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Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Revenge of the White People

In a concert shortly after the election of Ronald Reagan, The Weavers' Lee Hays, wheelchair-bound but still feisty, said it was like kidney stones: "This too shall pass." He was right. We lived through Reagan. We lived through George W. Bush. But there were consequences. Reagan tripled the debt. Bush nearly brought the nation to economic ruin, and started a costly, in both lives and money, unnecessary war. And now, with the inexplicable election of Donald Trump, we may face our biggest test. Will our democracy survive?

First of all, to people like Nate Silver and Sam Wang, fuck you. And every pollster who claims to be a professional. What are the purposes of polls if there so off the mark? Did that many people lie about who they were voting for, or do Trump's voters not have phones? This is the biggest error since Truman defeated Dewey, and you'd think in 68 years the technology would be better. Sam Wang had Hillary Clinton at a 99 percent-plus, and said he would eat a bug if Trump were elected. I wonder what kind he chowed down on?

As I watched the returns, and things soured quickly (really, she lost Wisconsin, the state that elected the first gay senator?) and I became going into a deep depression that may take four years to get out of, I had to wonder about the Trump voter. I have some in my family, and they are die-hard Republicans who would vote for Jeffrey Dahmer if he were the nominee. I think Hillary Clinton did everything she could and don't blame her at all. The only thing she did wrong was be Hillary Clinton, which was enough for some people.

But there's something more sinister going on here. Since when do we have a president who was endorsed by the KKK? Who has supporters threatening a race war if he wasn't elected? Trump won because he did something that perhaps no other Republican could have done--he ignited and captured the fear of white people, especially uneducated and racist, either plainly or casually.

White people, and I am one, are one of the biggest problems in this country right now. This nation will no longer be a white majority by 2050, and though I'll probably be dead but I'd like to see it. White people are so smug about their entitlements--"We created this country." Well, bullshit. There were people of all races here a long time ago. Just because only white men have been in position of power for over 200 years and oops! a black guy got in there doesn't mean that white people are suddenly disenfranchised. But that's how Trump whites seem to think. This vote is a backlash against Obama and his competence. Clinton, with her long history of scandal, got steamrolled by the hatred.

I do think, though we'll never know, that Obama, if allowed, could easily have won a third term. Perhaps almost any other Democrat could have beaten Trump, who is immensely unpopular. I don't know if Bernie Sanders could have, but Elizabeth Warren could have, or or any of handful of governors and senators without Hillary's baggage. Democrats thought they got lucky facing Trump, when it was the other way around.

I really don't know how I'm going to handle this. At least Reagan and Bush were governors and had some sense of how things work. Trump seems to be have a child's understanding of the world and civics (he doesn't know what the Supreme Court does, or how a bill is passed). Speaking of the Supreme Court, poor Merrick Garland can now forget about his life-long dream of serving at the highest court, and we'll see what monster Trump nominates, and hope that Ruth Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer can live for four more years.

Ideally, I would like to go into one of those nuclear fallout shelters, full of food and books and DVDs and just wait out the next four years. Every time I hear the words "President Trump" it's going to be like a knife in my heart. He'll be great fodder for comedians, and he'll fail spectacularly, but I'd rather sit out. It will pass, but it will be painful.

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