Barkley — Since You (Didn’t) Ask — Trumplandia, Weeks One and Two          

1122161657-minBy Chris M. Barkley:

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” — Winston S. Churchill

Britain: “Brexit was the worst idea we ever came up with…”

America: “Here, hold my drink…”

A premonition: In the late afternoon of Election Day, I urgently needed to an errand. As I got into my car, a large, hulking white man hailed me from the street. He looked lost and disoriented. He approached me and asked, “Do you know where the polling station is? Some kids told me it was this way,” pointing off in the distance, “but I think I’m lost.”

I wasn’t getting a bad vibe from him and he was trying to vote, so my altruistic instincts kicked in. I tried to direct him to the rental office where the polls were being staged but he looked even more confused so I said, “Look, it would be easier if I just drove you over. Come on, get in.”

“Thanks”, he said as he squeezed into my Honda Accord and began to put on a seat belt. “My name is Michael. I’m sorry if I’m taking you out of your way.”

“That’s ok. Where do you live?”

“I live over on Lakehurst Court.”

“Well, you were going in the wrong direction. Kinda. And you’re trying to vote, so I’m glad to help no matter who you’re voting for.”

Michael gave me a toothy grin and then said, “Well, I was a supporter of Ben Carson until he dropped out.”

My heart sank a bit. I began to pull out onto the street when I stole a glance at a book Michael was carrying; the black leather spine read The Bible KJV.

As I drove around the winding road to the rental office, a great many things crossed my mind; why was he voting for Trump? Did he know what he stood for? Was he aware of his indiscretions and how he treated the women in his life? Was he aware of the various lawsuits and the horrible business deals?

But I said nothing. He’s an adult. This was his decision, not mine.

A minute later I dropped at the polling station. “Thank you,” said Michael.

“You’re welcome. Have a nice day.”

As I looked into the rearview mirror, Michael ambled inside, his Bible in hand. Democracy in action, I say to myself. But I felt a chill that I was unable the shake for the rest of the day…

In the evening, my partner Juli, her daughter, son-in-law and I watched the returns on CNN and MSNBC for the better part of three hours. The race remained tight throughout the night. All during the evening, I spent a great deal of time trying to allay the fears of my friends posting their growing hysteria on Facebook. Since I had to be at the bookstore at 8am, I reluctantly opted to go to bed at a quarter to midnight.

I awoke with a start at 3:54am.

Juli lay asleep next to me. My phone was turned off. The alarm clock, set to the local NPR station, would go off in two and a half hours. I was in a Schrodinger’s Cat situation; in the quiet and the dark, I had no idea who had won the election. I lay there, hoping for the best and fearing the worst.

Finally, a few minutes before the radio came on and removed all doubt; Juli awoke and turned on her phone. I saw its glow out of the corner of my eye. I raised my head. “The fucker won,” she said in a flat tone of voice. Her head went into the pillow.

Then the radio came on and National Public Radio confirmed the worst possible news; Donald J. Trump, racist, sexist, xenophobe, and the alleged perpetrator of numerous sexual assaults, was the President-Elect of the United States of America. Donald Trump, a man with no experience in governance, lawmaking, diplomatic or foreign policy skills and apparently no filter on his volatile emotions.

Frankly, just hearing the honorific “President-Elect Donald Trump” from that morning on has given me an eerie, disorienting, very disturbing sort of chill that I usually overcomes me when reading Stephen King stories, Philip K. Dick’s The Man In The High Castle or specific episodes of Fringe, the original Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. Except this time, it was quite REAL.

Work at the bookstore that day was a rather somber affair. A good majority of my bookselling colleagues, including myself, were dressed entire in black shirts, blouses, pants or dresses, in light of the election results.

Several older white men showed up early for copies of the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Cincinnati Enquirer, were quite jovial and boasting about Trump’s surprise victory. Needless to say, they were rude when they paid for their newspapers. I was filled with disgust and loathing.

Late in the afternoon, I was manning the cash register alone when a middle-aged woman came up to the counter clutching the latest issue of Ms. Magazine, whose bright cover was exhorting readers to VOTE! Her eyes were red and puffy and it was quite evident she had been crying all day. When I am working, I try refrain for any sort of political or editorial comments with customers in order to remain impartial and avoid appearing partisan in any way.

But she appeared to be in quite a bit of distress. I abandoned protocol.

I took the magazine from her and scanned it. “Will that be all today?”

“Yes.”

“Hey, it’s going to be ok.”

“How can you say that? My daughters are upset. My son is upset. I don’t know if I can…”

“Listen to me. There is something we can do. Tell your kids, tell your friends that we can fight. Resist. Protest. Whatever it takes.”

She began to cry. “I don’t know if we can.”

“Of course you can. We all can. We all will. “

She wiped her face with her sleeve. “Thank you. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.” I rang the sale and handed her the magazine.

She took my hand. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Just remember, you’re not alone. It makes all the difference in the world.”

The woman nodded and left smiling. I felt better myself. Still, the phrase, “Have a nice day”, did not pass my lips on November 9th.

In the days that followed, the theories on how Clinton and the Democratic Party lost the election abounded. Disaffected, white working class voters. The arrogance of the ‘liberal elites”. Hillary Clinton was the right choice of the Democratic Party at the wrong time (or vice versa). Low minority turnout. The disenfranchised minorities and voter suppression. The under estimation of the rural vote. FBI Director James Comey’s errant letter to congress. Bad polling by the “experts”. Russian hacking. Take your pick or combine; I think they were all significant factors. This maelstrom of political and social forces has given us Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

What I found even more alarming is that in the wake of the election, racists, fascists, white supremacists and demagogues of all stripes have been emboldened to come out of the woodwork, openly commenting or aggressively acting out their feelings in public, to the detriment of people of color, immigrants, the LBGT community and just about any they judge is not quite American enough for them.

Swastikas haven painted on cars and doors. Men and women by the hundreds have been harassed or assaulted. Workplaces have been disrupted.

1122161658-min

The late Robert Heinlein once wrote that he had not the slightest doubt that, on the whole, the human race would survive safely for at least several millennia. But he very worried about America surviving that long, in any shape or form. Heinlein, who lived from the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt to the waning days of the Ronald Reagan era, probably sat up in his grave at the news of the election of Donald Trump.

So, what is the sf community to make of this rather surprising, real world development? Besides shock and despair from a good number of fans and other professionals who opposed Trump, there is also a sizeable number in fandom who actually either directly supported Trump or voted for him or third-party candidates, because the idea of Hillary Clinton becoming President to objectionable to contemplate.

Hillary Clinton, (as of this posting) had a lead of more than 1.7 million popular votes over Donald Trump. After you factor in the number of votes actually cast, a little over forty-three percent (43.1%) of Americans who were eligible to vote did not cast a ballot for president. The combined margin of victory for Trump in the key swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania alone, which gave him the Electoral College victory, was approximately 113,000 votes.

Here’s the rub; fans across the country may be faced with a very real life scenario where they may be compelled to actively oppose a democratically elected government in a narrowly divided country.

As a member of sf fandom for the past forty years, I felt the urge, the need, to express my fears and desires here, as these dire circumstances swirl around us furiously.

We’ve all seen this movie and/or read this book before. Many, many times.

1984. The Foundation trilogy. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. A Boy and His Dog. The Empire Strikes Back. The Handmaid’s Tale. The Matrix. The Hunger Games. Divergent. Red Rising.

There is no doubt in my mind that the next several years will be very hard on fans, writers, artists and editors. And make no mistake about it, I am very afraid; for myself, my family and friends. When I woke up on November 9th and since then, nothing seems more important in my life than opposing Donald Trump, his political agenda and the designs of his alt-fascist associates.

Everything progressive minded people have supported, abortion rights, women’s rights, marriage equality, relief for immigrants, clean air and water, fighting climate change, public school, education and children’s issues, conservation of public lands and parks and political campaign reform are all on the line.

What do we do?

What can we do?

I can offer only one word: RESIST.

Resist giving into the hateful rhetoric.

Resist turning a blind eye to prejudice and discrimination.

Resist the urge not to speak up when you see or hear anything outrageous.

And, most importantly, resist giving into hopelessness and despair.

As Americans, we should do our best to uphold the best values our country has to offer; decency, respect, fairness, equal opportunities, to help the down trodden and those who are suffering in their daily struggles.  We can do this one person and one day at a time.

And when the time comes, we must preserve our hard-fought freedoms and fight tyranny, whenever and wherever we are needed.

See you in the streets.

58 thoughts on “Barkley — Since You (Didn’t) Ask — Trumplandia, Weeks One and Two          

  1. I’ll offer a better word: listen.

    There are plenty of rational and reasonable people out there that possess a difference of opinion.

    Regards,
    Dann

  2. Listen and resist. Don’t be one of those that allow muslims to be registered, women to be harassed, blacks to be shot, gays to be discriminated against and women to be pushed down. There is nothing rational and reasonable in that.

    Thank you very much for this text.

  3. “Several older white men showed up early for copies of the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Cincinnati Enquirer, were quite jovial and boasting about Trump’s surprise victory. Needless to say, they were rude when they paid for their newspapers. I was filled with disgust and loathing.”

    How were they “rude?” Was it because they were happy with the election results? You don’t describe anything rude.

    Also, what about the cars spray painted at a Trump rally? And this week, what about the death threats to electors for Trump? The actual physical violence, destruction of property, and threats of violence seem to be coming mostly from the left both before and after the election. How many Hillary campaign offices were fire-bombed or spray painted?

    But thanks for being polite to the gentleman looking for the polling place. That was an act of kindness to your fellow man. It was also kind to console the distraught woman.

    You can only be responsible for your own actions. If you do your best to do right, that is all you can do.

  4. Trump isn’t planning on being President–he just wants to BE the President. (Good branding).
    He doesn’t want to spend time in the White House.
    Melania isn’t moving to the White House ( and wouldn’t Limbaugh, McConnell, Graham and all the other nutjob rightwing assholes have had a field day if Michelle Obama had said that).
    These Cabinet posts are right out of a Pence and his hangers-on playbook.
    He won’t use a blind trust.
    He wants to put his kids in charge of his business.
    He wants them to have top secret clearance (so important when planning, you know).
    When he says that since he’s only going to be in the White House part-time that Pence should move in, don’t be surprised.

  5. Dann: I’ll offer a better word: listen. There are plenty of rational and reasonable people out there that possess a difference of opinion.

    Those so-called “rational and reasonable people” voted for a candidate who ran on a platform which specifically stated that they were going persecute women, and minorities, and gays — a candidate who ran on a platform of hatred.

    They voted for a candidate who is a self-admitted serial sexual assaulter, who was charged with child rape until his buddies made enough death threats to the victim to scare her into withdrawing the charges, who publicly mocked a disabled person, who has been convicted of racist business practices, who just paid a huge fine for committing fraud.

    Suppose I do listen to them. What, exactly, are they going to be able to say to me which will excuse what they’ve chosen to support?

  6. The day after-ish of the elections, Cracked had 2 excellent articles/ editorials:

    Don’t Panic

    Dear White Friends: Stop Saying Everything Is Going to be OK

    To get the obvious out of the way, a call to not panic is not the same as asking for acceptance, and voicing out your concerns is not the same as a call to panic.

    Secondly…not an American, but… All the best guys. Take care of each other. Watch out for efforts to lock down their voter base (gerrymandering 2.0, “voter ID” laws at the federal level)

    Their first priority isn’t really screwing over people. Their first priority is to stay in power, regardless off demographic movements.

    Ok, perhaps don’t listen.

    I disagree. Always listen. Especially when they try to pull of some sort of “both sides” nonsense. Especially when they tell you who and what they are, and who and what they stand for. Especially when they tell you what they are willing to put up with.

    These are not subtle people. Don’t play into ridiculous divide and conquer plays and distractions – ie blaming 3rd party/ non-voters, blaming people along racial/ class lines, blaming the rural/ urban divide. Recognise these as factors, and address them.

  7. While I agree with your plan of action, I don’t think the choice of books is really appropriate. May I suggest Night Watch as an option instead?

  8. @JJ “Suppose I do listen to them. What, exactly, are they going to be able to say to me which will excuse what they’ve chosen to support?”

    Exactly. If all of the Hillary voters had voted for Garry Johnson he would be the President-Elect.

    Instead they voted for a serial liar who enabled an abuser of women. They voted for someone who wanted to demand tax dollars to kill unborn children any time for any reason. They supported someone who pledged to go even further on rules by executive decree than Obama if she could not get her way in Congress.

    They supported a candidate who ran in 2008 on a pledge that overturning middle eastern dictatorships is a really bad thing to do – and then did it again in Libya.

  9. @JJ

    I reckon you should thank @airboy above for making your point RE: the indefensibility of voting Trump for you in the most perfect manner possible

  10. “Listen” might not be that bad a first step. The Trump voters I know didn’t believe his more outrageous statements. They’ve chalked them up as campaign rhetoric and biased media. Half of them at least don’t even believe he’ll govern. They expect him to appoint ‘all these great people’, leaving his appointees to run the country, and disappear himself to a golf course when he’s not mugging for the cameras. They voted for what they saw as a jobs and economy candidate. If, and I believe as, he follows through on an extremist alt-right agenda we need to educate those folks and keep what’s happening in the discussion. The folks I know won’t be up for it. They’ll turn on him if he really does turn that direction in actuality. Granted if they boil the frog slowly enough it may normalize the unthinkable for those people too but that’s why we have to keep the dialogue open.

  11. @Stoic Cynic: it may normalize the unthinkable

    A serial adulterer who also repeatedly committed sexual assault including raping a child, who ran on a platform of hating Mexicans and Muslims, mocked disabled people and the family of a man who died in the military, has had to settle numerous law suits regarding fraud, racism, etc. and hired bigly from the alt-right while accepting the endorsement of the KKK is going to take over.

    MAY normalize? Too late. The frog’s boiled.

    (let’s not forget Pence, who’s actually going to be running things: he wanted to JAIL gay people who applied for a marriage license, and force women to have funerals for fetuses, whether aborted or naturally miscarried.)

  12. If, and I believe as, he follows through on an extremist alt-right agenda we need to educate those folks and keep what’s happening in the discussion. The folks I know won’t be up for it. They’ll turn on him if he really does turn that direction in actuality. Granted if they boil the frog slowly enough it may normalize the unthinkable for those people too but that’s why we have to keep the dialogue open.

    They have to actually believe you when you tell them those things, is the sticking point. They have to believe that when the press reports that within two weeks of the election Trump is already using the office to enrich himself and his family that it’s, you know, true.

    Because chances are those Trump voters have been telling each other that the media is a partisan Democratic outfit for the entirety of their adult lives (or even longer). Because the “news” they trust comes from the propaganda sites that tell them that A: three million undocumented immigrants voted for Clinton but that B: Trump won the popular vote by 500k in spite of that hurdle.

    It’s not impossible to bridge that gap, and obviously the extent to which a given person inhabits another planet varies on an individual basis, but, well. Good luck.

  13. @airboy

    They supported someone who pledged to go even further on rules by executive decree than Obama if she could not get her way in Congress.

    You mean, once Mitch McConnell and the Repubs in the House kept obstructing anything a Democratic president tried to do, no matter how bipartisan?

    They voted for someone who wanted to demand tax dollars to kill unborn children any time for any reason.

    You’re referring to the Hyde Amendment, which HRC wanted to repeal. (Definition here: In U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the mother, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape. The Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law, but rather is a “rider” that in various forms has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. Legislation including the Hyde Amendment generally only restricts the use of funds allocated for the Department of Health and Human Services and primarily affects Medicaid.) I agree with her; I too think the Hyde Amendment should be repealed (not that that’s likely to happen). Abortion is a medical procedure and should be treated like one.

    But even if it were repealed, that would not constitute “any time for any reason”. Per Roe and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, abortion can be (and is) restricted by states in the third trimester (when the fetus is viable). I’m not going to let you get away with spouting falsehoods.

  14. As Americans, we should do our best to uphold the best values our country has to offer

    Part of what is so disheartening to me is that many Americans saw the worst values America has to offer–bigotry, ignorance, corruption, and cruelty among others–and voted for it. Some may have held their nose to vote for Trump but that’s no excuse.

  15. I find it hard to believe that too many fans voted for Trump. Johnson and Stein, sure, but not the fascist one.

    For those who aren’t aware, Pence is a Dominionist. Once he was on the ticket, I suspected that the deal with Trump was to deliver the evangelical vote in exchange for tremendous influence over appointments and policy. I have not been disabused of this theory. If anyone can claim the mantle of Scudder, it would be Pence. It’s the closest that this fringe group has come to achieving their goals of “taking over the government”.

    As a person born and raised a Jew, and in particular a baby-boomer Jew, I am perhaps more sensitive to the ways in which the campaign resembled Hitler’s rise to power. The parallels were uncanny – until we learned that about the only book Trump has read (repeatedly) is a collection of Hitler’s speeches. Being more sensitized due to personal experience does not negate the suppositions. We’ve elected a government that will be required to create “threats” to society and then demonstrate its viability by “taking care of those threats”.

    In the days immediately following the election, I posted numerous “rants” on facebook, expressing my despair and outrage. My family (mostly Hillary voters) attempted to intervene, telling me I was “acting crazy”. I’ve now had the satisfaction(?) of pointing them to numerous, clearly not crazy, publications and commentators who are saying the same things (perhaps more eloquently).

    We have had out own brushes with the people who actively support Trump: there is a direct connection between VD, Alt Right and Trump/Pence.

    As we have seen during the puppy wars, “these people” do not respect convention, tradition, or any of the constitutional protections we are supposedly living under. They have given themselves license to say or do anything in the name of their cause because the people opposing them are not “people”. To their way of thinking, one does not play fair with a virus.

    Anyone paying attention will be recognizing the same kind of nonsensical, factless fear-based arguments from the administration to be and its supporters as we saw bruited about by the puppies. “Listening” to their arguments is an exercise in futility: they will NOT listen to your counter-arguments, they will not accept the authority of the facts you cite, if cornered, they will offer some crazed conspiracy theory that you will be unable to refute because, at base, is is composed of nonsense and they will continue to bleat their carefully constructed rallying cries – your free speech denies them theirs, if you are truly devoted to diversity you have to accept them. any story not written by an approved fellow traveler is message fiction that’s destroying the genre.

    We need to resist this at every turn, in every way. It’s going to be bloody hell for at least the next four years, and it will take us generations to recover; that’s dispiriting and bleak, but it is the only option. Not resisting will lead to worse.

  16. @Rich

    Not at all – it’s not like the article spends it’s latter part discussing the possible impact on the sf-adjacent, or how previous sf works have informed both of the scenario we find ourselves in, as well as the actions that can be taken.

    (My nominee for the latter, as I’ve just finished the latest run of Black Mirror, is the second season episode The Waldo Moment. The linked review gives an idea of the reception back in 2013 when the episode first aired, while the newer comments below are noteworthy as to how people are re-interpreting it now.)

  17. @Darren: are you really likely to get somebody less interested in calling on God if Haley leaves? From what I read I wouldn’t think so — it seems to be a requirement for southern Republicans — but the view from a thousand miles away is fuzzy.

  18. Well, as a South Carolinian, I see two good things so far out of Trump’s election: we might be getting rid of Nikki Haley (who isn’t too bad as republicans go, but she has little interest in the separation of church and state), and at least we won’t be getting any of the earthquakes.

    I guess that explains the recent earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand then. They didn’t vote for Trump.

    The stupid, it really burns.

  19. @Cora: according to a New Zealand preacher, their earthquake was because they didn’t trash gays….
    And I’m not sure “stupid” is the word you’re looking for; try “sly”, “vicious”, or “in a long tradition of god-botherers”.

  20. The Tim Pence event was kind of off key—from both sides. His Fraudulency demanded an apology. How many months of time would it take for the President elect to apologize to everyone for the past two years?

  21. @JJ

    Sorry for the delay. Lots going on right now, but I didn’t want to leave this hanging any longer.

    Suppose I do listen to them. What, exactly, are they going to be able to say to me which will excuse what they’ve chosen to support?

    I respectfully suggest that the above indicates that you are listening with an expectation about the past. I’m suggesting that you listen for ways that will help change the future.

    I still see a lot of blindly thrashing about using the tired and mostly inaccurate sexist/racists/whatever-ist line of thinking. I see very little pausing to reflect how either the message from the left might have been either flawed or poorly communicated. I see very little introspection about the (seriously) flawed nature of the candidate from the left.

    And I see a lot of friends that either voted “neither of the bastards” (like me) and friends that held their noses for Trump that really were open to a rational alternative to Trump that was not available.

    The answer isn’t “we didn’t go left enough”.

    Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

    Regards,
    Dann

  22. They supported someone who pledged to go even further on rules by executive decree than Obama if she could not get her way in Congress.

    Obama has issued fewer executive orders than any two-term president since Grover Cleveland. I wonder where this GOP hand-wringing over executive orders was when George W. Bush was issuing a noticeably larger number of executive orders during his administration.

  23. friends that held their noses for Trump that really were open to a rational alternative to Trump that was not available.

    Clinton was available. Anyone who thinks she wasn’t a “rational alternative” had their head in their ass.

  24. “I still see a lot of blindly thrashing about using the tired and mostly inaccurate sexist/racists/whatever-ist line of thinking.”

    Everyone who voted for Trump aren’t sexists or racists. But they must have a remarkably high acceptance of racism and sexism to vote for him.

    And if you don’t see discussion of the flawed nature of Clinton, it is because you have managed to miss my earlier rants here.

  25. @Hampus

    And if you don’t see discussion of the flawed nature of Clinton, it is because you have managed to miss my earlier rants here.

    Sadly, this is not the only place I inhabit in the world. Also, I did use the qualifier “a lot”. I’ve seen a few discussions on Mrs. Clinton’s flaws from the left.

    Very few. Many of those centered on the fact that she wasn’t Bernie Sanders.

    Regards,
    Dann

  26. I see discussions on Clintons faults almost constantly. I have no idea how you manage to miss them.

  27. @Dann

    I’m not even American, and I saw plenty of debate on HC, both during the primary (you know, that thing where candidates get examined under a microscope?) and in the post-election finger pointing.

    It seems like you actually want to talk about your own perception of her flaws, and are trying to sidle around the subject.

  28. Dann: I still see a lot of blindly thrashing about using the tired and mostly inaccurate sexist/racists/whatever-ist line of thinking… friends that held their noses for Trump that really were open to a rational alternative to Trump that was not available.

    No. I don’t care how “tired” you are of it, it’s not inaccurate. It’s completely accurate. The people who voted for Trump voted for someone who spent months promoting their racist, misogynist, homophobic agenda of hate.

    They don’t get a pass on that. They can’t pretend that they didn’t know what he was promising (and, based on his cabinet appointments, clearly intends) to do. They are accountable for choosing to support racism, misogynism, and homophobia.

    There was a rational alternative, Clinton. Perfect alternative? Hell, no. But to claim that both candidates were equally bad is a prevarication. Trump was exponential levels worse of a candidate than Clinton.

     
    Dann: I respectfully suggest that the above indicates that you are listening with an expectation about the past. I’m suggesting that you listen for ways that will help change the future.

    Nope, I’m listening based on the starting point: this is what they supported. They are accountable for this.

    They don’t get to claim that “really, they are good, decent people.” They’re not. The only thing I can hear from the Trump voters which will carry any weight with me is them telling me how they are going to help to undo all the damage that they’ve helped to cause.

  29. Hi JJ

    They don’t get a pass on that. They can’t pretend……

    That is an example of one of the top tier reasons why Mr. Trump was elected. Folks are tired of the left attempting to control our national conversation. The left wants to control what gets discussed, the acceptable terms for use in that discussion, the general framing of the issues being discussed, and who gets to speak.

    From the low level brow-beating to the bullying up through the select few conducting junior Cheka league activities, ordinary folks are tired of it.

    We are a nation of varied interests and perspectives. Reaching first for the most incendiary language to describe others does nothing to promote comity. It does nothing to suggest reconciliation. It offers no path for redemption.*

    Whether we are talking about small-scale issues like voting for literary awards with an eye towards the author’s political beliefs instead of on the work(s) as presented, or large scale issues like whether the country ought to embark on an expanded national health care system, this “my way or the highway” approach hurts more than it helps.

    On a separate note, I’m about 1/4 to 1/3 through the final report on the Milwaukee elections in 2004. While I feel much better (thus far) about the scale of fraud (and other issues) involved, the report highlights systemic weaknesses that need to be addressed. Thank you for your criticism.

    Regards,
    Dann

    *And before anyone goes there…yup, I’m not perfect either.

  30. Dann: That is an example of one of the top tier reasons why Mr. Trump was elected. Folks are tired of the left attempting to control our national conversation… ordinary folks are tired of it.

    You’re absolutely right. Trump voters are tired of being told that they are no longer allowed to say racist, misogynist, and homophobic things. They are tired of being told that they are not allowed to treat women as property they can control, or as delivery mechanisms for sex on demand. They are tired of being told that they have to treat women and minorities and LGBTQIA with courtesy and to give them equal human rights. They are tired of being told that they don’t get to shove their own religion down everyone else’s throats.

    Trump promised to allow them to roll back all of these social advances, and that’s why they voted for him.

    Those people aren’t interested in being listened to. They aren’t interested in a discussion. What they are interested in is having everything go back the way it was, the way they liked it — and just like the Puppies, the only thing which will satisfy them is everyone else rolling over and giving them everything they want.

    Claiming that Trump’s election is the fault of liberals and progressives is a cop-out. It’s saying that Trump voters aren’t responsible for their own decisions.

    Trump voters are like the petulant, vindictive child who, upon being scolded by his mother and emphatically told that he is not allowed to bully the other children at school any more, slaps his hand on a hot stove burner and holds it there to “get even” with her for telling him that he has to behave like an adult and a decent human being.

    With the exception of the wealthy white males and the females who are hoping to reap the benefit of supporting them, Trump voters are going to pay for pay for their petulance and vindictiveness. Their wages will stagnate or go down, their taxes will go up, their insurance and healthcare costs will go up (assuming that they are even able to afford those any more), and their lives will get worse.

    The problem is that everyone else is going to have to pay for their petulance and vindictiveness, too.

  31. “From the low level brow-beating to the bullying up through the select few conducting junior Cheka league activities, ordinary folks are tired of it.”

    By ordinary folk you mean exactly who? You can’t mean republicans as they were less than half of the voters. Do you mean that democrats aren’t ordinary folk? Exactly what do you mean?

    “Whether we are talking about small-scale issues like voting for literary awards with an eye towards the author’s political beliefs instead of on the work(s) as presented…”

    That is a puppy thing and they are a clear minority. The rest of us vote on quality without trying to slate people of the correct opinions.

  32. Hi Mark,

    Not at all.

    I believe I used the qualifier “select few” above. The folks committing acts of vandalism as a “protest”….the folks doxxing and harassing electors….the folks blocking traffic especially on highways….the Cheka junior league all the way. I’m sure I’ll be less selective at some point. It won’t be on purpose.

    I’ve got no complaint with calling the people on the right that are vandalizing things (spraypainting swastikas, for example) racists/nazis/etc. That is what they are, apparently. Of course, the leftists spraypainting swastikas to make it look like the right wing is now the reich wing (we’ve seen more than a few of those kinds of operations) are back in the CJL category.

    People conducting legitimate protests (i.e. marching, waving banners, chants, slogans, etc.)…are people. We might agree on some things and disagree on others. But that’s the consequences of living in a free society.

    When the reflexive Godwinning subsides, I’m sure my Cheka junior league references will as well.

    Look. The left called George W. Bush “Hitler”. He wasn’t. It isn’t close. The left called Mitt Romney “Hitler”. He wasn’t. Again…not even remotely close. Mr. Trump is a nasty piece of work, but he ain’t “Hitler”. The left has a problem with incendiary language that undercuts their position and undermines our future ability to justifiably criticize someone in the future that really is “Hitler”. Maybe they ought to throttle it back a couple notches.

    HTH.

    Hi Hampus,

    “ordinary folks” – people that are just living normal lives. Democrats, Republicans, and independents. People who look at the people committing vandalism in lieu of “protesting” and understand that committing crimes is not a “protest”.

    Regards,
    Dann

  33. @Dann

    Whether you’re qualifying it or not, using an organisation notorious for torture and execution to describe people who by your own description aren’t doing anything close to that is the exact sort of hyperbole you’re attempting to claim the moral high ground against.
    Similarly, your use of “the left” in the broadest terms as a target for your criticism in your last few comments undermines your request to be selective in criticising “the right”.
    In short, decrying “incendiary language” while using language that is incendiary doesn’t really fly.

  34. “The folks committing acts of vandalism as a “protest”….the folks doxxing and harassing electors….the folks blocking traffic especially on highways….”

    That’s weird. I didn’t know Trump-voters had precognition and voted on what hadn’t happened yet.

    ” The left called George W. Bush “Hitler”. He wasn’t. It isn’t close.”

    True. Over 1 million dead Iraqis is not close to what Hitler did. But it is not that far from Pol Pot.

    “Mr. Trump is a nasty piece of work, but he ain’t “Hitler”.”

    Also true. But in his team are some of the worst antisemites, white supremacists and islamophobes. Every cabinet member so far is a homophobe. It is also filled with warmongers. It is a totally disgusting group of people. Not one descent human being.

    And perhaps you shouldn’t talk about “ordinary folks” when you ascribe to them the opinions of an easily offended minority that is angry because people tell them when they are behaving badly.

  35. We keep hearing that we have to listen to Trump voters, Brexit voters and other voters for far right parties and have to take their concerns seriously. And yes, maybe they really did vote for Trump or insert other far right party or candidate here not because they are racists, sexists and homophobes, but because Trump or insert other far right party or candidate here promised to bring back jobs that are gone for good or not to close a local hospital (real case in North East Germany, where a county voted for a rightwing extremist candidate, not because they’re Nazis, but because the state government was planning to close their local hospital) or whatever.

    However, if you voted for Trump or other far right parties or candidates, you voted for the whole package including the racism, sexism and homophobia. And the fact that economic issues, etc… were more important to those voters than the blatant racism, sexism and homophobia spouted by the candidates they supported tells me everything I need to know about them. It also makes me much less inclined to listen to genuine concerns these people might have regarding economic problems, closed hospitals, etc… Because these people have made it quite clear that they are willing to throw a whole lot of vulnerable and marginalised people under the bus in exchange for vague promises.

  36. What Cora and JJ said.

    Herr Drumpf’s head of HHS plans to eliminate Obamacare and replace it with nothing.

    This will, quite literally, kill people. Very quickly.

    It probably will cost me the house I’ve been living in for 23 years, which my husband and I were planning to stay in till we died or went to nursing homes. There’ll be no money for nursing homes, so we’ll die in some crappy apartment.

    You get the whole package. He made vague promises of making America great and bringing back jobs (yeah right), but frequently repeated plans to deny healthcare, discriminate against Mexicans, Muslims, and LGBT. Also to make torture A-OK for our military, to a degree even Bush/Cheney never dreamed of. And, of course, that little thing of normalizing sexual assault.

    America cannot be great over literally the dead bodies of its citizens.

    “You brought this on yourselves by not listening to us” is not a hair’s difference from “You made me hit you by not doing exactly what I want at all times, bitch.”

  37. Folks are tired of the left attempting to control our national conversation. The left wants to control what gets discussed, the acceptable terms for use in that discussion, the general framing of the issues being discussed, and who gets to speak.

    You’ve posted a lot of ridiculous things here, but this is the biggest steaming pile of bullshit I have ever seen you produce. The right has spent the last two decades screaming about “political correctness” that doesn’t exist in order to control the national debate. There are conservative organizations literally devoted to “moving the Overton window” so that they con, for example, delegitimize the very notion of public education and get people to turn against “government schools”. The notion of the “alt-Right” was cooked up by conservative groups to rebrand and normalize white supremacist ideas to make them seem mainstream. The only groups that have been trying to control the national conversation are doing so from the right.

    So when you claim “the left” is trying to “control our national conversation”, I know that you’ve got no opinions that I need to bother with. You’re nothing more than a charlatan who is just lying through his bullshit covered teeth.

  38. “And the fact that economic issues, etc… were more important to those voters than the blatant racism, sexism and homophobia spouted by the candidates they supported tells me everything I need to know about them. It also makes me much less inclined to listen to genuine concerns these people might have regarding economic problems, closed hospitals, etc…”

    Not happy with what is basically revenge thinking. I’ve had enough of that from Trump-voters. 🙁

  39. @Aaron

    You’re nothing more than a charlatan who is just lying through his bullshit covered teeth.

    I’m not going to disagree with your overall sentiment here, but as I was just telling Dann he was using inflammatory language it’d be hypocritical of me not to say to you that you can call bullshit on someone without actually saying bullshit.
    And with that, I’m out.

Comments are closed.