The aftermath

My FB feed is full of people FREAKING OUT, cause Trump won and that means that the racists bigots EVIL won and we’re going to all get put in concentration camps and DIE.

Many of these are the same folks who posted meme’s to the effect of “if you’re voting for Trump just unfriend me now” and “only racists vote for Trump” and so on.

People, just stop freaking out.  Spend some time learning just what exactly the President can and can’t do, legally.  Spend some time taking a closer look at your friends and co-workers, Trump didn’t win out of a vacuum.  It is extremely likely that a noticeable percentage of people you know voted for him.  Were they racists or bigots before they voted for him?  Did they sympathize and support you while you struggled with something?  Why do you think they’re going to be different now?

When you were 5 years old, and you called someone a poopyhead and threatened to not be their friend anymore, did it fix the problem?  So why do you think calling people names and placing labels now, and threatening to not have anything further to do with them, now that you’re an adult, is going to change things now?  Infact, stop and think for a minute what your response tends to be when someone calls you names.  I managed to not say that on FB in response to some of those memes, the restraint was hard to come by.

I’ve posted several links on here detailing why such a large percentage of the US was going to end up voting for Trump.  And the reality is that racism, bigotry, and his stupidity about women, didn’t really have much to do with it.

And really, if it’s wrong to vote for Trump solely because he’s a male going up against a female, then it was wrong to vote for Hillary solely because she’s a female going up against a male.  And telling me that I should have voted for her because I’m female and she’s female and “FEMALE PRESIDENT!!!!!” isn’t going to change my mind on that either.

I have to admit that a large portion of my feelings on the matter follow along this line:

I’m also seeing a lot of liberals this morning talking about how now is the time for reconciliation and “reaching across the aisle”. Ha! Remember when Obama got in, and “Elections have consequences”, and he had a “mandate” and you shoved Obamacare down America’s throats even though a lot of us didn’t want it? Yeah… It is probably going to be like that……..

All that stuff I’ve heard over the last few years about the OBSRUCTIONIST republicans blocking your sainted president from doing what he wanted? No shit. That’s how our government works. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, and there is a president who wants to do stuff you don’t like, you’re going to expect the people you voted for to try and stop him. And then Trump will probably still cram through some Executive Orders you don’t like. Yep. We know exactly how that feels.

On that note, this is why if the idea of an executive power in the hands of That Other Asshole terrifies you, maybe then the executive shouldn’t have that power at all. Because eventually The Other Asshole Team is going to win, and do to you, what you did to them.

So liberals, remember laughing off and excusing things like Fast & Furious or the IRS targeting political opponents? Oh, silly republicans, the president has a phone and a pen and shut up! Uh huh… That kind of behavior seems terrifying now that somebody like Trump has it, doesn’t it?

Serves you right.

But all of us need to remember this:

This is not the end of political or electoral history. To put Trump’s victory in context, reflect for a moment how often you’ve been told that some election result shows a sea change in American politics. 1994 was the “year of the angry white man,” touted as a new wave of white conservative power thwarting Democratic choices. Ask Bob Dole how that turned out. 2000 and 2004 were the years of “permanent Republican majority,” sold as another end to Democratic chances. That lasted into Obama’s victory in 2008, sold to us as the crest of a demographic wave that would crush the Republican party. Apparently not.

“This is the hugest change ever” is popular with media and pundits. It gets clicks. It hasn’t been true so far…….

Our values endure: Our values do not die just because you might interpret an election as rejecting them (more on that later). You don’t hold on to your values because they’re popular, you hold onto them because they’re right and just and they make you who you are. America’s history is full of popular fidelity to our stated values ebbing and flowing, and of Americans stubbornly holding on to those ideas in the dark times…….

We must be prepared to fight against policies that conflict with our values. But that requires, first, some soul-searching about what those values are, whether we have already compromised them, and whether we have been effective and credible advocates for them. The rule of law, the equality of all people (feeble or powerful) before that law, freedom of thought and speech and worship, strict limits on the power of the state over the individual — those are a few I care about. I’ve been arguing for a while that neither major American party is a reliable friend to those values. It may be a little late to speak out for them if we stood by while “our team” demeaned them. But as I believe in grace and redemption, I believe in the possibility of a renewed commitment to values and a new fight for them……

Third, it might be a good time to reflect on how we talk about race, gender, and sexuality. Trump struck a chord by fighting “political correctness.” I’ve argued that blasting political correctness often involves whinging that we can’t act like a dick without being called a dick any more. But it would be foolish not to inquire why Trump’s message resonated. The steadily growing social consensus against bigotry is a good thing. But people are flawed — okay, people are assholes — and the consensus gets twisted and distorted and expressed in foolish, counter-productive ways. Some of America’s admirable opposition to bigotry has been filtered through human frailty to become obnoxious, counter-productive, petty, and sanctimonious, an obsession with form over substance. I’m not saying you shouldn’t explain what pronouns you prefer. I’m suggesting that maybe the way you convey the message might have an impact on your audience’s receptiveness to other messages. It’s just possible that “we’ll grind these bigots under our heel until they talk right” is ineffective and might actually be more about our character flaws than winning. I’m saying there may be a better way.

Go read both.  Take the time to read the links out, especially the ones from Popehat.  Stop freaking out.  Stop calling people names.  Stop it.  If you don’t like it, then fix it.  Screaming about how “the other side is going to kill us” isn’t going to do it.

2 Comments

  1. Comment by threecollie:

    I would also like to see the people who are being represented, probably wrongly, by the rioters in various cities, condemn them. Silence can seem like agreement.

  2. Comment by Ruth:

    We’re talking about a general public that riots because their sports team WON. At this point I just want everyone to grow up…..