TRUMP WINS??!!

With his election to President of the United States, Donald Trump, amazingly, has risen higher than most of us, maybe even he, thought he ever could. President of the United States, Donald Trump! If anybody thought his insatiable ego was through the roof before, it is stratospheric now. Putting aside the real inner soul motivations of Trump and his fluid and contradictory ideologies, there is one thing that is true without question. This man has displayed the most impressive skill of aggrandizing his id and ego that any public figure has shown in, well, you tell me when it happened last. I don’t have a personal witness reference, but the comparisons I can imagine disturb me greatly. They are not known to end well.

This morning, I heard a young HRC supporter crying hysterically on public radio. She struggled to catch her breath as she tried to squeeze out the fractured words of her heartbreak and the devastation she felt from this loss of a candidate she was so sure would prevail. The hurt, confusion and fear poured out of this young woman, as I imagine it would, from many more of us who have experienced profound loss after working heroically to prevent it. It is an injury that takes long to heal before a first lesson can be learned. This little snippet of an interview that I heard, was a poignant moment in my morning that touched me more deeply than I expected.

If Donald Trump had lost, there would have been anger, bombast, accusations, denial, and maybe violence. Hillary Clinton’s loss creates a sadness and nearly paralytic desolation in the Democratic party, with its supporters and campaigners, that today, seems insurmountable. I heard it in the young woman’s cracking voice. She is just one voice of millions more who feel the same.

Its okay to be dumbfounded. Its okay to be shellshocked, catatonic, dazed, and numb. There is no other way to feel for a Hillary Clinton supporter, a Democratic party supporter, a progressive left supporter. There is no other way to feel but completely broadsided and slammed down to the mat, by a force you didn’t see coming. Its that bad.

I no longer want to analyze the Trump phenomenon, or try to make sense of his election. Candidates make missteps in campaigns, taking states or demographics for granted, overreacting to others, misreading poll numbers, or missing electorate messages entirely. The same held true this cycle. Given all of these repeating factors, most of us on the Left and Right were long convinced of our justifications and character portrayals of both 2016 candidates. Party loyalties are usually predictable. What’s most significant beyond the obvious blow of the Republican party taking power in the Presidency, Senate, and House, is the stark racial and economic makeup of Donald Trump’s strongest supporters. White men, and even more white women, without college, who are (apparently) willing to live with an authoritarian President, not to mention a Republican controlled agenda. Huge swaths of this country’s lower and middle class white populations were/are hell bent on disruptive political change regardless of Supreme Court nominations, gun control, women’s inequality, women’s right to choose, campaign finance reform, lopsided tax breaks for wealthy elites and big businesses, and positively no concrete plan articulated by their candidate to address their needs, or a potential overseas conflict.

If Trump were a different man, or just another Conservative, or Moderate Republican, he might be less scary, or repugnant, but to all but the most blindly in denial (most of his supporters apparently) he clearly shows traits of a racist, misogynistic demagogue. He is also, just as clearly, ill prepared in temperament, instincts, and intelligence about national economics, and of world affairs, to make any methodical and thoughtful decisions about policy or legislation in the U.S., or with potential interventions abroad. Some have said he will surround himself with others who will properly inform his decisions in these areas. But is this the kind of President we want leading this country? A man who has no personal grounding on deeply complicated world and national issues, who will simply drop these decisions to a fleet of advisors and pivot at a moment’s notice?

If our President is incapable of finding his own way in so many complex decisions that will have to be made in office, why should we have confidence that he will surround himself with the right people to advise him to begin with? Observe the choices he has made already of the people who have run and advised his campaign. Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, and Newt Gingrich are a loser’s gallery of has-been, or discredited politicians who have devolved into bizarre talking rage heads, with complimentary indictable scandals. And while we are at it, lets top it off with Steve Bannon, another Trump advisor, who is a certified anarchist bigot white nationalist. No, I don’t feel confident that Trump will find a great group of leaders to fill the White House cabinet. It is truly a horrifying prospect.

Moving on to the evangelicals, and anti abortion advocates. There is no shortage of culpability here. Admittedly, I have not been raised in a religious household. My parents, while they were separately loosely raised Jewish and Catholic, did not feel the need to indoctrinate me and my sister in any faith. Still, I know the strengths of religious and spiritual community, and I understand them. Family cohesion, a shared belief system, a structure of viewing life and meaning through certain respects and values of life. I get it. But, when a religious scepter is used as an immovable object blocking even the most obvious rational decision that might be problematic to a single (politically loaded) component of its belief system, then that belief system is defective, and the blocking is hypocritical. The higher road a truly evolved religion could have taken in this election, would have been to spend genuine time critically thinking about the pros and cons of Donald Trump, and how justified compromise might have been called for, instead of blindly voting for him only because he might create an opening to overturn abortion. If a religious block of voters chooses to support a racist, misogynistic, demagogue candidate who might destabilize the entire country, and perhaps even cause global havoc, just because they “might,” however unlikely, get a shot at restoring laws against abortion, then keep me as far away from that religion as possible. Disgraceful behavior from this group.

The other voting blocks that pushed Trump into office have shown a personality trait, and a crippled basic value that they just don’t care if Trump fails, or makes things worse. A go-for-broke means to an end. They are driven to blow up the system at all costs with nothing more than a vague notion that it will all turn out good in the end. When exactly is that end in their minds, I wonder? Two years? Three? Four? With the next President? The one after that? Will it happen after a Conservative Supreme Court dismantles and neuters a growing healthcare system insuring 20 million people? After big businesses finally and completely embed themselves into our politics, when the middle class is reduced to ashes? What’s the timeline that makes this giant stink bomb they dropped worth all of the downside in the short run? For those who needed change and optimism in the lives the most, their impulse to vote for this man was nothing less than irresponsible, reckless, clueless, and destructive. There are plenty more words to use, but I’ll leave it there.

There are people in Trump’s camp, the wealthier groups, perhaps even the loudest voices at times who have all their financial security intact, all their privileges, but still pound the drum to blow up the system, kick over the tables, smash the windows because it just feels cool to them. They want to feel part of something disruptive. What’s sad, and selfish from this group, is they give no real thought to the people who could be tragically victimized by a Trump agenda, Innocent and hard working immigrants, minorities. Any of the twenty-million people benefitting from health care for the first time in their lives. Women, and working families who would have been guaranteed a sincere effort from Hillary Clinton. People who have studied and worked tirelessly to address our planet’s ecological and global warming issues. Businesses of all sizes and individuals who worked hard to create reputable, non-exploitative futures for themselves in fair trade practices. So much more…

The majority of Democrats foresaw a grim fallout of a Trump Presidency and Conservative rule in Washington. I’m bleary and weary from this mess of all messes. What I will do, and suggest to those of you similarly despondent, is to proceed to the next day, and the day after that, living your life, hoping that Donald Trump’s decision making does not adversely affect you within the next four, or possibly more years of your life. I am grateful for any protection and buffer I have in my life that might keep me from being personally victimized too badly from his tenure. I ask those of you who might also be protected somewhat, to be grateful as well. I can’t predict what, who, or how much victimization there will be ahead, but, there will be definite losers.

The people who will lose from this outcome, whether sooner, or later, deserve our empathy, our compassion. Be thankful if you are not one of them, and support those less fortunate as best you can from whatever position you find for yourself in this really stressful future this country is about to face. 🙁 🙁

 

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