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It’s not just that Trump won but what can be seen in the vast cavern lit by that vote.

For me, it’s not that 60,265,858 voters are racist bigots, even though it is certain that racist bigots liked, and voted for Trump.  According to one finding, “major American white nationalist movements on Twitter added about 22,000 followers since 2012, an increase of about 600 percent.” That’s ugly, and indicative, but doesn’t get close to the number who voted for Trump.  And while misogyny was also an issue, and fairly large, the fact that 45% of educated white women voted for Trump while 93% of black women voted for Clinton suggests something else at work…

For me the most frightening is the multi-million person proof that common sense evaluation of likely outcomes of an action were swept away by emotions of all kinds.

Thin are the reins of reason that guide the horses of passion.

In fact, they seem not only thin, but torn and useless.  The horses of passion are running until exhausted.

Most people, I think, when offered a new job in a different part of the country would go through some kind of analysis, beginning with, what do we do if it doesn’t work out?  What is plan B?  And C? What are the schools like, the commute, the food shopping, distance to the mountains or the shore or to friends and relatives?  Many might draw up a two column list — stay, go– and fill it with pluses and minuses, or points.  At the end of this there might still be a gut feeling: the numbers say we should go but the gut says we should stay.  Fair enough.  Pretty human.  But we have survived and flourished as a species because not only do we know there is a future, but we can anticipate, draw conclusions from experience and events and have some idea as to the best course of action.

That seems to have fallen away, like an avalanche, this election cycle.

reason-and-emotion

The various interviews I have read, and conversations I have over-heard, tell me that whatever thought that might have been put into a vote for Trump, was not exercised.

“He’s going to change things” is  a vote for excitement not direction.  “Let’s blow it up!”

Blowing things up is fun. It’s a core emotion for most boys, and for not a few girls.  Blow-it-up movies draw large crowds; building-demolitions are popular on YouTube videos.  The Shock and Awe of the US invasion of Iraq drew millions of eyes and not, by and large, out of pity for those beneath the explosions.

Blowing things up is fun, until we are in the building. Not too many Trump voters, it seems, asked where they would be if he carried out his promises, or how it would affect them.  What I have heard and read, not by analysts, but voters themselves reveals, almost completely, adrenaline rush decision making.  “There’s a high wall, there’s an old bungee cord.  No need to examine its condition or the record of the cord-company.  Strap it on!  Whooee, let’s go!”

Give-a-fuckism.

Suicide not by Police, but by Ballot.  We’re angry/fed-up/riled-up and we don’t care!  What’s in the soup of our emotions?  We don’t know.  It smells good, let’s drink it and see what happens!

Ω

What would the deportation of  11,000,ooo immigrants to the country do to the country?  “Hey, I’ve been here since my grandparents came sixty years ago, doesn’t affect me!”

Eleven million people is the whole state of Ohio; it is the voting population of California.  What will the loss of the eleven million people mean, besides to those arrested at work, rousted out of bed, held in long lines for slow buses?  What will it mean in the factories and fields, restaurants and construction sites which depend on these people, and on which the voters depend for food, goods, meals and homes?  Will native-born jobless step into jobs at chicken rendering plants and hog farms?  Will they make up 12 beds a day in thousand-room hotels — at minimum wage or slightly above?  What will happen to the small towns that voted for Trump when the taco shops close and the trucks don’t use the gas, and the homes go empty?  How many Trump voters really did a thought experiment about their own surroundings?  Not just, “get those brown faces gone,” but, then what?

What will happen in these town of less than 10,000 people if a large percentage of Hispanics leave, or avoid public places and work for fear of being picked up?

  • Missouri, Southwest City (50.8% Hispanic); Monroe North Carolina, population 30,000; located just outside Charlotte was 30% Latino in 2009. In Kentucky, Shelbyville (located btw Louisville & Frankfort was 19% Latino. (Here’s an interesting list.)

Did any Trump voters in such small towns seriously ask themselves what the results to their own lives would be if the promise is carried out?  Did any of them calculate the manpower and cost to carry out the promise, the sheer militarized presence across small-town America?

blind-man-driving

Driving While Blind (seemed a fun idea at the time…)

Trump has often said he will slap 30% tariffs on imported goods, especially from China and Mexico.  What goods will those be, luxury goods, or fine furniture, Mercedes SUVs?  Or will it be Toys R Us, Walmart, and Target goods, from hair brushes to wicker chairs, the stuff the fills the trucks of Trump voters after week-end shopping trips?   If tariffs go up 30% won’t prices follow?  Will wages go up by 30% at the same time, or will we have to diminish what we want by 30% to keep our budgets in line?

The water is already rising in Miami, New York, San Francisco.  The enormous ice-sheets in Greenland are melting from below.  Call it anything you want, but what if the water rise more, the rain fall again, the river floods stronger and ask yourselves, what happens to this yard, that highway, those shorelines.

The fuses are laid out and ready.  Firebrands are in charge in Congress and the White House.  A sharp rise in attacks in the streets is already being reported, carried out by those who interpret a Trump presidency as their own personal mandate to put others back in their places.

The appointments Trump has already made, and those rumored to be made, will place even more charges along the line of fuses: Rudy Giuliani believes in “stop and frisk.” “You black youngsters don’t like it?  Tough Shit, I am Rudy Giuliani, and I’m in charge.  Predicting the outcome is easy.

Ω

Dread is the enemy, the great disabler.  The antidote to dread is feeling useful, doing something.  Not everything, but something.  Where do I feel most comfortable contributing to the lives of others?  If I have been on the sidelines for a while, where can I join with others? If neighbors or friends are being threatened, what can I do?

How will I react to provocations, insults, attacks on the streets?  Will it become second nature to me to take out a cell phone and start filming as soon as trouble starts?  Will I offer comfort to a victim, offer to keep them company until they are with friends?

There are ideas flying everywhere about how to respond to what is anticipated.  Soon, it seems, a movement and leaders will arise — focused on the particulars of resistance and opposition, replacing the generalized, unfocused anger that if we respond to as they did will do more to strengthen them than to bring power back to us.  There will be work to do in a thousand places; pick three and do them well.  Stay connected to others.

The struggle which attracts the most people to it has the best chance of winning.  Don’t drive away supporters, bring them in and find common work.

Here are some morning-after thoughts from one of the best organizers in the country, Marshall Ganz.  Not formalized or programmatic, but useful I believe.

  • Recognize, acknowledge, and grieve a terrible loss
  • Remind ourselves of just who we are and why we are
  • Do what we have to do to organize.
  • Ironically it’s also a victory of people over money!  Very few tv ads, no army of consultants, and not even a field program! [ If they can do it, so can we!]

What happened?

  • Rep Control of White House, Congress, and Senate
  • Key blue states are the enclaves of resistance.
  • Major national security crisis re nukes, treaties, and trade
  • HRC wins popular vote, loses electoral college.

Why did it happen?

  • Elite abandonment of politics of the common good.
  • Response to economic crisis was to save the wealthy and forget the
  • rest as in trade policy, labor organization, housing, education, etc. etc. etc.
  • Leadership failure in terms of authenticity, connection, and vision.
  • Racial, gender, ethnic resentment, fight back, reaction.
  • Sclerotic electoral institutions that produce deeply unrepresentative results (electoral college, etc.)
  • Obama lost unique moment for progressive reorientation of American politics during first two years.

What do we do now?

  • Process losses.
  • Develop defensive strategy re Court, Congress, President: legal, political,economic, direct action.
  • Focus on building progressive power in the name of a politics of the common good at state levels:
  • economics, health care, education, environment, immigration, etc.
  • Organize constituency base among working people (economic), gender, immigration in close states to work for similar policy in their states.

 Some Interesting Demographicshttp://www.businessinsider.com/animated-map-demographics-vote-election-president-trump-clinton-2016-10

And here’s a very interesting take by Nathan J. Robinson,  the editor of “Current Affairs.”

Progressives need to understand how people who are different from them think. No more writing them off as racist and deplorable. Even if they are, what good does that do? You need to understand racists not so you can sympathize with them, but so you can figure out what shapes people’s beliefs, and help them reach different beliefs. People on the left must reach out to people on the right. They must make their case. They must go into red states. They must take counter-arguments seriously and respond to them. It is not sufficient to have John Oliver eviscerate Trump on television and call him Drumpf. It is not sufficient to have Lena Dunham dance around in a pantsuit. It is not sufficient to line up a bunch of Hollywood celebrities to tell people how to vote. When someone asks “What kind of world does the left want to build?” we need to have a vision. When someone asks “Why should I vote for you?” the answer cannot be “Because I am not Trump.” After all, people like Trump.”

Much more to be said, but most of all, to be done.  Let the dread subside. Watch the world; watch your neighborhood.  Stand up for your values and those who share them. Pick a target, find a group to be with, and go forward!

Support

Planned Parenthood,
Black Lives Matter movement,
RAINN.
Nationalities Service Center (Migration)
Other Immigration services, here.
350 dot org –Climate

See You at the Women’s March on Washington, Saturday, January 21, 2017

womens-march