Processing Tuesday’s Outcome

hillary-smilingI’m still trying to process what it means that enough Americans were okay with what DJT showed us over the last year about who he is to go ahead and make him our president.  Not a majority of Americans, mind you, or even a majority of voters (Hillary won the overall popular vote), but enough to win the Electoral College and thus the presidency.  Hey, those are the rules.  We knew them going in.

No final conclusions yet for me, but some of what I’m reading seems right (emphasis added).

Nancy LeTourneau:

First of all, I’ll recognize that I am grieving a loss. It’s not the loss of a person – but of an assumption about where we as a country are on this journey of “perfecting our union.” The America that just elected Donald Trump as our next president is not the country I thought we were.

(…more from Nancy)

John Scalzi:

…I know I am likely to be okay over the next four years. I’m straight and white and male and well off, …

But I know too many people — people that I like, people that I love — who don’t have my ability to ride it out, and won’t have the ability to just turn off the reality of a Trump presidency. People who are minorities, and/or LGTBQ, and/or women, all of whom fully expect rights to be taken away from them and a culture of hate to thrive, making their lives worse. People who have insurance through the ACA who know that the Trump administration has it as a priority to repeal the law, meaning that once again that medical insurance will likely be beyond their reach and they will simply have to hope they don’t get sick. …

I have the luxury of getting over this election. I worry about the people who don’t. I suspect that worry isn’t going to go away for at least four years.

More John Scalzi:

If Trump’s administration indulges in the racism, sexism and religious and other bigotries that Trump and his people have already promised to engage in, we can assume it’s because his voters are just fine with that racism, sexism and religious and other bigotries — even if they claim to have voted for him for other reasons entirely. After all, Trump didn’t hide these things about himself, or try to sneak these plans in by a side door. They were in full view this entire time. If you vote for a bigot who has bigoted plans, you need to be aware of what that says about you, and your complicity in those plans.

But Caution Here, from Martin Longman:  Yes, we are rightly enraged at the open use of bigotry and discouraged that people responded positively to it, but…

…if the Democrats let this become a racial fight between their multicultural base and the white rural counties of the North, that’s a recipe for the political Southification of the entire country. That’s what the GOP has been doing in a gradual way for 36 years, and it’s the basis for Trump’s coalition and for his reelection in 2020.

Avoiding a fight on those terms is essential even though everyone will be demanding it and one party will be pursuing it for all its worth. Once these fights get started they get a life of their own, they snowball, and the political damage becomes entrenched. The Democrats need a plan that prevents eighty or ninety percent of white rural northerners from feeling like they’re the enemy, and continually insisting that they are the enemy is not that plan.

And of course Jonathan Chait:

Forget Canada. Stay and Fight for American Democracy.

The Trump years will be a horror. When I set out to write my long story in the magazine about Trumpism and the future of the Republican Party, I originally intended to focus on the immediate possibilities that lay before the Republican Party if it could capture full control of Washington. As this scenario grew less likely, I gave it less emphasis, but it is there. The Republicans will pass massive regressive tax cuts; they will take access to medical care from the poor and sick; they will deregulate the financial industry and fossil-fuel emitters.

And that is just the beginning, the best-case scenario. Trump is an impulsive, egotistical bully, intolerant of criticism and dissent and drawn to the ruthless application of power. Many liberals have been warning that American democracy is far weaker than we believed, and this was before any of us imagined a monster like Trump commanding the Executive branch. Trump will shake the Republic to its foundations. And the Republicans will shake it with him.   If there is a central point I tried to drive home, it is that Trumpism grows out of a decades-long trend toward authoritarianism as the dominant tendency of Republican politics….

But I do not believe that the people who elected Trump will be helped by his program in any way. … To whatever extent people voted for Trump for reasons other than racial and cultural resentment, Trump will do nothing for them. He is a buffoon surrounded by a party apparatus that is unable to govern, as the Republican elite demonstrated during the George W. Bush era, and that has grown worse.

…The depths of a Trump presidency defy our imagination. It is safe to assume it will not be popular. Trump and his party will probably respond with vicious anti-democratic measures. But fighting for democracy is part of America’s heritage, from abolitionists to suffragettes to the progressive reformers. Maybe you thought that fight was confined to history. It will go on.

And Trump does not represent the future. He only barely represents its present. His party controls all three branches in large part because its voters are overrepresented in the House, the Senate, and the Electoral College. He represents a rage against the direction of America they have no way of stopping. Even a complete halt to all of illegal immigration and a total deportation of every undocumented immigrant will not prevent the growth of nonwhites into an eventual majority. Republicans are increasingly focused on voter suppression and other anti-democratic measures to allow their shrinking cohort to rule. Trump is the perfect champion of their project.

But I do not believe they will win, at least not over the long run. As the shock of a Trump presidency set in, I told my children Tuesday night that I did not want to hear anything about fleeing. We are not going anywhere. And the America I have raised them to believe in will one day prevail.

There’s lots more, but I’ll save it for later.