Checking In, Eight Days On

I’ll do this one in Q & A format, in no small part because it will include questions that people have actually asked me, and that I want to address:

So, Scalzi, how are you doing?

I’m better than I was last week, thanks. I’m eating and sleeping normally again, and I can go for hours at a time without thinking about the fact that a racist buffoon will soon be President of the United States, and when I do think of it, the emotion I feel is closer to exasperation than outright despair. This doesn’t mean it’s not still a problem — hey, look at the mess he’s making of the transition! — but that my reaction to it is more usefully in line.

Plus, you know. A week’s enough time for me. President Obama (enjoy that while it lasts) had a conference call to Democrats in which he said he’d give people until Thanksgiving to grieve and then it would be time for them to get their shit together (I’m paraphrasing). I think for most people that’s about right. I needed a little less time. Others might need more. But by and large, after a while you have to stop being sad, or at least just being sad, and you gotta figure out what to do after that.

Which includes the rest of your life, I will note. Today I talked to my editor about which books I’ll be publishing over the next couple of years, and with my agent about some business in Germany, and later today my new monitor will arrive and I’ll reinstall my desktop and later on I’ll help my wife take a spare sofa we have over to the house of a friend, and so on. I don’t think any of us can or should ignore the mess that’s happening or the mess we’re going into. But everything else is still going on as well. I don’t think you can effectively deal with the former without keeping up with the latter.

But you’re still pissed, yes?

Well, yeah. That’s not going to change any time soon. We’re going from a president who was competent and scandal-free to one who is… not, in either case, and who is bringing along anti-semites and grifters and putting them at the levers of this country. Over in the congress, Paul Ryan and his party pals are salivating at the idea of breaking Medicare and the ACA. Around the country, bigots are celebrating Trump’s win by yelling at minorities, women and LGTBQ folks and leaving racist, threatening messages for them. And Trump’s not even president yet. Yes, I’m still pissed.

But I don’t think that it’s useful or effective for me to be pissed every single moment of my waking life. Scratch that — I know it’s not, because I’m me, and I know me and my body. More than that I just don’t think I could do it. So, yes. I’m going to be pissed, and I suspect I’ll continue to be. I’m going to be other things, too, in their moment.

So be honest with us: How bad do you think it’s going to get?

Well, as I said on Twitter yesterday, it’s sad when “too incompetent to function” is the best-case scenario with an incoming presidential administration. At this point it’s pretty clear that Trump didn’t expect to win, and maybe didn’t even want to win, and as a result he really made no plan to be president. But he did win, and now he has to work with the people he brought with him, and, well. He’s not bringing the best, is he? Cronies and sycophants and bigots, very few of whom have government experience or know how any of this works. I mean, there’s Pence and Gingrich (shudder) and then…? They don’t even have Christie anymore, now that Jared Kushner has chucked him and all his pals out of the boat.

We’ve had massively corrupt and incompetent administrations before — Harding and Grant come to mind, and George W. Bush’s administration was no great picnic either, although it’s rapidly looking better than it used to — and we’ve survived them. But we didn’t do ourselves any favors having had them. Be that as it may, if Trump’s administration suddenly developed competence, it might be terrifying. If all Trump’s administration gives us is incompetence and graft, then we’ll have gotten off easy. The problem is that Trump is an easy-to-goad narcissist who will have control of a military and a nuclear arsenal, and also he doesn’t actually give a shit about democracy, so there’s a lot more that could go worse than not. I don’t think Trump will get a chance to use the nuclear arsenal, but then I also thought he wouldn’t be president either, and look where that got me.

The problem isn’t that I don’t know what Trump and his party pals are going to do. The problem is that they don’t know. Trump didn’t have policies, he had stump speech lines. Now Trump has literally no idea what to do next. And if he doesn’t know, how can any of us know? The only thing we can do is believe his stump speech lines and work from there. The result is nice if you’re white, male and in the 1%. It’s less rosy for everyone else.

So: I think it’s going to be bad. I hope that the bad falls within historical norms. I wouldn’t count on it.

Then what can people who oppose Trump do?

Well, first you can remember that Clinton got more individual votes than Trump did. Trump won’t become president because more American voters wanted him to be so. He’ll become president because of the electoral college. And while that’s the way that goes, the point is of this —

But if we convince enough electoral college electors that Trump is bad they can choose not to vote for him! 

Yeah, I mean, you can try that? But let me be real blunt and tell you that’s pretty much in the category of “wishful thinking,” and in the meantime the electors who are getting calls and emails are probably feeling like they’re being doxxed and harassed. Which is not going to help.

But Trump!

I know. I’m unhappy too. Look, I’m not telling you that you can’t do it, if you think you must. I am telling you that I wouldn’t do it, I don’t think it will work, and that you’re probably just antagonizing people and maybe even making them feel unsafe and afraid. Your call.

Grumble. Continue, then. 

— as I was saying, Clinton got more individual votes than Trump. When you realize that the (yes, tiny but even so) plurality of American voters who roused themselves to vote didn’t vote for an incompetent bigot and his racist, sexist, anti-Semitic funboy pals, it’s a comforting thought. There are more of you than of them. And while that’s a cold comfort because Trump and his pals are still going to be running the country, remember that you’re not alone and that you still have a lot of power to speak and protest and effect positive action. Which will take effort on your part. If the whole of your political and social action is retweeting people (including me), you have a problem. The next four years will require more from you, I expect.

And also, for fuck’s sake, vote. Everyone has a favorite reason for why Trump won — racist fan boys, James Comey, voter suppression, emails, fake news, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein — and my favorite, which I will note does not obviate any other possible explanation, is that generally fewer people showed up to vote. Now, I think that is in no small part to voter suppression; when you make it harder to vote, then people don’t vote as much. But I don’t think it can be laid entirely at the feet of that. I think some people just… sat this one out. One of the less amusing little tidbits to come out of the protests that have been going on around the country is that at least some of those now protesting who could have voted, didn’t. And my thought about that is: You can make time to stand around yelling, but not make time to vote? Gee, thanks.

I am a Trump voter and I am not sad that I voted for him!

This is my standard response to Trump voters: I hope you never have cause to be unhappy that you voted for him.

What is that supposed to mean?

I mean that — to the extent that one subscribes to the idea that Trump voters gave him the nod for economic reasons rather than the other, more racist features of his campaign, which is a thing many will tell you — I am skeptical his administration will be beneficial to anyone other than those who are in or near the top 1% of income earners in the country. For that one percent, and leaving out all the short- and long-term repercussions of Trump’s trade, social, international and environmental policies, which are likely to be considerable, he’s going to be great. But for everyone else the crystal ball is less clear.

We’ll see.

Yup, we will. I will say that for the sake of my neighbors, and again on purely economic grounds, I hope I’m wrong.

I will also say that if you did vote for Trump for racial reasons, then fuck you, and I hope you’re bitterly disappointed.

Hey, now that you brought it up, this Vox article says that calling people racist isn’t the way to confront racism.

I don’t necessarily disagree, depending on the situation.

But you wrote that piece where you called people racists!

What I wrote was that people who voted for Trump for reasons other than racism still had to accept that they voted for racist policies as part of his overall package, and that those racist policies will have an effect on other people’s lives.

That’s a subtle distinction, pal.

I suppose it might be for some. To be clear, again, I don’t think most people who voted for Trump would be actively racist or bigoted to another person in their day-to-day lives; most of the people I know who voted for Trump — and I know many — are in that “not actively racist” category. But that doesn’t change the fact that Trump has racist policies (and sexist policies, and Mike Pence, his VP, is definitely homophobic as shit, and considering Trump is going to leave a lot of policy to him, that’s a thing), and they weren’t hidden. People knew they were there and voted for them anyway. It’s not an accusation, it’s just a fact. One that Trump voters have factor in moving forward, whether they like it or not.

(To be clear, I do think that Trump did get nearly all of the out-and-out racist vote, too. The KKK and the American Nazi Party are delighted Trump won (and that Steve Bannon gets to hang out in the White House), and the people yelling racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic bullshit at other people from their cars are delighted too. Not everyone who voted for Trump is an active racist, but active racists love that they voted for Trump. And that, too, is a thing Trump voters have to factor in, whether they like it or not.)

As I’ve said before I think it’s okay to point out to people that their votes have consequences, intentional or otherwise, even if it makes them uncomfortable (especially if it makes them uncomfortable). And also, you know. If someone points out that Trump has racist policies and you voted for them when you voted for him, and your immediate reaction is to clutch pearls and cry how dare you call me a racist, maybe there’s some self-examination you need to do.

Okay, but, look, really: I’m not racist.

I’m very glad to hear it. One way you can show that is to be willing to step up when Trump and his administration pursue racist policies. And how will you know which policies are the racist ones? When in doubt, listen to the people who will be affected by them, and believe them.

(And do that for the policies that will affect women, too.)

(And the ones that will affect LGBTQ folks, too.)

(And so on.)

And that’s where I am, eight days on.

222 Comments on “Checking In, Eight Days On”

  1. I, too, am eating more normally and got my first good night’s sleep last night. Also, I find it useful to find an activist-like outlet for my dismay. No, not protesting Trump’s election — that battle is lost. But being active to mitigate coming damage and protect what will need protection from likely Trump actions IS vital. It will mitigate the current feeling of furious helplessness. My first outlet of activism is anything to protect the environment — since THOSE changes have the possibility of doing the most lasting damage to ALL peoples.

  2. “And how will you know which policies are the racist ones? When in doubt, listen to the people who will be affected by them, and believe them.”

    That’s the line I’ll be using when talking to the Trump voters in my family. Thank you.

  3. Several of the people who I know who voted fro Trump did so because they thought he would finally be a change agent and “drain the swamp.” They wanted an outsider who would do things differently.

    Of course they are pissed now that it looks like Trump will continue business as usual and add on a nice heaping pile of nepotism and conflict of interest on top of that. My reaction to that was: “so you knew he lied on all of his ability to actually accomplish his other policies*, why did you think he was telling the truth on this one?”

    *(They said the never believed he would build a wall or deport folks. They knew those were undeliverable promises)

    My hope for this administration is that Trump will continue to be the self-centered and thin skinned Trump we have seen across this entire campaign. That soon he will get pissed at and fire his cabinet/staff when they tell him he can’t just unilaterally do things, he has to go through a system of checks and balances that he never had as a CEO. So his administration just spins its wheels for four years getting nothing of substance done.

    My fear is that we will also see the poor negotiator and uneducated Trump when dealing with powerful lobbyists and nations. I fear that he will just rubber stamp everything that comes across his desk from the GOP and lobbyists and fall into every basic political trap that Putin puts out there for him.

  4. I haven’t posted anything in a week. I explained my reasons, briefly and then an interesting discourse ensued. My friends from other countries have told me that my light hearted, nature loving posts let those far from here know that not ALL americans embrace the overwhelming negatives associated with “him”.
    I need a few more days…you’ve expressed what I’ve been feeling so well, thank you for writing the words that I’ve been unable to string together.

  5. I’ve decided every time I think about how much this presidency is gonna suck, I just need to remind myself: Trump’s presidency is good for ME. Forget the health of the planet and the consequences our kids will face, we’re gonna have cheaper gas! Forget the happiness of minorities, I’m a straight, white, male! Forget his tax policies, I’m not poor! Me me me, this will all be good for ME in the near term! Forget about Trump repealing Obamacare, I’m healthy! Just be selfish and short-sighted, and you’ll see it’s not so bad.

  6. Dan:

    “(They said the never believed he would build a wall or deport folks. They knew those were undeliverable promises)”

    This is to me an interesting point, since I suspect they intend it to exculpate any accusation of racism — “it was undeliverable” — but it also makes the point that they were okay with Trump using racism as part of his policies. I mean, whether or not Trump could deliver on a wall (he can’t), he’s still used racist rhetoric to gather voters to him. I don’t imagine they were ignorant of the intent, even if they doubted the policy.

  7. Yeah, I’ve seen the argument that, hey, he overclaims and then compromises. But it’s not just that I don’t want a wall between us and Mexico; I don’t want anything even a little bit in that general direction! So anything at all in that direction is probably bad.

    And I am getting a fair bit of schadenfreude from watching all the people who thought he would do the stuff they wanted getting that same “oh shit what NOW” feeling everyone else has been living with.

  8. I was only freaked out briefly, probably because I live in *truly* rural America, which is like living in a third world country (or, for that matter, on a reservation in the Dakotas). Neither Mr. Trump or Ms. Clinton was going to improve our situation.

    Rural Americans are routinely treated as if, because we are few, our preferences and needs — our very rights — don’t matter. Worse, even though we’re the ones who live here, people who have vested interest in getting their own policies through (invariably these will be policies aimed at satisfying urban folks) simply ignore us when we say “that won’t work”.

    If only your statement would be followed: “When in doubt, listen to the people who will be affected by [the policies], and believe them.” But I have faint hopes for that.

  9. I, too, have had enough time to come to terms with President Trump (it still sounds terrible though) but my wife is still totally pissed. Oh, well, she’ll get over it eventually (I hope).

    The grifters and con artists will make a bunch of money and a lot of good policies and programs will be gutted or eliminated. But we’ll just have to try again in 4 years from now and hope the Dems can put up a better candidate. Also, Donnie will come face to face with the fact that he _has_ to deal with other world leaders or else he won’t be able to do anything.

    A trade war will only blow up in his face and he knows it, even if he won’t admit it. The GOP senators and congressmen know that if he gives free rein to the “haters” that it will blow up in their face and _they_ know it. Mike Pence may even prove to be a positive influence on him because he knows how the game works.

  10. Hey there. It’s your Canadian cousin weighing in. Up here, we’re just getting over a decade (that’s 10 years!) of Conservative rule. Ours was not the complete batshit crazy rule I suspect you’re in for, but here are some things I’d be watching out for: Renaming national organizations to fit new “image” of the country–Harper renamed the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian Museum of History, for example, which is a not-so-subtle hip-check to First Peoples (“pre-history” don’t you know). De-funding climate research. Muzzling government scientists and imposing government mouthpieces. Doing away with mandatory long-form census. Generally doing away with “research” in general. Creating a chilly climate within government agencies and departments (ex. from workers self-editing themselves and their projects, knowing “this will never fly with the current government”, to government staffers actually demanding to see and approve content usually handled by public servants). The big shitty things a Trump administration can and will do will be obvious. Unfortunately, the subtler aspects of unbridled rule are surprisingly soul-destroying too.

  11. @John:
    I agree. They had no problem holding hands with a racist because it got to what they wanted. It was the classic “hold my nose and push the button” voting. Now they don’t get what they want and also supported racism. So they lost both ways.

    Also – Dang I need to re-read my stuff. The errors there are horrible.

  12. Yeah. As 1% adjacent (2%) I’ve given up. Ryan and his merry band of idiots will smash ACA and privatize (read – destroy) Medicare and Social Security in 2017. My tax cuts should easily offset the impact of removing the state tax deduction from federal taxes, assuming AMT is eliminated. SO basically it’s socking money away to make up for the other costs that will fall on me later in life, and hoping the Trump economic collapse won’t be too severe. So I’m just going to ignore the next four years as I have the luxury of doing that, whilst the republicans stack SCOTUS (anyone who thinks the 60 vote requirement will survive the first day of the new Congress is insane), the new DOMA, and all the other shit the theocratic wing of the Repubs will throw around. It’ll take 20 years to recover from the damage Ryan will do – it’s far easier to smash than build, and once Medicare is gone, it’s never coming back.

  13. ETA – Trump is an irrelevance, it’s the gibbering loons in the House and Senate that no longer have a check on them following fillibuster removal that will do the real damage. Trumps too dumb to veto anything.

  14. I think its the mix of certainty and uncertainty that gets me.

    On the one hand it appears they did want to win – or at least he says he wanted to win, and while he may be lying that at least confirms again something we’re certain of, which is that he’s not a secure and mature personality. So we can be certain or at least confident of a few things: that he’s thin skinned, that he’s a terrible planner, that he’s apparently just all ego-driven.

    We know as well that he’s not really much of a businessman, because since his collapse in the early 90s he and his family have really been about brand. They don’t make anything; their entire reputation is for good taste, but they don’t actually make or own or design anything.

    On the other hand they know nothing about the US government, the world, or how to motivate teams. He’s gained control of the largest bureaucracy ever and seems to want to run it in an ad-hoc, completely reactive way, with people who are infamous for being bad administrators. Now maybe that’ll work. It doesn’t seem like it’ll work because we have lots of recent examples (e.g. FEMA during Hurricane Katrina) of catastrophically bad administration. But the closest analogy I can think of is Lenin’s takeover of the Russian state in 1917; a small coup d’etat that replaces the head of state and requires and indeed hopes that the vast machinery of state continues to plod along. That analogy comes to mind but it seems inadequate, because surely there have been lots of times in human history when something like this has happened, and we could do a kind of A/B test. But I can’t think of any similar, and maybe that’s just because I don’t know enough history.

    The temptation to help is really strong. The temptation to see that need to help as just co-dependency is also really strong.

  15. I am curious how Trump’s Razor will be updated in light of this unfortunate election.

    I propose the new Trump’s Razor is “whatever Trump believes will bring attention or profit to Trump” is the best predictor of his behavior.

  16. Joel Finkle: Whether it’s higher or lower than 2012, 58% turnout is still pretty piss poor, if you ask me. It means 42% couldn’t be bothered.

  17. Current vote totals from: 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker
    show a 1.2% increase in total votes from 2012 to 2016.
    2012: 129,075,630
    2016: 130,701,736
    This will increase as they still aren’t quite done. The initial story that there were fewer voters seems to have mainly come from the very early vote totals that weren’t any where done.
    Right now, the breakdown stands at:
    Clinton 62,522,062
    Trump 61,300,582
    Others 6,879,092

  18. Thanks, as always, for your analysis, John. My question, which I’ve not seen talked about much, is what can be done to convince someone that thinks their best solution to what may happen due to Trump is to commit suicide?

  19. Glad some folks are starting to pull themselves together! It’s slow going for me … I can’t shake the fear.

    I’m afraid for myself … my asthma is severe, and without health care I might die. So, scared.

    I’m afraid for my college students — I don’t want my female students to die of back-alley abortions. I don’t want my students of color or my students who are immigrants or who are LGBT — and between the three, that’s MOST of the kids I work with — hurt or deported. One of my female students (3rd generation American citizen of Portuguese descent, but she LOOKS Latina, and that was enough) has already been assaulted. Three guys roughed her up and told her that Trump was going to deport her but first they’d rape her.

    I’m scared for my art form. I work in the theatre, and the last decade has already been brutally hard … and what little public funding was left is apt to dry up, now.

    I’m scared for my friends and colleagues, who, like me, work in the arts and thus will have no path to health care. I’m scared that what little hope those of us in our 50s had of getting Social Security is going to be gone. Not to mention Medicare.

    I’m frightened that my LGBT friends will have their marriage benefits revoked.

    I’m just damned scared. I’m trying to work my way up to pissed, but the fear is just so enormous right now that it’s taking a while.

  20. “…in the meantime the electors who are getting calls and emails are probably feeling like they’re being doxxed and harassed. Which is not going to help.”

    Oh good, I’m not the only one who had that thought. Here I was thinking I was just looking for excuses to be a chickens**t bystender.

  21. Rather than harassing (or at least annoying with persistence) the electors, urge the party bosses to poke at the electors. Joe Random Voter has no sway with Jane Elector, but if the people of Ohio call John Kasich and convince him to talk to the electors, the electors will be inclined to at least hear him out. Not the true trumpkins, obviously, but those who are concerned by Trump could be tilted by having direction from the folks who run the party that appointed them.

  22. I’m wondering what my Trump voting Obamacare hating neighbors are thinking now that President Elect Trump is saying that he thinks they should keep some parts of the ACA. And that well.. maybe not so much of a wall as extending the current fences?

    Part of me thinks Trump won’t hang in there the whole 4 years. I’m in the camp that believes he didn’t really want to win, he just wanted to be able to say he tried to be President. Having seen some footage of him in a meeting about what all he’ll need to do just to get his Administration established, it became obvious that he is just now realizing he’s in the middle of a minefield. In the past it was fingers in years, and tapping the ground ahead with his foot hoping it didn’t blow up on him. Now? Yeah, it is gonna be a real task and he’s not just gonna be able to take refuge in the name Donald Trump, but is gonna have to make some tough calls where he actually has to consider consequence. In other words: governing a nation is NOT going to be the same as driving casinos into bankruptcy.

    Anyway, gotta go do the work thing, Nice day all!

  23. I have to admit, I got to this bit and WINCED: “The problem isn’t that I don’t know what Trump and his party pals are going to do. The problem is that they don’t know.”

    That’s… scary.

  24. :”How bad can things [matters] get?” Well, as accommodating as America wants, at this point, let us not forget that the ‘big’ argument started during the drafting of the U.S. Constitution; Fresh out of a monarchy, elitist colonialists thought power, leadership, and selection leadership should be reserved for the wealthy and property owners, others colonialists thought elitism was the problem that brought them to American and wanted a more populist structure.

    President-Elect Donald Trump is simply a continuation of the age-old argument. Although, American Jews, members of latino groups, African Americans, and poor people will do well to re-think their personal priorities.

    Trouble in the Land

    Alliances with Canada and Mexico, not in necessarily in jeopardy, will become increasingly strained which could see ISIS members slip through American barriers. Racial, ethnic tensions, and unrest may distract attention from other areas of National Security that could see more militarized policing and instances of the National Guardsmen to control situations.

    The media and everyone else keep trying to analyze and, harping on Trump supporters. Concentration should be focused on those who did not vote, independents and minority groups who did vote for Trump (some Blacks, Latinos, and Asians), therein lay answers, or more questions, as to how Trump was elected. The sociologist in me only brings forth my natural sense of pessimism, a total lack of faith in humankind.

    Inhumanity toward each other, greed ruining the environment, ethnocentrism ruling the planet has seemingly been with us since ancient history. Even though people have the ability to change, will they ever change, does mankind want to change?

  25. “…and we’ve survived them.”
    You survived. I survived. But many did NOT survive (due to lack of health care, lack of basic services, violence, police brutality, war, and so on and on). And we owe it to their memory to keep the death toll as low as we can. It won’t be zero (it’s already not zero).

  26. I’m a 61 y/o white male cancer survivor. The treatments have left me unemployable in my profession. The combination of Chemo and Radiation therapy have ruined my cognitive and physical abilities to the point where I can’t concentrate or remember the skills needed to perform in my profession. This has left me reliant on the ACA, Medicare, and SSD for myself and my family. The medical bills prior to qualifying for the ACA & Medicare practically bankrupted our family, so there is no cushion if they are eliminated. If The SSD is gone as well, That’s it for my family and myself. The next four years are deadly for my family and I am sure that we are not the only ones who are in this situation.

  27. Also (and this is a plea to everyone, not just our host): given the massive disenfranchisement caused by the end of the voting rights act, closing of polling places, limiting early voting, etc. etc., please don’t assume that everyone who didn’t vote “couldn’t be bothered”. A lot of people tried and were turned away, or were unable to get to distant polling places, etc.

  28. This is something I’m genuinely curious about, because I live in L.A. but my husband and I are buying property in a California county that went red:

    “I was only freaked out briefly, probably because I live in *truly* rural America, which is like living in a third world country (or, for that matter, on a reservation in the Dakotas). Neither Mr. Trump or Ms. Clinton was going to improve our situation.

    Rural Americans are routinely treated as if, because we are few, our preferences and needs — our very rights — don’t matter. Worse, even though we’re the ones who live here, people who have vested interest in getting their own policies through (invariably these will be policies aimed at satisfying urban folks) simply ignore us when we say “that won’t work”. ”

    My question for LifStrand is: what will work? The progressives try over and over again to push policies that will benefit everybody. They really do. The conservatives try over and over again to push policies that only benefit corporations and the rich. They really do. So please, please: some suggestions? What can we do to help fix this? What policies will work for rural America?

    I know it’s complicated. Everything in public policy is complicated. But the GOP is not going to make corporations plop factories down in rural counties where their possibly-not-white, not-Christian, not-straight skilled staff, required to operate said factories, do not feel comfortable living.

    If you (rhetorical “you”) perceive a policy won’t work, we need *suggestions,* not just rejection of what we are attempting. If you perceive that you are having rights taken away, we need *specifics,* not just attacks for providing rights to others. It doesn’t take away your right to marry to give gay people the right to marry, but a lot of “heartland” voices we’ve heard recently seem to fixate on something like that.

    I want to be able to move to our (this-year-red) county in retirement and feel safe and secure there. But I am a non-Christian married to a non-white person. So help us understand, please.

  29. Regarding contacting electors, I disagree. Presidential Electors are elected officials like Congresspersons or Senators. They are, if only briefly, an integral part of our government, which we have a 1st amendment right to petition for a redress of grievances. They chose to stand for election and should at the very least be willing to hear from the people of the state they represent. Everyone should be polite and no one should get their hopes up about changing any minds but by all means contact them if you want to.

  30. I think the worst part of all this is that Trump (and Family) will normalize certain behaviors that will be hard to put back into the bottle. There was no cost to Trump for not releasing his tax returns, for not having any coherent policies, for not putting his assets in a blind trust going forward, for not condemning the acts of his white nationalist supporters, etc.

    We may have to live with him for four years, (and I’m not sure that Pence could have gotten elected on his own if people knew his views, so I would think about that before anyone talks about Trump stepping down early/impeachment, etc), but what we absolutely can’t do is quietly accept Trump’s behaviors. We need to put the pressure on the national conversation (media, advocacy groups, talking to your friends, Whatever posts, etc) to make sure that none of this ever becomes the new norm.

  31. How I’m doing 8 days on: “Holy shit, it’s only been a week?”

    Seriously, while I didn’t lose sleep for a week like some people, the news feels like it has been coming thick and heavy. It feels to me like a month must have passed, but clearly it hasn’t.

  32. Yeah, I am over this thing too. My Fiancé on the other hand, yikes! She isn’t over this at all, not in any way shape or form…and boy does she have the talking pints down to a T. Before the election I never brought up the subject because, quite frankly I didn’t want to be labeled a Racist, bigot or homophobe for not agreeing with her line of thinking about Trump …or Hillary…On the remarkably few times( ok, one time only) we discuss the election our conversation wasn’t so a much a conversation as it was a lecture.. ( and when she asked me who I was voting for I made the mistake of taking to long to answer her…).

    I made no mention or reference to

    1. emails or anything email related like bleach bit, destroying evidence requested by grand jury, feigning ignorance of the CLASSIFIED designation or the use of multiple devices,

    2. Benghazi, its timeline and the UTUBE video excuse, lying to families on the tarmac and why Stevens was even Benghazi to begin with,

    3. Clinton Foundation and its accepting money from countries that send gays to their deaths from a rooftop, females being circumcised, subjugated and counted as less than a male, nor the promise while secretary to refrain from those fundraising activities that continued from those countries….nor anything to do with the actual reporting of donations, spending of donations and accounting for those donations.

    4. The FBI investigation, its timing, who initiated the probe, the potential motivation of the off again, on again nature, who got special treatment from testifying,

    5. the polls and their over sampling, algorithms and obvious bias.

    6. The Press and how questions were fed to one candidate and not the other, why that occurred, as well as the dredging up of past skeletons for one side, yet skeletons on the other side were dismissed as petty and wrongheaded…

    7. Bernie Sanders and the DNC/ Soros and how the WikiLeaks showed the game had already been fixed, wasn’t a fair fight and the cover-up.

    8. WikiLeaks.

    Nope, didn’t mention any of those things… Instead I got the response of…BUT Trump is much WORSE because he actually said racist, homophobic and bigoted things. I cant wrap my head around how you could possibly, even for a microsecond consider voting for HIM!!!! Followed by… I am sure Trump will make all of those things happen ( the wall, the deportations, stop funding for Planned Parenthood, Sanctuary cities defunding, Muslim immigration stopped, repealing of ROE v WADE, repealing of gay marriage) and that is not the country I want!!!

    I didn’t dare mention the Cognitive Distortion of “Fortune Telling” or “Over Generalization” or “Mental Filtering” or “Mind Reading” because quite frankly I like my testis’s right where they are , thank you. So, my response was and is to avoid the topic and just shake my head and remain quite…Maybe some day we can have a rational adult conversion, but that will have to wait. Trump is no saint by any stretch. Words mean things. So do actions.

  33. I’m not saying they’re going to set up “work camps,” or annex a big part of the Czech Republic, or try to conquer Stalingrad in winter or anything, but Trump’s cronies remind me of Hitler’s dumbest staff members rubbing their hands gleefully together at how great things are going to be. I forget which one, but one was showing a “Make America Great Again” hat, and pointing out that it was made in America, and boasting that a lot more stuff was going to be made in America now. For some reason, I picture Christina Applegate, in her most monotone unimpressed teen voice as Kelly Bundy, saying “Oh, great, there’s going to be lots of high paying jobs in all the new hat factories.” It’s all I’ve got today, sorry.

  34. All I can say is, for gods’ sake don’t wait 4 years for this to be over. In about 18 months you have an opportunity to campaign for Democrats (or at least non-Republicans) in the congressional and senate elections, and then vote for them. It will be a tough haul — the Republicans got to draw up most of the congressional districts after the 2010 census and a lot of Democratic seats in the Senate are on the bubble in 2018. But if you want the Trump administration to be “ineffective”, do your damndest to shift at least one chamber of congress to a Democratic majority in 2018, not 2020. Make the Trump administration and the House Freedom Caucus fight for every inch of their initiatives.

  35. Living in NoVa I have way too many Jewish, Muslim, and female friends not to be having a daily freakout. Hopefully declining to daily worry. I joined ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Sierra Club. $50 each, and probably send more in January. Also upping the donations to WETA, MPT, and WAMU.

    His foreign policy, to the extent he has one, scares me more than his domestic policy. Congress and other players can restrain him domestically (if they want, sigh), but the Constitution gives the President most of the foreign policy power. And war making power, too. The nuclear launch system is optimized to allow a fast launch under fire, which is terrifying to contemplate now that “no first use” may be off the table.

  36. @Lifstrand
    Much of Rural America is being failed by Republican state governments that fail to pass down Federal benefits.

    My DH’s rural white relatives (in a red area of a mostly blue midwestern state) have been benefited by so many government programs. Disability, WIC, SNAP, SCHIP, training money from overseas jobloss, Medicaid, EITC, cash for clunkers (though that came back to hurt them since they overextended and repo’d), saving the auto industry (those two years were extremely rough), infrastructure rebuilding, bankruptcy, mental health through the JV justice system, and many smaller programs that I’m not thinking of off the top of my head. It would be great if they had access to dental for adults, if the CPS wasn’t so scary (it must be hard to find a balance between protecting children and harassing poor parents), if there were more/better drug rehabilitation programs. There were a lot of things HRC had on the agenda that would have helped even more. We’re very worried now about DH’s rural (white) family that’s on the fringe with no savings.

    I look at the pictures of Rural America from before the Great Society programs and at least people aren’t starving anymore. And the reason they’re not starving is entirely because of programs that LBJ put into place.

  37. Like Matt @ 4:27 said – we cannot ‘quietly accept the behavior of Trump’ and his henchmen. Nothing about this is normal. People are saying, ‘oh we’ve had bad elections before’… and yeah, that’s true, we have. But this is beyond bad, beyond anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. The whole basket of T’s inner circle are in over their heads and they keep circling the wagons around an increasing number of incompetents and deplorables. This isn’t about a difference of policy direction, this is about NO direction combined with the congressional R ghouls salivating over privatizing and/or gutting the safety nets. This is not normal and we have to be the resistance. We have to stand up and speak up for the marginalized.

    My partner and I live in Phoenix, a fairly blue city in a red state. We have already begun to alter how we comport ourselves in public. We are small in stature, she is Latina, we are lesbian women. We do not want to attract attention and we aren’t even as afraid for ourselves as we are for others.

    So far we have have donated to a local gay youth org, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. But more than that, we are looking for ways to join a movement for which we can do something meaningful in a time of upheaval of pretty much everything we believe in.

    8 days later, I am still waking up and almost immediately experiencing gut churning dread. This is NOT NORMAL.

  38. Thinking about going forward and dealing with the potential consequences of a Trump administration, depending on how much exploring you’ve done to date, it may be helpful to look at areas where you can be pretty sure that Trump hasn’t done any studying, or any thinking, much less come to any sensible conclusions about the wider world.

    For example, we know that Trump thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax, and therefore intends not to comply with the Paris agreements. That is catastrophic; just about everything else Trump could do may be ameliorated by negotiation, but you can’t negotiate with physics. There will be an immediate problem with the military, the intelligence services etc. because it has been accepted that climate change is a threat to the security of the US now and in the future, and the military have been tasked with factoring it into everything from planning operations to future weapons. The Pentagon is not notable for the number of tree huggers employed there, but science is respected. This may be the reason why some of Trump’s supporters have called for purges in the military, which sounds, and is, ludicrous, but I think it’s worth understanding where it comes from; these are people who have neither understanding nor respect for science, but do have a remarkable capacity for spotting what they think are conspiracies.

    On this side of the pond in Brexit land we also have people with a remarkable capacity for spotting what they think are conspiracies to betray us, as exemplified by the attack from much of our media on three Judges who had arrived at a decision they didn’t like, viz. that our Prime Minister cannot use the Royal Prerogative to deprive citizens of rights conferred upon them by an Act of Parliament. The precedent for this is the Case of Proclamations, which was decided in 1610, so this is not exactly a new idea thought up by Judges keen to impose their undemocratic will on us, but minor details like ‘this has been the law for over four centuries’ tend to get brushed aside when it comes to pursuing conspiracies. I think it’s likely that Trump and his buddies will display similar tendencies, so forewarned may be forearmed.

    The Paris Agreement has economic consequences as well; in Europe politicians are already factoring in the probability that Trump will dump it. Sarkozy, one of the candidates in the French Presidential election next year, has already suggested that the EU should impose a carbon tax between 1 to 3% on all US imports into the EU, and he will not be the only one. It will be expensive for everybody, but I would argue that the price of a planet suitable for human habitation is a great deal higher.

    The response of the EU will be positively placid by comparison with the Chinese, who have the largest carbon emissions (the US is number 2); they will regard it as an act of war, and trade wars can escalate to hot wars rather quickly, particularly if it looks like Trump is giving favourable treatment to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Judging from the campaign rhetoric about the need to increase the military, Trump appears to believe that Russia’s military strength is a great deal larger than it is; Russia has a lot of nukes but not much else, and China knows that.

    It is, after all, the reason why Putin is the first Russian leader since Khrushchev to ‘put a nuclear gun on the table’; when he annexed Crimea in 2014 he told Western leaders that any intervention would result in WWIII. They didn’t believe him, but they knew that Crimea regarded itself as Russian anyway, so there was no point in Western intervention. Putin is apparently as surprised by Trump winning as virtually everybody else; Russia was definitely meddling in the election, but the aim was to reduce the size of her victory, and thus her mandate, not give an unstable and inexperienced guy the power to wipe out much of the world because somebody hurt his feelings.

    Everyone is, of course, entirely free to disagree with everything I’ve written; the point is that Trump hasn’t thought about this, the people surrounding him haven’t thought about this, and that is all the more reason for you to think about this, and all the other bundle of nasties that Trump is clutching as he makes his way into the White House. And as I said, planets suitable for human habitation don’t come cheap…

  39. Just to show you why people may have sat this out — can you remember when the first GOP debate was? When their first candidate announced that he was running?

    I’ll give you a second to think about it….

    Ted Cruz announced his candidacy on March 23, 2015. The first debate was August 6, 2015. The election, of course, was November 8th, 2016.

    This campaign lasted over 20 months. The news has been basically campaign campaign campaign for nearly two years. TWO complete baseball seasons happened in the time that the 2016 Presidential campaign ran. Heck, I’m surprised people aren’t announcing their runs for Congress in 2018 right now, to be honest…though that may be I’m avoiding the news so they may have already done so. (18 months? They’re not going to wait 18 months to start the 2018 campaign. They may not even wait 18 days!)

  40. I’m an Arab American woman, and am honestly considering packing up and leaving. I am terrified. I was born in this country, have family here, etc, but I am so scared. And I keep thinking, what if they just don’t hold elections again? What if they’ve grabbed power, and then, boom, that’s it. Martial law, ‘state of emergency’. I am clinging to the faint hope that the electors choose Hillary. (And yes, I know it is a faint hope, but I am just…. ugh)

  41. So I’m not crying as much as last week and I’m coming up with a personal action plan. What can a middle aged, middle class, white woman do?

    1. Stand up to bullies in public. I look like a mother (or a grandmother). I can step in when I see someone being taunted or threatened. There are some good articles on how to intervene without screaming “YOU ARE A F**KING RACIST!” (That’s not to say I don’t WANT to shout that – I really do.)
    2. Make sure I know how to use the camera on my phone. I rarely do but I want to be ready in case I ever need to record something quickly.
    3. Call my legislators. Go to local meetings. Get to know my representatives and the bills coming before them.
    4. And I’m going to change jobs. I’ve got 25 years experience in nonprofit management. I’m leaving the easier, higher education job and going back into the activist sector. Pay cut, but that’s my choice.

    I’m sure I’ll be adding to the list, but it feels like a start. Something solid. A way to channel my anger and fear. I will not let hateful people prey on anyone they deem “less than”. I just hope we have a democracy to return to in four years.

  42. I agree that part of the problem was that the candidates were so uninspiring that many people pulled the lever for a third party or just sat out. Heck, even George W. Bush couldn’t vote for Trump and allegedly left that spot blank, and I’m sure there were Dems who felt the same about Hillary.

    I’m doing okay mostly. I lost quite a bit of sleep the first couple of days and that may have got me a bit sick in turn. But I’m living overseas in a nice country that would likely reject everything Trump stands for out of hand.

    The biggest worry I have is whether his distasteful position on a number of key issues will hurt our alliances here. And whether neglect or incompetence will cause major rifts as well that may not be fixed anytime soon. What if, after figuring out they can do without American leadership for four years, our allies start to wonder if they need as at all?

  43. Re Stevie’s comment about Putin: I’m guessing Putin can’t believe his luck that a bit of string-pulling has given him a useful idiot in the White House. He wanted a weakened US full of distrust, and, boy, has he got one. And the idiot most likely owes him hundreds of millions of dollars, since the Cheeto-topped Dogpile magically got money from somewhere after no US banks would lend to him post bankruptcies. Notice that the Dogpile talked to Putin before the Pentagon after his so-called win.


    What I really wanted to talk about was this line in the post: “The result is nice if you’re white, male and in the 1%. It’s less rosy for everyone else.”

    I disagree that it’ll be nice for anyone. The 1% floats like a tiny finial on the great mass of everyone else. When everyone underneath is crumbling, the 1% is nervously pouring money in to plug up sinkholes and build walls and hire security guards. As the last survivor of a family that spent three generations being refugees because of what happened a hundred years ago in Russia, trust me, this kind of garbage is also lethal for the 1%.

  44. I do hope that people who voted for Trump realize that they can choose to support or not support any of his policies from here on out. Yes, they voted for him. Yes, the put him in charge. But for the good of America, I will work against shitty initiatives with any of them.

    I hold them responsible for Trump being elected. I hold them responsible for the outcome only so far as they continue down that path. I don’t want them to feel that they are stuck defending Trump, if they disagree with his policies later.

    Hillary Clinton voted for war in Iraq. If I can get beyond that, and I did, I have room for Trump voters too.. given either a change of heart, or a damnation of parts of the Trump package subscription.

  45. I hope the Trump voters that were voting against Washington owned by Wall Street and Big Military won’t be disappointed. I hope the Trump voters that voted for racism and restricting people’s rights are disappointed.

  46. @LifStrand
    Worse, even though we’re the ones who live here, people who have vested interest in getting their own policies through (invariably these will be policies aimed at satisfying urban folks) simply ignore us when we say “that won’t work”.

    Could you name some specific policies you have in mind here?

    It seems to me that there are pretty much NO policies that can really help the very rural parts of the country. Other than the whole social safety net thing that red staters seem to hate.

  47. Regarding the electors, I don’t think the goal is to make Clinton president (though that would be nice). It’s to get a few of them to change their votes so that maybe we can have a real discussion of getting rid of the electoral college.

  48. @AlliKats
    Well, we can see /somebody/ has the talking points down to a T. Not sure it’s your fiance though.

  49. I would add something to your list of Pet Theories of Why Trump Won: From the news I’ve been reading, it’s not overall turnout at all. The fact is that Clinton lost her “firewall”states: Pennsylvania (where she was born, dammit), Wisconsin and Michigan. If she had won those states after losing North Caroline and Florida, she would have won. We can talk about Ohio, too, if you like — in fact you probably have more knowledge about Ohio than the average bear. But if she had kept those three states, she didn’t need Ohio.

    But …. those 3 states, according to county by county analysis that I’ve read about, were the key, and it was partially turnout there to be sure, but some Democrats, mostly white, mostly men, mostly over 35, who voted for Obama in 2012, changed their vote to the Republican. Because they believed the bullshit about jobs coming back, and probably they hated Clinton because of all the right-wing endless drumbeat against her, which is 80 percent fact free and emotional. And also, you have to factor in this illogical free floating sexism (not misogyny, really) that can’t accept a woman as President. They just don’t fit the mold, dammit.

    Three states. Fewer than a half a million voters in three states were enough to get Trump the Electoral College votes he needed.

    *takes a moment*

    I agree that we all have to move from shock and grief to action at some point. For me, I have no idea when that will be.

    Again, thanks for the posts and the commentariat. I’ve restricted my news reading a great deal because I am out of cope. At this point I’m hoping to get through Thanksgiving in my red state with my entire family of Trump voters without bursting into tears or starting an argument.

    Music and escapist SF videos are helping alot. And i’m seriously contemplating a Lord of the Rings rewatch over the break.

  50. Lee Whiteside asked ‘… what can be done to convince someone that thinks their best solution to what may happen due to Trump is to commit suicide [not to do it]?’

    We need to work on that fast. We’ve already lost at least one of the SF community. People affected by depression/anxiety are horribly vulnerable at the moment. Myself included, and I don’t live in the US.

  51. howardbrazee

    They are certainly going to be disappointed on the Wall St front: Trump has put repealing the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, usually abbreviated to Dodd-Frank, as one of his top priorities.

    I can certainly understand why; he’ll be able to borrow money from US banks again, since banks will no longer have to trouble themselves with asking whether people could actually repay the loans they make. How anyone could have believed that Trump would do anything other than make life easier for the banks again is a mystery…

  52. After several days of anger and disbelief, last night I crashed into dark depression. Just hearing the words – shit, I can’t even type them – of what that thing’s title is now, makes my stomach churn, and not in the metaphoric sense. I’m genuinely afraid of what this guy will do.

    In a more self-indulgent existential way, I have lost some faith in the basic decency of people. I really believed that HRC would pull through because Trump was so abhorrent. I know this is an unfair way to portray people who voted for Trump, and I have several family members who did. What my sister told me (she did not vote for Trump or Hillary) in a heated discussion we had, and several pundits have noted this as well, is that people in the heartland (the dismissively named fly-over states) are hurting. They don’t care about emails, or pussy-grabbing, or anything else that gets city-folks’ panties in a twist. Their way of life is dying, they are pissed at the unwillingness or inability of the government to do something. They want someone to pay attention to them and what is important to them. “Make America Great Again” was not a desire to go back to a racist, misogynistic past, but a desire to return to a small town life with a central industry that kept the town alive. I want to believe that more than racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and any other horrible aspects of Trump were understood and ignored.

    So what to do? A lot of people are suggesting activism, and I have to admit my favorite is donating to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name. He gets sent a thank-you card every time someone does that. It’s a brilliant way to help and protest at the same time. Here is the address: Office of Governor Mike Pence, State House, Room 206, Indianapolis, IN, 46204-2797.

    Since I am a painfully shy person, the idea of real activism in which I have to interact with humans I don’t know is terrifying to me. Right now, I am working up the courage to get involved with a community project to stop some vandalism in the neighborhood. I am planning to attend the Million Woman March on Jan 21 (with an outgoing friend I can use as a buffer). If I have money left at the end of the month I plan to donate to The Trevor Project and/or the International Refugee Assistance Project. I am not typically a joiner, but given what is happening right now, I think it is important to be active in some way. It’s also helping me cope with the feeling of utter helplessness I have right now.

    On a far pettier note, as a long suffering Cubs fan I am also extremely pissed Trump ruined my Cubs high.

  53. I can’t help it. I was going to just ignore all this garbage but I just couldn’t help myself. GROW UP, PEOPLE!!! Did those of us who are conservative through a fit when Obama won in 2008? No, we did not. We accepted the loss, got up the next morning and went to work. Did we pitch a fit in 2012? No, we did not. We accepted the loss, got up the next morning and went to work. But to expect me to vote for a racist crook like Hillary Clinton who is an enabler of a serial rapist? Nope; not gonna happen. But I am glad to see that you all believe everything that you read in the Democrat media. No bias there. Nope; none at all. I did not read all of you who have commented. And that’s okay. You can go on and live in your little biased world while the rest of us will get up every morning with a smile on our face and go to work. And in the next few years, there will be more folks in America who will have jobs that will get up every morning with a smile on their face as they go to work. So enjoy the next 4 years. You might be surprised what will happen when some REAL people run our country. Bye bye.

  54. Here’s one thing that everyone can do right now – push the Senate to get confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland during the lame duck session. Will he get confirmed? Probably not. But every senator that stands in the way needs to hear that someone is keeping track of them not doing their job. Unfortunately the Iowa Democratic party couldn’t get organized enough to get rid of Grassley. As an Iowan I’m almost as disappointed by that outcome as the presidential election. But the more grass roots noise we make, the more likely the GOP understands that while they have a majority, they do NOT have a mandate to continue obstructing democracy.

  55. and George W. Bush’s administration was no great picnic either, although it’s rapidly looking better than it used to — and we’ve survived them.

    Sure you survived, but how many people died in the wars Dubya started?

  56. A few thoughts from an outsider.
    I wouldn’t want to be the Ukraine – they took the name Orange Revolution. Now what colour is left for Donald to claim for his revolution?

    Voters – it happens in all countries that a certain percentage of the voters are sheeple. In the US it seems that 40% of those that vote will vote Republican and another 40% Democrat regardless. If the name on the ballot is Osama Bin Moslem (R) then the sheeple will vote for him because (R). Ditto (D).
    Our two main parties here in NZ have a sheeple base of about 25% – lower than you because we have proportional representation and so some of the smaller parties also have their sheeple percentage as well.

    Electoral College voters: – if all you want is for them to not vote for Donald then you’re not thinking forward from there. If you think the EC electors should have carte blanche to vote for whoever they think should be the president then why have elections because the will of the people can now be ignored. The furore may get the system changed, then again it may not and both parties try to stack the Electoral College with partisans. How to fix the EC? – shrugs shoulders.

    Mexico should announce that they will pay for the wall. On the provisos that it will be built using Mexican construction companies with Mexican employees. The US government will have to issue the Mexican employees with work visas because of course the wall will be built on US soil. And the Mexican government gets to apply Eminent Domain when choosing the route the fence will take. Finally, Donald has 100 days from inauguration to accept the deal, otherwise Mexico pays for nothing.

    And finally. Has anyone done a mash-up of Donald’s speeches. Take the bits where he said “Once I’m the President” with “You know this election is rigged, don’t you?”

  57. I’m not there yet. I’m still trying to convince myself that I want to survive the next four years. No luck so far.

    Not sleeping normally, or even normally-for-me. My meds give me nightmares, but not one of them is as bad as the reality I wake to when they’re over. I’d be willing to dream “Trapped in an Out-of-Control and Optionally Burning Elevator” or “Lost in a Hostile Country with Time Running Out” (two of my brain’s favorites) every night, if it meant Trump wasn’t going to be President!

    And btw, that SCOTUS appointment was Obama’s to make. Trump doesn’t get to fill that slot. I will encourage my Senators to filibuster ANY Trump appointment. And that isn’t obstructing democracy; it’s restoring it.

  58. Lee Whiteside asked ‘… what can be done to convince someone that thinks their best solution to what may happen due to Trump is to commit suicide [not to do it]?’
    Honestly, I don’t know. First the suicide hot lines, of course. Then, I guess it depends on why. Like, if it’s medical coverage, then maybe it would be right for them to try to emigrate to Canada, because it’s not running away, it’s staying alive. But that assumes that the person has the resources (money, job, support system) to enable them to move.

    I don’t know and I wish I did.

  59. “I look at the pictures of Rural America from before the Great Society programs and at least people aren’t starving anymore. And the reason they’re not starving is entirely because of programs that LBJ put into place.”

    Part of this is not thinking like rural people (I’m generalizing here) think.

    I’m from a very rural area in Pa. I do well. I’m certainly in the 1% for my county, although I’m usually right at the cusp of six figures.

    But there’s nothing here. There used to be coal mines, and factories. Those are largely gone. The factories, in particular, have actually largely gone in my adult lifetime. The best place to work, unless you have a job with the turnpike or the like, is the Wal Mart distribution warehouse, where you can make 20 bucks or more an hour with benefits.

    So that’s the place. You look out the window, you see insecurity and lack of opportunity. The programs you mention? All of them are good. GOP policies do nothing but hurt. But it FEELS like the government isn’t doing anything.

    Charity (which is what the social safety net programs are largely perceived as) makes people who aren’t using it resentful. It makes people who are on it resentful too. That does NOT mean you should stop.

    But people don’t seem them like you or I might. What people actually need is charity that feels like a chance. A government program that gave people actual jobs (and either Hillary’s or Obama’s infrastructure programs would have).

    Likewise, a lot of solution proposed by the Democrats don’t really appeal here. So college, or training for different jobs. Those are great…..if you want to leave. If you’re not in healthcare or teaching, a college degree (for the purposes of getting a job) is basically worthless unless you want to leave. And most people don’t.

    So things like that, or the economic recovery – they’re not stuff that are helping people here in ways they can SEE. There aren’t new jobs coming. There’s not things getting better. All of that is abstract.

    And the thing is, there’s a lot of HERE that’s like that. The great red empty of Pennsylvania is still about five or six million people, living in areas that are almost exclusively white (we’re talking 95% and I am not making that number up).

    That latter bit, also, is why it’s easy for the GOP to exploit that. They perceive neither part as helpig them, but the GOP gives them an alien other to blame. And that, at least, is enough to get some of their votes.

    At the same time, I’d point out, and I have the numbers for this, Hillary lost Pennsylvania exclusively because she did not get as many votes as Obama in those red counties. She equaled or, more often, exceeded him in the blue. But in the red she was down 30% in a lot of places compared to Obama’s 2012 performance.

    Why is debatable, but I think it starts with not seeing the world the way they do. That doesn’t mean you have to give up social and racial equality as a cause. It does mean you need to try and get those voters by showing them how you are helping them make their own lives better.

    It won’t be easy.

  60. I was very concerned about one of my friends after the election debacle. “I don’t want to live” was a recurring phrase. Have been trying to speak to her positively. I think the best thing is to let people know that you care about them and that the world would be even worse without them in it. A certain number of people will need professional help, but most people just need to know that their friends and family care about them, that we have their backs and that they are not alone. And if you are concerned that they may be suicidal, SPEAK OUT.

    Depression is a liar, depression tells you that you are scum, that the world is full of awful things, that everything good is gone. Some people listen and decide to unfriend the universe. Others, like me, experience depression as extreme lethargy. I do not have the energy to get up and kill myself when I am depressed, I just lie there and think about how pleasant it would be to die and not hurt anymore. A few people manage to keep limping along, somehow. Take care of yourselves, take care of each other.

  61. Dear LizzieLou: Your false equivalency reduces this whole thing to a sports outcome. This isn’t some championship game – ‘better luck next time!’ This thread isn’t about winning and losing through the lens of one side or the other. This is a discussion about a dangerously ignorant, misogynistic, racist bully with the emotional maturity of an 11 year old and absolutely zero experience running the country who, through a rigged system will serve instead of a lifetime public servant with more qualifications than any previous candidate ever. We are not getting over that any time soon and I predict that the longer term effects are going to hit you too. Voting for him didn’t immunize you to the pain the whole country is going to endure.

  62. @lizzielou2014:

    Did those of us who are conservative through a fit when Obama won in 2008? No, we did not. We accepted the loss, got up the next morning and went to work. Did we pitch a fit in 2012? No, we did not. We accepted the loss, got up the next morning and went to work.

    … in what reality did that happen, exactly? The right threw an absolute fit when Obama won! Plenty of individual conservatives just got on with their lives, I’m sure, but the right in general … hahaha no. What about the calls for impeachment? The birth certificate thing? The Tea Party movement in general? The Republicans in Congress flatly refusing to work with him no matter what he proposed? Eight years of talk radio and Fox News vilifying the man to the point where a relatively low-key and almost completely scandal-free presidency is seen by a significant proportion of the country as some kind of stain on the American record? The right was anything but conciliatory and soft-spoken during the Obama years.

  63. Like our gracious host, I too am finally eating and sleeping normally. I’ve stopped over-drinking and started studying for my (self-guided and online) classes again. I’m not back to normal, though. I’m still upset, but no longer crying. I’m still angry, but no longer crying (I cry when either sad or angry, which is a frustrating response). I’m still frustrated, but not so much that I’m sitting around getting nothing done at work.

    What’s helped me is having conversations with like minded people about how we’re going to stand up and fight. What rallies and marches we’re attending. Where we’re donating. Which candidates to start supporting for local/statewide office. Who to call/write/email to prevent rollbacks in rights and programs that people depend on.

    It’s also been helpful to talk to other women about how we’re feeling. A regular refrain that’s come up is many of us feel so emotionally about this because it’s a dynamic we’ve seen play out before: unqualified buffoon of a man gets a job over an amazing, qualified, hard-working woman. We feel like no matter how great we are, how hard we work, how prepared we are we will never been seen as equal to a man, even if he’s a total moron. It feels personal. Something else I’ve been hearing is that their male significant others aren’t feeling the same personal attack–they’re upset politically, but are ready to move on. Reconciling our feelings with our partners’ has also been a challenge.

  64. @Justin Jordan: I hear you. My folks live in rural PA as well, and…yeah.

    The problem is, nothing Trump or the GOP promised *can* happen, at least not long-term. Even if we ignored all the environmental aspects of fossil fuels, we can’t really get more fossils. Even if we bring all US manufacturing back to the US, the march of technology still means the same job is going to require fewer and fewer people over time.

    So what do we do? Offhand, I could think of jobs maintaining/repairing infrastructure, subsidies for small farms, mincomes for everyone, and/or tax incentives for businesses that find ways to let their employees work remotely three or four days a week (if you only have to go into the city once or twice, you can live further away). And I’d be glad to pursue them, but, alas, am not a politician.

  65. To build on Scout’s point, I think a lot of Trump supporters complaining about anti-Trump sour grapes are ignoring that there are really two different things that happened here: Hillary lost, and Trump won. I was a die hard Hillary supporter and I am sad that she lost. It’s only my second election being eligible to vote and its not fun watching your candidate lose, particularly when you really believe in her. But I’ll get over it. That’s how democracy works: your candidate doesn’t always win. And I can live with that.

    What I find devastating is that my country just elected a man who ran on racism, sexism, islamaphobia and a whole lot of other nasty things. What I find frustrating is that our country who just elected a man who very clearly ran for autocrat instead of president – a man who literally did not agree that he would willingly step down if he lost. A man who, it now seems clear, did not really want to be president and is utterly unprepared to serve in that capacity. Trump’s victory is about a lot more than losing an election. It is proof that there is something, really multiple things, deeply wrong with our country. And that’s heartbreaking, and I really don’t blame my fellow Americans who have decided to stand up and say something about it.

    And there’s also the fear thing. My new vice president would rather I be electrocuted than allowed to marry, and yes, I do take that a little personally. I’m sad that it’s been really hard for me to walk around my mid Western campus this week and not feel personally attacked, and I’m sad knowing that its a lot harder for students of color on my campus. Plus, Trump probably won’t go too badly for me, I’m white, I have an amazing family and a serious safety net, but there are people who are not likely to survive this next election, and I’m scared for them. That part sucks. And given that Trump both ran on fear and hate and is about to become our President, I think the responsibility is pretty clearly on him to prove to people that they shouldn’t be scared, not on people to calm down and accept him first.

    I also find the argument that Republicans just accepted the Obama administration as the will of the people to be grimly hilarious, Particularly given the continued behavior of Congressional Republicans, the still-vacant seat on the Supreme Court (which I believe is unprecedented in the history of our country, although I may be wrong) and the fact that this country just elected the man who championed the birther campaign for literal years.

  66. Okay, but, look, really: I’m not racist.

    Yeah, and when I was a verbally abusive, psychologically manipulative lying, cheating blackout drunk I’d swear blind that I didn’t have a drinking problem.

    Spoiler: I was lying.

    So, yeah, I’m saying this more in sorry than in anger (but with a lot of both) but folks, you can’t can start dealing with your racism habit until you admit you’ve got a problem. I think the election of Donald Trump qualifies as hitting bottom.

    It’s hard to kick Racism. Won’t lie to you — the only thing harder than getting clean is staying that way. You’re going to be surrounded by users, temptation will be constant, and statistically relapse is common. You’re going to find out a lot of ugly things about yourself, and that’s got to be owned and dealt with. Making amends to the people you’ve harmed (and accepting there’s many you never be able to) – BRUTAL.

    But you’re worth it. Everyone is.

  67. @Justin Jordan

    You’re right; all the various Democrat programs around improving people’s lives are focused around the modern US economy, which notably doesn’t involve rural manufacturing. We’re in a global economy; that ship has sailed. What baffles me is that mentality of “I’m not willing to move”. That people would rather sit it out in their small towns with terrible economic prospects than take a chance and move somewhere that has work available.

  68. I spent 25 years living in an area that is much like what LifeStrand and Justin Jordan described, and my former home went heavily for Trump (that’s one reason I never truly fit in). During the 25 years I spent in rural flyover county I saw our county’s major industry mostly vanish, along with the associated jobs. All the planning and the efforts go to the cities and the coasts.

    I once had a heated discussion with a former colleague about people’s “refusal” to pick up and move to where the jobs are. It’s a lot more complicated than that. Leaving aside all the logistical challenges (money to move! finding a new place to live! the cultural capital needed to navigate the transition!) many people have a huge chunk of their *identity* tied up in their home area and their extended family. It’s hard enough to change houses, towns or jobs–I just did it quite recently. Changing your your identity? Much bigger. I could leave the home where we raised our children because I moved there for work and could go away for the same reason. Living there wasn’t part of who I am. But for some people, it is.

    Trump is just as hateful and awful as everyone is saying, and I would have voted for Donald Duck before I voted for Donald J Trump. But his carnival show gave the appearance of bringing something to the parts of the country that aren’t urban or coastal, so (many of) the residents responded.

    Believe the rural people who live it/have lived it. There has to be a path that answers their concerns without doing violence to women/people of color/LBTQ persons, etc.

  69. Craig Michael Ranapia, you said what I was thinking better than I would have. Also, congratulations on your sobriety!

    As for me, I find whether any individual Trump voter considers themself a bigot to be a distinction without a difference. I’m keeping my Proud Trump Voter coworkers at a distance I doubt they’ll even notice from someone as below them as they’ve demonstrated they think me to be. On another thread here I saw someone say, paraphrased, “If you call us racists don’t expect us to care about you.” All I could picture, reading that statement,, was the person who wrote it, and Lizzielou2014, and AlliKats, and all of Trump’s other voters, sharing popcorn while they watch hijabis forcibly stripped and women of color assaulted and battered and threatened with rape in the streets. And more.

    There are numerous essays around saying that by being publicly angry that we bring on, that we deserve, bigotry, that hurt feelings justify and excuse bigotry and the only way to engage with bigots is to mollify them until they graciously deign to change their minds. I have had it beyond here with that line of thinking and I intend to be as publicly and proactively angry as I can.

  70. @Aaron Doukas: The “I’m not willing to move” mentality is the one thing from them that I understand completely. I personally live in a big city, but it’s the city where I have always lived. It’s also home of one of the absolute best graduate schools for my profession, and so it’s very hard to get a job with my particular degree. I could probably get a job pretty easily if I moved. And yet. Still not moving. If your whole life is attached to one place, your home, your identity, I absolutely understand not wanting to leave it. Mobile culture and increased communication has made people forget that sometimes people really and truly prize their local communities above all else… but sometimes people do.

    However, they don’t get to use the dyingness of their way of life as an excuse to inflict harm on the rest of the country. That’s the part I have a problem with.

  71. Agree with everything you’ve said here, John. For some reason I keep thinking back to my college roommate, who ran for president of the student congress. (Spoiler: he lost) He told me once that if he didn’t get the job, he’d be disappointed. But losing—that would make him really sad.

    I think Trump got into this not expecting to get very far. Then once he got the nomination, all he wanted to do was win. Now that he’s won, I don’t think he has a clue about how to actually do the job. Which would be amusing, if it didn’t have huge repercussions for our country and our world.

    I’ve started reading and listening to the news again. I’m almost ready to get back into the fight.

  72. @ Justin Jordan, this:

    “Likewise, a lot of solution proposed by the Democrats don’t really appeal here. So college, or training for different jobs. Those are great…..if you want to leave. If you’re not in healthcare or teaching, a college degree (for the purposes of getting a job) is basically worthless unless you want to leave. And most people don’t.”

    But … this is where we disconnect. Because a whole lot (if not a majority) of people who live in cities, in most of which there are lots of jobs for all skill levels, *came there from somewhere else.* Saying “I want a job like they have in the city but I don’t want to go to the city” is a total negation of the real pioneer spirit. It’s saying “move your jobs here so we don’t have to change or leave our comfort zone.” Leaving the comfort zone is what it takes.

    I moved 3000 miles for my job. I work with someone who was a refugee from Eastern European wars. This is where I am 8 days on: completely baffled how we can make this right when the people who say they want change are refusing to change.

  73. The Trump administration announced they wan to start a database of all Muslims living in the US. If you really didn’t vote for him because of racist things he says and has done this would be the time for you to let them know this is not OK. They are trying to walk the statement back at this moment but this is the guy you wanted & this was a promise he made.

    they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then . . . they came for me . . .

  74. The part of southern Ohio where my grandparents had their farm is currently having a minor renaissance because of small scale oil drilling and natural gas. The land is too hilly to really be good for anything but cattle or sheep, and the mineral rights are more valuable than the actual land. Up until the 80s, there was a pottery in town that employed at least a third of the workforce. The pottery shut down, and now people are having to drive the back roads 100 miles or more a day to wherever they are working. It’s a hardscrabble life a century after the Depression, but they’re farmers, truckers, laundromat owners, small machinists and their land is their life. I can see where if Trump promised a return to work with dignity, they’d jump all over it and work out the details later.

  75. I still keep waiting for the first truly horrible thing (and yes, I know that Steve Bannon is one of the key figures in the White House, the transition is shaping up to be a disorganized disaster and racist attacks are on the rise even here in NYC). It’s not a pleasant feeling, though it does sometimes recede to the back of one’s mind.

    (And, I’d suspect that productivity post-election has improved less than I’d hope.)

  76. What’s worse is that people who’ve been sexually assaulted see Trump’s victory as vindication for their attackers. Sexually assault someone, you don’t go to jail, you get to be president! I’ve already referred more than one person to They’ve been getting a lot of calls, and you might consider them for your donations too.

  77. I’m pissed too, but that’s really not important. Our anger is our own issue. What’s important is being afraid, because being afraid is about other people.

    I’m afraid that “registration” of Muslim-Americans will be a first step to other official acts to endanger their rights and safety. That’s exactly what happened in Nazi Germany; registration was the first step. There is in fact no reason to register them except to target them for subsequent policies. I’m also afraid that once the First Amendment protection of freedom of religion is abandoned, any non-evangelical group may be targeted for official sanction and there won’t be any legal way to stop that once the precedent is accepted.

    I’m afraid that selling nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia and other allies currently under the protection of the US nuclear umbrella could lead to weapons falling into the hands of unstable regimes that are overtaken by unfriendly powers. I am specifically afraid of an overthrow of the Saudi regime by Islamic extremists, followed quickly by a nuclear attack on Israel or Europe. Millions of people could die.

    I’m afraid that “rengotiating” the national debt, as Trump has proposed, would destroy the global economic stability offered by the US dollar as a reserve currency. In other words, when the write-down of US dollar assets happens, tens of trillions of dollars could be wiped out of international markets on a scale much larger than the 2008 collapse. Without the guarantee that the US would someday cover its debts, the US would not be able to take any short-term action to protect jobs, as it did in 2008-2010, and the domino effect of letting one industry fail after another would be worse than the 1929 depression.

    I’m afraid that the deportation force that Trump has promised which will deport more than ten million undocumented residents can only work as a police state based on racial profiling that will harass and demand documentation of anyone with a foreign look or name, impacting many tens of millions of citizens and legal immigrants. I’m afraid that many American citizens will be detained and deported just for having similar names as undocumented residents, or for harboring family members. I’m afraid that innocent Americans who are not subject to deportation may be subject to investigation, arrest, losing their jobs, official violence, and tolerance of non-official violence, because these are always the effect of racial police-state policies.

    I’m afraid that hate crimes against minorities and women will increase. We’ve seen over 300 hate crimes in a week since Trump was elected; we could easily see tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of such crimes per year if governments at all levels in red states simply don’t bother to prosecute racially-based violence. That’s always been the history of racist nationalism.

    I’m afraid that turning our back on our long-established allies, and those who have become allies when they became free after the collapse of the Soviet empire, will lead to war and instability. Russia’s policy of intervening in neighboring states is an immediate existential threat to Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, (the rest of) Ukraine, and (the rest of) Georgia, and then Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. The Finns are worried. South Korea is worried about what happens to them when US troops leave. I’m afraid that Syria’s model of division and dictatorship will spread to Iraq, Jordan, Afghanistan, Turkey, and other places.

    I’m afraid that when Trump tears up trade treaties, the subsequent trade war will wipe out millions of American jobs. China and other developing countries is never going to become less competitive. The only path to success for America is to move ahead technologically.; it doesn’t have the option to moving down-market to compete with places that pay less than a dollar an hour. Adam Smith laid this all out in 1776 from the lesson of the failure of mercantilism. Putting up trade walls won’t create jobs, it will just mean that people won’t have money to buy things that aren’t in stores anyway. When Wal-Mart goes away (and Amazon), it won’t be replaced by other stores, we just won’t have the things we buy there now.

    I’m worried that climate change will make portions of the planet uninhabitable. As water is taken out of fresh-water regions and just drained into the oceans as was, cities in the American west will become unsustainable.

    I’m worried that corruption of mixing Trump’s businesses with government will, as has happened in other corrupt regimes, change the way businesses succeed; it will no longer be about being productive and competitive, it will be about having the right connections in official circles. This has led to economic failure across Latin America, Africa, and Asia, places that have learned the hard way that transparency and honest government are necessary to economic survival.

    I’m afraid women will die in back-street abortions. I’m afraid that defunding birth control will lead to an increase in abortions and unwanted pregancy. I’m afraid that children being born into families, or to unwed mothers, who can’t afford to take care of them will lead to a massive increase in poverty and a collapse of foster care.

    I’m afraid that black people will be shot, by police or private citizens, and legal authorities will just let it happen. I’m specifically worried that the Justice Department won’t take action in states that allow racist violence to become widespread.

    I’m afraid that Trump’s tax cuts will add trillions of dollars to the national debt, which will not be an abstraction when that translates into higher interest rates, higher mortgage rates, higher housing costs, and higher costs for everything else. I’m afraid that higher interest rates will take money that could have been used to create new jobs.

    I’m afraid women will be subject to direct harassment and lack of job opportunity, and aside from the personal violantion that people suffer, the economic effect of discrimination will reduce productivity and competitiveness that impacts the whole economy.

    I’m afraid that having politicians who reject fact-based policy and education means the next generation of voters will be instilled with an epistemological framework that prevents them from understanding the truth of what they can observe around them. In exactly the manner described by Orwell (and Arendt, Hayakawa, etc.), the electorate will be unable to make choices in their personal and collective interests. The elites who are invested in benefiting from the ignorance of others will not be dislodged.

    I’m afraid that voter suppression means that a lot of the problems won’t be fixed through the political system because the political system no longer works for the people. Add up the number of people whose votes are effectively discarded because they live in large (diverse) states, they don’t have ID, they can’t get time off work, their names are mysteriously deleted from registration lists, they are intimidated by partisans, and the people who are allowed to participate in the farce of “democracy” will be able to continue to impose their will on the majority.

    Being “afraid” doesn’t mean I’m paralyzed or cowering, it just means I have a rational anticipation about things that Trump and his followers have promised to do. I don’t see a short-term political solution to most of these things; we can hope that some of this won’t happen, but as far as I can tell, things are going to get bad.

    I’m an American citizen and taxpayer who lives outside the US, which means I’m allowed to vote and have opinions about this, and also means that, like everybody else in the world, most of this can directly me or people in my community. America’s problems are the world’s problems. In the long run, one solution for everyone else may be to let America fail and become irrelevant like other fallen empires, but that would be a very painful path. I’d much rather see America return to the core values of the Enlightenment that it was founded on, and that it has helped to promote to the rest of the world.

  78. I asked my son in college today why there are suddenly a bunch of Uber charges on the emergency credit card I gave him. He told me his friends who are international students are all too afraid now to go to the local Walmart (it’s a small college town) on their own, so he accompanies them.

  79. “Okay, but, look, really: I’m not racist.”

    Trump says the same thing. Somehow everyone who’s voted for him I’ve seen thinks they’re not racist in the exact same way.

    Look, Trump Voter, racists almost ALWAYS claim they’re not racist. David Duke says he’s not racist. Don Black, founder of Stormfront says he’s not racist. The KKK says they’re not racist.

    Welcome to a huge group of mostly white people who nonwhite people say are racist, who call themselves innocent of racism. You’ve got no credibility with nonwite people who think Trump is racist, and the fact that you don’t care? That means that you’ve decided that white people know better than nonwhite people what is or isn’t racist. I’m sure you’ll find some miniscule number of nonwhite people who you can trot out and who’ll call you non-racist. That changes nothing, other than that you’ve found some quislings.

    There are always quislings.

  80. My multitude of personalities are still equivocating. Sometimes.
    With all natural disasters, you just have to fight through it.

    Most days this month have fortunately been very busy.

  81. @melee5000: We are past the point where it is an affordable luxury to believe things because we want to, rather than because they are true.

    You cannot neatly peel away the economic hardship from the bigotry and xenophobia. They are absolutely and inseparably intertwined.

  82. I am not entirely sure where I am standing right now either. I think it changes because of how slowly seems to be passing. Impending doom always travels slowly.

    The first thing seems to be to wait and see if anyone is left standing on the transition team. So many conflicts of interest from every corner. Then the juvenile hissy fits.

    Only 728 days until the mid term elections. Might be a good idea to start early on talking people into getting off their asses for this one.

  83. I’ve been to two protests already and I’m headed to a marxist meeting on Saturday. Trump has accidentally invigorated my campus with sheer outrage.

    I’m becoming reasonably competent that the next 4 years are going to be like Warren G. Harding with Woodrow Wilson’s social policies. It’s going to be an absolute shitshow of graft, naked nepotism, starving poor people, and racists being douches without consequences. HOPEFULLY the Dems will fillibuster everything that Trump tries to pull. I figure by 2018 the economic collapse and naked incompetence of Trump and his cronies will destroy them, and with luck the Dems will recapture the states, and maybe at least the Senate, thereby enabling them to stop the Republicans utterly until 2020, when hopefully things will get better. But in all that time, our foreign policy is going to hell, as is the environment, the economy, and civil rights.

    Best case scenario, Russia annexes Belarus, annexes half of Ukraine, and builds a semi-sustainable “alliance” network in the Middle East as the US pulls out of NATO. Worst case, America becomes a fascist state, Kim Jong-Un insults Trump’s penis, and World War Three starts. In that case, it’ll be best to be in Finland, which is at least ready and able to kick massive amounts of Russian ass.

  84. Lif Strand says:
    November 16, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    I was only freaked out briefly, probably because I live in *truly* rural America, which is like living in a third world country (or, for that matter, on a reservation in the Dakotas). Neither Mr. Trump or Ms. Clinton was going to improve our situation.

    Rural Americans are routinely treated as if, because we are few, our preferences and needs — our very rights — don’t matter. Worse, even though we’re the ones who live here, people who have vested interest in getting their own policies through (invariably these will be policies aimed at satisfying urban folks) simply ignore us when we say “that won’t work”.


    Lif, may I ask you for a concrete example or two? I want to know so that I can nag my representatives something like that comes up. I grew up with close friends who were dairy farmers and have watched the decline of the family farm and growth of the factory farm with dismay. But I am unsure of what policies would change that.

  85. AlliKats: you should maybe reconsider marrying your fiance. Contempt is considered by psychologists to be one of the top predictors of future marital problems, and your comment is full of contempt for her and her views. It’s entirely possible she has contempt for you and your views as well, I don’t know, but that would make your prospects worse, not better. You may be able to save yourselves/each other some heartache down the line by calling it quits now.

  86. Floored:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath about the Dems recapturing the Senate. In 2018, 23 of the seats that will be on the ballot are currently held by Democrats. Another two seats are currently held by Independents who caucus with the Democrats (Bernie Sanders and Maine’s Angus King). Conversely, only eight seats which will be on the ballot in 2018 are currently held by Republicans.

    To make matters worse, several Democratic seats are in solid red states (Indiana, Montana, Missouri, North Dakota, West Virginia), or in states which Trump won in the last election (Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin). Conversely, the only Republican in a blue state is Nevada’s Dean Heller. All other Republican senators are in solid red states (Arizona, Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming).

    Holding on to their current numbers is going to be tough enough for the Dems, without also trying to unseat Republicans outside Nevada.

  87. Has anyone here been paying attention to the names floated to be in the T Administration Cabinet? They seem to be choosing, very carefully, the least qualified, least fit, most corrupt, most insane people for each post. Flynn for NSC, Cotton for Defense… we’ll be setting up internment camps for Muslims and at war with Iran before the next World Series.

  88. Justin Jordan says:
    November 16, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Justin, your description of rural working class life is spot on and I recognize it well. My question is: aside from infrastructure projects, including high-speed internet connectivity, and safety nets that keep rural hospitals from shutting down, and job training, (all policies that were DETAILED in Hillary Clinton’s platform, by the way.) what do the residents realistically expect?

    COAL, deep mined coal in Appalachia, is simply uneconomic to mine any more. Mitch McConnell and some coal industry talking heads admitted this in Lexington, KY the other day. Those jobs are not coming back. But they pilloried Secretary Clinton for saying so, while proposing programs to restore dignity to the miners and their families. Mitch McConnell doesn’t care — he’s killing a bill that would guarantee the pensions and health care of the displaced miners. But they love him and hate her.

    Manufacturing is economical here if it is highly automated. But highly automated factories don’t require large numbers of high school educated people to run them.

    I get the “I don’t want to pull up roots and move.” dynamic. Except I remember that the ancestors of those people MOVED from the effete cities and crowded farms of the original 13 colonies and struck out to find wide open spaces while braving wind, weather, hostile natives, starvation, and so on to do it. Have we lost that much grit as a people?

    I just don’t get it, I really don’t. Family farms are dying because the kids aren’t willing to put up with the 24 hour a day, 7 day a week grind to do it. So they get a degree and leave. And until there is something to pull them back besides arugula farms for locavore restaurants, then ???

    Help me understand.

  89. [Deleted because it’s off-topic to this particular thread. Sorry you missed your chance to comment on the previous thread, K, but generally speaking I don’t let people bring comments meant to address previous entries into current entries –JS]

  90. When the True Finns party got a major victory in the Finnish Parliamentary Elections back in 2011, many liberal Finns were in a shock for quite a while, going through grief, sorrow, fear, anger, disappointment of our fellow citizens who voted for them (or didn’t vote at all), and so on. So we kind of get how you feel, even though we didn’t have to worry about our local demagogues accidentally starting a nuclear war or making civilization-destructive level climate change unavoidable.

    I don’t know if this is any consolation, but the True Finns aren’t doing that well now, five years on. They didn’t enter the government at first, and since they did, after the parliamentary election in 2015, most of their support has melted away as it became apparent that they’re completely incompetent and unable to deliver on any of their promises that were supposed to help the “common man”.

  91. Glad you’re back among the living. I’ve been sleeping like a baby since Trump was elected, and my appetite is fine. Same thing happened when Obama was elected. Didn’t vote for either one. Both were “change” candidates, and both made numerous and stupid campaign promises that had no realistic chance of happening (whether due to cost or inertia), but when people want change, they typically get change (for better or worse), no matter the level of government.

    Like most people, I had to go to work the next day (and the next, etc.) to support a family, so I’ve had no time or desire to join the hooligans who should have been protesting BEFORE the election. Probably the same people who protested when Obama was elected. Oh, wait, they didn’t, did they?

    But life goes on. I’m back to making things that help your lights and computers work, and I’ll keep writing to my Democratic Senators and Congressmen in the hope that my small voice can make a difference somehow. Hopefully you’re ready to go back to writing; looking forward to your next hundred books. And keep using your somewhat larger voice to point out the ills of this world as necessary.

  92. I guess Trump’s victory changed my view on Second ammendment. These milita guys were right all along – better to be prepered for the worst.

  93. Assuming that there are any adults left in the GOP it seems clear that minimizing institutional damage will come from separating Trump from his family (who seem to be mostly committed to insulating the man from reality (and any person who tries to impose organization on Daddy)) and firmly bolting our president-elect to the ship of state as a figurehead where he can be kept in bounds. Also, if FBI Director Comey would like to begin to make amends for his misplaced intervention in the election process he can start by making sure Jared Kushner is firmly shut out of any official government apparatus.

  94. One of the points you made, and maybe mentioned elsewhere in the comments, was that perhaps Trump didn’t actually want to win. This is something I’m beginning to think is really true. He liked the attention of running and I’m sure liked the ego boost of being elected but now that he has to do the job it’s not something he really wants to deal with for four years. If he thought the race was long and challenging that’s nothing compared to what he has to deal with now. Who is going to be his version of Cheney to actually run the country? Guess we will find out soon.

  95. I’m afraid, and I’m a straight, white, christian, middle-class male, so I’m one of the chosen people in Trump’s vision for America, but I am still very afraid of a Trump presidency, and my fear has nothing to do with party or politics. My fear is rooted in one single thing: Trump’s narcissism.

    Go look up “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” on Wikipedia. Read it. I’ll wait…

    All of that you just read, that describes my father in painful and exquisite detail. When you live with someone with NPD, _you_ are always wrong. If you disagree with them on the most minor point you are belittled mercilessly. You’re not just wrong, you’re told that there is something seriously wrong with you and that you need professional help. Or that you’re stupid. You are always inferior to a person with NPD. They learn your psychological and emotional weaknesses and exploit them to manipulate you into doing their will, behaving like they want you to behave. They have no empathy for others. They are completely unaware of other’s needs but hyperaware of their own. Your feelings either don’t matter or are invalid. If you complain about the narcissist’s behavior, _they_ say that they are the victim. Anyone who calls them on their behavior is persecuting them. They will belittle you to your face, then five minutes later deny they ever said what you say they said.

    I’m not a psychiatrist or psychologist, nor do I play one on TV, so I’m not qualified to make an “official” diagnosis of Trump’s NPD. But I lived under/with a narcissist for four decades. I know the signs and symptoms very intimately. It didn’t take me long to figure out my extreme discomfort with Trump; he’s just like my father. And now someone just like my father is President.

    I want to emphasize that this fear has nothing to do with party. I’m registered as independent. I voted for both Democrats and Republicans in this election. There were Republican presidential candidates I might have voted for in this election: Kasich, Graham, Bush (I voted for his dad and brother), maybe even Rubio. I’ve voted for Democrat and Republican candidates for president. Sometimes my choice won and sometimes they lost. In none of those cases was I fearful of the candidate that won. I may have disagreed with them on a few points or many points, but I never felt that they would be a danger to the American people or the place of America in world affairs. It’s not a matter of Trump’s ego. All politicians have egos; you have to to aspire to high office and to do the work necessary to get there. It’s his narcissism.

    If you’ve never lived with a narcissist, it will be almost impossible for you to understand the visceral terror I’m feeling right now. If you lived with an abusive alcoholic, you might have _some_ idea. Instead of fearing for myself, my brother, or my mother, I now have to fear for the whole country, the whole world. Narcissists destroy people’s lives and sanity, they destroy families, businesses, and institutions. A narcissist like Trump (or my father), shouldn’t be allowed to run a hot dog stand, much less a country.

    So yeah, I’m afraid.

  96. We should start running a pool about how long it takes before Trump quits. His life has changed completely – setting aside policy entirely, he’s probably already in deep dutch with the security service guys who are supposed to guard him night and day, and who he’s already ducking to go out for dinner. I’m thinking that’s not going to last much longer. Also: he can forget just jumping on his private plane to go golfing in Scotland or larking around in some other country on the spur of the moment. Privacy? Kiss it goodbye, Donald, you’re going to miss it.

    To bring it back on topic: discussing the odds on the pool makes me feel much better.

  97. As someone from a rural area in the Rust Belt, the frustrating thing is that large-scale, non-automated manufacturing is not coming back. It won’t happen. That ship has sailed. But nobody wants to hear that, because it means that they’d have to change something about their lives–move, or develop a new skill, or something–and it’s much easier to think that the people telling the truth about how unlikely it is are just Elite Coastal Liberals who Don’t Understand.

    My area currently is grabbing for fracking. I’m in NY, so that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, but people are clinging to it like it’s their last hope, despite the destruction it has wrought on PA, right over the border. The roads are screwed up by all the heavy equipment, the economic boom peters out really quickly, and the drinking water is endangered, but people here want to believe that fracking will save them, because without that, what is there?

  98. At the risk of trying John’s patience: if you’re curious about what one kind of future in rural America looks like, read this (if I can make the damn link work):
    I used to live about 50 miles from Hardwick (I’m in Canada now, praise the FSM) and one of the farmers interviewed in this article is a cousin of mine. There are answers but it’s going to take hard work and imagination and getting over the whole rural-good/urban-baaaaad thing to make them work.

  99. The only thing Donald cares about is his brand, his narcissistic self image. Which may be the only leverage there is to limit him.

    Troll him into building a wall. Point out his campaign promise to build it. Force his hand to either admit he was an idiot for suggesting the wall or get him to start actual construction and have the boondoggle of its expense hang around his neck like an albatross.

    The only way to slow him down is to drive a wedge between him and his supporters. So either show his supporters that he was lying to them or get him to actually try a boondoggle. Either way, he is a failure. And the partially constructed, abandoned ruins of his wall will live as a legacy of Trump/republican idiocy and government waste.

    It is a waste, but if he did take it on, it would probably be the least horrifying of his campaign promises.

    Goad Melania to go after her husband’s bullying. Start a comission on bullying and have the first examples be all the bullying that Trump did. Ask her to support the anti bullying campaign.

    The best we can hope for is that trump lives like a failure like George W Bush so that republicans refuse to even acknowledge that he exists or that they voted for him. Hopefully we can make him fail using the least damaging things he promised to do.

    Bait him into stepping onto rakes.

  100. Thanks, John. I still can’t make the links go live. I used to be able to just by posting it, but it doesn’t work that way anymore. Anyway, it’s a good article.

  101. @Lif Strand – you make a very important point. Both parties have neglected rural areas, as do the media. I don’t know how we get urban-centered media/journalists to pay attention to the needs of urban America, but it’s necessary and important. Good article on this:

    As to the Electoral College, I urge anyone living in a state that hasn’t passed the the National Popular Vote bill to contact your state legislators. To those of you who look at the map and say “No way, it’s only been enacted by blue states”, some of those states actually have Republican state legislatures (for example, NY) and it’s been passed by both red and blue legislatures, often bipartisanly.

  102. John, I enjoy your books and opinions and would like to hear your response to articles such as this one from
    Some would argue that the President-Elect ran his campaign using a persuader’s toolbox of A/B testing, Pacing & Leading and the negotiation tactic of starting a bargaining discussion with an extreme side in order to arrive at an agreement in the middle (insert the “Wall” discussion here). Based on the fear that seems very pervasive in these comments, perhaps people should take a moment to educate themselves from sources other than the mainstream media – Wired magazine being among them: and a perspective from a cartoonist who predicted a Trump victory back in August of last year: from
    I am not at all a supporter of racism or racist policies, but maybe we should stay informed of what is actually being said and done before succumbing to fear and despair?

  103. John,

    At a major foreign policy conference yesterday, William Pickering, a retired career ambassador, vented spleen about the “legitimacy” of the election outcome (due to Hillary’s leading popular vote margin) and the perceived incompetence of Trump and his team.

    This outburst by a consummate diplomat would be extraordinary, but Pickering is retired and has earned a well-deserved reputation for speaking truth to politicians about foreign policy when he’s not “consulting” for Boeing, which has a major aircraft sale in the works with Iran.

    More to the point, Pickering is merely saying what State Department and other foreign policy bureaucrats feel but cannot say due to their employment status.

    On the same panel, a former Bush defense official and Romney foreign policy adviser, Mary Beth Long, tried to jam Pickering for questioning the legitimacy of the election. The times are dangerous and the American people want a foreign policy of strength. Trump will need our help—the “our” in that statement of course being policy elites like Long and Pickering.

    Long’s point would have been stronger had it not been for her extended explanation why she is abandoning her previous Never Trump stance, which is somewhat difficult given the fact that she signed one Eliot Cohen’s “Trump is unfit to be commander in chief” letters earlier in the year.

    Eliot Cohen is something of an institution in the Imperial Capital’s “strategic studies” community. He teaches at John Hopkins/SAIS and writes critically acclaimed books about the roots of military catastrophes and the proper conduct of civil-military relations. Good. Stuff. Cohen also advised Secretary of State C. Rice during the Iraq mess.

    If only the Colonial Union had an Eliot Cohen, it’s collective ass would not be hanging in the proverbial sling!

    Cohen recently discovered fame on social media after tweeting: “After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They’re angry, arrogant, screaming “you LOST!” Will be ugly.” Perhaps you can relate?

    Cohen also spoke on the second panel. I’m sure it’s all over CSPAN. . .

    Yesterday’s event was a microcosmic entrée into the Trump mindset of the foreign policy and defense cognoscenti in the Imperial Capital.

    The Pickerings and the Cohens of this town are so tightly wrapped around the axle of their thinly veiled personal wish that Trump fail, or at least be widely framed as a major fuckup waiting to happen. Why is this so? Trump committed the ultimate sin: He defied their feeble efforts to pronounce him unfit for command. How did he do that? By actually winning the fucking election. Imagine that.

    This is pure ressentiment, Imperial Capital style. No matter what Trump does from this point forward, aggrieved policy elites will spin it in terms of abject incompetence and foolery. Trump is going to have a lot fun at the expense of these people.

    Whether this good for the Republic and its role in the world, only time will tell.

    Yours truly,


  104. Not exactly your subject but your offhand statement that Grant was an incompetent POTUS is part of the revisionism of the Glorious Lost Cause. The more one studies his presidency the more one realizes this. However, among his very popular and successful programs included the Indian wars in the west directed by General Sheridan. The scandals that supposedly plagued his administration were very small potatoes in comparison to things that actually happened with some of Lincoln’s people during his administrations. This is particularly so when one examines the Whisky Ring thing in detail, as well as the Indian Reservation Trading post business — not that one endorses these, of course. And Grant made steps immediately to deal with them. Most historians of the era after the Civil War through the Gilded Age to Woodrow Wilson’s presidency consider his Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish, to have been among the best the U.S. ever had.

    Grant himself was anything but incompetent or corrupt. But the age was run-away capitalist plutocrat trusts and monopolies — an Age of Horror at least as much as Wharton’s Age of Innocence. This is the era in which social darwinism was dearly beloved by all, and thus anyone who was poor was inferior and it was better to never help them at all, in order to cull them from the human pool of reproduction.

    A quick survey of Grant’s administrations that throws a great deal of light upon them is that part of Jean Edward Smith’s biography, titled simply, Grant (2001). The author is Canadian,the John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University — thus has no U.S. Civil War history axes to grind. (However, Smith quoting Shelby Foote as a source for some things that Grant supposedly said was unfortunate. Foote was a novelist and his Civil War history is written as a novel — there is not a single reference, citation or footnote in the three volumes. That is not history, but fiction!)

  105. Greg said: “Bait him into stepping onto rakes.”

    As long as it’s not our face that gets smashed . . .

  106. Trumps incessant tweeting is very disconcerting and comes across as childish and insecure. It baffles me that they haven’t handed his tweeter account over to PR specialists. This is just another example of an incompetent and dysfunctional administration (currently non-existent), which is not reassuring to the country and the world.

  107. Pedro:

    “He defied their feeble efforts to pronounce him unfit for command. How did he do that? By actually winning the fucking election.”

    His winning the election doesn’t mean he’s fit for command, however. It merely means he won the election. You may hope they are wrong. We’ll see if they are.

  108. What has upset me more than anything so far is Trump’s statement that Obergfell is decided already so he won’t challenge gay marriage. This was used as a sign that he’s going to be more tolerant than he appeared. Though in the same interview, he said he will appoint a justice who wishes to overturn Roe v Wade. Because the same logic (decided already) does not apply. This is an extreme stance- making abortion illegal, not simply restricting it. This should be an outrage.

    Likewise in the criticism of Bannon, the media keeps calling him a homophobe or a white nationalist. Thing is, the alt right is not actually homophobic. And the Breitbart/Milo/Bannon part of the alt-right are not white nationalists either. They just don’t MIND if white nationalists are allied with them, which yes, makes them racist. What they are, though- all of them, even gay men like Theil and Milo- are unapologetic misogynists. Take a look at any Breitbart headlines about women. Look at what Milo and Theil say about women. Take a dip into the Red Pill and MRA and MGTOW sites. There is an online movement to radicalize young resentful men against women- this is a real thing, not some hysteria made up by feminists playing identity politics. And we’ve just put Bannon in the White House.

    So yea, as a woman, I don’t feel any better. I feel like I’m being thrown under the bus.

  109. Mr president, in preparation of you fulfilling your promise to build a wall on the us-mexico border, our senate committee has done extensive research on the projected costs and estimate it will run around 1 trillion dollars. Studies also indicate that it will cause illegal immigrants to increase. We were wondering when you planned to start making good on your promise.
    Every couple of months, this committee should make a public anmouncement about their prep work about the wall. If Donald wont build it, it will wedge his base. If he does build it, let him blow the deficit.

  110. BTW in case my post just above sounded like I was implying that Trump was going to fine for LGBT rights or POC, I want to be clear that I was referring to Bannon himself (that wing of the alt-right) not the larger Trump administration and GOP alliances which for sure are full of old-school religious right homophobes nor the larger alt-right which is for sure full of actual neo-nazis and white supremacists. I was just saying that the news coverage of Trump’s Bannon selection and his 60 minutes comments about Roe and Obergefell really made me, as a woman, feel that the media doesn’t understand what is happening here. To me, it feels like the guys involved in the rabid puppies and gamergate have been given normalized and legitimized.

  111. And sorry. I’m jet lagged as I’ve already left the country. :) It’s easy to do though since I’m binational.

  112. John,

    Agreed. Winning the election does not mean Trump is, in fact, fit for command. However, because he won the election, the proposition that he is not fit for command will be put to the acid test of performance.

    My point, though, really had nothing to do with Trump’s fitness per se, but the fact that many policy elites are now publicly locked into the prediction that Trump will fail because he is not fit for command. Being heavily invested in such a proposition, they will tend to view events in ways that confirm their initial bias, thus rendering the value of their future pronouncements rather suspect.

    I witnessed a similar dynamic unfold during the ‘90s, when Bill Clinton came to town. The Republicans just could not and would not accept that a draft dodging, pot smoking, womanizing whippersnapper of a governor from the relatively unimportant state of Arkansas had just won the election and would soon become the 42nd president of the United States of America.

    Hell, Clinton did not even break 50 percent of the popular vote. No mandate folks. Just move along. . .

    Of course, Clinton’s first two years were god awful. Remember the Bosnia-Somalia-Haiti triangle? Clinton’s presidency was certainly going to crash without a trace within it. Then came Hillary’s spectacular failure on health care. Dark days followed the blowout in the ’94 general election. But the Republicans overplayed their hand, the economy improved, and Clinton won re-election in ‘96 by a comfortable margin.

    Now, the ill-fitting shoe of ressentiment has slid from the right foot to the left. Pardon that rough cliché in the making, but Trump could in fact perform as poorly as the aggrieved policy elites expect.

    But if Trump’s performance is just merely adequate and the economy improves, he could be around a good long while.

    As you say, we will see.



  113. No time to read the comments but the Vox article is exactly what I think. (Please read it everyone.) If you want to be able to talk with Trump voters you need to drop the racism talk.. it’s only an insulting turn-off. (But perhaps the election effected you’all more than me. At ~10:30 pm election night I said to my wife and kids, “Looks like Trump is going to win, that stinks, I’m going to bed.”)

  114. ” Except I remember that the ancestors of those people MOVED from the effete cities and crowded farms of the original 13 colonies and struck out to find wide open spaces while braving wind, weather, hostile natives, starvation, and so on to do it.”

    A couple of people have expressed similar sentiments, so I’m sort of responding to all, rather than just this.

    Remember, it has never MOST people who did that. I am, for instance, the descendant (on my mother’s side) of Czech immigrants who came over in the early twentieth century and ended up here to mine coal.

    But most Czech people didn’t move. When England colonized the country, most people didn’t move. Most people don’t move from the area where they were from. That’s true of cities as well as the country.

    Why? I think a lot of it is that we like the familiar. To flip it, my friends who’ve visited from cities have found the area…..unsettling is probably the closest word. The fact that this place is, for instance, 98% white throws people, if you’re used to seeing diverse faces. The sheer emptiness of it, comparatively. Even if you offered them a better paying job than what they have, they won’t come here.

    Which, indeed, is reflected when places around here try to fill positions that need to bring people in. It’s HARD to get people to move here. It’d be tempting to think cities are somehow inherently better (and depending on what you want, they are) but I’m illustrating that most people don’t like to go to places that are THAT different.

    Some will. Almost all the people who went to college from my high school class moved to more urban area. Well, the suburbs – they’re largely in the NOVA area. But MOST of the people in my high school class didn’t go to college. And not, like, a marginal most. 75% or so didn’t. Of a class of 90 or so.

    There are other reasons, too. I’m still here. I’m a fairly successful writer. I could literally live anywhere (it’d be tightish in San Francisco or Manhattan, but doable. See also London, Hong Kong) but I’m still here. It’s not because I particularly like the area. It’s because, mostly, my family who I’m quite fond of is here. It’s secondarily because I own a house outright and the cost of living is low. Since I’m entirely freelance, these are pluses.

    The house thing actually segues into the other thing. A lot of people can’t leave, even if they had the skills to get a job somewhere else. As that relates to my house. I own a nice house and a couple acres. The house is not large, 1200 square feet. It’s also worth maaaaaaybe 60,000 grand. I’m not actually sure I could sell it. In my life time, exactly ONE house in this village has sold to someone who’s not from the village. And that was not exactly to someone ‘outside’ they literally lived three miles away before they moved here.

    So if I wanted to move, I’d be starting with…..not a lot. If I wanted to sell the house, and I COULD sell the house, I’d get a fairly small chunk of money. I could afford to do so, but I’m literally in the 1% for income in this county (not even close for the country, mind).

    Most jobs around here pay less than the 15.00 dollars the minimum wage should be raised to. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s very hard to pick up sticks and move to somewhere else, even if you want to. And that’s assuming you don’t have kids and such. You maybe shocked, SHOCKED to learn that the teen pregnancy rate here is sky high.

    So, people don’t move. They don’t want to, can’t, or both.

    As to what to do. Well, coal and manufacturing are not coming back. Not in any significant way. The infrastructure spending would be a good stimulus, and probably a fairly long lasting one – there’s a lot of busted infrstructure to fix, so you can probably get a decade out of it.

    There’s also stuff this area needs, and I’m sure every rural area could do for something. Here, for instance, there’s nothing resembling urgent care. You either get an appointment with your Doctor, or you go to the emergency room. So an urgent care center would create a few good paying jobs for people that would basically have to spend money here.

    (A related problem in rural areas is that the places that provide the necessities are also national businesses that are meant to efficiently remove money from the area. It’s hard going to not go to Wal Mart here, because there are literally no other options within about an hour drive)

    Better schools. Bring down class size so you hire more teachers and support staff. And so on. If this sounds like typical democrat proposals, that’s because they are, by and large. There’s an obvious chicken and egg problem there.

    My suggestion is to do some of this privately. Flatout, what I’m going to suggest is a massively difficult undertaking. It may be impossible. You basically need to create organizations that start businesses (or fund them) in these areas. Doing jobs that are doable for people in these areas. Not to make a profit, and subsidized by a larger donation driven organization.

    So, for instance, where I am. You could build a call center that employs a couple hundred people. You could pay them a good (for the area) wage – 15.00 bucks an hour. Provide childcare. You still charge businesses and organizations to use the service, but you use the donation driven subsidy to make it competitive.

    Why do that, instead of charity? Because it feels like a chance, not charity. Pride matters, whether you like it or not. Hope matters. Feeling like you’re doing something for yourself matters. This could work.

    Money is an issue. But, you know, the money is at least hypothetically out there. Bernie, for instance, raised something like 230 million in donations for his primary run. There 200 ish red counties in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. A million bucks a county could change a lot.

    A bigger problem, I think, is will. A lot of people on the left, not all, not even most, but a lot, don’t want to help these areas. They think that they’d need to compromise on core values like equality and social justice if they did.

    And honestly, a lot of them, and I realize right now this sentiment is running hotter than it otherwise would, want to punish these areas for hurting them. More are inclined to just leave them to stew in the mess they’ve created. Let them reap what they’ve sown.

    But, you know, our system doesn’t give equal weight. Those rural votes have a disproportionate weight in the Presidency and the Senate. You can probably win a presidency without them, especially in four years when demographics have shifted more. But you need them for the Senate. For the House. For State legislatures. You don’t have to get all or most of them. Just enough. I don’t know if it’s possible to get enough people on the left on board. I hope so.

    Empathy is great, but I’ll settle for enlightened self interest.

    (John, I realize I am now basically blogging in your comments section, and I apologize. I’m going to try and be briefer)

  115. Now that 2016 is over, let’s revisit some assumptions from 2012.

    In 2012, there was the opinion that Hispanic voters were going to turn several states Blue. What happened? I was still lurking on this blog at the time, but here was the prediction I made to my friends back then:

    About a fifth of Latinos are undocumented immigrants. Also, over half of us-born Latinos are too young to vote. I can’t find the statistics from back then, but here is an updated version

    Probably a large fraction of those are the children of undocumented workers, the “anchor babies”. It was assumed back then that as these children came of voting age, they would be reliable blue voters with high turnout on account of their parents’ status.

    Many people took that projection and assumed that it would apply in the 2016 election. It didn’t. Why?

    1. There hasn’t been enough time for the children-of-undocumented-immigrant population to grow up. Take the following chart, and add 20 years

    That is a rough approximation as to when the eldest child is likely eligible to vote. Note that I don’t have a way to quickly model the second child.

    2. Minority immigrants in general are concentrated in a few states. People will note that those states include Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. Although that is true, the bulk of non-black minorities live in states which are already very Blue. An increasing minority population will just make those states more Blue.

    3. Baby boomers are retiring. As you’ve seen from the Wikipedia article, the Non-Hispanic White (NHW) population has had very small growth between 2010 and 2012. Furthermore, a lot of states have experienced a decline in the NHW population in absolute numbers. However, that is due to Baby Boomers retiring, not necessarily to births – deaths. A 2016 Trump voter in New York has a different electoral power than the same 2020 Trump voter in Florida or Arizona. I don’t know if the retiring population will completely cancel out the rise of minority populations, but it should check it.

    4. A lot of Blue states have the demographics which could appeal to a Trump-style populists. I personally doubt that a Trump-style candidate without the sexual assault would have won merely a narrow win in Michigan. If you look at the statistics, Trump was also close in Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, and New Hampshire.

    5. Liberal NHW are leaving Red States and moving to Blue States for the opportunities there. In other words, conservative NHWs are leaving California and New York and liberal NHW are moving in. In the electoral college, that matters. Liberal NHW are also moving into some swing states should ameliorate this somewhat.

  116. Pedro: “if Trump’s performance is just merely adequate and the economy improves”

    And if unicorns are real and shit rainbow colored ice cream…

    Vox: “Research says there are ways to reduce racial bias. Calling people racist isn’t one of them.”

    Shorter: racists would rather see the world burn than look in a fucking mirror and take even the slightest responsibility for their bigotry

  117. I’ve noticed when talking about the people with Grit (True Grit, perhaps) who upped and moved, the focus is always on the people who succeed. Nobody mentions that for every person who did manage to make a go of it there are a dozen or more who didn’t. The people’s having to move broke them, financially, physically, mentally, socially, or in a lot of other ways. Those people don’t fit the narrative of Grit. Moving is a killer.

    Not to mention, and perhaps we should since the Orange One made a big thing of it, if you move into another area chasing a job (immigrating into it, as it were) then you are now competing with the existing residents of that area for the same pool of labour.

  118. Top of post:

    Trump didn’t have policies, he had stump speech lines.

    Later in post:

    people who voted for Trump for reasons other than racism still had to accept that they voted for racist policies as part of his overall package, and that those racist policies will have an effect on other people’s lives.
    But that doesn’t change the fact that Trump has racist policies (and sexist policies, and Mike Pence, his VP, is definitely homophobic as shit, and considering Trump is going to leave a lot of policy to him, that’s a thing), and they weren’t hidden.

    I didn’t vote for him either, but at this point, I think it’s pretty clear that the outrage over him has nothing to do with his proposed policies or even his past racist statements. We just don’t like him, we wish he wasn’t elected, and we hope he fails so that our worldview doesn’t have to change dramatically.

    At the end of the day, he has said and done some incredibly stupid things in his life, and he said and did some incredibly offensive things during the campaign (which, for better or worse, seem to have helped get him elected). Now, we’ll see if he continues to say and do stupid things while he’s President of the United States. If he does, it will be bad for all of us (worse for some than others). If not, then we’ll probably be OK. If some of those things actually work, and it turns out that being a bit of an a**hole can actually be effective in driving change, then we’ll all have to admit that he was right about something, and we can’t possibly abide that circumstance.

    I spend most of my time in New York City (live in NJ, work in NY). When Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York, people called him every name in the book (including “Nazi”). They complained that he was unfair, racist, discriminatory, and so on. Funny thing was – NYC flourished while he was here. When 9/11 happened, we all turned to him to guide us, and he did a phenomenal job. It was tough crow for many folks to eat. (DISCLAIMER: Since then, I personally think Giuliani has gone off the rails & turned into a Republican talking point machine, which is a crying shame).

    I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I understand that tens of millions of people did. I don’t feel the need to call him (or them) names. I don’t see the point of vilifying folks before they even begin their jobs. I don’t want to contest the election results (just a couple of weeks ago, the thought of not accepting the results was so anathema that we ROASTED Trump for suggesting it, right?). I just wish him well, and trust that the entire system (government, media, public pressure, etc.) will be there to correct for “off the rails” behavior.

  119. @Brian Greenberg: Are you actually following current events? Or are you doing that chattering-class thing where anything Trump does or says is, ultimately, academic for you in terms of your future, so making shit up is as good as anything?

    But please, be sure to go tell your black friends and Muslim friend and disabled friends who depend on the ACA that they’e being silly-billies for judging Trump on what he has said and done, because you, smart guy that you are, know that what’s really going on is irrational dislike. They just don’t want to have a beer with him, gosh darn it. What’s wrong with these folks?

  120. Justin Jordan, good points. I have found myself on this side of the pond having to point out that the reason why many employers want to employ immigrants from Eastern Europe is not that people from Eastern Europe are intrinsically harder working and more motivated than the native Brits, but that the young folk (and they are mainly young) who come over here are almost by definition hard working and motivated- otherwise they would have stayed home. It not just about willingness to work for lower wages (although that does come into play) or to live in worse conditions (although it is easier to put up with sharing overcrowded living space if you plan to do it for 2 to 3 years and then go back home than if it is permanent).
    To go back on topic, I am still feeling shaky. While I am British, my husband is a US citizen and our long term plan was to retire to the US. We will see. I don’t hope for disaster from Trump’s presidency (as I don’t hope for disaster from Brexit) but I am fearful.

  121. Brian: “We just don’t like him”

    Dont ever pretend to speak for me again.

    Maybe YOU just dont like trump, and maybe YOU are too ill informed to point to specific problems with a trump presidency. But thats your own damn fault. Dont drag everyone else into your own ignorance.

  122. I am not at all a supporter of racism or racist policies, but maybe we should stay informed of what is actually being said and done before succumbing to fear and despair?

    Or, you know, we could take a look at the lunatics and nitwits he’s bringing into his administration. Or, we could just look at Steven ‘White Supremicist’ Bannon’ in the White House.

  123. I’m surprised at the emphasis of racism, or homophobia, as the main causes of Trump’s victory. Which there was some, only we do have a black president. I would suggest class, and corruption.

    The country has been hollowing out economically for four decades by policies embraced by both parties. In addition, both parties are not only more corrupt each year, about the only thing they are good at is funneling most of money to the one percent with a little left over for the top ten percent. And for the nation as whole, effective wages have been declining. Every social, and economic indicator, except crime, has been getting worse for years.

    We almost had a socialist as one of two candidates, and a narcissist, neophyte did become a candidate, and now the president. Both parties offered more of the same, more of voting for the lesser of two evils.

    Only after being burned for forty years, they decided on Cthulhu.

  124. lizzielou2014: The fact that there are people like you in America makes me despair for the future of the country. You wouldn’t vote for “an enabler of a serial rapist,” so you voted for…a serial rapist. Your excuses are as transparent as Trump’s lies.

    And it’s not hard to figure out what you mean by “REAL people.” Yeah, wallow in your white supremacist joy while you have it. I and many others are going to work to ensure that you, and the other members of the KKK/Alt-Right/whatever you call yourselves now, live to regret it, and hopefully the day you were born.

    And your shithead can expect the same level of support from Democrats that Obama has gotten from Republicans—slightly more, unfortunately, because Democrats actually care about preserving democratic (note the small d) institutions, and democracy itself. Republicans are just fine with destroying them.

    mely: Sure you survived, but how many people died in the wars Dubya started?

    So far, in Iraq, 4511 Americans, smaller numbers of troops from 22 other countries, and untold thousands of Iraqis on both sides. In Afghanistan, so far 2391 Americans, smaller numbers from 29 other coalition members, and untold thousands of Afghans on both sides.

    I keep track, you see, and post their names on social media, and send them to a deacon at my church so their names can be lifted up in prayer. I try to remember them during my own devotions. I actually care about the humans who die in these conflicts, unlike Republicans, whose “Support Our Troops” messages actually mean “support the war, and send your children as cannon fodder so Haliburton and Blackwater can make tons of money,” and especially Trump, whose disrespect for our men and women in uniform is appallingly well-known.

    Here are the names of the most recent American war dead:

    Sergeant John W. Perry,* 30
    Private 1st Class Tyler R. Lubelt, 20
    Specialist Ronald L. Murray Jr., 23

    *I know. Coincidence, but it’s still a little creepy when you see a name you recognize, even if it’s a fictional character.

  125. When in doubt, listen to the people who will be affected by them, and believe them.

    (And do that for the policies that will affect women, too.)

    (And the ones that will affect LGBTQ folks, too.)

    (And so on.)

    This is more than a little ironic. People have been trying to engage leftists about their behaviors for years. That isn’t a message to which they are inclined to listen.

    Listening to people you agree with is a wonderful thing…if you enjoy an echo-chamber. It’s lousy for building bridges.


  126. @George Herrold,

    I read the (infuriating) Vox article and the Slate Star Codex article Kevinmriley linked to as well (which is fractally wrong, and it frightens me to see a psychiatrist be so willing to tell his patients not to discuss the racism and sexism affecting their mental health). I remain unconvinced.

    I am a Black woman, among other things — I mention those because they’re the most obvious. When someone has already looked at me and decided I’m just not as fully human as they are, no amount of sweet talk and deference and refraining from calling racism and sexism what they are, no amount of smiling and nodding while others are abused in front of me and quietly hoping bigots don’t notice me, will convince this person I deserve the same rights and dignity they think should be reserved to White people and men. All I’ll do is become their Special Black Girl whom they can use as ‘evidence’ that they really aren’t racist and sexist.

    And I have had more than enough of that.

    So I will not quietly accept racism or sexism or any other bigotry in an attempt to change the minds of people who already have disregarded all the evidence of our humanity.

  127. Greg said: “Bait him into stepping onto rakes.”

    Pedro: “As long as it’s not our face that gets smashed ”

    Anyone who voted for Trump or a third party should view trump kicking a rake to their face as well deserved karma.

    Andrew: “I am not at all a supporter of racism or racist policies, but maybe we should stay informed of what is actually being said and done before succumbing to fear and despair?”

    I know Trump was sued by the feds for not renting to blacks, said he would force all muslims to register, is accused of sexual assault by a dozen women, but by golly, shouldnt we give the bigot a chance?

    Oh, and from your Dilbert propaganda link:

    “I assume Bannon is a great strategist or else Trump wouldn’t risk keeping him.”

    rock solid logic there… for a creationist moron.

    “Pence has some anti-gay history that needs fixing.”

    yeah, you know what? Fuck Scott Adams and fuck dilbert.

  128. @Emma, you’re absolutely right. I would write at length about the interplay and balancing/setting groups against each other of racism vs sexism vs homophobia vs Islamophobia in this year’s campaign and the upcoming administration, and how they’re all heads of the same monstrous bigotry, but I spent my allotted time writing my previous comment. :)

  129. @Brian Greenberg

    The issue is not Trump’s likeability. The issue is that he advocated terrible things and now he is actually doing them. Making openly racist statements – now putting Bannon in the White House. Talking about a Muslim registry – now working on one. Talking about buddying up with Russia – then appointing Flynn, a military man who appears regularly on Russian state television, as National Secuirty Advisor. He showed us who he was. Many didn’t believe him. We’ll see how it works out.

  130. Emma in a comment earlier: “What they are, though- all of them, even gay men like Thiel and Milo- are unapologetic misogynists.”

    And yes, the misogyny and all the anti-woman issues are to be found in the footnotes on the left. (Pretty much nowhere on the right, of course.) The racism is the most in focus.

    I keep wondering why that is.

    Women are the one group all of us, women and non-women alike, deal with on a daily basis and in our personal lives. Maybe that makes it the best group to throw under the bus. There are the fewest actual changes that have to be made in real life if you just pretend the real problems are elsewhere.

    That’s why the real problems persist and why orange baboons get elected. You cannot comfortably ignore what’s going on with half the human race, who are also half of any other group that’s in focus, and not have that huge reservoir of diseased attitudes ready to infect everybody at any time.

    What we really need is to defend *everybody’s* human rights, no matter who the “everybody” happens to be in a given instance. We should stop focusing on the groups we’re going to defend from injustice and start focusing on the injustice itself.

    We should be defending against injustice no matter who it happens to. Including when we are the ones doing it right at home.

  131. Greg said: “Anyone who voted for Trump or a third party should view trump kicking a rake to their face as well deserved karma.”

    Hate the game. Not the player.

  132. In re: the “you just have to hug bigots and tell them they’re okay” rhetoric: no. First of all, the demographics of the election don’t support that. Trump *likely* won because of a combination of the electoral college, third parties, low turnout, voter suppression, and so forth. He probably also won because of economic and security concerns, and media providing dubious information on same. I’m willing to put the work in to address both of those things, and to try and understand people who voted on those grounds while choosing to disbelieve the awful (I don’t get how you can think Hillary would start WWIII, but if you did, it’s a pretty easy step from there to figuring, well, we’re *all* going to be worse off if that happens), but those kind of prove that patting people on the head and trying to lead them gently away from the alt-right bullshit isn’t a thing we need to do.

    Second, as Ny Martin has pointed out, and as I and friends from rural communities have said, hugging bigots does not work. They just go on being bigoted and thinking it’s something we can agree to disagree on.

    Also, yeah, I will listen to Scott Adams when half his stuff isn’t “waaah girls didn’t like me”.

    On a more concrete note: the EPA Administrator position apparently requires Senate confirmation. So while you’re asking your Senator to protest Bannon (which is a good idea) maybe also ask them not to confirm a guy whose stance is that climate change is silly and you should have a healthy cigarette to soothe your nerves.

  133. When in doubt, listen to the people who will be affected by them, and believe them.

    (And do that for the policies that will affect women, too.)

    (And the ones that will affect LGBTQ folks, too.)

    (And so on.)
    This is more than a little ironic. People have been trying to engage leftists about their behaviors for years. That isn’t a message to which they are inclined to listen.

    Listening to people you agree with is a wonderful thing…if you enjoy an echo-chamber. It’s lousy for building bridges.


    In fairness, I am seeing a lot of people on all sides enjoying their echo chamber.

    Nice pat answers.

    Pity that. It’s only by talking with, not too, a person that I learn. Also, an echo chamber makes one more easily taken advantage of.

  134. “Hate the game. Not the player.”

    This is the linguistic equivalent of “mistakes were made”.

    Hate bigotry, but not the bigots? No thank you.

  135. Ignoring all the racism,sexism, homophobia, misogyny and just general ugliness about to rain down (and I realise that these things should not be ignored), from a purely economic standpoint I think even the 1% should be worried.

    Trump is about to advance a pseudo-Keynesian agenda i.e. run up deficits in favour of injections of cash to the economy (in this case via tax cuts and infrastructure spending) except that the US economy is (was) doing reasonably well and expanding. The whole point of Keynesian economics is that you remove cash from the economy when it’s doing well and inject it back in when it needs a kick start. Adding cash to an economy that was already on an upswing is not advisable as it is likely to add strength to bubbles and leave a government facing the inevitable recession with no ammunition.

    I know the US genuinely does need infrastructure but (and this is unscientific gut feeling) I do not believe that Trump is going to appoint the kind of people who will carefully sift through engineering reports to find the most-needed and most efficient projects (sewers, bridges, public transport etc).

  136. I appreciated the long and thoughtful response from Justin Jordan. That exchange speaks very well to the discussion America should be having right now – how to get the heartland to feel they are truly represented while at the same time getting them to own up to a) the futility of trying to go back to The Way Things Were, and b) all the really heinous stuff that crawls out of that bag when you open it. There *are* new things we can try.

    Thank you, Mr. Scalzi, for allowing that tangent, because it was only tangentially a response to “how are you doing.”

  137. Well said, John. It is what it is and it’s going to happen, so let’s get on with it and deal with things as they arise. Just stay grounded, is all. We are over half the nation so they’re gonna hear us if we need to shout as one.

  138. @Ny Martin
    Yeah I’m a white male, I live in rural upstate NY but work in Buffalo.
    I’ve got friends who voted for Trump, and yes I find them saying (what I consider) racist things.
    Sometimes I’ll try to talk with them about racism. (Not always, because it can get uncomfortable,
    but sometimes, I’ll try and do it more now.) I don’t use sweetness, but I don’t call them a racist either. I mostly try to say where I disagree and talk about personal experiences. I tend to find that people are racist in general… “all blacks are lazy and live on food stamps”. But not so much when you talk about particular people. “Say John you work with Joe, he seems like a hard worker and not on the dole.
    “Yes”, John will agree. I don’t know if these little things move the bar or not.

    I can guess that your situation is much different than mine. I hate all the racism I hear on the media.
    Michelle Obama is an ape in heels… Arghh, my head wants to explode, I think Michelle is one of the most amazing people! And it brings a tear to my eye, just thinking about how that must effect her, or you. I’m terribly sorry for all the racism in this country, perhaps it’s our original sin.

    You’re in a very different situation than me, if you need to scream racist that is fine.
    (I just don’t think it going to change opinions, if you could break through and talk about your personal experience maybe that would be better… yeah you may not be in a place where you can do that.)

  139. JBird

    Part of the difficulty with endeavouring to make hatred respectable is that people do tend to notice. Admittedly, they may only notice when they find themselves in an internment camp, having proceeded on the basis that it would be other people in the internment camps, but in the end the message finally tends to get through.

    Unfortunately, the people who deluded themselves that Trump would go after Wall St will notice sooner, rather than later, that repealing the Dodd-Frank Act is exactly what Wall St wants: Trump will be happy because he will be able to borrow from US banks again, and he really doesn’t care about anything beyond his personal desires. His contempt for ordinary people is transparent when you look at what he has said about it; describing it as enabling Afro-Americans to get loans to start up small businesses is so ludicrous that he could only say it if he thought that all the people who voted for his ‘against Wall St’ spiel are incredibly stupid.

    So knowing he will say anything to get what he wants completely freaks out anyone looking at the prospect of at least four years with a President and Commander in Chief who is an unstable pathological liar, motivated solely by self-interest, waiting for their fellow citizens to realise they have been conned.

    This is all the more worrying because the usual political method of diverting critical attention from domestic policies is starting a war somewhere, and Trump apparently has no grasp of why dropping a nuke is a really bad idea. At this stage Rudyard Kipling comes to mind: “If you can keep your head whilst all around men are losing theirs, then you probably don’t know what the f*ck is going on…”

  140. Justin Jordan :”What people actually need is charity that feels like a chance. A government program that gave people actual jobs (and either Hillary’s or Obama’s infrastructure programs would have).”

    Yeah, if the gvmt spent money to feed a million people, many rural folk would go apeshit, even though the biggest population on food stamps are white, rural, republicans. If the gvmt spent the same amount of money to prop up some make believe business to feed the same number of people, they’d be fine with it.

    What that is, is a sort of pride in something that doesnt exist. They’ll take gvmt help as long as they can pretend they’re independent and self sufficient. If its a straight handout for the same amount of gvmt money and benefitting the same amount of people, they believe its evil.

    The smaller rural states also tend to hate the federal government more than urban/city states, but those small rural states tend to get more federal money than they pay in n taxes.

    In short, they are irrational.

    The economy is WAY more interconnected and interdependent than anything you will find in Norman Rockwell America ™. But people who have convinced themselves that they are indendent, dont want to hear that and refuse to believe it.

    “Likewise, a lot of solution proposed by the Democrats don’t really appeal here. So college, or training for different jobs. Those are great…..if you want to leave.”

    The farm town near where I grew up is a shadow of its former self. There is no way to prop it back up, either. Small family farms have disaappeared, and been replaced with several thousand acre corporate farms, or farms owned by mcdonalds who grow all their french fries. Its the result of massive mechanization and automation of what farm machinery can do. No one can turn that clock back. Where you used to have a hundred farms each with a fleet of machinery and each with a bunch of workers, you now have one farm who might truck equipment in from some big city a hundred miles away.

    There is no government solution that can turn back the clock on that. Thats the overwhelming power of capitalism, not a failure of democracy.

    The same can be said of any manufacturing job. Automation means a handful of people can run several plants. You will never see the glory days of the 50’s with huge populations working at one factory because that model is about as relevant as bronze swords.

    If you insist on not getting trained in a new field, if you refuse to work except in something that fits the 1950’s norman rockwell fantasy that no longer exists, how can you expect to work?

    Self driving cars could put thousands of truck drivers, cabbies, and similar people out of work in maybe 10 years. Never to come back. When that happens, we can empathize with the situation a truck driver has been put in, but if they refuse to retrain, if they insist that they will wait until their old jobs come back, should we indulge that? Or should we encourage and help them adapt to the new reality?

  141. @iisabelcooper
    No hugging! but screaming racist doesn’t help either. People do not think of themselves as racist, and if you call them that you just turn them off. You are crying wolf, and they stop listening. If you want to talk to these people about racism (and misogyny, homophobia.. racism to me has become a catch phrase for all of those.) then I think we have to find a middle way.

  142. @george: You can try, if you want. God knows, as I’ve said elsewhere, there are worse windmills to tilt at.

    As I said in my first paragraph, I think the election demographics/stated reasons show that we don’t need to waste our time with people who still think it’s okay to whine about how lazy people on food stamps are, or how gay people are just not right, or how dare women show skin yet not talk to them on the bus. Life’s short and I have better things to do than play kindergarten teacher for adults who should know better, on the off chance that it *might* move the bar a little.

    I’d rather work on getting out the vote among responsible adults, overcoming voter suppression, and addressing legitimate economic and security worries in a sustainable way.

  143. George:”You are crying wolf,”

    To be clear, calling a racist “racist” is not crying wolf. The whole point of the boy who cried wolf was that there was no wolf the first couple times.

    Clearly, there are racists. So calling them out is not “crying wolf”.

    If you have a fairy tale where one person calls attention to something evil another person is doing, and the evil person refuses to listen because being called evil makes them feel sad. So the first person has to walk on eggshells around the evil person trying to gently point out that they are doing evil things?

    Yeah, that would be the fairy tale to refernce here.

    But not “crying wolf”.

  144. Hi Greg, “Crying wolf” are the words of my friends who voted for Trump. After a post here a few days ago I asked them if they thought Trump was a racist. (I had to be very careful the way I asked this, … and even so I got some “blow back”.) Anyway their answer was no they don’t think he is a racist, and that the word has been used so much that it’s lost it’s meaning to them.. crying wolf. I understand you and many here don’t feel that way. I think it’s important to try and see the world through the eyes of those you disagree with… otherwise we are just talking past each other. You may not think that way, which is fine.

  145. @isabel, yeah that’s fine and good… there are many paths to the top of the mountain. (we each find our own way.) To me, I feel that these are one half of “my people”. I’m not really sure what to do, but leaving them behind (if we ever get in front again) is not what I will choose.

  146. George, people who think milk chocolate is better than bittersweet chocolate are “people I disagree with.” People who voted for Trump are my enemies. It’s a useful distinction you might want to remember.

    Seeing things through the eyes of enemies is useful as a battle strategy, but as it’s also extremely distasteful, I can’t see any other reason for it.

    No, but seriously, I get what you’re saying. But when do THEY ever try to see things from OUR point of view? Why are WE always the ones expected to reach out? It’s an abusive relationship, and it’s time to end it. I’m going to fight against everything they want, starting with white supremacy, and working my way down.

  147. Hey, I’m a bleeding-heart liberal: I think even bigots (and especially those dependent on bigots, deserve food, clothing, housing, medical care, education, etc. If the left gets in power again, I absolutely want to ensure that they have those things.

    What they *don’t* deserve, and what I’ll hold the line on giving them, is people listening to their line of bullshit or acting like it’s a valid perspective or they’re good people despite it. And that’s more a social issue than a political one–politically, they don’t deserve to make laws fucking other people over so they can feel good about themselves, and that’s it.

  148. @George

    George, you say you have to be very careful in the way you ask questions. What will happen if you are not careful? Do you want to live that way, censoring yourself? I don’t know your situation and whether it is safe for your to speak your mind. And I am not advocating hatred or revenge. However, progressives have only hurt ourselves, over and over, by trying to compromise with people that will not listen. I am done being timid.

  149. I’ll give credit where credit is due: you are one of the few celebs/well-known creative types that has been relatively intellectual/even keel about this situation.

    Personally, I think there is enough blame on both sides to go around, from the Dems being complacent about their chances of winning to the GOP thinking that maintaining the status quo passive/aggressive stance would somehow allow them to remove DT as a candidate.

    And even though I voted for him in the CT primary, I couldn’t bring myself to vote for him (and definitely not her). Ultimately, I voted Libertarian.

    What’s done is done and I’ve moved on back to the political scene that matters the most to me: state & local. That scene is what directly affects me the most. Not the national.

    Curious though, what do you think about all these protests and the incapability of the millennials to accept the fact that their candidate lost?

  150. It is scaring to see the number of comments which completely ignore climate change, as if it’s a sort of peripheral issue which can be put at the end of the queue. It isn’t. Without action now there will be no need to worry about what the economic effects of Trump’s policies will do in another 4 or 8 years; we will be facing catastrophe.

    There are still hopes: China has said it will comply with the Paris Agreement, despite Trump pulling out, and today the UK has signed the Agreement, demonstrating that Trump cannot dictate his views to the UK, notwithstanding Nigel Farage spending quality time with Trump. I gather that our civil service is bemused by Trump telling Theresa May, the Prime Minister, to give him a call the next time she’s in the US.

    State visits don’t work like that; the fact he thinks they do is sufficient to make any competent civil servant or politician conclude that he’s bat shit crazy. They are, of course, right; however Theresa May refused to condemn the blatant racism etc in Trump’s campaign, so it’s significant that she’s dispatched an ‘up yours’ response on climate change.

    As I say, there is still hope;’but I think the campaigning in the US about Trump’s policies has to get a grip on what the most dangerous one is, and that is denying climate change and refusing to take any steps to rein it in. As I keep on pointing out, planets suitable for human habitation are exceedingly thin on the ground, so it would be nice if we recognised that fact before we trash this one…

  151. I’m the grandchild of refugees. My grandparents got out in time, the rest of our family didn’t. Two of my grandmother’s siblings survived Auschwitz – everyone else, including my great-uncle’s 2 year old son, didn’t.

    I spent a week on anti-nausea medication and still lost 2 pounds. I’m a little better, but I’m still not convinced the cattle cars aren’t going to come. At best, I hope for an incompetent administration that spends all its time fighting with Congress (I also think the Republicans wanted Hillary to win so they could spend the next four years whining and fighting with her. Now they’re actually going to have to do things).

    My mother and husband had to talk me down from moving to Canada when I found out about Bannon and it was decided for everyone’s sanity I ought to stay away from social media and the news. I’m trying to increase my volunteering and finding ways to be nice to people when I’m out. I’m trying to take comfort from the fact that everyone I’ve talked to is also very upset (without getting drawn into their panic). It helps that I live in MD.

    Some of the roads near me were closed down when 4 high schools marched down the street protesting. But. Several churches in my area were vandalized. I keep telling myself that Americans have an entirely different temperament than Germans. Germans are orderly and like to follow directions. Americans like to say fuck you. But. I told my husband not to wear his kipah on the Metro.

    I’m just grateful my children are too young to know what’s going on.

  152. Folks, I donated to the ACLU today. Why? Because like many (most?, all?) of you, I’m sick to my stomach and hate feeling like there’s nothing I can do about this mess. I am not going to try and talk sense to those who are sick in their souls and believe committing mass suicide is the answer to their problems. No, I just want to put hammers and picks into the hands of those who are good at tearing walls down. May I humbly suggest you all consider doing likewise?

  153. OK, re the racist thing. Lets say that you are a black right after the civil war. You have basically three choices: Stay where you are, move to the city and try to get work or move into primarily white farmland, which is probably where a lot of the overseers came from. Speaking logically, I would think that a black person would have to have a REALLY DAMN GOOD REASON to move into white farmland. Where I grew up, we weren’t racist that I was aware of: no blacks to be racist about. The only blacks in our neighborhood were friends with my father’s family. There just weren’t many blacks around to either get to know or to be afraid of, and none were my age. A lot of the people who voted for Trump are probably pretty much like my family and former neighbors: the only black people they ever see are on TV and who worries about the civil rights of TV characters? Same with LGBT people. It was easy for them to hope for a better economy and ignore other issues. I think that pretty soon they will realize that they were sold a bill of goods about the economy and THAT will set them off. Calling them racists (unless, of course, they are in the KKK or some obvious benchmark like that) will interfere with future alliances against the Donald. This is not to say that racist comments should be allowed to pass without comment, it is to say that discovering that someone is a Trump supporter does not automatically give you the right to call them a racist.

  154. @ G.B. Miller

    I don’t think there is “blame to go around.” Only one set of people is to blame for Trump: people who voted for Trump–which apparently includes you.

    As for the protests, good. Put Trump and the Republicans on notice that there will be no honeymoon and we will give Trump all the respect and cooperation the Republicans gave Obama, while continuing to hold the high moral ground by refraining from lynching Trump in efffigy.

  155. Walter Davis:

    “Where I grew up, we weren’t racist that I was aware of: no blacks to be racist about.”

    Well, no. Just because one does not live or near members of a group doesn’t mean one can’t be bigoted about them or elect people who discriminate against them though the offices of the law. It’s nice you weren’t racist; it’s not an argument that scales. The rest of your argument is also full of logical potholes, I’m afraid. Also, you know. You’re arguing against point I, at the very least, didn’t make.

  156. For years all I have heard is the millennial are lazy and apathetic. Now that they have taken a stand on something – something very important to our future as Americans – now they are sore losers, kids who always got participation trophies, blah blah blah. This election is about so much more than one candidate losing and another winning. As someone who taught millennials, I am happy to see them involved with trying to change their future and the future of this country.

  157. Question……. If Obama and Clinton did not do enough to quell the BLM inspired violence against the police then does it follow that Clinton voters must obviously be bigoted against the police if they voted for Clinton? Just sayin. Anyway, I’m with George.

  158. People get jobs to live. Sometimes they do more than pay the bills – they fulfill people spiritually and intellectually, they allow them to be people with value independent of their social roles, and they give them options. But mostly, people work because they have to. Communities are why people live, in large part.

    One of the difficulties in the economy is that it’s hard to put down roots. Having support from others and giving it to others makes it possible to make up with effort what you don’t have enough money to do (at least for some things), but if you are insecure, you’re not going to be able to build up the connections to do that. (That’s also the problem with charity replacing welfare (the GOP plan) – if you don’t have people who know the place to help, let alone enough money, you’re only going to be salving donor consciences, not helping anyone.) Leaving the place where you have community for where you don’t is difficult, especially when you’re unlikely to be any one place long enough to form a community of your own. (It’s possible, but mainly in really big cities, where you have to make other choices – can you afford to have a family? With pharma’s shifts to Boston and SF, lots of chemists and biologists are getting to find this out, and although they have lots more money, it’s still no fun for them, either.)

    All this is a relatively long-winded way of saying that I can see why people would be hesitant to leave their communities and cultures when the jobs go away.

  159. K, not at all. That guy who shot those police was a quiet loner with mental health issues, of course.

  160. Stevie,

    I am not advocating silence when someone says something wrong, or is tying to do evil. Then they need to be called out, or fought.

    What I am advocating is listening to others even when you disagree with them. Too often a person whole life, their experiences and wisdom is either discounted, or just denied. A Scarlet Letter given because of an action, or belief, that somebody disagrees with.

  161. Walter Davis:

    “Where I grew up, we weren’t racist that I was aware of: no blacks to be racist about.”

    You’re taking the piss, right? Because I’m going to pay you the courtesy of assuming you can’t be that clueless about the covert and overt ways people have of keeping their nice white neighbourhoods that way. Perhaps you’re not actively racist — you’d never buy a house with an explicitly racist covenant attached. Your first instinct on seeing an unfamiliar brown face or a woman in a hijab on the street outside wouldn’t be to call the police. You wouldn’t oppose low-income public housing in your hood because of “undesirabe elements” destroying your property values or dragging down the local schools and amenities.

    Well, cookies to you! But you benefit from profound structural and cultural racism every bit as much as I do. (I’m mixed race, but boy I know how “white” my well-educated, conservative-dressing light-skinned arse reads.) The difference is, I don’t vote for racists and pretend I’m some special snowflake who can wish away the effects of my choices.

    Speaking logically, I would think that a black person would have to have a REALLY DAMN GOOD REASON to move into white farmland.

    Speaking logically, if I threatened to kill you and your family, destroy your property and make it effective impossible to earn a living with monotonous regularity? AND you happened to be a black person. Howdy, I’m racist as fuck and you’re leaving my town one way or the other.

    Mr. Scalzi has indicated he doesn’t want this thread Groundhog Day-ing The Cinemax Theory of Racism but you really need to go read it, Walter.

    George Herold:

    I think it’s important to try and see the world through the eyes of those you disagree with… otherwise we are just talking past each other.

    Well, that’s adorable, but I think you’re pointing that in the wrong direction.

    First, “empathy” etc. doesn’t mean “mute complicity with arseholes.” I’m an Old Testament kind of girl — you go for my eyes and knock my teeth out? I’m coming right back at you, because this ain’t Oliver Twist and I’m not saying “Please, Sir, can I have some more?”

    Second, what the hell makes you think women, PoC, LGBT, immigrants, Muslims, people with disabilities and the poor don’t already “see the world through the eyes” of people who treat them with utter contempt? WHAT THE HELL MAKES YOU THINK THEY EVER HAVE THE OPTION NOT TO?

    Finally and sincerely, George, I get how this is really hard for an awful lot of white people in general, and Trump supporters specifically, to listen to. Let alone genuine hear. But I’m coming up on two weeks of being scolded for incivility and disrespect by people who voted for politicians who routinely equate me to terrorists, child molesters, rapists and animal-shaggers. Who make precisely zero secret of their desire, if they ever get their head, to strip me of any political and civil rights I enjoy, tear my family apart and make my existence a living hell.

    Pardon me if I’m done being nice to special snowflakes who get ouchy feels at being held accountable for their choices. What they’ve done can’t be undone, but at the very least they can behave like adults about it.

  162. You know what I’m done with? Explaining to people who say they’re not racist because x, y, z that they really are because they’re misdefining racism. It’s useless. They’re going to define racism any way they have to so that it excludes them. One of my younger FB friends was talking about the “racism” her white son experiences at the hands of black people in his school. That’s not racism. It may be racial bias, but it’s not racism. Did I explain? No. I think she voted for Trump, but she didn’t say so. Yet. So she’s still on my FB list.

    Walter Davis, there was a piece on This American Life recently about a formerly-all-white town in Minnesota that had experienced an influx of Somali refugees. Their (Republican!) Congressman told them in a Town Hall that no, they do not have the right to reject legal immigrants who want to move into their town. They were shocked. But this, at least until January 20, is still America, and we have laws about stuff like that.

    They also talked about how they would drive past the park and see Somali boys playing basketball. To them that meant they had no park anymore.

    Guess what? They all denied being racists. Of course they were, and they had always been. It just took POC moving into their town for them to notice it. They kept saying “don’t we have any say?” and “can’t we have a break until the ones who are here settle in?” Well, no, you don’t, and no, you can’t. Suck it the fuck up.

    In America, you don’t have the right to decide how the ethnic or racial makeup of your community will change, or how fast. This is what Trump voters, and other racists, don’t get.

  163. Xopher, there have been several instances of this violence since the inception of BLM. Obama invited this group to the White House. Remember the outright chant “pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon” (not sure I got that exactly right, but you remember) So that’s all cool beans in your book? To support those that refuse to use their considerable power to protect the police?

    The Obamas also invited Rapper Rick Ross to the White House as their guest. Quite an honor for a criminal rapper who raps vile mysogynistic lyrics. Really? Not the kind of person I would expect the Obamas to align themselves with seeing how much they want to advance women’s causes. Doesn’t that seem a little hypocritical to you? Personally, I would rather the leaders of our country make friends with those who can inspire us, not disgust us. Now, I realize Rick Ross was not being considered for a cabinet position, but nonetheless, not a good role model for young girls and boys. See how two can play this game? Now I realize that according to many on the left, by merely disagreeing with the Obamas, I must be a racist. I mean after all that’s what we’ve been told for 8 years.

  164. Being called racist by the left didn’t start with the election of Trump. Ironically, it started with the election of Obama.

  165. K, I see that false equivalence remains a favorite tool of the right. Trump has an open white supremacist and anti-Semite as his chief strategist. Name anything as aggressively monstrous that Obama has done.

  166. The Obamas also invited Rapper Rick Ross to the White House as their guest. Quite an honor for a criminal rapper who raps vile mysogynistic lyrics. Really?

    God-damn, K. Install your talking points updates, we’re concern trolling Beyonce now.! Rick Ross is so a hundred Fox News cycles ago…

    But yeah, completely not-False equivalence there, unless there’s a fake news site out there that reveals Obama’s vicious racist attacks on Canada as a nation of meth-cooking rapists and terrorists who are going to pay for that wall… well, fence. Ah, whatyever.

  167. I’m surprised K wasn’t called racist prior to Obama. Maybe just not as vocal about it before a black president? Or maybe the “alt right” media K is quoting so much wasn’t so vocal? (Btw, the response to the rapper thing, IIRC from Comedy Central when they made fun of it from Fox/Rush, is Ted Nugent.)

  168. … I am clearly not channeling that vox article about being nice to racists. But the point isn’t to convert bigots but to let others know that bigotry is unacceptable.

  169. It might of been a hundred new cycles ago, but still relevent to me, which is why I mentioned it. And no reponse about BLM? Please explain how you support our leaders who don’t condemn the hateful rhetoric of this organization? So hate against the police is OK?
    Xopher, I can see hypocrisy is a favorite tool of the left.

  170. And this is why the whole ‘building bridges’ thing is hippie nonsense. You cannot have a productive dialogue about racism with people who deny it exists, and who believe “racism” is the pundit equivalent of “doody-head” – a meaningless insult to be hurled at one’s political opponents, but which doesn’t describe anything that literally exists.

  171. Nicoleandmaggie, No I’ve never been called racist. You are the first one to direct that to me personally. Now maybe get some sleep because tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to personally attack someone else.

  172. Hey K? Two thoughts.

    One: If a dozen people tell you you have something in your teeth, is the appropriate response to ignore them because they’re clearly biased? Or to check a mirror? Similarly, if a whole bunch of people are calling you racist, it may be a good idea to step back and look at your actions and words and consider if you are, in fact, being racist.

    Two: When the police are systematically targeting you and people who look like you for violence and extrajudicial executions, and not even being brought to trial for it? Then you get to have an opinion on what the proper response to that sort of behavior is. Until then, may I suggest you take your crocodile tears for the poor persecuted cops (literally a less dangerous job than being a cab driver or a roofer) and stuff them?

  173. Trump isn’t JUST a racist, he is a misogynist who bragged about assaulting women. And I’ve noticed that a lot of the racist incidents being reported are also attacks against women (ripping off hijabs, Brooklyn lady being punched in face, etc). Apparently his supporters are just fine with this and I am sure they’ll deny being misogynists too.

  174. John
    I tried this out for size because some (my family) advised me that FB was not a good place to share political thoughts. And I needed an outlet. I’m quite outnumbered here obviously. This is quite a scary place. Don’t think I’ll be back.

  175. K says:
    November 17, 2016 at 9:55 pm
    Question……. If Obama and Clinton did not do enough to quell the BLM inspired violence against the police then does it follow that Clinton voters must obviously be bigoted against the police if they voted for Clinton?


    K, you are setting up a false dichotomy. The two statements: “I support Black Lives Matter” and “I support the police” are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to support the police while simultaneously being appalled by egregious killing of people of color. “Not all police” play by the rules. There are bad apples. Like many professions, bad cops are enabled by the silence of good cops. I want good cops to call out and refuse to shield the bad cops in their ranks.

    As a society, we entrust the police with the power of life and death. In my mind, that means we need to hold them to high standards. I find it odd that unarmed black men in their 50’s are seen as threatening, when white men brandishing AK-47’s can be somehow talked into a quiet arrest. Dylan Roof murdered 9 people in cold blood and when arrested, the cops solicitously bought him a hamburger after they relieved him of the handgun he used to murder those innocent people in a bible study group.

    And considering your comment about this being a scary place makes me think the folks that steered you here were punking you. Because compared to FB, this is a place of calm rationality and measured polite discourse. Although it is clear that you are in the minority. How’s that feel?

  176. K.

    I get what’s “relevant” to you — throwing out random false equivalencies and rhetorical questions that bear precisely zero relevance to anything anyone has said. Shame on me for taking the bait as far as I did.

    But where you’ve crossed every line is this: “So hate against the police is OK?”

    My foster brother and his wife are both ex-Police officers. They have both been injured in the line of duty, and retired with service records of honour and distinction, their committment to enforce the law without fear or favour beyond question. They’re also fine people I love without reservation.

    They — and every other Police officer I know, and I know many — are horrified when they see American police officers shooting unarmed black men, women and children then, all to often, walking away with precisely zero consequences. They understand that when law enforcement becomes lawless this is not only destructive of the rule of law, but puts their lives at risk.

    To say I hate these people is beneath contempt, Sir. Do not bother responding to this. In fact, do not address your ignorant swill to me again.

  177. I apologize for not making my point more clearly. In the future I will try to remember that it is difficult for normal people to understand me:

    1. “Where I grew up, we weren’t racist THAT I WAS AWARE OF: no blacks to be racist about.” To clarify this, my wife did not know that she was allergic to penicillin until she got a shot, swelled up and nearly died. I have no doubt that there are racists where I grew up, but how would I know who was racist and who was not if there were no non-white (or visibly homosexual) people to be attacked? Also, I am considerably older than you are, I grew up in the country and the times I am talking about were in the sixties and seventies. No problem with black or immigrant influx then. I expect that there is now, but I have no idea how the community is dealing with this. Some people are claiming that I am trying to protect my white paradise. I lived downwind from an animal rendering plant and also a public dump that periodically was set on fire. A lot of people left. I did. My sister stayed and she regularly works with Hispanics and Muslims with no more difficulty than she has dealing with white people. There are assholes in every race and creed.

    2. “A lot of the people who voted for Trump are probably pretty much like my family and former neighbors: the only black people they ever see are on TV and who worries about the civil rights of TV characters?” Quite frankly, it is easier to kill people you don’t know, even easier to kill people who aren’t “real people” in one way or another. Distance helps, too, helps you not to hear the screams. It is hard to strangle someone. It is somewhat easier to shoot someone. It is distressingly easy to drop bombs on total strangers. Likewise, it is easy to ignore the problems of people you don’t know and don’t expect to know.

    3. “Calling them racists (unless, of course, they are in the KKK or some obvious benchmark like that) will interfere with future alliances against the Donald. This is not to say that racist comments should be allowed to pass without comment, it is to say that discovering that someone is a Trump supporter does not automatically give you the right to call them a racist.” Calling people racists immediately with no further evidence than their voting record is radicalizing the situation and makes them far less likely to pay any attention to anything else you say, because NOBODY thinks he is a racist, NOBODY thinks he is a bad person and telling them that they are pretty much shuts the conversation down without accomplishing anything.

    4. @Scalzi. I concede that I could have phrased this better. I was actually trying to agree with you. Would you be so good as to point out my logical flaws rather than simply claiming that they exist?

  178. K:

    I do suppose it’s scary if you’re not used to people pointing out when your arguments are lazy or poorly made, yes.

    Walter Davis:

    I regret to say that I do not always have time to fully vet and correct every single poorly-constructed argument one might make (you or others). Managing comments and participating in threads is not my full time job. I may simply pick out one out of several, as I did with you.

  179. The underlying concept of empathy is EQUALITY. You put yourself on someone else’s shoes because you are both human, you both wear shoes, you have hopes and dreams, you both have agency. When a bigot talks of “empathy”, its an oxymoron, if you paupers would but put yourselves in my solid gold shoes, you would see I am better than you.

    Does anyone remember any republican obstructionists try to empathize with Obama and put themselves in his shoes to see things from his point of view? I dont remember that ever happening.

    When sociopaths, who have never demonstrated empathy towards you, suddenly demand that you empathize with them, I think of the chinese room. if they emit the sylables that mean nothing to them, maybe it will somehow help their cause.

    Its a sociopath using the letters “empathy” as hippie bait so as to eat more hippies for supper. They have never and will never extend empathy towards the people they eat or the people destroyed by their policies. But they mimic the sound ehm-puh-theee the way an angler fish offers a little light in the deep, dark, ocean, not to make the world a little better, but as bait to eat you.

  180. K: “no reponse about BLM? Please explain how you support our leaders who don’t condemn the hateful rhetoric of this organization?”

    (1) Define hate. And do so in a manner that is distinct from stating facts. For example, this justice department report condemning baltimore police for rampant systemic racism is not “hateful rhetoric”, it is stating facts.

    (2) With this clear definition of hate that excludes statements of fact, please provide a URL to an example of a BLM member who is espousing “hateful rhetoric”.

  181. Calling them racists (unless, of course, they are in the KKK or some obvious benchmark like that) will interfere with future alliances against the Donald.

    One last time, Walter, our host has made it clear he doesn’t encourage comment threads re-booting arguments around previous posts but The Cinemax Theory of Racism has really disposed of this line. Please go read it, then come back.


    Finished? Now, you may think there are meaningful alliances for PoC and Muslim-Americans to make with people who voted for a man who is either an unapologetic, blatant and consistent racist or just pretends to be one to get support from people who are. And whose first major White House staff appointment as President-Elect is the publisher of a website that is an unapologetic clearing house for deceptive racism and religious bigotry.

    At best, you’re naive to a breath-taking degree, and an awful lot of us don’t have the luxury of riding the Trump Train to Lollipop Land and hoping it all works out. Yeah, I think voting for a racist is a perfectly obvious benchmark for calling someone a racist. Just as voting for the CPUSA before they stopped running presidential candidates in 1988 was a rather broad hint that you were a Communist or at the very least laid back about being a fellow traveler.

    Listen, I’m sure you fancy yourself a pragmatic political realist. As someone who has worn out my share of clothes pegs as an openly gay, mixed-race office holder and activist in a center-right political party of over twenty-five years standing, you’re nothing of the kind. Because pragmatically and realistically, when someone spits in your face then tells you to eat shit and drop dead? You’ve got better places to expend your time and energy.

    And you better be very clear about what you’re going to sell your soul for (and what the consequences will be) before you do it, because The Devil doesn’t believe in do-overs. I don’t think the dignity and well-being of Hispanics, African-Americans, Muslims, women and LGBT should be on the block for a single poll point, let alone control of Congress or even the Oval Office. Shame you apparently do.

  182. John, this thread is focusing on fears (of which I share all the ones listed above). But I’ve wasted so much time dwelling on those fears that I’m trying to dwell on something more constructive: what to do next. I see plenty of “help the people around you” and “resist Trump” but very little thought on how we can bring the government back to somewhere safe (I’ll settle for “normal” Republicans at this point). In particular, given the red/blue divide, it just isn’t clear what those of us in blue states (which are too few) can do to influence future elections. Which leaves me fearing that this is the new normal. Any thoughts?

  183. @David
    TODAY, if you can, contact the house oversight committee 202 225 5074 to support the call for a bipartisan review of Trump’s financials and conflicts of interest. for more info. If you can’t get through, you can send a fax, call Jason Chaffetz at one of his two offices (I called Utah), or, if you have a representative on the committee who represents you, then call them. (Numbers for these options are in the twitter feed of the person linked.)

    Let them know that we won’t stand for abnormal.

  184. Ugh.. If this thread stays open till this evening I’ll try and respond to everyone. (lots to do at work and I want to skip out early to enjoy the beautiful day.)

    @cranapia, I thought the cinemax theory of racism was based on a false premise. That Trump voters think Trump is a racist, you and I think he’s a racist, Trump voters don’t.

  185. All year we’ve been told that HRC was an acceptable candidate because a) she was not a Republican and b) Clintons know how to win. It’s going to be a lot harder for the Democrats to run another candidate like her, particularly given how she lost the Midwest firewall.

    To use yet another Brexit analogy, the voters are going to want Corbyn. Will the Party try to shove some new-old establishment candidate in our face despite our objections?

    I for one don’t think I can stand another hold-your-nose candidate. The system is broken. Don’t believe me? There’s an orangutan someone draped a swastika armband on about to take charge of this country. So don’t send another person who thinks they can just press the buttons and the system will take care of the rest. (Obama had at least half a clue, but a lot of bad luck (and systemic racism.)) We need someone who has a vision for fixing the system or if that’s impossible, a vision on how to maximize survival rates.

  186. @George Herold

    How would we tell the difference between Trump voters thinking Trump is not racist/misogynist/homophobic, and Trump voters knowing very well that Trump is racist but refusing to acknowledge it to us or to themselves?

    Because, if they *really* think Trump isn’t racist, why are attacks against people of color, women, and LGBTQ people spiking?

  187. @david: In addition to what nicoleandmaggie said:

    Get involved with future elections at the local level–send funding, support candidates, etc. Support petitions against voter suppression and GotV movements. As elections approach, if you have time and transportation, go to neighboring swing states and literally knock on doors, informing people about candidates and helping them get any voter ID requirements fulfilled. Donate to funds that provide free Uber/Lyft rides to the polls.

    That’s where I’m going to be putting my efforts in future elections. For now, I’m bothering current Congresspeople and others, telling them to stand up: protest Trump appointees, the gutting of SS/Medicare/the ACA, Muslim registries, etc.

    Also, a friend of mine made this:, a guide for transgender people to quickly complete their legal changes. It mostly focuses on MA, but the SSA/State Department info presumably applies across states.

  188. @David Karger

    Something you could also do is contact your Representative and your Senators and ask them to commit to opposing the GOP plan to phase out Medicare.

    (The plan being talked about would end the current Medicare for future enrollees and replace it with private insurance plus premium support.)

    Josh Marshall at has been keeping track of the situation. A lot of Democratic members of congress seem to be either unaware that the GOP is actually planning to do this or overly complacent.

  189. George Herold

    I thought the cinemax theory of racism was based on a false premise.

    Of course, you did.

    That Trump voters think Trump is a racist, you and I think he’s a racist, Trump voters don’t.

    While you’re accusing others of arguing from a false premise, you should try a little hard to engage with the arguments people (especially our host) are actually making. I don’t think my singing voice is that bad, but it doesn’t mean I can carry a tune. And no amount of strident assertion or wishful thinking will turn me into Patti Lupone rather than Florence Foster Jenkins.

  190. George Herold

    I very much doubt that you could find any reputable analyst to support your claim that Trump voters don’t think he’s a racist, primarily because there are quite a few people who are proud of being racist and proclaim that Trump is right to be racist. White supremacists believe that only white people are really human, and Trump has cornered the market in white supremacists.

    You may be living in the the sort of post-truth world in which you believe the claim made by a woman describing Michelle Obama as a ‘Ape in heels’ that she’s not racist, but most of us know that it’s bullshit.

    That is why people are scared, and they are reacting rationally to a real threat. George Takei, who was interned during WWII for being a Japanese American, has spoken very forcefully about the ‘Muslim List’ because there is already a Trump promoter pointing to the internment camps as a precedent for interning Muslim Americans.

    I look at the prospect of a bat shit crazy President of the US rabidly accelerating climate change to the point where it could bring down human civilisation, and I am scared; that is a rational response to that threat.

    In short, the people who are afraid of the consequences of a Trump Presidency are the realists…

  191. George, I had a trump voter tell me in the same message they werent racist, they didnt see trump as a bigot, and their biggest fear was BLM. They had just sent me a link to that has countless articles containing pictures of black people doing something violent always accompanied by a headline that says “BLM attacks innocent white people again”. Because all black people are part of Black Lives Matter. The reason I chopped up the url is because it is a horrendously bigotted website.

    By all fucking means, bequeath me with your infinite wisdom about how this person isnt racist, and how I should educate them about their bigotry without mentioning their bigotry.

  192. @Privateiron

    HRC has gotten more votes than any white man has ever gotten in a presidential election. Voter suppression is a hell of a thing, though; if you want to blame anyone for the usurper (and you don’t want to blame the fascists, misogynists and racists), blame the GOP apparatchiks who were willing to burn the whole thing down to take over the country.

  193. Privateiron

    To use yet another Brexit analogy, the voters are going to want Corbyn. Will the Party try to shove some new-old establishment candidate in our face despite our objections?

    Well, get involved in the Democratic Party, support America’s Corbyn and do your part to make sure they win the primary. That involves doing the hard boring work like sitting on rules committees until you’d gnaw your arm off to relieve the tedium, registration drives, stuffing envolopes, knocking on doors and shaking hands, GOTV operation and the rest. Then you get to do it all over again in the general.

    What I can’t abide are those who sit on sidelines ranting about how “you’re each as bad as the other” (get back to me on that in four years) and affect a tiresome air of moral superiority to those of us who are grinding our arses off trying to make a difference in this world. The one that’s flawed and frustrating as hell.

    I for one don’t think I can stand another hold-your-nose candidate.

    Well fair enough. You’re perfectly entitled to sit 2020 out, but if the end result is another four years of Trump and Pence? Remember to own your share of that, because you might not like “the system” but never, ever pretend you’re somehow beyond it. Nobody is.

  194. Privateiron :”for one don’t think I can stand another hold-your-nose candidate. The system is broken.”

    My one tweak to the system is to have superdelagates shut up about the vote, and the dnc not count their vote, until after the people actually vote in all the dem primaries.

    Having the party put their thumb on the scale before people vote is really annoying, and undemocratic.

  195. Xopher Halftongue said, “But when do THEY ever try to see things from OUR point of view? Why are WE always the ones expected to reach out? It’s an abusive relationship, and it’s time to end it. I’m going to fight against everything they want, starting with white supremacy, and working my way down.”

    This. Exactly. The right operates under the belief that compromise means they get their absolute way about everything and the left needs to suck it up and go along. Meanwhile, congressional R’s denied the person we-the-people elected and re-elected the ability to perform of the most basic responsibilities of a POTUS, that of nominating a SCOTUS justice. They stood in the way of everything meaningful President Obama tried to do, just to obstruct. And now, they are calling for unity? We are supposed to unify around a misogynistic, racist, thin-skinned, sociopathic narcissist with exactly zero governmental experience?

    I’m really good at flossing my teeth, who wants a root canal? I am a great driver, want me to fix your car? I love wine, I can probably get you off on that DUI. I know how to cure my headaches, who needs brain surgery? Anyone? Anyone? No? Hey! I watch Scandal, West Wing and Madame Secretary, elect me for President! Apparently no experience is needed! Oh, wait. I’m a woman. Never mind.

  196. @Privateiron: My nerdy technical fix, to get major-party wonks and independent idealists on the same page, is to improve the voting system.

    There’s currently a powerful disincentive to vote third-party because of the spoiler effect. And it makes the third-party candidates themselves worse, because they have to be the sort of people who will actually say with a straight face that they don’t care about the spoiler effect; that the worst candidate winning is somehow better than the not-quite-as-good candidate winning (it will bring the revolution! etc.) That’s corrosive in itself. It breeds contempt for democracy.

    If we had ranked-choice voting, you could vote for your favorite candidate, and also at the same time express your opinion that, yes, Hold-Your-Nose Candidate is better than Giant Meteor In Human Form. There would probably still be voters who won’t even do that, but it opens up the possibility. And the candidates themselves could ask for second-choice votes. And sometimes Favorite Candidate might win.

  197. (note, Maine just passed ranked-choice voting for future elections, though not for President; it was probably a reaction to Paul LePage, a candidate likely loathed by a popular majority, getting into office twice through the perversity of the voting system. I’m thinking it needs to be all up and down the ballot.)

  198. @Walter Davis: It’s a little ironic that you are lecturing people about how one must never call someone a racist (even if they are racist) because they’ll shut down, but then launch your own comment with a Supergenius Lament fauxpology lamenting that you need to dumb yourself down for the normals. Seriously, pick one.

    As far as racists supporting Trump goes, first, rather a significant number of open, proud racists indeed voted for Trump. Steve Bannon did not get where he is by making Breitbart a bastion of racial equality. Additionally, you are assuming there is a logical way to deal with people who are never, ever going to admit that they or their preferred candidate could be racist or bigoted in the least. Even if you do not use the “R” word.

  199. Actively resist Trump at every opportunity
    If they actually pass the Muslim Registry every last person should register just to make that thing useless

    Protest the building of the wall and sit in and disrupt its construction so it takes much longer than 4-8 years to build

    These things will drive Donald nuts and then you’ll see his true autocratic authoritarian tendencies emerge
    Thank god that certain Republicans have refused to vote for getting rid of the filibuster otherwise America would literally have voted in a dictator (not that it hasn’t)

    I’m a Canuck so electing Trump has less effect on me – but its not going to be 0

  200. Every time there is a Gay Pride parade, or the Folsom Street Fair, some preacher uses very edited video to show just how degenerate all them homosexuals are. To taint millions of people as the same as the fat dude dressed just in ass chaps, or the the couple doing an open air s&m session. Them homos are liberal, therefor all liberals are degenerates, as anything they say.

    Which is the Republican Party’s playbook, and the Democratic Party has a similar playbook.

    Just as the politicians have been getting evermore economical with the truth, and the government has gotten ever more corrupted, and responsive only to those of the Koch brothers, the Waltons, Goldman Sachs, and others of their ilk.

    Aside from a few Blue cities, and perhaps the top 10% my entire country has gotten poorer, and more desperate, over the past forty years. Much, perhaps a majority, of the country has not recovered from the Great Recession. What the leadership of both parties offered, just about guaranteed this would continue.

    And here we are putting the whole blame on those either unable to get, or perhaps afford, high speed internet. Which is an oversimplification, but still a valid point.

    So more, and more people are unable to find work pay the rent, let alone send their children to college, and there else no one offering real solutions. The Republicans are offering them more tax cuts, and the Democrats are offering more education for those nonexistent jobs. Please, people are often stupid, but not that stupid. After a while people do catch on to the lying liars who always lie.

    However, desperate people often do stupid things like voting in Cthulhu. But ignoring their suffering by denigrating all of the them, like the preacher, or politician, do of my entire state is not going to work.

    Stop, and think. Really think about what is going on. Please.

  201. Here’s one way to resist Trump passively (or perhaps passive-aggressively):

    If you didn’t vote during the election, prove that you learned your lesson: vote by signing the petition at this site. And if the Muslim registry gets implemented, register, for heaven’s sake, and persuade as many friends as possible to do so too. Doesn’t matter what religion or lack thereof you claim IRL. The point is to stand together against tyranny and hatred. As the saying goes, “First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist…” (…)

    There are undoubtedly other ways to resist. Come up with your own, and share them as widely as you can. People acting together can accomplish great things.

  202. Cranapia: you said you belong to a center right party in NZ, correct? Are you seriously trying to give me shit for not wanting to support the center right, at electoral gunpoint basically, in my own country? I have walked in the path of the system like a good little boy for decades and the system does not give a flying flip. So now you are demanding that I own my part in a system that does not even work by its own self serving standards anymore. And here’s the kicker, it cannot be fixed because federalism basically guarantees we will never have the power to change any borked parts for the foreseeable future. My best guess is the machine will have to collapse before enough people from enough parts of the country agree to fix it. That’s how it worked in 1932 and 1865. Living through that ain’t going to be fun and whether I vote for the next John Kerry is hardly the momentous act you claim.

    Obama was really the best possible, most agile, smartest person you can imagine this process producing and he could barely keep all the duct tape adhered to the cracks. His biggest achievement was to jury rig a barely functional insurance scheme that was a small improvement on the old one. And he had to hide the costs of what he was doing and talk up how well it would help everyone. And he still got attacked for it day and night. No sane person thinks this is a sustainable model. The one thing jackass Trump voters got right was they knew Hillary and Jeb Bush were incapable of solving these problems.

    Obviously Trump is going to be an epic dumpster fire. Obviously certain classes of people are going to suffer more than others. But Hillary was going to be a smoldering underground coal fire ready to leap to the surface at the next crisis. Hillary would have limped in with a 50/50 Senate and then she would have lost that in 2018. The ACA would have sputtered and the House would have refused to fix it. We are bound to have an economic slow down in even the tamest of cycles and the Republicans would have put someone like Pence or Huckabee into the Oval Office in 2020. This, mind you, is the optimistic view of that alternate future.

    We are going to suffer until we fix this from the ground up and even then we might suffer. But if we look at this election and think we just needed to shift 200,000 votes in the Midwest and/or maybe lock down North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia, then we are going to pay. If we look at it and think people are hurting and we need new ideas, then maybe, just maybe we can derail this prophet of a false populism before it’s too late.

  203. Pedro: Addressing a couple of your comments:


    The Pickerings and the Cohens of this town are so tightly wrapped around the axle of their thinly veiled personal wish that Trump fail, or at least be widely framed as a major fuckup waiting to happen.

    What you describe as a thinly veiled personal wish could also be completely transparent concern. Just sayin’.


    many policy elites are now publicly locked into the prediction that Trump will fail because he is not fit for command. Being heavily invested in such a proposition, they will tend to view events in ways that confirm their initial bias, thus rendering the value of their future pronouncements rather suspect

    I don’t know if you’re showing your own bias here (a tendency to project motives onto people and then judge them by those projected motives) or if you’re just using rhetorical delegitimization tricks.

    You’re positing that people who have criticized Trump must continue to criticize him in order to validate that initial criticism, and that this provides sufficient reason to question their criticism. But what if they keep criticizing him because the reasons behind their initial criticism remain valid? Your argument dodges any substance.

    The defect in your argument doesn’t mean you’re wrong though. DC is very very tribal. You bring up Clinton’s arrival in DC, I remember Carter’s. DC as a village circled wagons and shunned the intruder. And for whatever reason, in the final analysis the DC establishment was right that time. Jimmy Carter is the finest person to hold the presidency in my adult life (i.e. since Nixon) but that didn’t make him a good president.

    Scalzi: any chance you could add back-references to the blog? I did it manually here, following someone else’s example, but it’s a hassle. This thread in particular has a lot of replies and this would make it easier to follow particular exchanges. Charlie Stross’s blog does it unobtrusively.

  204. Shorter JBird: I have no concrete solution but you are all doing it wrong. Oh, and be excellent to one another, dude.

  205. @JBird:

    You realize you just painted Trump supporters as the mad cultists trying to summon an eldrich horror that will consume all humanity, right?

    To your larger point, well, I’m honestly trying to figure out the logic here. People are tired of being lied to, so they vote for the lyingest liar who ever lied? The man promising things that are not just unconstitutional, but logistically, economically, and physically impossible? Sorry, but that’s just completely irrational behavior. How do you even go about persuading someone that detached from reality?

    That’s an honest question, by the way. How should I, a bisexual man, try to reach people who voted for a candidate whose VP thinks I should be tortured out of existance? How should my girlfriend try to reach people that voted for a man that promised to use her as an involuntary incubator? The man who literally bragged about sexually assaulting women? How should my Muslim friend reach people who literally think he (the nerdiest, most unassuming guy I know) should be treated as a threat and maybe deported?

    How do I reach these people? What can I say to make them realize the harm they are doing? What can I do to make myself and my friends and people like me be seen as actual human beings?

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