Not sure how much appetite there is for this, but just in case folks need to vent, here is a thread.
Millions of people are pouring out their emotions on the Internet about this electoral result. The anxiety and fear is understandable. So is the resentment.
I know there are people I like who voted for him. They still regard themselves as decent people even though they have done so. Those who view Trump more like I do wonder how these seemingly decent people can be so reckless with their vote, ignoring his belligerence, his incessant lying, his degradation of women, and his stated intent to discriminate against people based on their religious beliefs, and still regard themselves as good citizens and good people.
Somehow, for a lot of them, I believe it comes down to holding the inconsistent ideas that he’s somehow a “straight shooter” while, at the same time, believing that he doesn’t mean what he says. Then they project their hopes to conjure up a vision of what he “really” intends to do. It’s all well and good for a fairly privileged white guy like myself to spend my time worrying about understanding my fellow white (mostly male) voters. A lot of legal and governmental mischief can be worked before I feel it in any direct way. There are plenty of citizens who will, understandably, not give a shit what kind of fever dream turns the reality of Trump into something remotely acceptable as an electoral choice. These citizens live closer to the edge and will be the first ones to get hurt when Trump’s lack of understanding and/or lack of emotional discipline has tragic consequences.
For the people on the front line, I don’t have too much to offer. As Joe Hill said, “don’t mourn, organize.” For the privileged among us, I can say from prior experience, that disengaging from media and focusing on your immediate circumstances can offer some comfort. When you spend time worrying about national or international media (be it traditional television, social media, or whatever), it’s entirely possible to miss the joy of life all around you in the form of family, friends, community, home, hobbies, and whatever else is close at hand that brings happiness. In fact, the profitability of that media pretty much depends on it. As it happens, this blog was born of my despondency over the 2004 election. I disengaged for a week or two, thought about my interests, and then re-engaged with the creation of “Masson’s Blog,” focusing more on state issues and specific legislation. Whatever else has happened, this blog has brought me a great deal of joy over the years. Negative events often contain the seeds of something good. We should still try to avoid the negative, but when it comes, try to avoid despair. As Bruce Cockburn said, you’ve gotta kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight.
Anyway, that’s all I have for the moment.
Any update on your own election?
Doug Masson says
I lost by four votes. There are some provisional ballots out there, so it could change. But, at the moment, it’s a loss. The good news is that the board will still have 6 of 7 members who I know to be solid. So, while it’s personally disappointing, the school should be fine.
Sorry to hear that and hoping it changes.
Crap! They lost an opportunity. Never overestimate the intelligence of the average American voter.
“I know there are people I like who voted for him.”
That is not the case for me. Not even one person.
I know plenty of people who voted three different ways, some who split their ticket, some who straight ticket voted for one of the three parties. All kinds of voters. I’m always disappointed after elections because I tend to vote third party. But each time I approach the coming change with optimism. I don’t let fear control me or allow it to drive the decisions I make for myself and my family. I went to work today, my students aren’t crying or yelling or fighting with each other, the professors aren’t slinging mud. It’s business as usual. I still have to keep my appointments this week, I still have to care for my family, and I still have to do the job I was hired to do. I’m going to keep living my life exactly the same in January and for the next four years. The DNC and RNC rely on your fear to capture your vote. Don’t give in to the fear.
Most of the most vocal Trump supporters I know personally were female clerical workers. Go figure.
On an emotional/intuitive level, that makes a certain amount of sense to me. I’m not sure I could make a rational case for why that should be so, however.
Sorry you didn’t win, Doug. Was hoping for at least that bright spot.
I stayed up way too late last night because I didn’t want to wake up to a horrible surprise. Texted and emailed furiously with California family because my sensible Hoosier relatives were in bed at a reasonable hour. Started getting really concerned at about 9:30 p.m. By 12:30 it was all over but the singin’.
I work with a lot of people who rely on Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP, and/or Obamacare. I know a lot of them voted for Trump. They will be hurt, confused, and angry when he doesn’t build a wall, ban Muslims, or bring back jobs but instead works with Paul Ryan to cut and possibly dismantle the programs they rely on. What will they do then?
I thought of the folks in Kentucky using the ACA who voted in a governor who said all along he was going to get rid of Obamacare in Kentucky. Not surprisingly, his plans aren’t going so well.
Those who didn’t vote for Trump are going through the stages of grief now. I think we’ll have millions of Americans doing the same over the next four years when they figure out, hey, this Trump guy not doing anything he said he’d do! He lied to get our vote and thinks we’re suckers! He’s full of hot air! All he cares about is himself! But, but, but his hat said he would “Make America Great Again”?
As far as Trump, I think he will get bored with the block and tackling of running the government. He strikes me as a guy who wanted to win the office to prove he could do it. Once he’s moved in and been there two nights, what’s the next challenge?
So he’ll give his lieutenants wide latitude, and they’ll manage to screw things up via a mixture of hubris and policy choices.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Pence was forced out along the way, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if, rather than lose re-election, Trump resigned and handed things over to Pence. Which, given Mike’s record the last four years running Indiana, would go swimmingly, I’m sure.
Carlito Brigante says
My reaction to the event is similar to John’s but this is the first time in my life that I have been blessed with being able to have this reaction. I am done having any interest or concern in political, and likely other outcomes. I have been moving this way for few years, albeit in small steps. I do not mean this to be a triumphalist statement. But it is where I am. I unsubscribed to all political emails and erased the links to all political news sites, advocacy, and Democratic party sites.
1. I will no longer concern myself with outcomes and processes in which I have no ability to form the outcome. I had one vote among perhaps 100 million. I might as well plan to win Powerball. A paraphrase of the Serenity prayer is to accept the things you cannot change. I have to accept these outcomes, like it or not.
2. The people I was advocating for must solve their own problems. I cannot, and really in many cases want to, take a personal land emotional risk (there is no personal gain in) for others. I do not wish this to sound like a paternalistic whine, but I was wasting time (writing and advocating), money (political donations), and unhappiness (due to the negative outcome) on people that really aren’t worth it. Owsley county Kentucky has the highest food stamp use in the nation. Two-thirds of its citizens receive government funded healthcare. It is 99% white and 95% republican.
I began as a healthcare lawyer in 1991. I have studied and written on healthcare reform in law reviews, BNA articles and trade journals. The ACA, (Obamacare) provided ten million people health benefits and the uncovered percentage is at an all time low. Millions received Medicaid because of the ACA expansion. But the Democrats have paid an horrendous price at the ballot box. The passage of Obamacare cost them the House in 2010, later the Senate, and many state legislatures and governorships. The ACA was used to tar Evan Bayh in his run. So F**kem’ all. They are not worthy of advocating for, and are not worth concern and the expenditure of emotional energy over the negative outcomes and grief.
And perhaps on a more humanistic note, we have to allow others, other people, other nations that do not pose an existential threat to our nations and our allies, to work it out by themselves. We wish to be free of unreasonable interference in the outcomes of the things that we do. We owe them the same deference.
3. I am doing this for the people and things I care about most. My wife, my daughter, others in my family, and a few friends. They are infinitely more important than any political faction, party or person. My place is at home, with them. I cannot let frustration and “righteous” indignation have ANY negative impact upon them or me. And
This does not mean I will entirely cease advocating. I will continue to advocate for animals and veganism, the environment, and disabled individuals and children.
Thank you for allowing me to share this with you and in a most peculiar way, my thanks to this event on Tuesday for the freedom it will provide to me. It feels much like recovery from alcohol.
All of my low income “friends voted for Trump. They all hate Obamacare and can not wait for it to be overturned. The common denominator her is that all of them own absolutely nothing, so if they had a catastrophic health care problem( one did in the past prior to 2008 and the bill was completely “forgiven”) they lose nothing.
Rick Westerman says
Another problem with ObamaCare is that you are forced to use it or otherwise pay a penalty. No one likes that.
Sorry about the errors in typing earlier. You are right Rick, i failed to mention all the reasons this group of people hated Obamacare, however, anothe common denominator was they all paid the penalty which was cheaper than having insurance. when asked what would happen if they needed medical their standard answer was “you will pay for it” I ahve health insurance as I have assets that would be taken away if I had health problems. Many people who voted for Trump will feel no pain in the future.
I respectfully disagree. Obamacare is not for people with nothing. It is for people who make too much income to qualify for Medicaid and do not have access to affordable insurance through an employer.
As far as having medical bills forgiven, that may happen for some people, but others may have to file for bankruptcy or be forced into onerous payment plans. Because more people have access to health insurance and Medicaid, some health care providers are adopting policies allowing one visit without having insurance or Medicaid or be turned away on subsequent visits. That rule doesn’t apply to people who show up at emergency departments, obviously. They will even help people enroll in Medicaid or Obamacare because health care providers want to be paid.
There are many other ways Trump voters may feel pain, no matter whether they have health coverage. If Social Security is privatized; if Medicaid and SNAP funds are doled out as b!ock grants that states can use any way they choose; when the jobs don’t come back as Trump promised, oh yeah, they will be hurting.
Pila, I totally agree with you. the point of my earlier posts was that I have heard from a small group of people all about the terrible idea of Obamacare. This group of people though should be happy for healthcare insurance, but they are not. I also feel that this same group will not be happy with whatever Donald throws at them.
Okay. I misunderstood you, John.
I’m feeling as bad as you, It is quite distressing.
My kids are grown and quite productive and we’re not giving up.
We are going to fight harder.
Peace to you.
Carlito, your comments are just the thing to re-establish some sense of mental health after such a bad experience. We are basically told that we are somehow responsible for all the crap that comes down, and if we don’t fix it it’s our fault. It doesn’t make sense that when it all goes south we should own it. Sounds crazy to me, but we are all passengers on that Titanic. We need your lifeboat.
When you look at the data, you see that there were all those Trump supporters who clearly had a lot to lose yet voted for him. Go figure. These are probably the ones who will also suffer the most from this little escapade. Like that is somehow my fault? After all, I’m just one of those crazy “libtards”. I have trouble always making decisions for me that are always in my own best interests, let alone trying to own the garbage someone else does. Like I’m supposed to be responsible for someone’s suicide who I have never met or seen? Phooey! I have a family, too, and if Congress decides to do something drastic to Social Security or Medicare, I won’t be alone in it but I won’t need to provide the rope for the lynching, either.
Florida Voter says
Doug, thank you SO MUCH for providing a place to vent on the election results!!
Joe said “we’ll have millions of Americans doing the same over the next four years when they figure out, hey, this Trump guy not doing anything he said he’d do! He lied to get our vote and thinks we’re suckers!”
It looks like there’s something nefarious going, much worse than lying… like cover up, etc.! It can’t be a coincidence that Trump wouldn’t let us see his tax returns, that he had contracts with Russian companies and mob-related people (true; do your homework!), that his latest wife is from Russia, that many of Trump’s policies mirror Putin’s policies, that Putin said there was fraud and voter rigging in his 2012 election (ring a bell?). And, now that Trump’s been elected, Putin wants to make a deal with the USA after Trump’s in the White House!!
Is it just me, or did millions of people follow Trump like he was the Pied Piper?? They ignored every disgusting, nasty, mean, and hateful word/action he said/did, and they ignored how much hatred for non-Whites, non-Christians, non-Americans, gays and women that Trump and his staff stirred up!! They also ignored the *REAL* meaning of stop and frisk, of enforcing every law, of giving the police more power, of building a wall, etc…these are tactics used by dictators who took away all rights from its citizens, and THAT SCARES ME TO DEATH!! Didn’t anyone remember why the Berlin Wall was built, and what happened to the citizens after it was built?
I’m not what you’d call a devoted Hillary fan, but I did like her plans on how she’d implement her policies, and I sure didn’t want the anti-Christ to get into the White House, so I voted for her. I did the research, and voting for an independent would just make it easier for him to win. Remember, movies show us that when you invite the Devil into your house, he won’t leave voluntarily!!
I’m looking forward to the Republicans in Congress growing backbones and impeaching Trump since he doesn’t represent their party anyway! And, Pence could easily be impeached based on collusion!! He accepted Trump’s VP offer when he KNEW about Trump’s dealings with the mob and Russia; that Trump was a racist, bigoted, homophobic, womanizer (woman hater); and that Trump’s been lying and dishonest for decades!! It would be the poorest excuse ever if Pence claimed “I didn’t know” since he’s quite capable of reading!!
Jay Hulbert says
Doug, thanks for making this forum available. I’m not in the West Lafayette school district, but I’m sorry that you lost. We need level headed people like you in government at all levels. Now more than ever.
In the modern American era, the model for getting elected president has been the same for both major US parties. You run only as far to the “base” as you need to in order to win the primaries, then you tack back to the center for the general election. Reagan certainly espoused a lot of right wing rhetoric, but he masterfully used his debate with Carter before the ’80 election to re-position himself as a reasonable man who was close to the center. In every election since Reagan the most successful practitioner of the “tack to the base for the primary, back to the center for the general” model has been elected.
Trump has turned that model on its head. He went all the way to the most extreme positions of the base, far further than either Goldwater or Reagan, and he never left them. Hillary ran a conventional campaign, tacking to the left far enough to beat Bernie, then coming back to the center for the general. We all know what the outcome was.
We see historically in non-parliamentary, strong president democracies what happens when either the extreme right or extreme left takes power. In either case, centrist politicians of both left and right are discredited. Room for compromise disappears and with it the comity that democracy depends on. The door opens to authoritarian rule, and it becomes more likely that the opposite extreme takes power, or tries to, in the next cycle by any means that they can.
Maybe Trump won’t actually govern as the right wing demagogue he ran as. He is a deal maker after all, and all deals require some compromise. Maybe he will be sobered by the responsibilities of the office and take more reasonable positions once he’s actually sworn in. Maybe Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan will be able to temper his worst tendencies. I hope so.
Even if he doesn’t govern in a more moderate way than he ran, I don’t think our governmental system will break down under President Trump, he doesn’t have either the ideological focus or work ethic of a successful dictator, but he is showing the way for someone more ideologically committed, more ruthless and focused, from either the left or the right to take power. It’s those potential successors that really make me fear for the future of our democracy.
I’m sure nearly everyone will say “that can’t happen here”. I deeply, sincerely, with all my heart, hope that they are right.
I’m thinking Trump will.be more like GW Bush with a third term than Mussolini or Hitler. That’s still pretty bad, however, especially with the Supreme Court having a vacancy. We also should be concerned with the mischief Ryan and Pence could make.
I’d feel a lot better if someone gave Trump a retrofitted telephone with a big red button and told him it was the nuclear football.
This weekend has been tragicomical as the backdown has begun.
“The wall” has been replaced with “a fence” – stop me if I’m wrong, but there already is a fence, no? And turns out his strategy on undocumented immigrants is the same as Obama’s.
Lock her up? Yeah, not so much.
Those who voted for Trump for gay marriage and abortion already lost half of what they voted for as Trump considers same-sex marriage settled law. (Exactly why abortion isn’t also settled law … no idea. I don’t expect consistency of thought to be something we see much of in in the next few years.) Can’t wait for the screaming when the Supreme Court justice is either too liberal or so incompetent they replace Clarence Thomas as the worst member of Court.
And despite Paul Ryan wanting to reform Medicare, Trump’s already said he wants to keep parts of Obamacare. The Republican Party has had six years to come up with a “replace” for the ACA and they don’t appear any closer.
I’m not one who thinks we should get rid of the Electoral College because it disenfranchises rural voters. As best as I can tell, though, the institution was clearly put in place for this situation – the people elect someone not qualified for the office. If it can’t act in this obvious case to stop this no talent ass clown from becoming president, well, get rid of it. (Sorry for the insult, Michael Bolton.)
What’s becoming clear that the Trump presidency is a PR stunt gone horribly wrong. He ran for President as a con – to raise his own profile. In some level, the con is on him because now he’s being expected to deliver on a lot of things he said. That was never part of his plan.
But enough about Trump. A whole lot of people who feel left behind by the changes in America voted for him. Not just left behind because they don’t agree with social changes, they’re being left behind economically. We can’t have schools cranking out people to work in factories that don’t exist any longer.
Trump will never deliver for these people, but I am not sure who is capable of doing so. I think we would have to dramatically overhaul the current economic system to enact meaningful change, and I am not sure people are ready for that change in America.
Jay Hulbert says
Reince Priebus is going to be chief of staff. The President Elect who was going to drain the swamp has appointed the man who is literally the personification of Republican Washington insider politics. There will be a changing of the guard at the swamp, but it’ll be the same old swamp.
I’m not pleased, exactly, by I’m relieved that some of my worst fears for the Republic don’t appear to be coming true.
And I read an article about Trump’s ridiculous promise to the desperate people who live in the coal counties. It, like his other promises, are not possible in our capitalist environment. I noted that someone said, “The stone age did not end because we ran out of stones”.