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SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM
I have been mostly without words in public this week. I have spoken with my children, who were devastated by the results of the US election but I had little comfort to give them. At work, I was confronted all week long with non-Americans who were genuinely agape at the circus that has reigned for nearly 2 years and the end of it in particular. I felt myself put on the defensive, and given repeated condolences on the stupidity and wrongheadedness of my fellow countrymen. It is even harder to comprehend when you consider that if all votes were treated equally, instead of being subverted and distorted by the electoral college, the actual outcome would be far different.

All week I have been reading fantastically written articles and watching articulate and thoughtful videos after the fallout...for both sides, for both candidates. Most of them calling for reason, for a return to sanity and for people to stop the sniping and be their best selves. All of these articles gave me a better understanding of both sides and a better understanding of the whys and wherefores of what has happened. One blog friend's mother quoted a reporter who said that "Trump supporters took him seriously but not literally and Trump opponents took him literally but not seriously." For me this goes a long way toward explaining but falls far short of EXCUSING.

Another blog that I read recently asked her readers to say something nice about the other side, and all the commenters managed it. I thought of several things I could write, but in the end, I kept quiet. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all, right? It's not that I can't say anything nice about the people that voted for Trump, regardless of how wrongheaded I find their actions, many of whom are friends and family, but I cannot say anything nice about HIM at the moment, and by extension, I am not yet able to remove the taint from or excuse those who have handed him the reins. If you are reading this and feel differently, whatever. You are entitled to your opinion and your vote, and I will never say otherwise, but I find it heinous that ignorance, bald-faced lying, smug tax evasion, racism, xenophobia, intolerance, violence and predatory misogyny were not enough to outweigh any other consideration when faced with an unpalatable choice between two candidates that were both hated by so many people.

I would very much prefer it if you follow my belief...if you feel the need to comment on this post, and you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. This is my space and a place for me to work through the things that I feel, the things that affect me and my family and a record of what I am thinking about. Restrain yourself if you think you need to school me on my beliefs or feelings in any way.

This summer, when faced with many family members who were publicly spouting support for Trump, to my bogglement, one of my uncles asked Anders, if Hillary won, could he come and live in Sweden? In all seriousness, I responded that if Trump won, I might have to consider renouncing my citizenship. He was shocked. But I was shocked, too. And more shocked now, though to be honest, I am not really surprised. I'm not surprised by the outcome, though I am horrified, dismayed and outraged. If my country is able to elect someone like Trump, they are also able to elect someone like Obama, and how can I turn my back on that?

Though I am sorely afraid of what his cabinet and advisors and the rest of the conservatives in power will be able to get away with now, we, all of us, the world over, will all be watching warily to see how things play out. I hope that Trump is sincere in his post-victory promises to be a President for ALL Americans, though based on his track record so far, that hope is a faint one.
 anxious
mood: anxious
music: The The—The Beat(en) Generation


Comments

with the house, senate and soon the supreme court totally dominated by republicans i don't think it will matter that much what kind of president T turns out to be. a lot of americans won't feel like americans any more. :(

Sadly, I agree. I worry more about the people that Trump will surround himself with and cede power to in so many scary ways. :(

Eloquently stated and mirrors my experience/mindset. I just reviewed who he has tapped for his cabinet and a fresh wave of disbelief has washed over me. Gingrich? Palin? I can't even.

I hadn't heard Palin, but FFS. Everything is a rumor at the moment, but I hope to god he chooses some sensible people and not all of the right-wing crazies that he surrounded himself with during the election.

I shudder for what lies ahead – in the White House (may they be struck in their sleep by the ghosts of Dolley Madison and Mamie Eisenhower) and more generally.

Other than that, just keep on being the wonderful person you are. I wish there were many more like you. ♥

Me, too, haha!

(Anonymous)

I'm with you. I'm believing that this is about America having to face our shadow side. I think many of the voters only wanted change from the political control and afraid we got only backlash and backwards movement. But I have faith in the future -after all we are in the Age of Aquarius now and that is bringing in feminine energy and power. Changes take some time and always face some pullback. But we will get it sorted out and there will be more changes, it just might take another 4 years! Fo now we have to be kind, tolerant and strongly stand for what is right! Love, Lizardmom

I love that you are so optimistic, I wish I could be as well. I do not think that drastic change is always good, and we are always in a state of change actually, especially when it comes to government and policy. Well, we will see, regardless!

(Anonymous)

Unfortunately, it was a whitelash election. After 8 years of having a black president, white people felt threatened and they needed to show that White people still have the power. White women and white men were the ones that elected him but the people who will suffer under his presidency are Latin, black Jewish , Muslim people.
As an Naturalized American and Latina, I am terrified of what this president will do to us, our families, friends but white Americans can rest easy because they will not have to face their consequences of their actions.

Whether or not it was a whitelash election, Hillary still received the popular vote by a huge margin, so obviously not all white Americans voted for Trump by any stretch of the imagination. I don't believe white Americans can rest easy either, and I think that is a naïve way to look at this. We will ALL stand for and suffer the consequences of this election. There are many, many white people who fall into groups that are threatened by Trump's rhetoric and the conservative beliefs that have been given a mandate now, including women (of all races, including white), LGBTQ, and others.

(Anonymous)

sa

(Anonymous)

Yes, Hillary received the highest margin of the popular vote from Latinos and minorities, not White people. And I am not saying that all white people voted for Trump. I am saying that the majority of white people voted for him.

And when I said that White people can rest easy, I meant that they will not suffer the racist attacks that are currently occurring in campus around the country, outside in the streets, schools, workplaces.
Of course, all of us are going to deal with the consequences of his acts but White Straight men/women will not have it as hard as Jewish, homosexuals etc.

In other words, you , as a white straight woman,are safe, if you were to live in the States, the rest of us live in fear!!

Plenty of white straight men and women are ALREADY living in fear and plenty of us have loved ones who fall into all the minorities that are threatened by Trump's win and popularity. I am sure that straight white men and women who happen to Jewish, for example, are worried. I don't think ANY of us can rest easy.

(Anonymous)
I disagree (part 1)

I will be very rude so excuse me and I hope you will not take it personally.

I think this debate is bizarre – mostly because people read too much partisan news instead of reading basic literature in political science. The truth is that this is so basic that it is primary school knowledge. United States (including most U.S political parties) uses Electorate College and constituencies meaning you do not always need a majority to win the presidency or become the nominee. For example; Hillary Clinton received more votes than Barack Obama in Democratic primaries of 2008. You saw the same thing in GOP primaries in 1968, 1944 and 1912 and so on. There are actually numerous examples of American municipal, county, state and national elections were a number of votes do not reflect the outcome. Why? United States State has single-winner electoral systems meaning a candidate can receive fewer votes still win an election. Sound strange? Not really, hundreds of countries including United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Finland (only Presidential elections) use this system. In United Kingdom general elections in 2015 UKIP received 12.7 percent of the electoral vote. UKIP became the third largest party in terms of votes but they received only 0.2 percent (1) seat in parliament. Even in proportional representation electoral system will sometimes award parties more seats than what actually reflects the number of votes they received. Donald Trump won both the GOP Primary and the U.S. election fair and square. He played by the rules and therefore is the legitimate President of United States - at least if we respect the US. legal and electoral system as legit.

The reasons why Trump won is obvious just as it is obvious why United Kingdom left Brexit;

Firstly, Social and economic consequences of globalization (immigration and trade) have not been mitigated. If you outsource job to third world countries and in the same time bring in millions of foreign workers from third world countries (since 1965) you will generate social, economic and ethnic conflict. The national identity of United States is White and Christian. In 1950 about 90 percent of the population was white. I believe about 70 percent was Protestant at the time. Today, whites are becoming a minority and Protestantism is close or has been replaced by Catholicism. When people feel their country lose their ethnic and religious identity they will vote for someone who will restore it and white American voters) therefore rejected Clinton. This is hardly not unique for white people.

Secondly, neo-classical economy on trade and immigration has major flaws as it does not address transitions periods or the consequences of the working and lower middle class. In terms of trade – the third world is full of cheap labour with no labourer protection. What this means is that corporations obtain cheap unprotected labour (it is ever increasing through high birth rates) while the working class and lower middle class in United States lose their jobs.

(Anonymous)
Re: I disagree (part 2)

In terms of immigration (in-sourcing). Immigration tend to lead to reduced wages. It also causes under-unemployment and unemployment because of increased labour supply. Why hire an American worker when you can hire a migrant worker, who works minimum wage? Why hire legal worker when a illegal immigrant work for even less? Immigration also effect the lower middle class as mainly Asian college educated and skilled labourer are hired to cut wages. Note that Asian minorities also do better in school than whites – meaning that whites lose their place in the middle class. Fair? Maybe, but if you leave college and end up working retail and cannot repay your student debt you may think differently.

The American politicians have tried to mitigate this through higher education, welfare, subsidized jobs and loan-based stimulus. This is has not worked. For example, that college education you have is worthless without demand. When you ship a factory abroad that office with accountants and engineers will in the end also close and move to India as Indian engineers and accounts may not be as skilled but are significantly cheaper and to tell you the truth – hard working. Globalization, economics and social outcomes are not fair.

I think most white Americans feel bad about poor Mexicans and Indians but in the same time they do not to see their opportunities go away. There are of course other issues such as crime, religion (deeply religious people tend dislike of LGBT and abortion), a failed healthcare system and failing infrastructure. I think these played a minor role in why Trump won. In the end Obama (he was by far not the worst politician) failed to address the needs of the people (read: white people). Instead he spend his time bailing out Wall Street, wasted money on the Global Warming scheme, bombed third world Arab countries and promoted identity politics for minorities while called white identity politics racist.

Look at the Clinton campaign.

Obama tell some middle-aged poor worker living in some suburb outside Detroit that his job will not come back and that he should get a college degree and take a job at Google. Naturally, the Democrats lost Michigan. Clinton goes to the suburbs of Pittsburgh and tells some impoverished steel workers and minors in their fifties that there will be no industry because Global Warming is a priority – so she cannot do anything for them but tells them that she will make community college free. They then tell her that their children went for college (a real one) and now work in retail. Clinton lost Pennsylvania.

(Anonymous)
Re: I disagree (part 3)

Understand (I will be even more rude than above): The post-war liberal hegemony in the West is about to be replaced by ethno-nationalism, protectionism, conservative family ideals and anti-globalization. The return was unavoidable. No other civilization has adopted Western post-war liberalism. Even countries like Turkey, Israel, Singapore and Philippines that the Western elites believed would be the first non-western countries to culturally adopt their world view have rejected it. They have reverted into fierce ethno-nationalism, conservatism and religiousness. It may surprise liberals but this is how the world was, is and will become in the West very soon. Liberals believe that a million feminist protestors in Washington, Stockholm, Vienna, Paris and Berlin will change it - but it will not. Liberalism is an ideology – how the world ought to be. It should not be confused with reality. Liberals tend to project their views on "the people” - that all people want to live according to liberalism. The Neo-Conservatives did the same mistakes just like American politicians who fought the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese and later Afghans and Iraqis all reject Western liberalism.

The reality is that people are tribal, conservative, nationalist, religious and follow strict gender patterns. Even after years of socialization you see school children push out their peers and often hold significantly more conservative believes than their teachers. Liberals should really know this because they are also tribal and hostile towards people outside their ideological tribe.

I’m not an overtly convinced Darwinist nor am I a moral nihilist but humans are animals and will act as such. The notion that United States was founded on (classical) liberalism is a myth. United States was founded by white men for white men and women. They founded United States on land that once belonged to Native Americans. The founder of Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson, deported tens of thousands of Native Americans. He could be considered fairly moderate viewed through a historical lens. Would Native Americans do the same to Europeans if they had the power to do so? Yes, they would conquer Europe and do the same to us. In fact: They did the same to each other without any deeper moral distinction.

Contemporary: The ethno-nationalist Han-Chinese government in Beijing is colonizing Tibet through moving hundred of thousand to Tibet to replace the population. Israel does the same in the Palestinian territories. The new Philippine President will not stop extrajudicial drug addicts and criminals. The Gulf States, with all their wealth have still not become feminists. They certainly do not care about United Nations. Do you think the Han-Chinese, Israeli Jews, Arabs or the Southeast Asians feel sorry about it? No, they do not. Why should they? For them liberalism and progressiv thought is very foreign and a supremacist construction of white people.

Ideology is a Fugazi. We know from history that one ideology, religion or world view will never prevail and dominate mankind. It is a futile war. One would think that you bright people would understand the difference between ideology and reality. If you want to change the world? Maybe you should honestly discuss politics.


Signed: The Economist

RE: Re: I disagree (part 3)

I don't think you are being rude but a huge three part rant in the comments of my post does feel a bit much, especially from someone who can't or won't be bothered to identify themselves as more than anonymous or "the economist". I am in agreement with much of what you say but I am not interested in a political debate here.

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I am still grieving. The author of the last comment above breaks my heart the most. My students have similar stories; most are terrified. Unfortunately there are tangible reasons for the fear because there have been many hate induced instances of verbal assault, graffiti, etc. that are being reported. This is no longer about politics in my mind, it is about power and equality and it definitely feels like a dangerous tide has turned. See above: broken heart.

The shock is fading now, the disappointment is not. We can't predict what will ensue, but with so much talk of white versus black votes it seems that the US still has such a long way to go as a nation to see people as equal, which seems so incredible to me. My sister & family out there are in no hurry to return to post-Brexit Britain, mind you.
Where is the love & kindness the world needs at this time?

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