. The politics of hate, anger, and fear have won the day. What do we tell our girl children about what just happened here?

The media deserves a great deal of blame for this – but not the kind that we began to see at the end of Trump’s campaign. Men showing up at Trump events with t-shirts suggesting that lynching reporters was a good idea isn’t funny. Somewhere along the way the second amendment has become the only one that matters to a large segment of the population.

Nowhere is that truer than NH, where the politics of guns and pledges have won the day. NH has just chosen another Sununu to govern our state. Jumping on the Trump train worked for him. We can now look forward to 2 years of businessman Chris Sununu telling us why it’s a mistake to invest in our own state. He’ll be aided and abetted by the great visionaries of our legislature, whose idea of the future is firmly planted in 1952. 

Guns aren’t going to fix our roads and bridges – and neither is our new state government. Instead, the demonizing of the poor is likely to be ramped up, along with MOAR GUNZ, less access to health care, business tax cuts, MOAR GUNZ, right to work, eliminating bodily autonomy for women, and plenty of other stupid that has yet to reveal itself.

As I write this, the US Senate race between Kelly Ayotte and Maggie Hassan is still undecided. Congresswoman Ann Kuster kept her seat, despite a last minute surge of support for challenger Jim Lawrence. Carol Shea-Porter was reelected in the first district, despite the best efforts of the independent candidate. He might have swayed the election to Guinta, had it not been for the rats. That was just a bridge too far (and too bizarre) for many people. New Hampshire did manage to fend off some of the damage that was done in the rest of the country.

There are some bright spots in the darkness. In Las Cruces, NM, a young woman I met at a conference in 2012 was just elected to her state legislature. Angelica Rubio describes her campaign as being “built on a foundation of community and inclusion, speaking to values that unite us all.”

We need more of this.

Published as an op-ed in the November 11 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper. 


tworavens said...

Well said on all points! From the beginning of the campaign I mentioned to many that Trump could not lose. He told one truth and that is that the system is rigged. He would know better than any. I was never a Clinton supporter, but she did share one truth herself, and that is that his voters are "deplorables". Regardless of economic hardship, to lose ones values, moral compass and soul to the ultimate enfant terrible, is without question, deplorable.

So here we are. Any strides made to improve our earth and environment will be turned back at least 100 years. Donald Juvenile Trump enters Bleak House as the most powerful President EVER. Obama failed to repeal Patriot Act and other privacy invasions, which will in turn be liberally put to use by this new terrifying administration. The first thing he will be doing is clamping down on all freedom of speech and press. We can only imagine how his sensitivity to criticism will unfold as he occupies the hot seat. His voters, if indeed that is how he gained office, will be miserably disappointed. If we can believe that his crowd is near the bottom of the food chain, they will find themselves ever further down the pit in time to come. He will do nothing to improve the nations lot. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Americans evidently aren't terribly interested in a healthy nation but merely in one's own self interest. We now have proof of this. Grab 'em by the Pussy Mr. President of the Divided States of America.

We can only hope and pray that Maggie Hassan prevails. Ayotte is not even embarrassed by her transparent hypocrisy. And yet another Sununu. Aren't we tired of nepotistic legacies? People have to be inherently stupid to continue to vote exactly the same way every time and yet expect different results. It's going to be a bad four years. If we were unhappy or at least unimpressed with Obama, we're in for a hell ride.

LakeLadyNH said...

Clearly we live in hillbilly hell. We are subjected to the Duggar family, Honey Boo-Boo, and the tiara toddlers. Instead of our country and media celebrating children who work hard to succeed in their educations to become productive members of society, the cable stations celebrate self-absorbed low life hillbillies. "We got rights ya know, we can do what we want ya know".

Well no, you can't. We live in a democratic society In the true sense, a democratic society works for the good of all people, not a select few.

Just wait until the hillbillies at the Trump rallies figure out Trump doesn't give a rats *** about them, except when he declares bankruptcy to protect his money when they did all the work and got nothing. Such is life in Hillbilly hell.