It Can Happen Here

And it did.

Maybe we shouldn’t be happy that California and other states have legalized marijuana. At this point, we need every last brain cell just to carry on.

And we have not only Trump to consider, but also the major Republican win all over the map. Who will check Trump? Where’s the balance? I get this sick feeling that somehow this will all go downhill in some insidious twisted way that no one could anticipate, with each player in the game unwittingly complicit. Yet responsible.

The talking heads don’t know what’s going on, and when you watch them ad libbing at 2am, you finally get to see them admit it. Judy Woodruff nearly broke down in tears at one point as she described what could have been, apparently having had high hopes for Hilary. Surprise surprise. David Brooks told us about all the friends and relatives who were texting him, panicking, crying. As the veneer of impartiality was stripped away, their faces grew increasingly pale with each bit of information, and they filled the time by analyzing themselves: Maybe there was something wrong with the polling—Maybe this is about race—Maybe this isn’t about race—This isn’t about the economy—This is in part about the economy—Let’s take a look at college-educated white women in comparison to…—This election has been unpredictable—It seems no one saw it coming, at least none of the smart folks with their numbers and polls. Were people answering honestly? (Did they secretly vote for Trump? Were they ashamed to admit it?)—This just goes to show that there really was a silent majority out there.—Trump was right about one thing, we got it wrong.

I did watch networks other than PBS to see what they were up to. More of the same mind-numbing speculation, as I’d expected, but I was more interested in their emotional reactions. Several looked to be on the verge of puking or punching a wall. This was an interesting moment to watch—the talking heads letting their humanity show, just to kill time. I’m sure they’re wondering what part they played in this outcome, and so am I.

I sense the foundation of our lives has been ripped out from under us. Who do we trust now? The system? Is the world a reasonable place? It’s hard to believe it is.

What will happen next? What do you think? 


Here are some stress-relieving pictures to look at. If you’re one of those millennials who threw away your vote, look away. You don’t deserve any comfort.IMG_1301.JPGIMG_2355.JPG

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41 thoughts on “It Can Happen Here

  1. It was obvious to me early in the night that things were going to hell, so after one lamenting tweet, I consciously decided to pop a xanax and go to bed and read about the carnage in the morning. Based on what you’ve described, I made the right move.

    I have no idea what’s going to happen. I suspect no one knows, including Trump himself. I do know that the Republicans, for better or worse, have all the keys to power now. Whatever happens in the next few years, they own it.

    The rest of us are going to have to defend whoever and whatever we can defend, and try not to get hit in the crossfire.

    Liked by 2 people

    • God I wish I had a xanax. I stayed up until 6 am…I just couldn’t fall asleep. I even cried a bit as I thought of the potential horrors facing us. As my mind became more and more fried, I thought about moving somewhere or stock piling something, who knows what, and regretted not acting on that passing moment a week ago when I considered pulling some money out of my mutual funds. Seriously nutty stuff, but these are seriously crazy times now. I’ve decided not to look at my funds for a little while.

      Oddly, the traditional Republican—whatever the hell that means now—is all we have to hope for. Maybe they’ll stop Trump from doing some crazier things, but I think we can kiss Obamacare goodbye. I’m not sure about Social Security. It won’t be popular to do away with that, but these people might set the stage for something like that to happen in the future.

      Liked by 2 people

      • If I hadn’t had xanax, it probably would have been a dose of Nyquil, or maybe a shot of vodka. But I knew if I spent the night watching all of that, I was going to be in a state similar to the one described. I recommend turning off the news and just doing something completely different. I know I’m keeping my own exposure to it today tightly limited.

        I agree that it looks grim for Obamacare. I feel for the people who will be affected. I’m not too worried about Social Security. Trump ruled out making any cuts to it. Of course, Ryan thinks cuts are essential, so who knows what might happen in negotiations between them. Climate change initiatives are almost certainly going to be trashed, but that would have happened with any probable Republican administration. And I’m trying not to think too much about what might happen with our long term international alliances.

        The Democrats do still have the senate filibuster, for what that’s worth. But it does look like we’re mostly left hoping the more sane Republicans will try to keep things, well, sane. They may, if for no other reason than to keep economic disruptions to the donating class’s business interests to a minimum. But yeah, having that and the Senate filibuster as our only bulwarks is not very comforting.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I wanted to take something to knock me out, but I wasn’t sure how that would react with my other meds. I’m finding out soon. I don’t want to have to go through that again.

          I’m totally taking your advice on not watching the news. I thought for sure I’d sleep all day since I only got three hours, but I’m still wired and antsy. I’m trying to focus on dinner tonight and Geordie, avoiding anything that requires mental power, which I don’t have. What the hell can I do anyway? I might as well try not to work myself into a frenzy.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I think that’s the way to look at it. Nothing we can do, at least for now. It’s extremely difficult to see right now, but our day to day life will go on. We’re going to spend the next few years frustrated by the news, probably frequently outraged by it, but we’ll survive it.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Rachel Maddow, that deadly earnest liberal, was just furious and bitter behind the mask of carrying on. I agree, it was fascinating to watch the talking heads react.

    What’s so interesting is that, as with Brexit, we have the “body politic” rejecting the global modern world. Some of those talking heads do get it: this is about yesterday versus tomorrow, and because the people of tomorrow were a little to fucking self-entitled and lazy and wrapped up in their Twitter and Facebook and video games, the steadfast forgotten people of yesterday won.

    Now we’ll see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s it. The self-entitled and lazy…it all sounds a bit too familiar. The banality of evil strikes again. The creepiest thing is that if you met some Trump supporters, you might not find them all that stupid or immoral. We have this image in our heads that they all look like what we see on TV. Not so. A great number of them will seem like reasonable people, not racist fascist pigs. They’ll seem like their only problem is that they don’t have their priorities right, and they “can’t be blamed” for thinking he’s not going to do those awful things the PC liberals think he’ll do…because what president could do such awful things? RIGHT. That’s the banality of evil for you. Not so much following orders in this case, but just not thinking very much, of allowing, of ignoring darker truths, of rolling over and saying things like, “But both candidates are equally bad. I’ll vote for the one whose policies most align with my values.”

      Thanks for letting me rant. I know I can with you. God I need it.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Heh, well you’re talking to a guy who has a blog Category named Rants! XD

        You’re right about the banality of evil. It’s easy to forget that Lucifer is beautiful, the Morning Star. (The TV show on Fox gets that right.)

        “[I]f you met some Trump supporters, you might not find them all that stupid or immoral.”

        In the two days before the election, I exchanged several emails with an old friend of mine after he responded to my blanket mass email of my National Disgrace post.

        He’s the guy who taught me to shoot, got me interested in IPSC, he’s decidedly a Second Amendment voter, and he planned to vote for Trump. He was curious about my response to an Anne Coulter column he linked to. Plus he asserted a belief Hillary Clinton didn’t respect the Constitution (meaning the 2nd Amendment).

        Coulter asserts, in part, that Hillary Clinton ‘wakes up every morning planning to destroy the country,’ so there’s certainly some un-reality-based hyperbole going on there. What really caught my eye was her assertion that Hillary Clinton was “genuinely evil” which, of course, is what liberals think of Trump (I’ve blogged so repeatedly).

        The “I’m rubber, you’re glue” thing is a key tactic on the Trump side. He often accused opponents of having the very flaws he does.

        My friend believes Clinton is the one who doesn’t respect the Constitution, yet Trump has repeatedly made assertions in speeches that are clearly Constitutional violations. Even some of the good things he asserts go beyond the powers granted the President by the Constitution.

        And, remember: President Obama was also going to take away all the guns!

        So they have a distorted view that doesn’t seem to match reality. At the same time, some of what they see is all too real. Jobs have been lost. Many things were better back when America was Great. At least for them.

        “But both candidates are equally bad.”

        Yeah, the false equivalences are one big part of what’s so disturbing here. The binary ‘if not good enough, then as bad as’ thinking. Nuance and gray shades are polarized into litmus tests based on personal beliefs.

        There is also the false equivalence TV news creates by giving both sides equal air time to spin their views without immediately testing what’s asserted for reality. WHICH IS THEIR DAMN JOB! We’ve gone from spin to out-right lies, and we barely seem to notice, let alone care.

        These two things are not the same. Not by a long shot.

        But… it all depends on what happens now.

        At, at worst, in four years we can kick him out.

        In 2010 Obama also had a powerful mandate and, I believe, a Dem majority in the Senate. By 2012 that changed, so what we’re really faced with is two or four years in which the GOP finally have to put their money where their mouth has been and show us what they’ve got. They now have the chance to govern.

        If nothing else, a huge fail on their part might swing the pendulum back left in a big hurry. The had a chance with all the cards in the deck; they blew it (assuming they do); so that’s it guys, you’re done.

        Or maybe this will all turn out a teacup tempest. Like Y2K.

        OTOH, maybe Y2K actually did kill us all, and we’ve been in Hell ever since.

        [oops… kinda got long there]

        Liked by 1 person

        • PBS was one of the worst when it came to false equivalence, except maybe toward the end. I found that strange, but I can understand why they did it considering that’s what they usually do to seem unbiased. And in most cases it’s not terrible, but this time it makes no sense. People get used to their formulas.

          Y2K…so funny. Or maybe the Mayans were right in 2012. I really did feel last night that if there’s any justice in the world, any common decency, I’d wake up and read the headline and find out Hilary had won, that all this was nothing but a dream. This feeling seems to be a common phenomenon. I “knew” there was a chance Trump would win, but I somehow failed to believe it. Something deep inside me felt it just wouldn’t happen, although I never would have said such a thing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, PBS would hate to be accused of being liberal; perish the thought! I wish the media would accept the meme that they generally are liberal.

            The question is why, and I think there are good reasons why. That’s the interesting conversation. (I wrote it back in 2012; did you happen to read: Lamestream Miberal Nedia)

            (Trump, likewise, moaned about how many are against him, but never asked why. The reasons why are the point.)

            As for his winning, I always saw it as a real possibility. Hence all the impassioned blog posts. Maybe it’ll turn out differently than we think. Maybe it’ll be exactly as bad as we think.

            Or just more or less business as usual. Obama was the change President in 2008.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. What Wyrd said 🙂

    I sense the foundation of our lives has been ripped out from under us. Who do we trust now? The system? Is the world a reasonable place? It’s hard to believe it is.
    This is precisely how I felt after Brexit. I felt that way for several months. Many of my political hopes were gone forever. But time heals. And so far nothing has happened over this side of the pond (except that the pound is still down, so we’re all 20% poorer than before). Nobody knows how to implement Brexit. Although it seemed crystal clear to those who voted for it, nobody knows what Brexit means, or how to go about it. Maybe it will be the same with Trump. Maybe those who voted for Trump’s promises will find that magic doesn’t exist in this world. Perhaps in four years time, the Wall of Mexico will still be just a promise.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am afraid its worse than that. Mr. T. is going to install extreme rightwing people in the high court. They are going to outlast him.
      I am also not completely sure he is going to go after his term. In Turkey, Erdogan is just demonstrating how a democracy can be turned into an autocracy. Mr. T. has the instruments of the NSA. The NSA is a system to prevent crime, but the problem is that you can redefine what is a “crime” (e.g. to be a Muslim or to be a critical journalist). I am not sure such things are going to happen, but such things have happened before in other countries before (including Germany, in 1933).
      For the rest of the world, he is a desaster. For example, climate change is going to become worse. If he actually deports Mexicans and other Latin americans in the millions (don’t know if he will) that could completely destabilize those countries. Etc.
      Whatever happens, the next years are going to be “interesting” ones.
      Refugees from Trumpistan are welcome here in Germany.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Nannus, I know all this old bean; I’m a committed Socialist and reasonably aware politically, so agree entirely with what you say, and could add much more besides. The thing is, yesterday the entire media was swamped with opinion about all this stuff, and I had around two dozen blog posts to read, all with election posts too, and all ubiquitously and understandably despairing. I was trying to offer a glimmer of sunlight to Tina in what is undoubtedly a darkened world. As you would expect, I see the failure to make Bernie the front man (another man, I know) as a catastrophic omission. I’ve been arguing the case for Jill Stein in the run-up to the vote. My American (I’m English) blogging friends said it’s a wasted vote, and they had to go with Hillary. I feel vindicated. All that tactical voting was too clever by half. If the Green’s had got to the critical 5%, then the funding kicks in, and you immediately have a nascent 3rd. party – one that rejects Neoliberalism. Around 60% of Americans want a 3rd. party, but they won’t vote for one. The money has to come out of politics too, of course, for things to change. And as Mike says, ranked voting would help hugely. Trump getting elected isn’t such a surprise outside of the U.S. In the last couple of years we’ve had pollsters get it spectacularly wrong on the Israeli election, on the Scottish referendum, on the Tory majority in the U.K., and on Brexit. The writing was on the wall for Trump to win. Bernie was the only chance, in my view. The only good news is we don’t have Hillary’s Syrian no-fly zone.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I hear you on the 3rd party, but that’s a pretty novel thing to introduce here in the midst of this shitstorm. And with Trump prowling (literally, he prowls, even when everyone’s watching), there’s no way reasonable liberals would take a chance with their vote. Not this time. Maybe next time. On the down ballot, like, way down there, yeah, go green. I did.

          I agree that Bernie was the only chance. I wish liberals had seen this sooner. They might’ve found his policies too extreme, but there wasn’t a chance that he’d actually get those things done that he wanted to get done. Moderate liberals had nothing to fear, but they do now.

          NEWS UPDATE: These are coming to me 2nd hand from my husband, who says they’re rumors…Trump’s apparently backing down on the wall, backing down on deportation, backing down on repealing Obamacare…I guess parts of it he wants to keep? Hm. We’ll see. He is a lying sack of shit, so who knows. Might as well have drawn a name out of a hat for President.

          Like

          • Thanks Tina. You’ll note I wasn’t attempting to be clever with hindsight on the 3rd. party thing: “I’ve been arguing the case for Jill Stein in the run-up to the vote.” Everyone was saying they couldn’t vote with their consciences and had to vote for Hillary – ergo, Green’s still at 2% with no funding for four year’s time. Nuff said.

            On your news update: Yeah, the wall’s now a ‘fence’. He realised U.S. border officials needed to be able to see across the border from ground level. He finally figured that then they could spot the resourceful Mexicans building the tunnels – a thoroughly ingenious way of circumventing a wall. Damn, so cunning!

            Funnier than that, he’s asked Jamie Dimon to be Treasury Secretary. What did you call him a couple of weeks ago Donald? That’s right, “The worst banker on Wall St.”

            Liked by 1 person

          • Well, as for the 3rd party candidate, I think the way they operate now is to just hijack the two party system (as Trump did) and go on with whatever they want to do, as far as they can.

            Maybe next time around? I just couldn’t do it with Trump lurking.

            I wonder if he has some sort of understanding with these people he attacks. Whatever happened with John McCain? I’d be pissed if I were him, yet he doesn’t seem to care. Whatever it takes to get re-elected, and here we are. (I admit it felt nice to be able to vote against him.) Or maybe everyone’s taken to the idea of “truthful hyperbole”…everything’s the greatest or the worst. Or really great.

            I can understand why Republicans didn’t take Trump’s statements at face value the way liberals did. He clearly never meant to tell the truth. But I can’t understand how they can vote for someone who stands for very little…how can they be so sure his so-called values align with theirs? They’d have to admit they can’t. And Trump doesn’t seem to me to be a puppet the way Bush was. He’ll have the wind at his back in many ways, and anyone who offends him had better watch out. Bush was just an idiot, which was a little better…it’s hard to admit that.

            But this goes beyond idiocy. The thing that upsets me most about Trump is the birther issue. How DARE he. Obama had to work so hard to become the first black president, he had to be so conciliatory, so thoughtful, so inclusive, so careful, so middle ground, way more so than any other liberal would’ve had to be, and here comes this yahoo telling the world Obama’s not a citizen. Trump knew perfectly well what he was doing, and it’s absolutely disgusting and totally inexcusable. Now he’s exposed something deep in the culture that can’t be undone, and Republicans can make all the excuses they want, but this issue can’t be interpreted in any other way.

            Okay, enough ranting. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. The damage Trump will do, even if he doesn’t start WWIII, it’s…I don’t even have the word for it. Trickle down economics, tax breaks for the rich, the rest of the world hates us, maybe to the point of preferring Bush. This is the best case scenario.

        I can’t wait to see how he convinces Mexico to “pay for the wall.” Let’s see if his supporters remember his promise. I doubt it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mr. T. himself does not remember his promises. He was permanently lying during his campaign. His voters for him are just the idiot suckers he has been selling shit to, he is not interested in them at all, except as a source of what psychologists call narcissistic supply. He is going to continue to rub shit into their eyes and they think it is honey. We will see if people will wake up at some point or if they will cling to their “faith”.

          Liked by 1 person

          • What I mean is that I think he views these people as idiots. He told so many lies that I just don’t think he is really interested in most of the people who voted for him. I don’t think he is respecting them.

            Liked by 2 people

          • I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought they were idiots. On the other hand, I think he can relate to them on a deeper level than we realize. He’s always lacked class and sophistication, even though he has loads of money. He was a bully as a child and was sent off to a school that pushed students to fight with each other…he loved it. He thrived in that sort of environment. That’s scary, but it also reveals the sort of low class person he is. I don’t think this is a thin veneer covering something more delicate. I hope it is. I wish it were. That said, I don’t think he’s as stupid as we want to make him out to be. He has a certain kind of intelligence, just not a delicate or nuanced one.

            His lies aren’t the usual politician’s lies. He believes in “truthful hyperbole”…repeated bullshit in other words. He’s talented in this area. I think what people have found so intriguing about him is that he seems to make a farce of politics by lying so blatantly. I have to admit I thought he was joking at the beginning. I thought for sure this was some sort of protest in the form of reality TV show political mockery. But when he won the primaries, I wasn’t laughing.

            His supporters—and they aren’t all idiots—assume he’s really smart; because he’s a “successful businessman”they think he’s outsmarted the system by failing to pay taxes, etc. Why do they assume he’s going to do things to benefit them? I don’t know. There’s no evidence to support the idea that he gives a shit about anyone but himself, excluding, perhaps, his family. But we’ll see. It’s possible liberals have blown this thing out of proportion, and I hope we have.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I have never understood how working class white folks can vote against their own interests. Why do they care so much about cutting taxes when they aren’t paying any? Why don’t they see that they stand to benefit from free health care? From higher wages? From bigger government? WTF? It’s one thing to vote for what is right, but they’re voting for what they think is their own interests. They don’t understand what’s going on.

            People like to point out that rich liberals vote against their own interests too, but I’d say, yeah, well, they’re rich. They can afford to care for other people, and they do. Many of them are happy to pay higher taxes because they believe it’s right. When I had my own housecleaning business in Vermont, I worked for many of these very rich liberals, and one man even offered to pay for my health care. I was so touched. (At the time, I already had free health care through a government program. I was pretty much broke after college…obviously my philosophy degree got me nowhere, but at least I had the fortune to be in Vermont where such programs were in place.)

            Liked by 2 people

        • I think there’s a huge problem of trust.

          I think a lot of working class whites see the left wing as fundamentally hostile to their culture, their traditions, their communities. I think they’re correct, incidentally. We do want to shut down their coal mines and open their factory jobs to overseas competition. We cheer as Richard Dawkins calls them superstitious morons. We want to spend their tax dollars (meager though those dollars are), on affirmative action and protecting flamboyant San Francisco homosexuals. Working class whites are stupid, they’re racists, they’re the beneficiaries of white privilege and should really just shut up, they’re the villains in our movies and the oppressors in our college courses.

          I empathize with the antipathy people have for the left, and HRC in particular, but I also fear the poor. Poor people, resentful people, almost always have good reasons for being upset, but that does nothing to lessen the destruction they bring when they get power. The poor believe they have nothing to lose when the system breaks down and I think a lot of people saw Trump as a bomb with which to blow up the system Hillary, an establishment figure and royal family scion, so deeply represented.

          This probably sounds all over the place. If so, I apologize.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It doesn’t sound all over the place to me. I think you’re right about the fears of the white working class. And the left wing is indeed hostile to some of their values, and they probably don’t want to hear “check your privilege” when they attempt to air complaints. I’m not sure what you mean about taxes, except maybe sales tax and the like. I think of working class people as very poor, and they simply wouldn’t make enough money to pay taxes. On their jobs, I can’t believe we’re so stupid as to take their jobs away and not give them another job—with job training, better pay and benefits—in alternative energy. That seems like the best way to sell the idea, give those who’d lose their jobs first dibs on the new ones. And surely there’s enough government money going to less worthy areas in environmental protection that could be allocated for this cause. If Clinton had proposed something like this, maybe they’d listen then. But then again, maybe they wouldn’t believe her. Instead we just said, “Yeah, you’re losing your job. But others will be created for other people!”

            Liked by 1 person

          • You should run for office. You’d definitely get my vote. 🙂

            The tax thing- I mostly agree. There are a lot of people who pay very little tax but complain nonetheless. However, according to the data I’ve been reading, Trump supporters aren’t any poorer than average, but they are in steep economic decline. In other words, they’re passing through average right now as the leave the upper middle class on their journey to a fiery crash landing among the poor.

            I’d say that in general I’m an elitist. I do believe being clever and brave and accomplished means you should have power over the normal types. If you make me choose between elite corporate rule (say a Marco Rubio figure) and a rabble rousing populist (Trump or Trotsky) I’m going to hold my nose and pick Rubio. The reason being that elites want stability and the oppressed have no idea what they want or how to get it. I mean, seriously middle America, you think Donald J. Trump, spoiled brat scion, is going to rescue you by completely ignoring the way economics works? Depressingly, I think a lot of non elites do feel that way.

            However, what I really want is a system where the elites dominate but the poor have realistic paths into the elite. The hereditary, incestuous character of the American elite does not allow much turnover and thus loses legitimacy in the eyes of the people.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’m sure I’d hate politics. But thanks!

            But maybe there’s more going on with taxes than I’m considering. I know factory workers used to make a decent living. My father worked at Firestone before everything went downhill, so I know what you mean about the Trump supporters. The culture is certainly different from when my father was working.

            Liked by 1 person

    • I think they feel like a minority group, and many of them have problems that are quite real but don’t get much media attention. Which is why I wondered why the Clinton campaign focused so much on minorities rather than larger more universal issues. She made this move later in her campaign, but it was too late. I think that’s where Bernie was quite strong—instead of pandering to specific audiences, he just laid out what he thought would be best for the country. Of course, free college you could say is pandering to a specific audience, but it wasn’t racially specific, and his argument was that college is the equivalent to what high school used to be, and since free public education is what drives our democracy, we should now make college free. I wish Clinton had done the same. I don’t know that it would’ve worked for her, though. She’s been in the public spotlight for too long.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. With Trump starting to make his appointments, we’re getting a taste of what his election will mean for the country. I suspect that at least a few Trump voters will have buyer’s remorse, but it’s too late. I think we need to start focusing more on what Trump does than what he says. His tweets are a deliberate distraction and we must not fall into that trap.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Definitely. I haven’t believed a word that comes out of his mouth. At the beginning I thought he was running as a hoax, but boy was I wrong. I guess some people are comfortable with his so-called ‘truthful hyperbole’ but I’m not. I just hope he was being hyperbolic about the wall and deportation. Not to mention the weird Russia relationship. What’s that about? I still can’t wrap my mind around this.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You make some good points…. lack of Balance given by a Congress predominantly Republican should be a major concern as threats Division of powers, and the theory of weights and counterweights which as Montesquieu stated was the vital element for the proper functioning of democracy.
    I am hoping that the president-elect’s team can manage to move towards relatively equitable achievements, though….

    Liked by 1 person

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