The Morning After

So much for the American experiment.

So much for the belief that in a marketplace of ideas, people would choose the better ones–or even be able to distinguish among ideas, propaganda and conspiracy theories.

So much for e pluribus unum and the lovely fantasy of a diverse citizenry coming together around a civic table.

However you characterize the deep cultural and educational divide that led to this place,  no one who actually understood what the government does and how it does it could  have voted to put a person like Trump in charge of it.

Last night, a lot of us lost the country we thought we lived in, the country we wanted to hand down to our children and grandchildren. What happens now is anyone’s guess, but one thing is sure–it will be very ugly.


  1. It’s sad and discomforting. And it keeps the do nothing republicans in charge. I struggle to understand the appeal of this government.

  2. The America we feared, the racists, the xenophobes, the anti-Semites, the homophobes, stopped skittering in the dark corners and joined hands in the middle of the room. This was a vote for an America when Black people got off the sidewalk and averted their eyes when a white woman walked by. This was a vote for the days when a job applicant had to provide a Baptismal Certificate to be considered.

    Our children are already seeing it in schools, from Jews being told “get in the oven” to Latinos hearing “you’ll be gone when Trump wins.” The white, Christian, privileged angry people fall into two categories. First, the ones who agree with those sentiments. And second, those who don’t care because it won’t happen to them.

    America came home from work and announced to every single AMERICAN who isn’t white and Christian, “I’m leaving you – pack your bags and get out because this is my house.” And we’re standing in the kitchen, stunned, wondering what happened and where we will go.

    I long for the America that was, and I weep for the America that will be.

  3. Yeah. Exactly. I don’t know what to tell my kids, or my clients, or myself. We are honestly thinking about the logistics — if we had to leave, how would we know, how would we do it, where would we go, would there be anywhere safe. Since we don’t want to leave, how can we actually protect ourselves, those we love, and the culture we have been trying to build, from people who have acquired so much power and so much freedom from the restraints that are supposed to be built into the constitutional system. And who hate us so much.

  4. I was frightened as I watched the results on tv and gave up around 10pm. This morning I was scared to get out of bed because I feared the worst had happened…..and it has.

    I believe Comey’s comments 2 weeks ago swayed this election. I am guessing the early voters made their decision based on his BS information and the damage was done by election day. Well done Comey.

  5. Marv,

    You were so very right with your constant warning that Trump could actually be elected. We are doomed!

  6. I keep trying to tell myself that it won’t be as bad as I fear. Then I recall the report on who Trump would appoint to the Supreme Court… a list of deplorables if there ever was one. Who he would appoint as Secretary of State… Newt Gingrich. Who would be Attorney General… Rudy Giuliani.

    I don’t believe that the people who voted for Trump are going to like this country a year from now. Maybe not even by the end of today when the stock market pulls us all down into the hole again.

  7. And don’t forget 2010 gerrymandering of the country we are screwed. There goes social security Medicare . They will have full control the house the senate and the white house.

  8. Will Rogers wrote, ” No one is bad enough to do the country any harm, and no one is good enough to do the country any good!” Through most of this election cycle I have believed, regardless of the outcome, that we are going to test that premise as never before. To prove that Rogers was right, we must come together to address the real problems of this country. Let’s try inclusive problem resolution rather than the exclusiveness of this blog and others across the spectrum. If we work together, there is nothing this country cannot overcome….even a President Trump.

  9. Daleb, unfortunately the do-nothing GOP will be VERY active, come January 21.

    I have never been so ashamed of being an American.

  10. Ken Glass –

    We will not be able to come together to address our problems. The Republican congress, and Indiana legislature, has made it clear that they want complete control and will stop at nothing to get it. We will see more environment destruction than ever before, there will be more theocratic and fascist rule than ever before, and the list could go on and on. I will not be able to “come together” and silently submit to such an awful future.

  11. I know this will upset most of you, but I believe, in the long run, we might be better off with Donald Trump as President, than Hillary Clinton. She wouldn’t have done anything other than make matters much worse. We would all be as defenseless a TARGET as she would have been. “Now the shoe is on the other foot.”

    I agree with Theresa’s comment: “I don’t believe that the people who voted for Trump are going to like this country a year from now. Maybe not even by the end of today [or at least by Inauguration Day] when the stock market pulls us all down into the hole again.”

  12. Nancy
    Some see republicans as the only obstructors of improvements to the American scene and others see autonomous President Obama for his bullying tactics without compromise or consulting with republicans. I believe that public pressure resulted in compromise between Ronald Reagan and a very determined Tip O’Neill and then again when the most charismatic President in 150 years (Clinton) and Speaker Gingrich worked together. We have to stop pointing fingers at the evil across the aisle and accept that while we see things very differently, we all want clean water, safe streets, security for all and support for the needy.

  13. Marv,

    You make a good point about the shoe being on the other foot. It is now all in the hands of the Republicans. Whatever happens, it is on them and them alone. Yet, this gives me no solace.

    Here in Indiana I see little change for the worse coming at us. We already have serious voter suppression, gerrymandered districts, deep poverty, poor education due to funneling tax money to private schools, state sanctioned discrimination by Christians, a decimated environment, privatized prisons and the list goes on and one. Nothing is going to change.

  14. I know this is a terrible string of events, but I believe, that the Republicans have gone too far, too fast with Trump. This was never their game plan. More than likely, they will ultimately pay a significant price for going all the way with Trump. At least, I hope so.

  15. I do not believe the outcome is accurate. I think a clever game was played. Computers were hacked. There is not a lot that has to be done to swing a close election—a few votes in many precincts. I blogged on Civil Discourse Now, this morning, on the ways in which the party hierarchies brought us to this point. H.L. Mencken wrote that no one ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the American people. The “fix” was “in,” just not the way Trump said. Putin had a greater vote in this election—although we may never know—than any one of us. Also—once fascists achieve power, they do not relinquish that power. We must challenge the results. Polls do not skew so crazily.

  16. I was at Mike’s on Main for this morning’s Democratic Discussion Group at Mike’s on Main. I had Donald Trump’s head in my hands. Beneath his head was a stuffed stubby bottom. Head and body took the form of a punching bag as I bashed his head against the wall and told him what I thought of him. As I was passing him on to the next person I woke up from my nightmare I knew that waking up wasn’t going to make him go away.

  17. Ken Glass

    Re your statement – “others see autonomous President Obama for his bullying tactics without compromise or consulting with republicans. ”

    I saw the GOP congress as absolutely refusing to compromise with Obama. He tried to compromise, but they continuously demanded that it all be their way or nothing. They did not believe in any compromise after the Tea party took control.

    Re your statement – ” we all want clean water, safe streets, security for all and support for the needy.”

    This is just not true. ALEC is in bed with the GOP at state and federal levels and have been fighting to destroy the EPA for decades. They have almost succeeded by reducing funding so they can’t do their jobs. Then the GOP puts the word out that the EPA is useless. Of course, this is happening because they don’t have the necessary funding. So, we have energy industry oligarchs who are getting what they want by enticing the GOP to get into bed with them.

  18. As I have mentioned before, “putting it to the Jews is one thing, putting it to the African-Americans and Latinos is another.” At the core, this election was all about anti-Semitism and racism. The Germans made a similar mistake when they invaded the Soviet Union. They were “drunk” with power and paid the price.

  19. Marv,

    I sure hope you are correct with your 7:34 comment. You seem able to see further into the future than many of the rest of us are able to.

  20. I fear for my gay friends, my muslim friends, my immigrant friends (even the legal ones) and my black friends too. Because Trump gave the sexists and racists and homophobes a voice. He was their voice so they have the power now and they are embolden too. And the House and Senate is now in GOP control again, OMG. And the supreme court too? We’re F*’d. It just makes me fear for the future and frankly, I’m glad I saw it coming and got out. But now, as an American abroad, I want to post a note on the entrance to the building and say, “We’re sorry, we didn’t vote for him!” Now, I’m afraid that people that hate America will display their anger to me. I don’t feel safe here either. My UK friends are appalled and sad because it’s like Brexit #2.

    My eyes burn from crying. I am furious.

  21. Marv; I vehemently disagree with your statement that we may be better off with Trump than with Hillary. With Hillary in the White House and Congress remaining in the hands of Republicans, the worst we would be facing is a four-year continuation of the past eight-years under President Obama. We could deal with the status quo; we have no idea how soon Trump’s deportations will begin but they will begin with no one to stop him. We have no way to know how soon or who will be the target when he acts on his statement, “Why can’t we just nuke ’em?” War he wants and war he will have.

    I agree with Theresa’s statement with one change; it will not take a year for the Republicans who elected him to realize who and what they have elected. They will be victims along with the rest of America and Americans but they are probably not smart enough to know THEY caused their own downfall, loss of rights and no chance for a living wage. All we can do after January 20, 2017, will be to prepare to assure Trump is a one-term president. If WE haven’t been nuked by Iran, North Korea or Russia because all of our military are back in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria. “Boots on the ground” could have an entirely new meaning; foreign boots on our ground.

  22. Come on Sheila, I expected a longer essay today. 😉

    Personally, I’m polishing up a story on the John Podesta emails. Thomas Frank has read most them and wrote a great article in the Guardian about them.

    Here’s a quote from Thomas on the culture of the meritocracy:

    “Everything blurs into everything else in this world. The state department, the banks, Silicon Valley, the nonprofits, the “Global CEO Advisory Firm” that appears to have solicited donations for the Clinton Foundation. Executives here go from foundation to government to thinktank to startup. There are honors. Venture capital. Foundation grants. Endowed chairs. Advanced degrees. For them the door revolves. The friends all succeed. They break every boundary.”

    As the leader of the people, Barack Obama had eight years to tell Americans that a truly first class country shouldn’t operate like this. He could have explained how the Washington Insiders prospered under the policies written by Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton.

    He could have explained why our inequality is so great, and exactly what happened in 2008 with the global financial meltdown. He could have jailed those bankers who committed crimes to show how our justice system works for everyone, no matter where you live in society.

    He could have embraced Bernie Sanders for his bold ideas in fixing all the imbalances. He could have elevated Elizabeth Warren and explained to the American people why our Fourth Estate is failing our democracy.

    He didn’t do any of those things. Under his DNC leadership, he lost the house, senate, courts, and how many statehouses last night?

    I’m afraid Louis Farrakhan was right about Obama:

    “But I just want to tell you, Mr. President, you’re from Chicago, and so am I. I go out in the streets with the people. I visited the worst neighborhoods. I talked to the gangs. And while I was out there talking to them, they said ‘You know, Farrakhan, the president ain’t never come. Could you get him to come and look after us?’ There’s your legacy, Mr. President. It’s in the streets with your suffering people, Mr. President. And If you can’t go and see about them, then don’t worry about your legacy ’cause the white people that you served so well, they’ll preserve your legacy. The hell they will. But you didn’t earn your legacy with us. We put you there. You fought for the rights of gay people. You fought for the rights of this people and that people. You fight for Israel. Your people are suffering and dying in the streets! That’s where your legacy is. Now you failed to do what should have been done.”

  23. JoAnn,

    If our worst fears come true there will be no future election. Trump has already brought the leaders of the far right into his circle, just as Hitler brought his goon squad into his government. As pointed out earlier in this blog, “once fascists achieve power, they do not give up that power”.
    “So much for the American experiment.”

  24. Nancy, thanks for reminding Ken Glass how wrong his memory of the Obama administration is. I have several regrets about Obama’s failures on the environment and Wall Street. He still has 74 days to right some wrongs.

  25. Todd,

    Here is a pertinent quote from John K. Galbraith. “Revolution is nothing more than the kicking in of a rotten door.”

  26. As I told my brothers this morning, this is proof that dreams do come true, when you remember that a nightmare is also a dream. On the first day of the new presidency, the Republicans will get rid of Obamacare, restrict abortions to the point of total illegality, deprive Planned Parenthood of the ability to provide Medicaid funded services to the poor, and restrict the rights of the LGBTQ community (although that will be overturned by SCOTUS).

    Once their social agenda is completed, they will start on their economic one, eliminating the EPA, the Dept. of Energy, HUD, and the Dept. of Education, while once again giving giant tax cuts to the rich. Both deficits and the debt will skyrocket, but we have already seen that that is only a problem when a Democrat is President.

    If the Sanders movement and the Trump movement are indeed two sides of the same coin, we have to work to show the other side of that coin how harmful all of this has been to the average person. We have to start now to take back the House in two years.

    Here’s hoping that this will signal an end to “investigations” of Hillary.

  27. Regarding the election and the future of America under the thumb of Republican domination:

    “..holding a book but reading the empty spaces.”
    – – – Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

  28. I apologize to one and all for my smug and even sometimes arrogant assertions that Hillary would win handily. Meanwhile, welcome to the world of whitelash and libertarian mobs with money in this post-Citizens United world where government is poised to openly serve the corporate and superrich at the continuing expense of the rest of us. My chief concern now is not so much solution of the issues of the day as it is in how to save what is left of our democracy from full and total corporate control. Meanwhile, expect visits from Putin as we make America great again, uh, great for whom?

  29. Twenty five years ago I predicted that there would be a revolution in this country because I not only witnessed, but felt the economic depression back then. The revolution has been started by the angry white middle class that voted in Trump. When they realize that they have been tricked, I believe the real and much more ugly revolution will kick in – because the rest of us will have joined them.

  30. JoAnn,

    “With Hillary in the White House and Congress remaining in the hands of Republicans, the worst we would be facing is a four-year continuation of the past eight-years under President Obama.”

    Hillary Clinton would have been attacked from day one and much more viciously than anything Obama has faced. She wouldn’t have been given an “inch.” And would have done little or nothing about it, just like during her disastrous campaign. Four years with her in office would have ensured a fascist outcome in the next election much like the scenario which occurred in France in the mid to late 30’s. We were damned either way.

    I know how upset you must be. Hopefully, things won’t be as extreme as they could be.

    Diversity is dead. Procedural democracy is much more difficult to destroy.

  31. All — It was a strange night without a doubt. In this case some may think it is it is regrettable, but that’s why they have elections and that’s why they play the game….so to speak.

  32. Peggy,

    I agree with most of your comment.

    However, regarding this one – “We have to start now to take back the House in two years.” How can we possibly hope to take back the house with the extreme gerrymandering that has enabled such complete control by the GOP?

  33. Gerald,

    “My chief concern now is not so much solution of the issues of the day as it is in how to save what is left of our democracy from full and total corporate control.”

    Thanks. That’s issue #1.

  34. Americans just don’t realize how isolated they are. This Trump vote has now emboldened the right wing of the UK, the French, the Germans and Russians and on and on. We’re about to see bigots come out of the wood work worldwide and nobody in the states gets that.

  35. As I write this with tears running down my face, as our life as we have known it for more than 70 years is coming apart, I know that I will not live long enough to see the full consequences of this day. To my children and my grandson, I am so sorry. I did not work hard enough to make a difference. I am bereft for what has been done to our country today. I fear the future with another unstable narcissist within reach of the nuclear button.
    To all those who read this blog and take part in the discussion, thank you for the past year of thoughtful and instructive commentary. Be safe.

  36. Lady Liberty’s torch has been snuffed out. It is now Amerika. This Veteran feels the sacrifices of her family and fore runners have been in vain. I hang my head in sorrow even while others joyously starch their white sheets and build their lawn crosses. Shall I visit State and Federal Parks before they are handed over to the money grubbers and cease to exist? Shall I walk down the street one more time before I have to return to the shadows for fear of my life? Shall I put what little money I have in to gold before our economy collapses? Should I try to get a ticket to Europe before our borders are closed? I am weak with fear and grief, so today I shall just pray.

  37. Nancy
    I believe the only difference between the progress made during Reagan & Clinton administrations as opposed the the Obama administration is leadership. Those earlier Presidents and speakers used all of their persuasive skills to coerce negotiations. Without forceful speakers, either President might have gotten everything he wanted. Without dynamic Presidents, the speakers would have passed whatever they wanted. Obama chose to work around Congress instead of through Congress. Feel free to blame either side or both, but as long as either side views the other as crazy evil fools, we continue to lose as a country. People in this blog were expecting a new dawn of enlightenment. I get that you are disappointed. Please don’t spend 4 more years (or 2) in self-congratulatory superiority convinced that all Trump supporters were part of the basket of deplorables. Most of the thinking ones want what you want. They see a different path to the goal, but there are smart people on all sides of the issues who can be part of a solution….if we work together. Try this for a conversation starter–When someone expresses a view wildly different from yours, instead of saying “stupid, brainwashed, evil, etc.” try this, “Help me understand why you think that?” Some will open an opportunity for learning, others won’t.

  38. This morning I had to explain to my seven-year-old son that Donald Trump had won the presidential election. I borrowed from John Wayne, who (reportedly) said after JFK took office, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president. I hope he does a good job.” I agree with Thomas Friedman–I’m not going to spend the next four years hoping for him to fail (as President Obama’s opposition has for the last eight).

    And yet, I feel very discouraged about the future of the country. I worry that we’ve heard the voices of people who have been silent for a long time but have thought the way Donald Trump speaks–that people who are different are somehow not entitled to the same privileges as white males; that people you disagree with are “losers”; that being willing to go kick ass (with torture or, gulp, nuclear weapons) is the right temperament. As Paul Krugman said overnight, many of us do not know our nation as well as we thought we did. How do we enlighten those parts of our nation to the values of equality, fairness, and thoughtfulness? No one has ever changed his or her mind after being screamed at, but that seems like all that’s left in the toolbox.

    I could spend a lot of time wailing about the results from yesterday’s election, but that wouldn’t accomplish much. Anyone have any great ideas how we as a nation go about bringing the two sides of the political divide a little closer together?

  39. It feels like 1933…and the young, the young!!!! Where were they?…..”This election saw the two lead candidates fail to resonate with many young voters. Based on the CNN exit poll, 9 percent of voters ages 18-29 went for third parties.”

    It remains to be calculated whether those wasted votes might have put HRC over the top. How sad and unthinking an act on their part, if so!

  40. Bill Wilson; I hope your son doesn’t learn what your acceptance of Trump as your president means in actuality. I have had presidents in the past I didn’t like (voted in my first election in 1958) but considered them my presidential representative, even Bush, difficult as that was. BUT…Donald Trump represents everything ugly in this country and the world that I and all thinking, caring Americans and humans abhor. I will no more claim he is “my president” than I would have Adolph Hitler and be a “good German”. I will stand against Trump’s racism, bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, anti all religious sects, anti-Hispanics, his blatant thievery and ruination of small businesses, his bragging that he doesn’t pay taxes or his bragging that he made money when thousands of people lost their homes, and the list goes on as I remain a good American. I will not support his deep desire to “nuke ’em” or to deport anyone whose entire race or group of people displeases him. When your young son begins to ask why some of his friends at school are being bullied and why they cry because they are afraid President Trump is going to tear their family apart and send them to foreign lands; please explain to him that “your president is doing this because he wants to”. When he begins to understand what your acceptance of Donald Trump’s hatred and violence means, how will you explain you didn’t vote for him but his is your president. Children are much wiser than we give them credit for; when they discover we have lied to them, they lose trust in US, not who we lied about.

    I will stand with all of those on this blog who are broken hearted this morning; who fear for the future of family, friends, this country and the total loss of respect of all major nations we must work with to seek peaceful ways to resolve differences. I think those of us who tried, in vain, to get others to understand that we may not like Hillary but she is qualified and Trump is NOT; which should have been the basis for our vote. Bernie asked his determined supporters NOT to write him in; there is no way he or candidates of Libertarian and Green parties could have won so voting for them – or not voting at all – is how Donald Trump was elected President of the United States early this morning. Another day that will “live in infamy” which our near future will prove to us and the world.

  41. We, the people, have elected a narcissistic bully who questionably has no true core values other than promoting himself, and is the most poorly prepared and ill equipped president elect in history. Generations of international relationships are rattled. But, if we, the people, believe in the Democratic process, we must abide by the outcome and work, as a supporter or as part of a loyal opposition, to nurture our country in the very tough, transitional and confusing days ahead. It will be a great opportunity to strengthen our prayer lives.

  42. Bill,

    “Anyone have any great ideas how we as a nation go about bringing the two sides of the political divide a little closer together?”

    A clear picture of the future so that a sensible course correction can be made. The good and the bad. That shouldn’t be too difficult since we have been on the same potentially, disastrous course for almost 50 years. Who wants a Race War?

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