I don’t have a good title for this
This is just a very disappointed, angry and sad white liberal and or leftist dude’s opinion. Take that for what it’s worth. (Which I’m guessing is close to what you paid for it)
It’s going to be rough. History isn’t over. The same hatreds that cause genocide, wars and ethnic cleansing abroad, also live here at home. The same impulses that cause a people to turn to a dictator in a crisis live here too. We have so much to lose. Every piece of progressive legislation since at least the new deal, and maybe since the civil war is now up for grabs. Every hard fought civil rights victory since the civil rights movement, is on borrowed time. Global warming and the reckless exploitation of fossil fuels will continue unchecked. Social security might be privatized or worse, eliminated completely. Our national forests, maybe even our national parks are now in danger of being sold or rented to mining and logging and drilling and any other extraction industry. Do you hate toll roads? I have bad news for you. Do you like public education? ditto. The people who are ideologically opposed to the concept of government are now running the government. Rome wasn’t burnt in a day, but then again, they didn’t have nuclear weapons.
But we’re not dead yet. Every terrible item on their to-do list is for now, still on their to-do list. This country didn’t have a revolution during the great depression, so it probably won’t have one any time soon. Violence won’t stop what I think is coming. Victor Hugo said “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come”, I say this goes double for bad ideas. What can we do? Obstruct, distract, delay, resist. Volunteer and donate to good causes. I don’t have a magic strategy to limit the damage of a Trump administration, and I don’t think there are many effective options. What I do know is, if we break down into useless victim blaming and finger pointing, we aren’t fighting the Trump agenda. The fun fact is, nearly every faction opposed to the rise of Trump gets to share some of the blame for failing to stop him. Without the protections of the voting rights act, the familiar terrain of Obama’s election strategy shifted right under our feet. They redrew the districts to their distinct advantage. So did the constituencies that the democrats depend on sit this one out voluntarily, or were they forced to? Did we send the wrong message, or did we send the right message and people weren’t receptive? Did we back the wrong candidate? Some Bernie supporters think so, but just comparing unfavorables from a year ago won’t tell us how he would have done in a general election against a guy all too willing to rally antisemites to his deplorable cause. If we want to win next time, do we move left or right? do we increase our focus on social justice or do we throw our constituency to the wolves in the name of winning? (That was rhetorical, we can’t throw anyone to the wolves unless we want to forfeit the moral high ground which is the only reason anyone votes democratic in the first place). Are there key planks of our platform that we have to add or subtract to regain an electoral college majority? (and we can’t get rid of the electoral college until we win one more time) How do we explain to people that we care more about an extra 5% of undecided voters than we do about one or more of: gay marriage, LGBTQ rights, the environment, global warming, not declaring war on people that don’t have anything to do with us, public education, or public health?
We need unity to build a winning team, but not at the expense of accountability. Not at the expense of building a fragile coalition that will shatter in the face of an external threat or internal disagreements. We don’t get to sweep our failures under the rug, just so we can trip over them next time. When someone in this post election season blames a group of which I am a member for this loss, I’m going to agree. Middle aged white guys did cost Hillary the election. I voted Hillary but far too many of us couldn’t see past the Donald Trump’s appeal to some lost ‘greatness’ (aka structural racism) to see the hatred underneath. We let our fascination with his wealth, abuse of power and impunity blind us to his faults, or worse we allowed ourselves to be seduced by them. He is what far too many white guys aspire to be. He is an unforced error that should be obvious to anyone that can even spell ‘history’. Shave his head and give him an insultingly racist Asian makeup job and facial hair, and stand him next to Ming the Merciless, and even their mothers couldn’t tell them apart. What I’m saying is, anyone who knows that evil exits, should be able to recognize it when it boasts on tape about grabbing women by the pussy. When anyone blames liberals for ignoring the economic plight of the people who have been doing terrible since the great recession, I’m going to admit they are right. Whenever anyone blames leftists for not doing enough to stop the police killing of black people, Native Americans, Latinos and Latinas, LGBTQ people and anyone else they care to execute in the charge of their duties, I’m going to agree. Maybe we did all we could and it wasn’t enough. But that’s no excuse, we need to do better, we need to be better. We need an intersectional approach to race and class in America, because trying to handle those issues as if they were unrelated seems to be making them worse. There are lots of other things we got wrong, but you get my point. I’m going to listen to the criticism, and let it inform my choices in the future. To quote another dead guy “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” (Mark Twain)