The Election: A Glance in the Rearview and a Path Forward

 

2016 General Election

The United States of America is in uncharted waters.

Two weeks ago there were few people who would have believed, including the Republican National Committee, that an individual endorsed by the head of the American Nazi Party and the Grand Wizard of the KKK would be elected president, but here we are.

A carnival barker who insulted nearly everyone but had one consistent message throughout the primaries and run up to the general election is now heading to the White House. What was the consistent message? The message was the economy is rigged against regular working people. The message was similar to the Bernie Sanders message, but to Sander’s credit he actually knew why the economy was rigged and what to do about it. Here’s the lead up to November 8: the carnival barker is spouting all kinds of gibberish and hate talk alongside a populist economic message stating he knows why there are no good jobs and he’s going to fix it, he wins. On the other side a highly qualified Democratic candidate with a message that did not address the stresses working people are under with no talk of setting things straight for the millions who lost homes, filed bankruptcy and suffered other hardships as a result of the economic implosion of 2008, loses. The carnival barker’s message, in spite of the fact that it was wrapped in cynical hateful speech resonated everywhere in the country except the coasts.

What does this prove? It proves the voters were mad about the economy, lack of jobs, lack of good pay, lack of retirement security and out of sight health care costs. Voting for the carnival barker is not going to resolve any of these issues, far from it. It is exactly the result  though, one should have expected when the Democratic candidate had no publicly stated plan or even empathy for the victims of the great recession. Two hundred fifty page dissertations on economic strategy don’t replace telling people who have been battered by the economic storm you’re with them and you’re going to help them.

So now what? Avowed anti-Semite racist Bannon is the carnival Barker’s chief advisor. Campaign consultants are talking about internment camps. Not a good indication of things to come. In this particular set of circumstances, it is better to consider the threats real and fight and be pleasantly surprised if it’s only rhetoric, than to be caught off guard by the fulfillment of their promises.

We need to fight to protect our democratic institutions. We need to fight to protect each other, discrimination in all forms must be resisted. An injury to one is an injury to all. We need to fight to protect our unions, the last time a development like this took place, unions were the first target. We need to stand up now rather than be caught in a tidal wave of hatred later. As long as we stand together we will win.