Campaign 2016 Debate

Stunned and saddened by the presidential and senate elections. I had high expectations that Hillary Clinton and the senate were going to be able to protect and build upon the Obama legacy, and actually be able to get some things done …the right kind of things.  Now those hopes are dashed. We had tv on all the time during the campaign listening to all the pundits and Trumpsters pontificating, debates, commercials, interviews, exaggerations, lies, and so on.  I was also simultaneously glued / addicted to Twitter (a new thing for me of about 2 months) following reporters and politicians and activists’ feeds day and night.  Since the loss we’ve gone kind of radio silent, with a depression to the bone that you can taste.  The only bright spot at this point is that I’m leaving a suddenlyt red town and state and moving to a very blue one.  Seattle, of course, went with Hillary all the way. This comes from an environment that appreciates multiculturalism and education and charity and kindness and individual rights and forward and deep thinking.

All through the campaign I was weighing the sin of some stupid email management issues by a grandma (big surprise!) made out to be a major crime…and an exaggeration of things going on with regard to her family’s award winning, closely scrutinized and wide open and beneficial foundation… this was rehashed ad nauseum while her many solid accomplishments and qualifications and personal references were largely ignored…
vs a long list of disqualifiers for her opponent: a phony money laundering operation he calls a charitable foundation,  no transparency about finances, no honesty about ANYTHING, no knowledge about ANYTHING and no desire to learn, no discipline or appreciation for the need to actually prepare for an important role and the critical tasks that will be part of it, terrible attitude toward women and an easy willingness to abuse them, racist tendencies and practices, jumping around all over the map  with every single issue, inability to speak a coherent sentence or answer a question intelligently, history of stiffing banks and the little guy including those who jumped into his university scam with high hopes only to be ripped off, a lack of heart — almost certainly having given practically nothing to charity or paid any federal taxes for years….  And his list goes on. A guy who has cared about nothing but himself for decades. And none of it apparently mattered to his avid followers.  The bottom line of this mystery is that I could never figure out how the white ‘down-and-outers’ or otherwise noble blue collar workers could ever see a guy who lived in a golden tower, and never mingled with or cared about anyone like them in his entire life could be seen as their savior and hero.  They will soon see how that goes.

Here’s a day after the election opinion piece by the recently retired from Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor…

The Washington Post

Trump voters will not like what happens next
Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump rejoiced across the nation on Election Night as their candidate defied the polls.
By Garrison Keillor Opinions     November 9
Garrison Keillor is an author and radio personality.

So he won. The nation takes a deep breath. Raw ego and proud illiteracy have won out, and a severely learning-disabled man with a real character problem will be president. We are so exhausted from thinking about this election, millions of people will take up leaf-raking and garage cleaning with intense pleasure. We liberal elitists are wrecks. The Trumpers had a whale of a good time, waving their signs, jeering at the media, beating up protesters, chanting “Lock her up” — we elitists just stood and clapped. Nobody chanted “Stronger Together.” It just doesn’t chant.

The Trumpers never expected their guy to actually win the thing, and that’s their problem now. They wanted only to whoop and yell, boo at the H-word, wear profane T-shirts, maybe grab a crotch or two, jump in the RV with a couple of six-packs and go out and shoot some spotted owls. It was pleasure enough for them just to know that they were driving us wild with dismay — by “us,” I mean librarians, children’s authors, yoga practitioners, Unitarians, bird-watchers, people who make their own pasta, opera-goers, the grammar police, people who keep books on their shelves, that bunch. The Trumpers exulted in knowing we were tearing our hair out. They had our number, like a bratty kid who knows exactly how to make you grit your teeth and froth at the mouth.

Alas for the Trump voters, the disasters he will bring on this country will fall more heavily on them than anyone else. The uneducated white males who elected him are the vulnerable ones, and they will not like what happens next.

To all the patronizing B.S. we’ve read about Trump expressing the white working-class’s displacement and loss of the American Dream, I say, “Feh!” — go put your head under cold water. Resentment is no excuse for bald-faced stupidity. America is still the land where the waitress’s kids can grow up to become physicists and novelists and pediatricians, but it helps a lot if the waitress and her husband encourage good habits and the ambition to use your God-given talents and the kids aren’t plugged into electronics day and night. Whooping it up for the candidate of cruelty and ignorance does less than nothing for your kids.

We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids, and we Democrats can go for a long , brisk walk and smell the roses.

I like Republicans. I used to spend Sunday afternoons with a bunch of them, drinking Scotch and soda and trying to care about NFL football. It was fun. I tried to think like them. (Life is what you make it. People are people. When the going gets tough, tough noogies.) But I came back to liberal elitism.

Don’t be cruel. Elvis said it, and it’s true. We all experienced cruelty back in our playground days — boys who beat up on the timid, girls who made fun of the homely and naive — and most of us, to our shame, went along with it, afraid to defend the victims lest we become one of them. But by your 20s, you should be done with cruelty. Mr. Trump was the cruelest candidate since George Wallace. How he won on fear and bile is for political pathologists to study. The country is already tired of his noise, even his own voters. He is likely to become the most intensely disliked president since Herbert Hoover. His children will carry the burden of his name. He will never be happy in his own skin. But the damage he will do to our country — who knows? His supporters voted for change, and boy, are they going to get it.

Back to real life. I went up to my home town the other day and ran into my gym teacher, Stan Nelson, looking good at 96. He commanded a landing craft at Normandy on June 6, 1944, and never said a word about it back then, just made us do chin-ups whether we wanted to or not. I saw my biology teacher Lyle Bradley, a Marine pilot in the Korean War, still going bird-watching in his 90s. I was not a good student then, but I am studying both of them now. They have seen it all and are still optimistic. The past year of politics has taught us absolutely nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada. The future is scary. Let the uneducated have their day. I am now going to pay more attention to teachers.


    • Hi, Brian. November 30th. It’s all crazy as we’re packing and getting rid of things. But we’ve been working on it for a while so it could be worse, I guess. Hope you and wife and work are all doing well.


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