Wednesday, November 09, 2016

No, it is not OK; and Hillary Clinton is not to blame (the 2016 election)

Here is a collection of thoughts after the election. I haven't the energy now to weave these ideas into an essay. I put them out there as raw as I feel. I am as embarrassed by and ashamed of this country as I was proud of it in 2008. Had I the money, I would move to another country as quickly as possible.

Nov. 10: This election has changed me. I am now more pessimistic than ever. I always had doubts about democracy, and now I'm completely convinced that it cannot work when so many people are uneducated and basically stupid, as they are in the U.S. Trump will do untold damage whether he is merely a selfish liar, or a true fascist. He will surround himself with self-serving people like Christie and Newt. Nonetheless, I remain an intellectual hedonist/Pantheist, and I'll manage to enjoy as much of life as I can before my time is up. Yes, I have my selfish side, but I like to think my wants and needs kill no one and do not make the world worse. I've always been an Epicurean (in the original sense) and will remain one 'til the end; though ultimately even private gardens are no longer safe. There is no safety. I am so glad I have no children or grand-children. The planet and the billions of humans on it are doomed; the future is science fiction horror. Now I have to make a snack from all of the good food Dar and I just bought at the store. How about a smoothie?  

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Nov. 9:

Already it has started, blaming Hillary, who just got the most votes in this election. Oh, if only we had had Bernie. Anyone but Clinton... Jill Stein and the third party folks gave Wisconsin to Trump. The far left does it over and over, denying crucial votes to qualified leaders like Gore and Clinton in favor of the most destructive forces on Earth, people who threaten to destroy the planet. Then they blame the leaders who actually won the election, but who were denied victory by an anachronistic electoral college. I am coming around to Tolstoy's view (in War and Peace) that the personalities are not who matter, but rather the tides of history that sweep along the leaders, the apparent powers, the Napoleons of the world. U.S. History was boiling over with hate and resentment, prejudice against diversity, a biting hunger for the old order of rule by old white heterosexual males. Liberals and progressives were too weak to stop the tidal wave, the tsunami of meanness and resentment. But at some point, this shifting tide and all the anger it contains, all the disenfranchisement of one half of the country; then the other, will bring about too much damage to recover. Things are not OK; they will not all be set right in 4 years or 8 years or ever. The days of modern civilization are coming to a brutal close. At 70, perhaps I shall be spared witnessing the worst of what is ahead...

Spin it however you want. What happened last night is exactly what Plato warned us about Democracy. The uneducated, the uninformed, voted against their own interests, out of spite, anger, and a host of prejudices against women, minorities, and diversity. That is how all democracies have ended and autocrats come to power-- promising law and order. This time the damage will not be temporary. The harm to the environment will be irreversible; it may have been there already. The likelihood of atomic warfare will increase. We shall have a reactionary Supreme Court that will give even more power to corporations and militant religious dogma. The economy will be a disaster; but people will not change because of it. They will still pray and praise those who suffer. I began to see the ancient writing on the wall when, at Kroger, the woman of color at the check out station replied to my saying something nice about Hillary Clinton that when a woman is a leader, things are cursed. Religious superstition is strong and those in power use it at will to make laws that sustain their rule. What saddens me most is the destruction to nature that is coming, the persistence of ignorance, and the suffering that will increase everywhere on this ever more desolate planet. Here is a photograph of what we have given almost unchecked power-- the future in the hands of Trump's son.

    As I heard it, my great-grandmother was the one who wanted to stay. After all, they had lived there their entire lives. Why leave now? Everything they ...
    Jack Miller Rick Whitaker writes: Last year I went to rural Ohio to visit my family for New Year's Eve. I brought with me a boyfriend--black, from Trinidad and Tobago--and we accepted an invitation (foolishly) to ring in 2016 at a place out in the middle of nowhere with a country-western band playing. My boyfriend was terrified and refused to move from the table where it seemed every mean, hateful eye was on us all night. We did not feel the least bit welcome; we went out to the car at midnight for a secret kiss, and as soon as we could, we got the hell out of there. We knew that every one of the trucks in the parking lot was likely to have a gun inside. Everyone was drunk and looking for a fight. It was extremely unpleasant and scary. But still I felt pretty comfortable--in Obama's United States. (My boyfriend not so much.)
    Now I'm scared--and I will not be going back to Ohio anytime soon. Too many guns for my taste--and too much hatred. I'm done. I'll stay in my NYC bubble and hope it lasts for the next four years. To my friends and family in the Midwest: good luck and godspeed.

    There was a time when I would quote Epicurus, or as our Head of School said today, agree to tend our own garden in the spirit of Voltaire. Now, however, I think we cannot retreat to indifference or merely wait another 4 or 8 years. We are in a situation more like the film The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. Intolerance, racism, and hate are not likely to allow gardens of equality and intelligence to go unmolested. We are all at risk now, especially those of us who are other than the Trump followers. This essay describes the situation well. In this country today, after this electoral disaster, nothing is more surreal than people going about their everyday activities as if nothing has happened.

    Nancy Reynolds Edwards He stands for revenge, and that what scares me the most.
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