Read All 187 of my Daily Kos articles or don’t. Some of my photos
I am starting a new page, with a fresh post-election look at what we have in store under President Trump.
I will start with a pretty photo with a grim reminder.
The author of this NY Review of Books article , Masha Gessen, was interviewed by Rachel Maddow. We, as a group, should understand that there is a human tendency among most (not all) people to be optimistic. This applies to how some pundits, and people we talk to, are trying to normalize Trump. How cn we expect a man whose campaign showed him to be anything but normal turn around and become a normal president? We must be pragmatic, and neither succumb to optimism nor pessimism because of our own psychological make-up. We must be realistic, weigh the evidence pragmatically, and if that leads us to be pessimistic, so be it. From the article:
More dangerously, Clinton’s and Obama’s very civil passages, which ended in applause lines, seemed to close off alternative responses to his minority victory. (It was hard not to be reminded of Neville Chamberlain’s statement, that “We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will.”) Both Clinton’s and Obama’s phrases about the peaceful transfer of power concealed the omission of a call to action. The protesters who took to the streets of New York, Los Angeles, and other American cities on Wednesday night did so not because of Clinton’s speech but in spite of it. One of the falsehoods in the Clinton speech was the implied equivalency between civil resistance and insurgency. This is an autocrat’s favorite con, the explanation for the violent suppression of peaceful protests the world over
The second falsehood is the pretense that America is starting from scratch and its president-elect is a tabula rasa. Or we are: “we owe him an open mind.” It was as though Donald Trump had not, in the course of his campaign, promised to deport US citizens, promised to create a system of surveillance targeted specifically at Muslim Americans, promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico, advocated war crimes, endorsed torture, and repeatedly threatened to jail Hillary Clinton herself. It was as though those statements and many more could be written off as so much campaign hyperbole and now that the campaign was over, Trump would be eager to become a regular, rule-abiding politician of the pre-Trump era.
But Trump is anything but a regular politician and this has been anything but a regular election. Trump will be only the fourth candidate in history and the second in more than a century to win the presidency after losing the popular vote. He is also probably the first candidate in history to win the presidency despite having been shown repeatedly by the national media to be a chronic liar, sexual predator, serial tax-avoider, and race-baiter who has attracted the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Most important, Trump is the first candidate in memory who ran not for president but for autocrat—and won.Recommended reading:
Autocracy: Rules for Survival