by William Skink
By the more sober light of morning our new reality is slowly sinking in. On Facebook the shock is shifting to anger and calls to action. It’s time to fight, I see people saying. But fight who? The angry white people who elected Trump? That will mean the oligarchy wins. Who needs to start a war with Russia when we can just get a civil war going instead?
On the Democratic side, I don’t see much capacity to acknowledge what the harsh reality of Trump’s win means. James Conner is one of the few bloggers who does seem to get it:
Democrats intent on making history by putting a woman in the White House nominated Hillary Clinton, her high negatives notwithstanding. She and they then ran an identity politics campaign that confirmed for many Americans that the Democratic Party considers the white working class deplorable bigots who are, and should be, second class Americans.
Once the backbone of the Democratic Party, the white working class, shunned, shamed, and deplored by Hillary Clinton and her political party, turned, in anger and despair, to Donald Trump, a strongman whose finger in the establishment’s face and promise to “Make America Great Again” resonated.
The results: President-elect Donald J. Trump, and a Congress controlled by Republicans.
Yep, the former backbone of the Democratic Party delivered the FUCK YOU Michael Moore recently and quite eloquently warned us about. So instead of the GOP crumbling, we are seeing an existential crisis for Democrats. How will they respond?
A positive response could be finding areas of common interest with the new GOP, like on trade. Donald Trump outflanked Democrats by coopting Bernie’s criticism of the disastrous trade deals, then used NAFTA to bash Hillary. That was one part of Trump’s successful strategy, and it’s something that any self-respecting Democrat who has looked at these terrible trade deals can agree with.
But are Democrats going to make any effort to acknowledge a common policy position, or are they going to throw tantrums and call every working stiff a bigoted, misogynistic, Islamophobe?
For a taste of that reaction, here is Don Pogreba throwing in the blogging towel because team Democrat got trounced:
While I would describe myself as still mostly being in a state of shock, I’m furious—at an electorate that refused to vote in its best interests, at a print media whose false equivalency and horrific coverage led to the election of candidate like a State Auditor who has no real understanding of the job nor a real desire to do it, at the people who tell themselves from awfully privileged perches that elections don’t matter.
It might be time for a little cleaning. It’s time to read books, go to the gym, plan trips to new and exciting places, pretend to work on my “novel,” and to step back from a system that seems, today, to be broken. I’m not sure a country that just elected a candidate they believed to be less fit for the office of President, a country that passed over the most qualified candidate in a hundred years, a country that elected a man who called for unity after running the most hateful, divisive candidate in a generation, is in a place where I feel like I can make real change here.
Sure, if only the ignorant rubes knew what was good for them, they would have voted for “the most qualified candidate in a hundred years”. Anyone who thinks that about Hillary Clinton, then goes on to lament our “post-fact” world, is part of the problem.
In addition to being a post-fact nation of deplorables, how about the fact we are also post-law in this country thanks to Democrats? Obama executed American citizens without due process and faced no penalty. The Clintons have flouted any semblance of following the law with their pay-to-play influence peddling foundation, and (so far) they face no penalty, legally speaking. Hillary Clinton had emails destroyed AFTER getting a subpoena, and she wasn’t indicted. There are even people in prison for doing far less than she did with regards to handling classified, yet for some reason HRC was able to break those laws and get away with it.
Democrats are correct to be scared about what Trump could do with the presidency. That was one of the points I often made when I criticized Democrats inability to hold their own politicians accountable. Obama going after whistleblowers now morphs into Trump going after journalists or that Muslim-looking guy that just looked at him funny. Obama killing a teenager with a drone strike (then later joking about killing his daughter’s would-be suitors at a press dinner) could morph into Trump ordering drone strikes on whatever or whomever he chooses.
Pete Talbot is also taking a break and didn’t offer much on the presidential race. In his farewell post, titled We’ve gone mad, he had this to say:
I have little to say about the Presidential election. I’m numb. I did have a friend call me to tell me he is scared shitless that his pre-existing health condition will mean no more insurance once Congress and Trump torpedo Obamacare.
I’m glad Pete brought up Obamacare, because it’s currently imploding across the nation and is another big reason Trump got elected.
Yes, it has extended coverage to many previously uninsured people, and that is a good thing, but it’s not stopping the big insurers from imploding the ACA and financially pillaging those of us in the private market.
I’m feeling this one personally. I lost my insurance when I left my job, and for reasons I still can’t figure out, was unable to sign up for Medicaid coverage unless my whole family jumped from their plan. My wife and kids have been with BCBS, but the cost is going up $500 dollars next year to nearly $1,200 dollars a month with $6,000 dollar deductibles for EACH person. My parents plan–they are both healthy and in their early 60’s–is going up $800 bucks. Not only are these costs very difficult to absorb, there is the multiplier effect of less discretionary money to spend on other things, like maybe eating out every once in a while.
I don’t have any illusions that Donald Trump will fix any of this. But I’d be facing the same situation if Hillary had been elected, and unless the plutocrats running this grift-shop we call America want it fixed, then it’s going to keep doing what I suspect it was designed to do: further hollow out middle America.
I know my opinion means next to nothing to those still invested in providing legitimacy to this political system rotten to its core, but I have no immediate plans to shut-up and quit writing. That would feel too much like giving up, and I’m not quite ready to do that.