November 11, 2016

Sat. Nov. 12, 2016

Previous pre-election stories here

Read All 188 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.
Sat., Nov. 12, 2016
Coping with a new kind of outrage and grief: A personal story.
Comments on Daily Kos

My salvation is coming to my community coffee shop every morning and talking to kindred spirits about their feelings about the election.
I want to share what I’ve been saying when we ask each other how we’re doing, and it isn’t merely a social greeting. Implicit is “how are you doing now that Trump is going to be the next president?”
At 73, I note that I have never felt physically healthier. Then I say that emotionally I have never felt quite this way in my life, even as I suffered through various traumas.
My first trauma occurred when my mother, at the age of 44, died of brain cancer. I was living with my first wife-to-be in Manhattan, an exciting life for 20 year old, and my grief resolved itself pretty quickly albeit with a lot of repression and turning my girlfriend into a mother-figure.
Four years later she left me for another man and I went nearly crazy for awhile. But those were the days of free love and before long sexual therapy helped heal those wounds with a string of girlfriends.
Then came the Vietnam War, which I manage to avoid. My feelings of outrage were balanced by being a student protest leader and by my feeling I was part of a powerful movement.
9-11 came out of nowhere, shocked the nation and the world. We all were united in grief and rage no matter our party affiliation. Personally, we couldn’t do anything, but we were altogether in wanting to take revenge on someone. The fact that revenge was misplaced didn’t matter at the time. We were bombing the hell out of someone. 
I met my wife when we were 25. We were married for 42 years. When she died six years ago, a seemingly healthy woman who lasted only three months after her cancer diagnosis, I went into a prolonged debilitating grief reaction that lasted two years. This was the worst experience of my life. I can’t imagine anything more personally devastating ever happening to me.
Now along comes Donald Trump. 
My sense of outrage and grief are intermingled in a way I’ve never experienced. When my wife died at least part of me knew intense grief wouldn’t last forever. I knew I wasn’t permitted to kill myself because my wife made me swear I would stick around to care for our dogs. 
Trump, baring extraordinary circumstances, will be president for four years. The damage he will do to the freedoms we have fought for and come to take for granted is chilling to think about. The horrific legion of haters he has made feel powerful are both figuratively and literally armed and dangerous.
Aside from the white supremacy fringe, at least a quarter of the country believes to varying degrees in what is now called Trumpism.

I want to do something tangible, but aside from donating to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, about all I can do is hand out safety pins to everyone who is feeling the same way. 

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
 For political nitty gritted political junkies, let me add this article. My subheading is that the Trump Executive Branch machinations, with the personality clashes and conflicts we read about, won’t be any different than how it was in his campaign. Here’s proof.
Read here.

The bitter infighting that plagued Donald Trump’s campaign during the Republican presidential primary is starting to spill over into his team’s efforts to establish an administration and political operation, according to more than half a dozen sources familiar with the planning efforts.
Those rifts and others are complicating what was an already a herculean task for Trump’s team: building a massive new government for a man who has never held public office.
“It's the same situation as in the primary – everyone has the knives out for each other,” said a Republican operative who worked with the campaign and is now advising people on the transition team.  Read article

Read article. If you see me I will have lots of extra safety pins to hand out. I got to Freddy’s at 7 and bought the last pack of 50.

The Safety Pin Promise

The Promise

If you wear a hijab, I’ll sit with you on the train.
If you’re trans, I’ll go to the bathroom with you.
If you’re a person of color, I’ll stand with you if the cops stop you and/or whenever you need me.
If you’re a person with disabilities, I’ll hand you my megaphone.
If you’re LGBTQ, I won’t let anybody tell you you’re broken.
If you’re a woman, I’ll fight by your side for all your rights.
If you’re an immigrant, I’ll help you find resources.
If you’re a survivor, I’ll believe you.
If you’re a Native American, I’ll stand with you to protect our water, your burial grounds, and your people.
If you’re a refugee, I’ll make sure you’re welcome.
If you’re a union member, fighting for one, or fighting for $15/hour, I’ll be there.
If you’re a veteran, a college student, a member of the working or middle class, I’ll fight against austerity measures and for more publically funded assistance for all.
If you’re sick or just human, I’ll take up the fight for universal healthcare.
If you’re tired, me too.
If you need a hug, I’ve got an infinite supply.
If you need me, I’ll be with you.  All I ask is that you be with me too.

No comments: