The Day After: November 9, 2016

After waiting for Hillary’s speech all morning, I finally gave up around 11 a.m. and came upstairs to work–it seemed like the only way to calm the sick-in-the stomach feeling.  I found e-mails from friends in France and England, sending their condolences.  No one has died, but it feels like a day of mourning.

So what went wrong, and why were all the polls inaccurate?  I’ll let the pundits weigh in on that.  What I need to express is my fear and rage:  the United States has elected as its 45th President an unprincipled, ignorant scoundrel who has surrounded himself with the worst.  In his prophetic poem, “The Second Coming” (written in 1919), the great W.B. Yeats wrote:  “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.”  I don’t think the first half  of that sentence applies in this case–we have had plenty of excellent convictions expressed by sane people over the past few months–but the second half certainly does.  The “passionate intensity” of Trump’s worst followers is beyond doubt:  they want immigrants out, Jews (aka “global power elite”) reined in, Blacks and gays sent back to their place.  I think it was Nicolas Kristof who wrote, quite early in the campaign, that “Make America Great Again” really meant “Make America White Again.” The embrace of Trump by the KKK and the alt-right corroborates that claim.

I am ashamed of Jews who voted for this man.  And I am in a cold rage against the Republican establishment that allowed him to prosper.  There was a time, not long ago, when bigoted speech–not to mention outrageous speech and behavior against women–would have discredited any politician, even among  Republicans.  No longer.  Trump’s rants against “political correctness” were really rants against decency. The Republican establishment went along, and they will live to regret their cowardice and opportunism.  Was a Supreme Court nomination worth trampling on every value that Americans have been  justly proud of for more than two centuries?  Liberty, equality, into the mud! Hatred and ignorance, Hello!

Yeats ended his poem, written just a few years before the  “beerhall putsch” that first brought the name of Adolf Hitler into public view, with the following lines:  “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,/Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?”  Those of us who know the history of Europe in the 1920’s and 1930s have good reason to feel afraid.

But history need not repeat itself.  If we feel rage and fear, we should also feel a determination to do battle against the mob mentality that Donald Trump and his enablers (shame on you Giuliani, shame on you Christie, shame on you  Ryan, McConnell, McCain and all the others!) have unleashed on our country.

 

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6 thoughts on “The Day After: November 9, 2016

  1. Bravo! An excellent critique as we begin to realize we’re going to have to live with a new World under the control of an uninformed amateur with incredible Powers at his disposal. Equally distressing is the fact that in an open election(accompanied by instances of voter suppression in certain districts, against blacks mainly) the majority of the voting American public chose Trump as their president and commander-in-chief.

    Adding to the fact is that he will soon be naming an administration guaranteed to be approved by a compliant senate that will nomminate some of the most likely cohorts to reduce and roll back the Cultural and Progressive movements that have elevated America in its upward march.

    Briefly we will be a “laughingstock” when viewed by the world at large…… but soon we will be viewed and feared as they consider carefully the unpredictable, cantankerous sociopath in charge of the world’s mightiest military force. The bully let loose, at home and abroad.

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  2. Very good Susan. From France I can say that the USA is not at all the laughing stock. People offer condolences, even strangers, and they feel involved and “solidaire”. I have received dozens and dozens of messages from friends, from old students, from people I haven’t heard from in years. This is a world problem, alas, and in the line of Brexit.

    I feel so powerless and sick.

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  3. I wish the word “ditto” had not been poisoned by Rush Limbaugh! The only consolation now is that the Republicans have only themselves to blame for all that happens now, and that is good. My son, who worked as a lobbyist of sorts in Austin tells me the Republicans will impeach Trump anyway, once he has served their immediate purposes. Who knows? perhaps just a pipe dream, that would only leave us with Pence anyway…

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  4. Please, let’s remember, the majority of Americans did NOT for Trump.. Hillary WON the popular vote… A bitterly divided nation chose Hillary!! There are now endless discussions about how we all missed the mood of the country but just because the skewed system of the electoral college awarded Trump the presidency it’s no reason to ignore the facts; Something the Democrats are forgetting to do and the Republicans will never admit. The majority of voting Americans chose Hillary and she and her supporters deserve to be remembered that way! Democrats, stop eating yourselves up.

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