There Really Are Two Americas

We are facing a division in this country unlike anything we’ve seen since the 60s, or perhaps the Civil War. If America is to emerge reasonably intact, we need to look honestly at what just happened (and by “looking honestly,” I don’t mean self-righteous whining about campaign tactics, the primary process, Clinton’s policy positions or her deficits as a candidate, none of which were dispositive, and none of which is particularly productive.)

The ugly truth is that his voters saw Trump’s bigotry and authoritarianism as features, not bugs. They didn’t overlook his appalling behaviors—they embraced and endorsed them. They applauded his repeated attacks on “political correctness” and routinely told reporters that what they liked about him was that he “tells it like it is”–“it is” being things like the illegitimacy of a black President.

The people who voted for Trump were overwhelmingly rural, less-educated white Christians. Research showed that the characteristics most predictive of support for Trump were racial resentment and misogyny—not economic distress.

The people who voted for Clinton were overwhelmingly urban, and there were more of us than there were of them. Clinton won the popular vote, but thanks to the Electoral College, rural votes count for more, so she lost the Presidency.

The urban/rural divide is more telling than the other ways we “slice and dice” the American population, and it is getting more acute. I have previously linked to an essay–an angry and not altogether fair rant, really–by the editors of The Stranger, a Seattle alternative newspaper, written in the wake of John Kerry’s defeat. Its authors describe an “Urban Archipelago” composed of blue cities in red states; twelve years later, the divide they portrayed so vividly has grown even larger.

It’s time to state something that we’ve felt for a long time but have been too polite to say out loud: Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands. We are citizens of the Urban Archipelago, the United Cities of America. We live on islands of sanity, liberalism, and compassion…

The entire (very long) essay is worth reading–and re-reading. But the following, lightly edited paragraphs on urban values are a great description of the worldview so many rural Americans reject.

So how do we live and what are we for? Look around you, urbanite, at the multiplicity of cultures, ethnicities, and tribes that are smashed together in every urban center (yes, even Seattle): We’re for that. We’re for pluralism of thought, race, and identity. We’re for a freedom of religion that includes the freedom from religion–not as some crazy aberration, but as an equally valid approach to life. We are for the right to choose one’s own sexual and recreational behavior, to control one’s own body and what one puts inside it. We are for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

Unlike the people who flee from cities in search of a life free from disagreement and dark skin, we are for contentiousness, discourse, and the heightened understanding of life that grows from having to accommodate opposing viewpoints. We’re for opposition. And just to be clear: The non-urban argument, the red state position, isn’t oppositional, it’s negational–they are in active denial of the existence of other places, other people, other ideas. It’s reactionary utopianism, and it is a clear and present danger; urbanists should be upfront and unapologetic about our contempt for their politics and their negational values. Republicans have succeeded in making the word “liberal”–which literally means “free from bigotry… favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded”–into an epithet. Urbanists should proclaim their liberalism from the highest rooftop (we have higher rooftops than they do); it’s the only way we survive…

Let’s see, what else are we for? How about education? Cities are beehives of intellectual energy; students and teachers are everywhere you look, studying, teaching, thinking. In Seattle, you can barely throw a rock without hitting a college. It’s time to start celebrating that, because if the reds have their way, advanced degrees will one day be awarded based on the number of Bible verses a person can recite from memory. In the city, people ask you what you’re reading. Outside the city, they ask you why you’re reading. You do the math–and you’ll have to, because non-urbanists can hardly even count their own children at this point. For too long now, we’ve caved to the non-urban wisdom that decries universities as bastions of elitism and snobbery. Guess what: That’s why we should embrace them. Outside of the city, elitism and snobbery are code words for literacy and complexity. And when the oil dries up, we’re not going to be turning to priests for answers–we’ll be calling the scientists. And speaking of science: SCIENCE! That’s another thing we’re for. And reason. And history…

As part of our pro-reason platform, we’re for paying taxes–taxes, after all, support the urban infrastructure on which we all rely, and as such, are a necessary part of the social contract we sign every day…

A city belongs to everyone in it, and expands to contain whoever desires to join its ranks. People migrate to cities and open independent businesses or work at established ones. They import cultural influences, thus enriching the urban arts and nightlife, which in turn enrich everything. Most importantly, they bring the indisputable fact of their own bodies and minds. We wait in line with them at QFC, we stand shoulder to shoulder with them at the bar, we cram ourselves next to them on the bus. We share our psychic and physical space, however limited it might be, because others share it with us. It’s not a question of tolerance, nor even of personal freedom; it’s a matter of recognizing the fundamental interdependence of all citizens..

In the years since 2004, partisan polarization, the near-disappearance of real journalism, the venom and conspiracy theories promoted by talk radio, Fox News and the blogosphere, and the improving legal and social status of previously marginalized groups have triggered and nurtured racial and cultural resentments.

Unlike the authors of The Urban Archipelago, City-dwellers can’t simply say “Fuck off” to rural America. For one thing, as we have once again been reminded, thanks to gerrymandering and the Electoral College their votes count more than ours; for another, that really isn’t a very liberal–or helpful– attitude.

Intentionally or not, rural white America has elected a would-be fascist, together with a large number of Senators and Representatives willing to do his bidding so long as it benefits their party and their financial patrons. The question the rest of us face is: what do we do now?

Tomorrow, I’ll suggest some answers to that question.


  1. Trump voters didn’t vote for change, they voted for someone that promised to fix it for them. To take them back to when they had a quiet peaceful life away from those noisy scary cities. The country folk, they don’t want change, they just want a job and some dignity returned, just like those city folk that voted for him. We as a country have forgotten the little people and we are to blame for it. We have destroyed their lives and didn’t defend them when their jobs were stolen from them because the corporations didn’t want to pay them a livable wage. The greedy GOP destroyed the unions and we let them by not standing up for our rights and their rights. We lost our moral fabric of a hardworking society that paid their own way and didn’t take government hand outs because that’s not who we are.

    And it begins. Trump is doing exactly as I said he would. Last night, 60 minutes broadcast their interview with him and his family. He stated that marriage equality was settled law but Ms. Leslie Stall didn’t challenge him on the settled law of Roe vs Wade. Shame on her. Oh I wished I could hear what the evangelicals are saying about that now. They have been so conned.

  2. I agree with Marv, but this is the best summation of what has happened to this country that I’ve really seen so far. I also look forward to your answers as to what do we do now. This election has definitely shown the stark divisions we will be dealing with and I think we’re gonna need all the help we can get to bridge them for the good of this country and its future.

    Thank you Sheila!

  3. Being a liberal city dweller, I can agree with many of the points made in the essay published in The Stranger. But I have friends, real friends who voted for Trump. I have been trying to come to grips with that fact and in the angry discourse that followed the election, I came to two realizations: One, that there were people who voted for Trump BECAUSE of what he said and others who voted for him DESPITE what he said. I came to the second realization after a long, hard talk with a former roommate who now lives in Texas and is a conservative. It became very clear to me that folks in rural areas were so angry and tired of being labeled rednecks and bigots by the “liberal elite in big cities” that they voted against Hillary, who they feel is the culmination of everything wrong in Washington. They feel unheard and unrepresented by smug liberals who write them off as racist even though they may not be.

    After a good hard look at myself, I realized that I am guilty of thinking that all conservatives are bigots. I sometimes think folks who choose to live in rural areas are less educated and less sophisticated than those of us savvy urbanites. We argue that the Republicans push an “us versus them” agenda when we are guilty of lumping all conservatives into the same basket of deplorables.

    I believe that the only way this country will mend and move forward is for everyone—urban and rural, liberal and conservative—to stop labeling each other. We must start listening to what’s really behind a decision or action that we disagree with instead of sharing a scathing meme on social media. We must debate the issues and not the personalities, generalities and stereotypes. We have to stop shouting past each other and sit down for a good long talk. It may be the only way to mitigate the coming disaster that is Trump.

  4. Well spoken. Liberals often have curiosity about those different than themselves thru reading, interacting, & travel. There is a real segment of Trump supporters who lack that interest. For them, it is only just THEIR church, THER gun rights, their rights etc. that interests them. Certainly, not all but a large enough segment to cause major disappointment in the USA.

  5. From my perspective here on the near east side of Indianapolis, the description of cities being bastions of liberalism may hold true for some east or west coast cities, but it does not hold true for this midwest town. While there are a few areas, Downtown, Fountain Square, Near North, that bring differing cultures together, for the rest of the city segregation by race and income is the order of the day. Even side by side neighbors do not mix. Sometimes they do not even tolerate each other as happened last year when the Gay Marriage rule came down from the Supreme Court. Two of my neighbors, a gay couple, were attacked, their flag torn from their porch. Then there is the “bubba” family who started flying their confederate flag when the house next to them was sold to a Hispanic run company that put up a Rent to Own sign in Spanish. Most are friendly to this old white woman but not so with the one black family down the street. More importantly, there are entire areas of this city that are segregated. There are the predominantly African American areas, the very wealthy white areas, and newer Hispanic areas of the city. There are trendy up and coming areas for the educated young, and poor white areas for the not so lucky and the walking wounded.
    This too often self segregation by race and income does not exactly represent the kind of liberalism described by the editors of The Stranger. Indianapolis seems to be more like a compact version of the larger countryside, backward, suspicious, seething.

  6. Great article and post! Here is another book on the sorting of America. The seeking of like minds is a very human characteristic. The term most used today is “echo-chamber” – it fits. Conservatives and liberals news told to them by personalities who appeal to our tastes/likes. Sadly, the liberal hosts tend to push the feeling of “superiority” over the dumber, less educated, conservatives. However, they were better informed when it came to voting for a candidate who wasn’t part of the corrupt Washington meritocracy. The DNC pushed the worst possible candidate at the worst possible time on voters. They had all the money at their disposal to determine the possible outcome, but were both arrogant and ignorant.

    The appeals for unity and coming together defy our reality. Trying to appeal to middle of the road voters is flawed strategy.

    The only way to counter our human sorting is via communications. All the media would have to agree on objective journalism – seeking the truth – reporting the facts. That is why our constitution provided the free press with a strong backbone. Madison knew we needed strong checks and balances or the powerful would take control and use the government to oppress the people. Guess what?

  7. Yes to Theresa. To Andy Austin: Conservatives have shown that they must have a society that crushes dissent (Nixon, Reagan, most other R presidents) and can feel free to rely on facts created by talk radio and Fox to achieve their goal of total domination. I believe that most of the post-Reagan, new conservatives can care less about an alternative view of important issues; they want control at any cost. As I said before they have just about run the table, so we will all be conservatives soon, willing or not.

  8. AgingLGrl,

    I also watched the 60 Minute interview. I was pleased to hear him say that marriage equality had been settled by the Supreme Court. I hope that he will do the same in regard to abortion. As he spoke about this, I was wondering what Pence’s reaction must be and if he immediately started rallying his supporters to fight to change Trump’s mind.

    I really am hoping that much of the BS that Trump said during the campaign to get evangelicals to support him will now be changed back to what his original beliefs were. Let’s not forget, he claims to be a very good businessman and he has most likely accomplished much of his success by telling people what they want to hear and them screwing them after the deal is made.

    The 60 Minute interview showed how “humbled” he has become by the enormity of his new job and the responsibilities that come with it. I hope that he will use his authoritarian manner to push back at the alt-right and do what is right for our country and the world. However, the people he is surrounding himself with frightens me very much.

  9. Duane,

    Look at the bright side. Don’t forget it is also not that SIMPLE for Donald Trump. I’m already starting to feel the power of rejuvenation.

  10. Living in Bloomington for most of my life, I am used to the feeling of being on a liberal island in a sea of rural conservatism. In Indiana, the size of the college has more effect on ‘urbanism’ than the size of the city.

  11. Let’s not forget people on the farms feed us, and in an ever increasing technological world, they aren’t the bumpkins this article makes them out to be. Also, we must remember that people wanted a change from the “Business as usual” politics offered by Clinton. Whether that positive change comes from Trump certainly remains to be seen. Clinton and the DNC’s rigging of the primaries made no friends in either Party.

  12. Neal smith,

    True, farmers are no longer bumpkins. Farming is Big Business that requires a lot of capital. However, rural America is made up more of small towns that definitely are filled with small minds. Farmers don’t make up the bulk of rural America.

  13. Teresa, I can echo the conditions of the “city” we live in. My neighborhood on the eastern edge of BR is full of affordable housing (lower than most of BR) but with many of the same self-realized segregation. Most of my neighbors rarely if ever speak to one another or participate in neighborhood activities to improve the area or just to socialize. It has become a place of transition for many young people of all hues and education levels. Many homes have become rentals. Even those who buy are here only as a temporary stopping place to the suburban lifestyle they grew up in or aspire to. Few have any interest in putting down roots. The driving force is realized gain after five or so years, then off to the burbs further north. It is definitely not a place even remotely like the one described in the Stranger. And the Trump/Pence signs were like weeds.

  14. Sheila; a question, are you including suburbanites with urban or rural America? What I see of this city and much of America, it is primarily suburban in makeup. Today this translates to less educated, low-to-middle income level families struggling to survive who blame those “others” for their plight, Trump promises to rid the county of those “others” to save them.

    Theresa made so many good, on target comments pointing to the suburban population and the divisions within it. I have made overtures to the Black families who make up the majority of new neighbors in my small neighborhood but they keep themselves segregated. Is this due to racism or fear? I am the “odd (wo)man out” in my neighborhood due originally to my friendships with the lesbians in this area. I am thought to be an old fag due to this; they became friends simply because hey were accepting of my initial friendly greetings. And they remain good friends; even the couple who moved to Lebanon, we go to dinner as often as we can.

    I see the divisions in this country as a 21st Century caste system; based on economics, education/intelligence and race. I think we are trifurcated, not bifurcated. This has always been the way it is; we have watched the escalation of these divisions due to the wide disparity of economic levels.

    Two interesting news items on AOL point to the issue Sheila initially made about the uneducated voting for Trump; like seeks like, water seeks it’s own level, we are knownby the company we keep, etc.

    “Conway makes ‘legal’ threat to Dems criticizing Donald Trump” This points to her educated lack of basic intelligence when we compare Dems criticizing Trump vs. his 18 months of disparaging and blatant threats against entire groups of Americans. Class action suits, anyone?

    “Trump ‘surprised’ by scope of the president’s job” This came after one somewhat brief meeting with President Obama last week. I have said all along that Trump thought he was in a popularity contest rather than a presidential election. He should have had a hint of what could be ahead when given security information regarding the president’s job once he was the nominee. His basic low intelligence level, contrary to whatever level of education his father bought for him, lured in the voters sharing his lack of intelligence and his racism and bigotry. The majority of those voters have no comprehension of what the president can – and cannot – do once in office.

    Read Article II, section 1 of the Constitution and you will see that Trump is fully qualified for the presidency according to the pitiful requirements in our Constitution. But; I doubt he knew this and I know those uneducated voters who voted for his racism and bigotry have no clue as to what is in the Constitution.

    I am one of those uneducated referred to today; a high school dropout with a GED. Maybe this is why I question the term “conservative” being applied to the Republican party. What is conservative about racism, bigotry, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ, anti-women’s rights, anti-Hispanic, anti-Asian, deportation of American citizens and those struggling to become American citizens, and the determination to force the middle and low income Americans into deeper poverty and joblessness?

  15. JoAnn, you cannot include yourself as uneducated. The uneducated referred to here are the ones that finished high school (maybe) and haven’t read a book or studied anything since. They are the ones that don’t know civics and have never had a job of thinking for themselves. You cannot be one of them. Your posts here have proven over and over that you are not a high school dropout. You have shown that and proven it.

  16. I think we can carry this analysis too far. Only 15% of the U.S. population is classified as living in rural counties. Trump did not come within an inch of winning the popular vote propelled solely by a bunch of farmers (3% of the population) with pitchforks. Urbanites, traditionally democrat labor union members, urban and rural religious groups, and many others voted for the Carrot Top.
    Likewise I think it mistake to speak of all but a small minority as embracing Trump the person. Around this wealthy town, Naples Florida, Trump got 60% of the vote, almost all of those voters held their noses while filling in the ovals on the ballot.
    Similarly we have to recognize that plenty of voters who opted for Trump, previously voted for Obama. This doesn’t offer much support to the “they are nothing but a bunch of racists” hypothesis. Democrats are going to have stop grasping at simplistic explanations if we are not going to continue getting spanked.

  17. “the escalation of these divisions due to the wide disparity of economic levels.” Right on target, JoAnn.

    That disparity accounts for more of the current discord in this country than anything else. We no longer see ourselves as equals, live together in the same neighborhoods. What we see is the evidence that some are secure and many more are not. The wealthy can live in gated communities or guarded outposts in all white suburbs relieved of the constant reminder of the poor. The poor see it all, experience the ill effects of it all, and are told that if only they worked harder, tried harder, had gone to college they too could have the “good life”.

    The honest know that it is all lies and hate the hypocrisy.

  18. If we are to come together as a united Republic we have to start talking and listening to one another. We have to believe that mostly people care about the same things. We all live in our own echo chamber or bubble. I am going to work on getting civic conversations going to explore the issues that will undoubtedly emerge when Trump’s administration show’s how crazy it is. We have to take our democracy back and that means talking to those we have labeled as bigots and conservative. We have to work toward common ground and common sense. Our party has to dig deeper to find candidates who can push a progressive agenda in the red wastelands of rural and suburban America. We all have to be part of the solution.

  19. JoAnn,

    “His basic low intelligence level, contrary to whatever level of education his father bought for him, lured in the voters sharing his lack of intelligence and his racism and bigotry.”

    Thanks for the clarification. Please do not give this guy too much credit. He brags and the media attempts to elevate him due to his being a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce. First of all, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, after his first year which in my book means he probably was rejected the first time around. I’m a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania like Trump. But also like Trump, it was an undergraduate degree. Wharton is the name of the business school. Most universities have a business school. Wharton’s reputation comes from the graduate school, not the undergraduate school, where it is much more difficult to be accepted. He’s, more than likely, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania probably with a BS in Economics. That’s the way his diploma would read not the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce. But, I would like to see it first, like with his tax returns. Never, never let this guy off the hook.

  20. I would like to offer some dissent from Sheila’s comments:
    1. the popular v. electoral college beef. When it helps us we ignore, when it hurts we complain. Get over it. The elections done and those are the conditions for winning. If you can’t climb the mountain complaining that it’s too high does get very far.
    2. Rural vs. urban: I work in Bloomington, IN, in retail. I meet a lot of fairly well off/above high school grad people and many were for Trump. Further, over 1/2 half the white male population voted for him making it less a rural/urban issue than perhaps a economic/class issue. Also, what of the Dems losing millennials.
    3. This segment of the population perceives themselves as abandoned by mainstream politics, especially the Democratic party and they have been. There is a lot of rage, resentment, and blame which is very unfocused because no one before Trump really speaks up for them. If this race had been between Trump and Sanders and Sanders had lost big, I think you would have had a better case (and no, I am not suggesting that all white males are misogynists). If the Dems run another affluent, establishment candidate in 4 years I predict they will get an even bigger smack down.
    4. Can we all get past the “Oh geez, Oh geez, Look what they did to us” to grasp the fact that the Democratic Party did it to themselves–that we did it to ourselves–then, we can start rolling up our sleeves and trying to build the foundation of better representation. I want some organization in Bloomington to join and work in not another blog to read and argue with.

  21. Trump will be more accommodating to the Republican establishment and will not drain the swamp as promised on the stump because he doesn’t know anything about anything and knows it. He will add to the swamp, as early indications suggest with his so-called tax reform proposals and appointment of the Republican national chairman (a top dog establishment figure is there ever was one) as his chief of staff. So much for “draining the swamp” and removing establishment figures from the banks of the Potomac irrespective of party. Next up – expect him to embrace austerity economics, denounce Keynesianism, and give us an official recession, thus ending the near recession era we have had for years due to Republican obstructionism and austerity economics.
    Shelia wanted us to speak of the two Americas and not complain about day to day negatives but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to discuss policy evidence of why we have two Americas. Trump will play CEO and leave governing details to Pence and others while he roams the country and the world playing big shot. The good news is that I expect to see urban and rural communities mesh (slowly and suspiciously) as it becomes evident that Trump offered bombast and not solutions and that if we are to survive we must get back in this collective “together” mindset when facing disaster either from within or without as we did in WW II and thereafter. Americans in general are good people wherever they live and we have a great country; we only have a governing personnel problem that ignores the public interest in favor of favors to the few, and that can be corrected. The end is not near – not yet. There are no Roman legions ready to march in and end our Athenian democracy; there are only money changers and political opportunists to be overcome, and to borrow a phrase, we shall overcome.

  22. I have said many times that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him read. It all begins with education. We need to bring back the fundamental skills of reading and reasoning. Let’s make education great again!

  23. Gerald; how welcoming will those other countries be to Trump after this campaign which most major national leaders deplored. I doubt he will be welcomed by the President of Mexico ever again and doubt Canada or Great Britain will welcome him with open arms…or open borders.

    When you refer to Pence governing this country, as Trump stated months ago regarding whoever his VP would be; behind Pence is Mitch Daniels and behind Daniels is Steve Goldsmith. Daniels carried Goldsmith’s governing policies and many of his appointees to the state level and passed them down to Pence; Pence has used Daniels’ Goldsmith playbook to rule Indiana. Goldsmith may be forced to stay behind the scenes (pay no attention to that man behind the curtain) due to his dereliction of duty and lies as Deputy Mayor of New York City became headlines after he was arrested for domestic abuse while still living in Washington, D.C. He is Jacob Marley to Pence’s Ebenezer Scrooge in this situation; Pence has not yet seen the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. Trump will provide that scenario.

  24. JoAnn,

    I would like to repeat/ditto AgingLGrl’s 8:11 comment to you. You have my respect and have educated yourself further than many who attended college.

  25. Just a couple of the articles confirming the urban/rural divide. OF COURSE these descriptions are broad-brush, and “rural” does not mean “farmer.” Suburban dwellers in larger cities are likely to be more urban than suburban inhabitants in Indiana and other predominantly rural states. Etc. The divide is a statistical reality, but statistics explain group behaviors, not individual ones.

  26. AgingLGrl and Nancy; thank you for your words of support. I am proud to be part of this incredible family of Sheila’s commenters. I have learned much from all of you.

  27. Sheila, you are wonderful, keep your blogs coming, you are like a life raft and reality check in what has now become an abyss of uncertainty.


  29. Paul,


    Who or what do you think Trump is?

  30. A point: which better looks and acts like the rest of the world? A rural white Christian church or an American city?

    At the very least what TrumpPence promised is to isolate America from the world.

    What the rubes fell for is that that would be beneficial for us economically.

    The reality is that it is impossible anymore to have a local economy.

    That is the most benign aspect of their new reality because it’s effect falls hardest on those who supported TrumpPence.

    It brings with it though malignancies not only for America but also the rest of the world.

  31. Paul – Check in again in a couple of years and tell us how austerity economics has made America great again. I like to think Mark Cuban (a billionaire) is wrong when he predicts a depression for America under Trump because I thought it would only be a recession, which is bad enough. I hope I am right and that Cuban is wrong, but a continuation of austerity economics as policy where debt trumps investment and gloom and despair crowd out hope favors his assessment over mine. Meanwhile, try to contain your glee and join us in fastening your seat belt for a rough ride these next four years.

  32. you might think more about the people that fed and raised the Clinton dynasty, and why Hillary, a “person of interest” year after year, was selected as the candidate, on the widespread assumption that she was a “sure thing” to rule the unwashed masses. Truman said you can’t make money in politics unless you are crooked, and the Clinton’s have amassed large fortunes on modest government salaries. This should be discussed before waiving it in favor of thinking about the “lower classes”.

  33. Maybe off topic, maybe not but I am throwing out an unpolished observation, maybe a correlation…so sorry for some rambling thoughts….I can’t recall where I saw the article but there has been some thoughts that maybe many of Trump supporters are truly looking for an authoritarian to run this country….when I read that I reflect back to the rise of the mega-churches which to a large extent fall within the Evangelical/non-denominational relm. Two years ago I was a member of a fledgling UCC church in Brownsburg. It would be a LGBT welcoming church like a fair number of UCC churches. There were 3 ministers and we were talking about certain churches and why some have grown and others have not…lots of reasons for this, but I had mentioned that it seemed the rise was for those churches who held a more authoritarian view…you don’t have to think, the elders the ministers tell you who to vote for, tell you how much you are going to give, tell you what your marriage is to look like, tell you how men behave and how women are to behave….now I find this horrible but I question everything and especially people in authority positions. There seems to be some correlation with the rise in attendance in some of these churches and what we are seeing today…

    Now I go back to thinking about what is it in society and mentally that is also going on…most households require two incomes and we are living in a time where those of us in our 40’s are working harder for lesser wages than our parents…day care extremely expensive, college, daily living, etc…I am struggling to find work and my husband has had 6 jobs in 16 years…between us we have 5 degrees and we are struggling, but also more fortunate than others. The world is moving at a pace that is so fast that as humans we have not been able to evolve fast enough to keep up…look at the number of people needing antidepressants and antianxiety medications. I surmised to these 3 ministers that in the rise of the megachurches you can say you go to church but do not have to actively participate outside of showing up just by the pure size….in some of the Evangelical/non-denominational churches things are laid out (these churches have seen a steady rise in their numbers for the past 2 to 3 decades) Drive around and look at their road signs they told you who to vote for…I am just not that surprised, disappointed, but not surprised that many voted for someone who speaks like an authoritarian and presents themself as an authoritarian.

    These are just some observations and I believe some correlations…like I said sorry for my rambling thoughts…just thoughts that ramble through my head that I wanted to throw out there.

  34. The Trumpet will find out very shortly his bluster will be brought up quick. The Trumpet had promised a 45% tariff on Chinese goods. The Communist Chinese Party Newspaper had the following to say on November 13th: “If Trump wrecks Sino-US trade, a number of US industries will be impaired. Finally the new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

    Like others have noted here today, is the line between Urban and Rural, Democrat and Republican real?? Is Hamilton County here in Indiana Rural because it votes Republican???? Unfortunately, there is this perception that the voters in the collar counties are bunch of uneducated, unwashed, gun toting, manure smelling bigots who vote for by rote for Republicans.

    I maybe naive but I do not believe the majority of the people who voted Republican in Indiana want a Theocracy of the type Pence and the Bible Thumpers propose, no reproductive rights for woman, creationism, and no gay marriage.

    It is understandable that people who have seen their jobs shipped off shore should be angry or see their 401K’s crashing and burning. They are unable to afford health care. Disillusionment in the system can turn to anger when it appears there is no hope for change. Anger is a great Unifier , angry people gather together, their anger maybe directed at different targets but for a brief period they will have the critical mass. The Trumpet ignited this critical mass into a Political Nuclear explosion.

    There is old saying the Capitalist will sell the noose that hangs him. The update maybe the CEO will have a soft landing with a Golden Parachute, but the working class will feel collectively the noose in their necks. There is an excellent article in the Guardian Today- Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph

  35. RN,

    I can’t recall where I saw the article but there has been some thoughts that maybe many of Trump supporters are truly looking for an authoritarian to run this country….when I read that I reflect back to the rise of the mega-churches which to a large extent fall within the Evangelical/non-denominational relm.

    Your observations are much more than rambling thoughts.

  36. Just meant to add…that so many people are just exhausted…are not able to keep up and certainly are not able to keep up on politics, daily existence is priority…

  37. Just a comment on Trump’s statements on marriage equality in his 60 Minutes interview.

    First, I didn’t watch it. I wish closing my eyes and putting my hands over my ears so I don’t have to see him or his smarmy family and having to hear him was bliss. Can’t say I feel any better though.

    Second and more germane. Trump doesn’t set the agenda for which cases come before the Supreme Court. But he will preordain the outcome of many disputes that will come in front of the Court in the next 2-3 decades by who he nominates to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court. That’s right, if he nominates younger men –come on, you don’t think he’s going to nominate a woman do you — unless Ann Coulter is an attorney? — he and the Congressional Republicans will have stacked the Court until your grandchildren’s children are adults.

    He has one immediate nomination, and could well have 2-3 more before his 1st term ends given the ages and health of several of the Justices, unfortunately the ones who are moderates (Except for possibly Ginsberg, there are no true Liberals on the Court now). At the behest of his fellow travelers in the Congress, Trump will nominate anti-abortion, anti-Gay, pro-business conservatives. The Democrats have ZERO chance of avoiding any of them being confirmed.

    Let’s also not forget, the Republicans have refused throughout Obama’s presidency to fill vacancies in the lower Federal Courts. There are hundreds waiting to be filled. Those will now be quickly filled by fellow traveler conservatives who will be there for decades to come. So the chances of “Liberal” issues winning in the lower courts will also greatly diminish.

    The point is that anti-Gay Marriage activists will bring lawsuit after lawsuit, and find a way to get the issue in front the Supreme Court again, perhaps in a slightly different context in front of much more sympathetic Justices. The same will be true for Abortion. The same will be true for Pence’s Religious Freedom bigotry, I mean law, and who knows what other issues. Trump doesn’t have to do anything but nominate the Justices. So it’s really just a “throw-away” sound bite, and it doesn’t matter that he says he thinks marriage equity is settled law (You also have to remember that Trump changes his mind minute-by-minute). Now I’m depressed all over again!

  38. Yesterday I ran across a recent and relevant documentary film co-produced by the Independent Voter Network and the Foundation for Independent Voter Education, ‘The Other Side: A Liberal Democrat Explores Conservative America’.

    “The Other Side is the product of a trip around the country Joe, the creator of the film, took with his dog, Charlie. Joe had a hunch that how angry we are at each other politically is caused, at least in part, by a lack of understanding. To see if he was right, Joe sold his car, bought an old van, took a break from pursuing the acting thing in Los Angeles and traveled around the US interviewing conservatives, trying to understand the other side.”

    The film is free, and donations are accepted but are not required for viewing.

  39. RN; drag out your copy of the Constitution if you have one. Section I deals with all requirements, authority and leadership of the Legislation – the Senate and House of Representatives. Section II deals with the Executive description and requirements. Coming in that order explains that, no matter how authoritarian an elected president’s personality may be, it isn’t worth doo-doo without permission full and backing from Congress. That was made very obvious to this country, those who were paying attention, over the past eight years.

    This is a problem fully covering and protecting Trump and Pence; they have free reign.

  40. JoAnn, I enjoy your comments. You’re not uneducated by a long shot! Keep going! It’s true that Trump and Pence have free ‘rein’ (as in the reins to control a horse’s movement); however, free ‘reign’ is likely your wonderful Freudian slip of the day. It’s perfect in this situation! All of that means that they will ‘reign’ over their kingdom rather than use the reins to control their special version of government. It’s going to be a mighty long descent into fascism, and I hope we’re taking good notes on what is happening here. We’ve never had a fascist pig as the President of the United States before, so this is uncharted territory for us.

    Marv, wonderful Marv, told us what was in store and sure enough! Not enough of us paid attention to what was about to happen. It happened.

    Didn’t I read that 46% of Americans didn’t even bother to vote? Forty-six percent? Yikes! So then, that time-worn expression pops up again: BAD officials are elected by GOOD citizens…who don’t vote.

  41. The result of the election is what it is, and that is the product of districts gerrymandered by Republicans in key states, the Electoral College and the popular vote being just a side line.

    My suggestion: wear your safety pin, every day, everywhere. Attend every anti-Trump rally. The news media needs to document people of every age, race, religion and ethnicity. If you are a Christian, wear your cross to the rally–a big one, jeweled, gaudy, one that gets attention and says you are Christian and you don’t agree with Trump or what he stands for. If you are Jewish, wear your Star of David to the rally–get the biggest one you can find– and put it outside your coat. Muslim women–wear your hijab, even if you don’t ordinarily wear one. Cheer when they ask if you are a nasty woman. Hold hands with your black or white Jewish, Christian or Muslim sister or brother, and hope the media documents this. This form of peaceful protest says that you stand against bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia and everything else Trump stands for, and that this unfit person occupying in the White House of Lincoln, Kennedy and Obama is not OK. We have to move on, but we don’t have to like what happened and we don’t have to stop saying so.

    I attended Saturday’s rally and spoke with a woman of my vintage. The Star grossly under-reported the number of people that attended. My companion and I discussed the fact that when the civil rights protests were going on, all people had was hope that by standing up and being counted, things could change. People were arrested, beaten, doused with fire hoses, bitten by police dogs, even murdered, including Dr. Martin Luther King, but people kept marching. Even though it seemed futile at the time, change did happen eventually. That’s why everyone who disagrees with all of the rhetoric and hate spewed by Trump needs to keep wearing their safety pin, attending rallies and standing up and being counted. This is not ignoring reality or wallowing in the past–it is helping to bring about future change.

  42. Betty; “reign” was NOT a slip, Freudian or otherwise, Herr Trump fully intends to run this country as his own private duchy, not unlike Benito Mussolini. He may try but will never gain the heights Hitler managed; not even using Hitler’s blueprint for rebuilding this country to his specifications. He learned during his first brief meeting with President Obama that the job entails much more actual work than he realized. Maybe Pence will be able to “rein” Trump in on occasion; time will tell.

  43. The best thing Trump could do is disband many moribund and archaic organizations like USDA, HUD, DOT, DOI, BLM, EPA, DOE, DOC and FWS and regroup them into two new organizations, a Department of Rural Affairs and a Department of Urban Affairs. This could give the two sides of our divide in this country a feeling of fairer representation and a recognition of the very different issues facing those who live in rural and urban environments. Both departments should be decentralized with offices all over the country, not centralized in DC.

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