Here and there, evidence of progress against hate and division makes me feel marginally more hopeful.
Juanita Jean reports that Fort Bend, Texas elected its first Black sheriff since 1869. (Fort Bend was Tom DeLay‘s old district.)
A reader sent me an editorial written as the final results were being tallied. It was headlined “Stop Saying America is Divided. It Isn’t” and it made some important points.
What’s always been certain is Biden winning the popular vote. What’s surprising is his winning more votes than anyone. I mean, like, ever. He’s at more than 71.7 million votes, as of this writing. That breaks Barack Obama’s record in 2008. The number is going to go higher as votes come in from California and other western strongholds. Some estimate that his final tally, when it’s all over but the shouting, could top 80 million. That plus the Electoral College victory equals not just a landslide defeat of one lying, thieving, philandering sadist. It’s a wholesale rejection of GOP orthodoxy. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won 50.7 percent of the popular vote. Biden could eclipse 52.
The essay goes on to dispute the “conventional wisdom” that the country is divided symmetrically, pointing out that the Democratic presidential candidate has gotten more votes in seven out of the last eight elections.
As the author argues, the electorate is divided, but that division is not 50-50.
Biden is on track to win the biggest coalition this country has ever seen. He’s on track to best the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious coalition of his former boss. Continuing to insist uncritically that the US is divided down the middle not only blurs the line between country and electorate, it minimizes Biden’s and his coalition’s achievement. The majority has ruled. There is now a consensus. The incumbent should have one term. America should be a democratic republic, not a white-wing autocracy…
Some ask why 40 percent of the country voted for dictatorship. It’s simple. Democracy empowers people that 40 percent—representing 69 million voters—don’t like. As I argued Monday, it brought us Barack Obama. It will bring us Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. If you can’t accept that, if you can’t accept the political legitimacy of non-white people in positions of power, you’re probably willing to do anything to “right that wrong,” even if that means killing yourself. Yes, we came very close to seeing the reelection of a chaotic tyrant. More important, however, is a massive majority saw the danger and put a stop to it.
He’s right. The sad thing, however, is that 40% minority includes a majority of white Americans.
Finally, Heather Cox Richardson adds her considered, informed analysis.She began by reminding us of the degree to which Trump and his team have governed by creating their own reality. When that tactic fails, they are at sea.
He planned to challenge the counting of the mail-in ballots in the courts, all the while telling his supporters that Democrats were stealing his victory. If he could gin up enough chaos, he could buy time to throw the results into doubt and, perhaps, get the Supreme Court to enter the fight. There, he hoped for victory with the help of the three justices who owed him their seats.
He planned to subvert the election, staying in power thanks to his extraordinary ability to control the narrative, making people believe things that are not true.
The only thing that could stymie that narrative was overwhelming turnout from Democrats. To make that impossible, Trump’s team arranged to keep voters from the polls in places like Florida, and Texas, and enlisted Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to delay the mails so ballots would not be delivered in time to be counted.
But, in the end, their plans could not completely suppress those Americans fed up with the Trump administration. As I write tonight, Biden and Harris are winning the popular vote by more than 4 million votes, and the numbers are rising. If it weren’t for our antiquated Electoral College system, this election would already be over, decisively.
In the years to come, researchers will determine just how many Biden votes were suppressed–not cast or not counted. That number–which includes the disfranchisement of 1.5 million ex-felons in Florida, despite an overwhelming vote in 2018 to restore their voting rights–will add to the margin by which the majority of Americans rejected Donald Trump.
Our job is to keep the arc of history moving toward justice.
30 thoughts on “Stuff That Makes Me Feel Better…”
okay we won..do we play with the same piper? its about time tom perez and pelosi and schumer made a exit also,along with the limo demos who still slight the progressive side of the isle. Biden may step up to this and he may just play along.. when barr and mnuchin and trumps gold plated cabinet leaves,who will then take charge,and what will they have to change? mcconnel is still flappin his lips,and the senate is still a dead horse.. if we can not educate the working class the need for the type of change in the next 2 years and have them get on board,the next ejection cycle may rust away what we just achived. those who voted trump are possesed in a mindset that America belongs to them and they will settle for less to tote a gun and give us the finger while distroying thier own democracy..unless we get out and express why a authoritarian regime was gaining ground work by supporting trump, and his mob of monied dictators, we will not see change at a local level. we may have highlighted healthcare and a so called minimum wage change, but when the dnc comes along and says dont go left,we put our roadblocks up,and allow trumpers to find a weak spot to keep their mouths and guns flappin.. this is why we dont have a steady demo party, its more like a demolition party….keep the fight going,at least we can fight Biden,trump was a new the wall,and its time to cut it all down.. educate .. dont stop the roll, keep the change fresh in peoples minds,dont expect overnite success, keep the word out whats changing and press the voter again to act..this win isnt solid,its just coming back to 2015 and we left a mess there too..now that theres new American blood to vote,its obvious,its running along side us,not against us..
“Stuff That Makes Me Feel Better” certainly includes our hard fought victory with Joe and Kamala’s win announced yesterday. It also makes me feel better that Joe Biden received more votes than any other presidential candidate in the history of this country. It also made me feel better to watch the peaceful demonstrations across this country, including the Trump supporters.
Stuff that DOESN’T make be feel better is the fact that Trump received the most votes for a losing presidential candidate in the history of this country. More than 70 MILLION American citizens still want to maintain the past for year’s status quo. I still live in fear of them; they have not stopped hating those of us who voted against Trump in 2016, their hatred and their anger has probably grown with Joe and Kamala’ win.
“Our job is to keep the arc of history moving toward justice.”
Will this be possible with more than 70 MILLION Trump supporters still supporting racism, hatred and violence, and many of them are armed? “We have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep.” We deservedly celebrated yesterday but we cannot relax and bask in the glory of this phenomenal presidential and vice presidential win; it won’t begin until after 12:00 noon on January 20, 2021.
NINETY-FIVE days is a long time to live under Trump and McConnell’s dictatorship…and McConnell ain’t goin’ nowhere!
Well Sheila, I don’t know what to say.
I’m definitely not agreeing with the editorial that was sent on the subject of division.
Division or being divided in the context concerning the editorial, and, the political endeavors or attempted endeavors of this country, reads as such;
1: the condition or an instance of being divided in opinion or interest : DISAGREEMENT, DISUNITY.
2: the physical separation into different lobbies of the members of a parliamentary body.
So, let’s look at the above-mentioned disunity;
1: the state of not being able to agree about important things : lack of unity.
Also, one of the major synonyms is separation!
And, let’s face it, this country IS “Divided” and un-unified. It is also based on separation!
The separation of Native Americans from the rest of the country per being relegated to Reservations.
What we call Ghettos. Some of the 1st Ghettos, Jews were forced to live many centuries ago. And, when there was more of a mingling between ethnicities and creeds moving into Caucasian areas, those ethnicities and creeds were forced into Ghettos. Many congregated and self separated because of persecution and hatred by the majority. The refusal of the majority wanting to mix with other ethnicities and beliefs.
1: Outside the ghetto, Jews were obliged to wear an identifying badge (usually yellow), and they were in danger of bodily harm and harassment at all times.
2: One of the earliest forced segregations of Jews was in Muslim Morocco when, in 1280, they were transferred to segregated quarters called millahs.
3: Forced segregation of Jews spread throughout Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries. The ghettos of Frankfurt am Main and the Prague Judenstadt (German: “Jew town”) were renowned.
4: In Venice in 1516, that year an area for Jewish settlement was set aside, shut off from the rest of the city, and provided with Christian watchmen. It became a model for ghettos in Italy.
This is from where founders of this country came from.
The framers of our Constitution were indoctrinated with the separation of groups with opinions and beliefs unlike their own. Maybe, they considered themselves enlightened! But in reality, they were steeped in division and the caste system. Only white male Christian Protestant land owners could vote.
Women, minorities, whether ethnic or religious or even credo driven, there was division from this country’s inception.
In this country, Jewish congregants were relegated to the close vicinity of their place of worship. Muslims were mostly African slaves that practiced their Abrahamist religion, and they were absolutely without a doubt relegated to separation. Native Americans were relegated to reservations, their religion and beliefs forcibly torn from their civilization.
Let’s face it, the white Christian Protestant male even hates white Christian males if they are from the wrong Christian stripe. I.e. Catholicism.
So, they claim more unites us than divides us? Well, not until the self-proclaimed entitled drive the genetically planted superiority complex out of their psyche and practices.
Will that happen? I doubt it, not in the millennia that this is been going on, it’s only become more intense. The Holocaust example of that mentality running amok. Also, wiping out of indigenous civilizations in Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, the enslavement of an entire race of people, yes, the white entitled Caucasian Protestant male has definitely embodied Evil.
Of course, there are many white Christian Protestant males that find this type of behavior over the millennia repugnant, and of course become involved in equalizing civil society, but, the draw of being superior to white males difficult to overcome. Heck, King of the Hill is probably pretty cool in most minds, if you’re a white Protestant male.
So, by hook or by crook, those majority of white males will use any means necessary to justify their superiority. Whether it’s voter fraud, voter disenfranchisement, relegating to Ghettos, relegated to reservations, relegated to concentration camps, ostracized because of beliefs or creed, and, let’s not forget ethnicity, predominantly brown, black, and Asian; and let’s make sure we throw in Islam and Judaism for good measure.
There can be no unity until those white Christian Protestant males have their come to Jesus moment, and, I might add, that really is probably what it’s going to take.
That editorial simplifies an extremely complex and long-lived attitude by those who feel they must the chosen. That’s a hard nut to crack so to speak, if, ever it can! Because a fear driven psyche is hard to calm down. And white Christian Protestant males have a great fear, they are subject to that fear and that fear controls every action.
Is definitely going to take more than an epiphany. What form? The search is on and the game is afoot!
It’s me again with another mea culpa, I should have finished my coffee and re-edited before sending my comments.
It should of course read “four years”, not for; and “Kamala’s” not Kamala’. As for my math; I added January’s days in twice so it should be SEVENTY-FOUR days, not 95. Which is still too long to remain under the current administration.
Well to put a different meaning on the Beatles’ hit song, this week has been “A Long Day’s Night”. I do apologize.
Where we differ is, I think, more in the path we should take to reach our goals, than in the goals we want to achieve. We can find common ground. We just need to show the other side that, although we’ve been trying their preferred path for forty years, we haven’t gotten much closer to our goals. That’s the hard part.
I’m not giving up on the Senate. Georgia is being disserved by two of the worst Senators in DC. We need to keep up the energy and the get out the vote mentality to help the Dems take those seats.
President-elect Biden and Vice-President elect Harris voiced what we who elected them wanted to hear. They repeated the call to unity of campaign rhetoric. The appeal undoubtedly fell on deaf ears; witness the naysayer Rick Santorum on CNN, and a former federal prosecutor on Lou Dobbs. The prosecutor assured Lou there was cheating and it will be investigated. Santorum downplayed the prospect of significant change because the Senate remains Republican. Republican lawmakers remain silent. GOP senators up for re-election in 2022 cannot buck McConnell and their trumpist electorate. Democratic progressives making too much noise will strengthen the trumpists in Congress. There was no blue wave and there will not be one. Or, perhaps VP Harris can lead one. That’s what trumpists say, she will overpower Biden and move the party left. Four years of conflict is our future.
Jack and John hit that nail on the head this morning!
John stole my thunder about the “inception” of this country. In leadership circles, we always talk about the mission, goals, and objectives. It was pretty clear to me who the ruling class was at our inception and who they wrote society’s rules for in this country. White anglo saxon protestant male oligarchs. This is simply because of who was excluded and included. The whole “we the people” should have been written, “we the oligarchs.”
Women, slaves, poor whites, immigrants, etc. were all secondary to be used to populate the new land and work for the oligarchy.
It’s been a struggle ever since for all those not in the self-chosen class. It was self-evident that they feared a true democracy because that could take away their power, so they limited who could vote. And to this day, they are still limiting the right to vote.
I laughed when I heard Hillary Clinton, a female from Arkansas, preach to progressives about “incrementalism.” At what pace should the equal treatment take for humans?
The Democratic Party is being ripped to shreds right now before inauguration day because they chose to abandon the people and work for oligarchs. It’s 2020, and you cannot serve two masters should have been taught by at least FDR’s New Deal in the 30s.
Because I can tell you one thing, the oligarchs who felt slighted by FDR have been taking back their status since our inception ever since. They got a huge boost by Reagan and haven’t looked back. So when I calm my emotions after someone preaches about incrementalism, I always ask where they’d like to be on our historical timeline.
True progressives have a lot of catching up to do!
Perhaps your essay today was your best at capturing the truth of the moment.
Santorum was, is and always be full of shit. He’s never said anything that makes any sense. No wonder Republicans still trot him out.
Another to-the-point comment today. We’re on the same page.
Yes, yesterday, America’s relief valve released the 4 (or more) years of frustration, angst and disappointment. The street parties across the country looked like New Year’s Eve. But tomorrow the Republican/Trump lie machine will be back in gear spreading B.S., fear and crazy election fraud theories. It’s what Republicans do. So, how do we get those 70 million sheep to put down their stone tools and become part of the 21st century? What will it take?
The racism, the religious hypocrisy, the institutionalized lying, the xenophobia and the flat-out hatred of anyone and everything not them is still there and will spasm awfully starting after the Sunday football games are complete, of course. How do rational people overcome those deficiencies of awareness? How do rational, patriotic Americans overcome that generations-long animas toward our fellow countrymen?
Trump has let the camel’s nose of fascism and unbridled militancy under the tent. He thinks, giving him the benefit of that doubt, that these assholes like the Proud Boys give him strength and purpose, things he’s never had. Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist, has confirmed these things about her uncle. He’s presented as a psychopath every day of his presidency, and his followers find comfort in the mad king. It’s gotta be a form of mass hysteria.
Trump isn’t going away. The first step in saving the country from more of his extended madness is having the state of New York lock his ass up for decades. His frauds, his tax evasion and bribes should get him a life sentence.
We can all work toward and hope for the best.
Maybe I was too pessimist; from RSN column today noting progressive wins Tuesday: “here in New Mexico, Progressives had an incredible win in our State Senate. Seven of eight incumbent conservative Dems were defeated by progressives in the primaries, some of the most powerful Senators we had. Most went on to win, clearing the away to get rid of an antiquated anti-abortion law and legalize marijuana.” Evidently the DSA is alive and well in several places.
Jack, I would have to agree!
I think that’s why the Biden campaign put out a statement to the Washington post about a flurry of executive orders at the beginning of his term.
I brought that up a month ago and some folks did not appreciate that idea. But, if the new president wants to hit the ground running, he’s going to have to overturn as many policies that are detrimental as possible, of course those that have been pushed by the current president. Executive orders can repeal and replace other executive orders. And, there is no absolute guarantee that the GOP will have a majority in the Senate come the end of January anyway, two runoffs in Georgia and they are still counting in alaska.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have the bully pulpit right now and, I would venture to say, Joe Biden is going to defer to Kamela Harris more often than not.
So, it will begin in earnest, and the friction is going to be tangible. The present and the future are going to rub so hard against each other, there’s going to be smoke and flames.
I think the bully pulpit is going to hold a lot of sway, we’ll just see how it all plays out.
Things have been busy, but I wanted to tell you about your ping back, I wanted to comment, but got sidetracked!
I thoroughly enjoyed it though.
I don’t think it’s over yet though, there’s a lot of nut jobs out there that are going to attempt to take vengeance upon themselves for what they feel has been a terrible slight against the flimflam con artist!
I think everyone’s going to be astounded by the current potus’ actions concerning pardons and whatever else he can do to prevent prosecutions.
He will leave no doubt and anyone’s mind concerning his real and truthful intentions becoming president 4 years ago. He might order Mnuchin to destroy all of his tax records so no one can bring anything to light, so, there’s that!
What happened in this election is this: Down ballot, not much changed. But Trump went down because he is disliked by a majority of voters due to his total lack of character: the narcissism, the constant lying, the incompetence, the maligning of people both civilian and military who are dedicated to serving their country, the coarseness, the unwillingness to evaluate reports and data, the cruelty, and the criminality and fraud. There’s plenty of snake left in the House and Senate, but at least its head has been cut off. We need our best politicians and thinkers to formulate a plan to neutralize the snake’s body and prevent regeneration of the head. This means addressing the real (not imagined) grievances of voters who embraced Trump. Most likely, that will never be enough for a lot of them, because much of their problem is rooted in racial hatred and a general feeling of superiority. But some will respond positively, and they are the ones we want. There should be no forgiveness for Trump and his administration. They should be prosecuted wherever possible.
From a couple of interesting folks – first, Paul Krugman:
“If we were looking at a foreign country with America’s level of political disfunction, we would probably consider it on the edge of becoming a failed state…”
And David Brooks:
“Trumpism and Wokeism are not equivalent phenomena, but they both serve as secular religions for their disciples. They offer a binary logic of good and evil, a cult-like membership experience, apocalyptic or utopian visions, witch trials for the excommunication of the impure and the sense of personal meaning that comes while fighting a holy war.”
You are absolutely correct. Michael Cohen also predicted that Trump will do ANYTHING to keep from losing. The state of New York has Trump’s records and Mnuchin can’t touch them. Trump is loathed by New York’s AG and will do her best to crucify him… even though that’s too kind.
Jack, I totally agree with your statement:
“Okay we won..do we play with the same piper? its about time tom perez and pelosi and schumer made a exit also,along with the limo demos who still slight the progressive side of the isle”.
From the Guardian:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has criticised the Democratic party for incompetence in a no-holds-barred, post-election interview with the New York Times, warning that if the Biden administration does not put progressives in top positions, the party would lose big in the 2022 midterm elections.
“If the party believes after 94% of Detroit went to Biden, after Black organizers just doubled and tripled turnout down in Georgia, after so many people organized Philadelphia, the signal from the Democratic party is the John Kasich won us this election? I mean, I can’t even describe how dangerous that is.”
Kasich is a former Republican governor of Ohio who campaigned for Biden, endorsing him as a centrist that moderate Republicans could get behind. Trump beat Biden in Ohio by eight points and half-a-million votes.
Asked whether there was anything about the election that surprised her, she said: “The share of white support for Trump. I thought the polling was off, but just seeing it, there was that feeling of realizing what work we have to do.”
While there were concerns about the reliability of exit polls this year with so much voting happening over mail and the failure of polls generally, Trump appeared to have won white voters in 2020 by about as much as he did in 2016 – 15 points.
It is nice to have anyone on your side. Moderate Republicans – Give Me a Break – They are an extinct species in the Republican Party.
I hope that we democrats remember 2 years from now how terrible Trump’s administration was and that we do not become complacent. There will be a GOP reaction especially if the democratic candidates for the senate in Georgia win.
Trumpism will not go away. It will continue to infect the GOP. The GOP won several seats in the house and there are now QAnon believers in Congress. They will continue to demonize democratic socialism and some will remain devotees of Ayn Rand who believed that selfishness was the highest virtue. Trump is a perfect example of what’s wrong with her assertion.
Extremists engage in all or nothing thinking which fuels divisiveness in our country.
I feel like we need some sort of program to liberate people from the cult of Trump but who can do it?
The question for me is will Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell work with Biden better than they did with O’Bama. And if they do, it makes me wonder if their obstructionist moves with O’Bama were motivated by racism.
In the meantime I will be doing what I can to support Biden and Harris. I will be praying that the stress of being the POTUS does not create major health problems for him.
Todd, your oft-exhuming of Reagan pleases me. I refer to him as “Saint Ronnie” since reading oligarchic reagan-mourning.
Clever adios placard seen in the Biden crowd:
“GET OUT OF MY SWAMP”
“♫ Happy ‘Days Are Here Again♫♪”
Following up on white voters and the 70 million who voted for Trump, Paul Campos, who also has a daily political blog like Sheila, state on Wed:
“The conventional wisdom I suppose will end up being that Trump would have cruised to re-election except for COVID, but ultimately I think the lesson of this election is it doesn’t matter at all what a Republican president does or doesn’t to — the people who vote for him literally don’t care, as long as he gives them enough of what they want, and what they want is authoritarian ethno-nationalism and Owning the Libs. Everything else, i.e., actual governance, is irrelevant.”
In my experience the ingredient of democracy that Trump thought he had defeated is not disagreement between multiple points of view but how different groups regard each other. It was to his personal advantage to kill collaboration and foster competition among all of them. Achieving that cultural position was also supported by many other groups who regard personal power as much much more important than national success. There should be no need to attack any position but to put all of them back into perspective which is that all need to be considered and addressed by policy prescriptions and the best compromise invented that serves the largest majority. That’s democracy. That’s t he behavior that was modeled by the people who wrote and eventually published the Constitution.
Is that a perfect solution? Absolutely never. That’s why it’s taken us so long to realize the principles that the Constitution set as eventual goals for the republic. As Churchill reminded us, “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”
For years we’ve been reading about how demographics would change election dynamics in the U.S. With the first (black) woman vice president elect, with the decisive role Stacy Abrams played, with the election of a black woman from Missouri to the House, with Obama throwing his weight behind Biden, with a Democratic contender of Chinese heritage (Yang) and one of Hispanic heritage (Castro), there is evidence we’ve arrived at the moment of demographic change.
That, however, is no guarantee of Democratic dominance. The 70 million Trump voters have merely to do a slightly better job of getting out the vote to win these kinds of elections. When compared with the craziness from the Republican side, what the immigrants and their descendants have added to the mix, it seems, is sobriety, realism and concern for issues that matter to the nation’s well being (I exclude Cubans from that compliment).
What matters right now is that Trump’s heated efforts to bring down democracy have failed. What matters for American history is that the 70 million don’t perceive this as an inspiration to launch repeated efforts in the future. These people knowingly or unknowingly supported a open form of treason (“knowingly” includes nearly the entire Republican caucus in the Senate). We own the responsibility to teach them why democracy is in their best interest and how to understand the dark side of the alternatives. Let the enlightenment begin with the elimination of the electoral college.
Things are better but we are aren’t singing kumbaya yet.
I know a lot of people don’t understand how their guy lost, or I don’t understand why so many people still voted for the other guy. I don’t understand why the pollsters were so far off the mark in both 2016 and 2020. I don’t understand how so many Hoosier would vote for an Attorney General that is activity supporting taking health care from 20% of the people in the state. I have conversations on Facebook with people that just seem so off mark that I wonder what are they thinking and I am sure they think the same thing about me.
I wonder where the disconnect is coming from. Why is the press or pollsters so surprised that Trump has such a following. Why do Trump supporters wonder why we can’t see how good he is?
In the past few weeks I’ve seen posts that that hint that ideology is not the dividing line, but a persons view of reality. I ran across an article published on November 6, 2016, just after Trumps victory 4 years ago, that did a little research on that very question. The premise is that creating an alternate reality is an effective political tool. This seems to explain so much of what I have seen in the last several years, including the 2nd Gulf War!
If you can pull off creating an alternate reality, it is really an amazing political strategy and it works pretty well right up until something comes along that can not be contradicted like a Pandemic. The reason you can pull this off in the world today, is social media, radio, and TV media all make money every time you react and engage and even if companies know better, greed wins out over morality.
I don’t think this will change anybody’s mind, but it might help you understand where you stand why the other guy seems so far off base and why we have so many things to fix, considering this warning was sounded 4 years ago.
The Trumpet at this point is trying to rally the troops. The troops being the yahoos and yo-yo’s in their camouflage gear and open carrying weapons where they are legal to do so.
I have read some articles concerning his threats to try to tie up court the results in various states. The analysis I have read concludes he has little chance. The comparison is Bush Vs Gore in 2000. The important difference is Bush has some very heavy hitters from the legal profession behind him. The Bush family had the contacts.
The Trumpet has Rudy who is at this point a joke. The effort by Bush in Florida from what I have read was very expensive. At least the attorneys handling Bush the Younger’s case could be assured they would be paid. Any attorney taking The Trumpet’s case better be certain they are paid up front given The Trumpet’s history of ducking out on his bills.
The Trumpet has surrounded himself with bootlickers and sycophants who are afraid to tell him: It is Over. Pastor Pence will stand by with his normal blank expression.
Mary Trump has written:
This is what Donald’s going to do: he’s not going to concede, although who cares. What’s worse is he’s not going to engage in the normal activities that guarantee a peaceful transition. All he’s got now is breaking stuff, and he’s going to do that with a vengeance. I’ve always known how cruel he can be.
I worry about what Donald’s going to do in that time to lash out. He will go as far as he can to de-legitimize the new administration, then he’ll pass pardons that will demoralize us, and sign a flurry of executive orders.
Mary Trump hits the nail on the head. Like an army in retreat The Trumpet will engage in a scorched earth campaign. An army in retreat employing scorched earth tactics tries to destroy as much as possible to deny the enemy any assets to continue the advance.
Other than the rejoicing with Biden’s victory (and the usual and inevitable but positive brawl of who within the party of the Big Tent gets first pick of the Jacksonian spoils), I think there are other reasons to share Professor Kennedy’s hopefulness today, one of which is rarely if ever discussed. We assume everyone who voted for Trump is some kind of prehistoric and dictator-loving animal who never heard of John Locke, Machiavelli, Voltaire et al. That is not true. Millions of Trump-lite people voted for Trump out of tax considerations, because “I am a Republican” and other relatively soft rationales, Republicans who superficially bought into the dictator-loving garbage in public while rolling their eyes in the front room when watching TV before the election and out of the presence of other true believers.
In my view those millions of Trump-lites are susceptible to a change of heart down the road as they see that we Democrats are interested in governing which leads to positive results rather than via insults, bombast and lies, which lead to chaos and negative results. One study shows that 8% of Republicans voted for Biden.) I therefore agree with Trump that this is not over, but for a different reason, since our task, among others, is to expand our voting base, and I think that by hard work and example in good governance through a process of osmosis we can peel off millions of Trump-lite voters which, along with increasing numbers of progressive youth who have finally awakened, should give us a comfortable electoral advantage for the foreseeable future.
Pollyannish? Perhaps, perhaps not, and speaking of perhaps, perhaps the next election we will have another all time voting record peopled by such unexpected assistance from those Trump-liters, so let’s govern well (healthcare, infrastructure, environment etc.) and by example sans bombast earn the right to continue governing.
I write the foregoing not from experience, since we have never in our history had such a Trump-like brush with democracy-destroying dictatorship, but rather from what I have written here and elsewhere, to wit: “We should be guided by history, but not be captive to it.” Things change; even the nature of change itself along with old boundaries (e.g., electoral voting) are subject to change as we move along to an as yet unaddressed AI environment – so hold on to your hats.
The divide in this country a whole lot about class and gender. Folks are trying to avoid the hard facts that working class Latinos and African-Americans voted in greater numbers for Trump in 2020 and that Latino men voted in substantially larger numbers for Trump than women. Trump is “macho” and for those who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps into small businesses without much government help, the “poor and immigrants” need to do the same thing.
I saw this when I was one of a few white teachers in an all-African-American inner-city high school in the 1970′. The only time I heard the student body called the N-word was by the African-American teachers who had “made it”.
I’ve only been reading this blog for a few months – so glad a friend sent it my way – and this is my first post.
As someone who is totally non-religious, but believes we all have a soul that continues to return to earth to learn lessons in order to evolve, I’d like to bring that idea to the conversation. We’ve all heard someone say, “I think so-and-so is a really old soul.” It’s said because of the way that person interacts with others in a calm, kind and generous way. When after he passed, I got to know a LOT more about who John Lewis was, I thought, “I’ll bet he was a 7th level old soul that is now finished with the physical plane.” My ‘source’ for answers to such questions confirmed my intuition.
We are almost finished with the presidency of an extremely young – actually a baby – soul. He is surrounded by other very young souls. Young souls are often greedy and based in fear – as they have so much yet to learn – and their fear of ‘the other’ leads to hatred. On average, the US is a young soul country, but the average soul age of those under the age of 30 (again, my ‘source’) is mature. This, for me, explains why we are seeing so much more acceptance of others who are not like themselves relative to race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., among that age group compared to those who have gone before them.
Further, my ‘source’ says the majority of black women (but not men) are mature or old souls. (Who delivered the votes that made this election result possible?) For someone like me, the only thing that truly explains why we all behave as we do must be related to something a lot more powerful than “nature and nurture” and soul age is the answer resonates.
All this is to say, even though I’m a pretty old person, I have hope for the future of our country. Let’s get the young folks registered, to the polls and involved in our communities. They have a lot to offer.
You know, I’m a fairly religious individual, but even I don’t believe in a soul. I was wondering how that whole soul thing works? Because most people think you either go to heaven or hell. And, if you’re not religious, then how did people get souls?
I remember my cousin’s grandmother was a seer and talked about the same things! Most of what she saw was fairly accurate and usually came to pass. She also could form images with stuff that came out of her mouth nose and eyes. Needless to say, I never visited her much, lol!
Another aunt was a rosicrucianist, and that had a similar tack to what you’re talking about. If, souls come back to get smarter, why is everyone so stupid!?!? And, where do those souls come from? Where does a baby soul come from? Are there more souls than people? Or more people than souls? Why would there be souls in the first place? And, how would souls have evolved with the human species?
Aahhh, So many questions, so little time!
Perhaps we can agree you have as much proof there is a heaven and a hell as I do there are souls.
and as a bonus, we’ll be rid of Kellyanne Conway too.
Bits and pieces of what I am going to write have been noted by others posting here. Bits and pieces I have posted before.
I took heart listening to Al Franken on TV this weekend and later Michelle Goldberg.
Here is my take on where were are, what we need to do, and what we can expect.
First, human nature. I remember when it was “in” to say “man and chimps share 98% of their DNA”, so mankind is naturally brutal. Those DNA comparisons miss a lot, but even on those terms, we share 98% or our DNA with bonobos, the free-love hippies of the primate family. Some have suggested that this difference developed because the chimps had more and stronger predators than the bonobos. Perhaps (I will come back to this). Either way, we are bonobos and we are chimps – both – and neither.
In the Jewish tradition, everyone has the “impulse to good” and the “impulse to bad”, and both are essential to survival. If we look at Trump voters this way, their “impulses” are unbalanced. Back to the chimps, when these Trump voters are threatened and/or feel insecure, their chimp (bad) impulses come to the fore. When times are less threatening, so are they.
I am talking here about a slice of Trump voters. I don’t know how big that is. The other reality is that Trump called forth every bigot in America out from under the rocks where they had been hiding. There is nothing that we can do about them, but with time, I do expect them to go back to the Status Quo Ante-Trump, more or less.
The editorial Sheila cites is correct. It isn’t a symmetrical split, just like the “both sides have to change” argument is way off. As Michelle Goldberg pointed out, everyone keeps asking the “liberals” to take time to “understand” the Trump voter. Have you ever heard ANYONE say that the Trump voter needs to understand and reach out to the “liberal”? You won’t.
As I stated before, the unifying characteristics of the Trump voter is their constant belief in blatant lies. There were always some racists, and some conspiracy believers. They had smaller sources of information. This has expanded with Fox News and the Internet, but it exploded with Trump. The President was telling them the “facts”. He was constantly on Twitter and the nightly and local news, but rarely fact-checked, and when he was, he had already claimed that the fact-checkers were liars. We have four years of Trump “conditioning” his followers (I don’t like the term ‘brainwashing’).
Down-ballot, people were either “voting for the party” that they always had, or knowing nothing about the candidates and issues, voting against the godless, communist, radicals (the code word is “socialist”, but it still just means “poopyhead” because few people understand what “socialism” really is, and often confound the authoritarianism of the despots who use that mantle, with the label itself.
Biden ran a great campaign. He didn’t spit on the left, as he was told to do by many, but he didn’t embrace their rhetoric either. His gains among some Republican and especially college-educate white women has been heartening.
Sheila’s closing line must be our marching orders:
“Our job is to keep the arc of history moving toward justice.”
We have reached the suburbs, now we can talk to rural voters, and some of them, seeing Biden policies that actually help them, may be more inclined to listen. (Al Franken’s suggestion) We have to finally recognize the vast variation in the “LatinX” voters. (For several years, there was an argument against using this label for precisely that reason.) Democrats should be smart enough to speak to each group in a positive way. Worried about small business; McConnell won’t help them, but Biden will. Worried about South American despotic-style rule with a socialist label; Democrats aren’t there. And macho man, voting for a foul-mouthed, bigoted, bragging bully won’t make your, um, sex organ grow; and voting against him won’t make it fall off. (The macho male may be a lost cause if Harris runs in 4 years, but Lysistrata had a solution for that.)
Finally, we must keep turning the Democratic Party back into the party of FDR, Truman, Kennedy and LBJ. Farmers, workers, even minorities believed in FDR because his policies, and his rhetoric (fire side chats) gave hope. Big government, liberal (social democratic) policies help people, and they respond – eventually. They don’t want to replace their Social Security and Medicare, and will feel the same way about healthcare, after we get to a universal plan.
If Democrats do that, and learn rhetoric (tell the Bernie wing that you catch more flies with honey). Bernie and crew are pushing FDR-style policies with the rhetoric of the angry, old-line Socialists that the “Democratic Socialists” supposedly rejected when they formed.
The Democrats must never get disheartened and must treat the Georgia run-offs, 2022 and 2024 as if Trump will return if they fail.
If the Democratic Party keeps bending the arc, the Republicans will slowly lose ground (it will be a slow process, but there may be a tipping point, like there was for marriage equality). When that happens, the Republicans will either rediscover their center-right past (eschewing their Libertarian/Articles of Confederation view of the federal government), or be replaced by a party that will represent that part of the electorate.
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