Okay, it’s been a couple of days since the U.S. Presidential Election. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the results. I can’t help but think we are in for at least 4 years of chaos, but we will get through it. I will get through it. It won’t be easy, but at least I’m trying to get my sense of humor back. Dark humor, but humor.
Here are some of my random thoughts.
- Hilary Clinton won the popular vote. That means there are more people who voted for what I basically believe in than voted against it.
- The Electoral College has to go. It has given us Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump when both lost the popular vote.
- I understand the frustration of those who voted for Trump. I actually share a lot of those frustrations that so many people have been left behind as jobs have fled overseas and people have seen their dreams shattered. But…
- I don’t understand how people could have voted for someone who ran such a hateful, mendacious campaign. I don’t understand how they can trust him with nuclear weapons. I don’t understand their choices.
- I have no patience with those who say “it was just another election”, “it’s just politics,” etc. This was not a sports event or entertainment. This was unlike any election we have seen in our lifetimes and it has both moral and policy implications that will directly impact us for generations. A lot of people are truly heart broken and truly scared. Particularly those of us who are some sort of a minority- LGBTQ, Black, Hispanic, Latino, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and almost anyone else not white, Christian and straight.
- I don’t think we can ever close the gaps this Election has opened. Personally speaking, I will never see some of my old friends- particularly old High School and hometown friends- in the same way again. I’m sorry, but whether you see it that way or not, you voted for prejudice and hatred. As a Gay man, I take that personally. I can’t let myself be viewed as your “exception” because you know me or you like me. That’s not fair, right or true. I’m not going to make this easy for you.
- At least one barrier was broken, we will now have the first First Lady to have done a softcore Lesbian porn photo shoot. Melania Trump’s Racy Photo Shoot
- I always had trouble seeing myself and my friends as older or in late middle age. I always still thought of us as younger. Now, some of my friends seem to have become that old man sitting on the porch screaming at those kids to get off their lawns and longing for “the good old days.” Not me…I’m still younger, more hopeful and forward-looking than that.
- I do feel old when I realize that I will have to fight some of the same battles yet again. But I will fight.
- That said, what does one wear to a protest march?
- The Millennials bear their share of the blame. They have not yet realized you build third parties from the bottom up, not the top down. You not only threw away your votes going for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, but because of the razor-thin margins in some key Electoral College states, you helped elect President Trump. It’s time to get practical and make pragmatic decisions. Voting your principles won’t get you out of the College Debt crisis. If you support the Green or Libertarian parties, run candidates for the School Board, City Councils, State Houses. Build from the bottom up. I’m with you there but not when you blithely “vote your conscience” and it yields these results.
- The Democratic Party needs to get its shit together. In a climate of change, the leadership of the DNC did everything in its power to put forth the most establishment candidate they could possibly have nominated. The fact that she was a woman or that she was immensely qualified did not matter. People saw an insider and wanted an outsider. They should have seen this coming.
- Given the rabid desire for change, I think Bernie would have won. He would have been a viable alternative to the change seekers who voted for Trump.
- Hillary Clinton was unjustly vilified and lied about more than any candidate I have ever seen. She has been treated unfairly by the press, the GOP and so many other institutions. I may not always agree with her, but she is an admirable woman who spent her life in public service. But the times have changed and perceptions cannot be changed. She was an Establishment Candidate in an Anti-Establishment environment. That’s all that mattered to a lot of people.
- The Baby Boomers really screwed this one up. We have left another mess for the Millennials to clean up after we are gone.
- The Supreme Court. I still can’t face this one …President Trump will be able to appoint at least one and probably more justices. This is what really scares me. If we correct the course in the House, Senate and Presidency, the Supreme Court is lost for the rest of my lifetime and will make the battle for equality that much harder.
- I have never seen such clear examples of straight white male privilege and white privilege in general as I have seen on some Facebook posts from some folks over the last 2 days. This is not a post-racial society. We won’t let you go back to the 1950’s, which seems to be your idealized era. Women are empowered and no longer want to be barefoot and pregnant just because you want them so. Gays are not going back into the Closet because we make you uncomfortable. Transgendered people do exist. People of Color deserve respect, equality and freedom from fear. Jews, Muslims, Hindu’s and people of other religions have as much right to be here, to live freely and safely as you. It’s not the 1950’s and I, for one, am so glad of that.
- That said, no matter how much some may wish it, the demographic trends show this is not going to be a white majority nation in the very near future. This is a diverse, multi-cultural country now and I love it that way. You need to get over it and try to learn to understand and accept people who are different from you. Get out of the Facebook echo chamber, get out from your churches, offices and country clubs, with people just like you, and meet the new America. It’s a really nice place.
- We all need to get out of our Bubbles and try to understand and educate each other. I have been sorely tempted to defriend a lot of people on Facebook. I won’t. I want to try to understand their points of view or at least see what they are up to.
- Both Alt Right and Alt Left media sources need to be recognized for what they are. I am very careful what I choose to share as I know both have an element of propaganda and playing to what their audience wants. That said, I can never respect someone who bases their opinions on Brietbart, Newsmax or other right-wing propaganda sources.
- There is such a thing as facts. Your opinion does not matter if it is not supported by facts from reliable sources. Period.
- The mainstream media bares a lot of blame for this….They gave Trump entirely too much free attention.
- Journalism needs to return to its roots. Report facts, not opinions and don’t twist yourself into a knot trying to appear balanced when the facts don’t support that conclusion.
- It won’t happen, but we need to separate the line between News and Entertainment. That blurred line is really what has undermined journalism. We just elected an entertainer to the most powerful position in the world.
- The “Religious Right” no longer has any credibility. This is why organized religion is declining in America. Its leaders, like Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Franklin Graham, are corrupt. These folks just supported and voted for a thrice married, serial adulterer, who built his career cheating and screwing over people. He has never turned the other cheek or done anything to remotely help his fellow-man. It is high time we truly separate religion from politics, as our Founding Fathers intended, but it won’t happen any time soon. It will take another generation.
- That said, I know a lot of fine, truly Christian people who are as heartbroken as I am now. Those Christians who believe in social justice and treating others as they would like to be treated. These folks have my utmost respect and admiration. It’s the institutions that are corrupt, not the true Christians.
- There is no political act more selfish and small-minded than voting solely on the basis of lowering your personal taxes. This shows a willingness to trade off the rights and protections of others as long as it personally benefits you financially.
- Anti-Elitism is a cancer on the American society. There was a time when we wanted the most educated, experienced, qualified people to be in leadership roles. Now it seems a large portion of the electorate places more weight on who they like the most or want to share a beer with. Presidential Elections are about leading the most powerful nation in the world; they are not a Fraternity Rush Party.
- Most people don’t know this, but I was raised in a Republican family, went to a Republican College and worked as a professional, paid staffer on Republican campaigns in the late 1980’s. I still have some Republican friends that I love deeply. However, this is not the Republican Party we grew up with. I examined my conscience and beliefs and moved on. I then followed my conscience and beliefs that the Party had left me behind as it lurched to the Right. I eventually realized I was not really a Republican at all and probably never really was. This is not the educated, Country Club Republican Party of my youth. I know some of my friend still struggle with this. Get out of it. Face the facts. It’s not a place for nice people anymore. We welcome you to our world.
- Hilary Clinton was investigated by various congressional committees and the Justice Department for 30 years and never indicted. Donald Trump goes to Court again next month for the umpteenth time.
- That said, I won’t be surprised if Trump is gone by next year. I know the DC Republican Establishment. The Masters of the Universe will not allow him to deviate from their positions without a fight. If he doesn’t play ball with them, they will find a way to impeach him. That would make Mike Pence, one of the Insider’s Club, President. That may be even scarier.
- The Republicans now control all 3 branches of Government and will soon control the Supreme Court. This scares the hell out of me, but it also gives them accountability. They have no one to blame for their actions but themselves. The spotlight will be shining on them very brightly. They will over-reach. It will hurt us all, but they will be exposed for what they truly are. It happened in North Carolina and it will happen on a much larger scale now.
- Voter Suppression by the GOP worked. These margins were so thin in so many areas, particularly in North Carolina where I live. The reduction in early voted did suppress the Black vote here. The GOP tendency to stop people from voting by any means necessary is truly frightening to anyone who values Democracy.
- A man who has filed bankruptcy several times is now leading the world’s biggest economy. He is not a successful businessman. Let that sink in….
- It is going to be a very long and painful 4 years.
- But I have hope. People under 30 voted against Trumpism in almost every state. I’m being selfish now. Change will come, but I had hoped to live to see it. It now appears I won’t. This makes me feel very old and very sad….
- But I’ve always said, Democrats look forward with hope,while Republicans look backwards with fear. I think this election proves me right.
- When they go low, we go high.
- And We Fight…
This is a revised post from 2010. So much of it is still relevant, but a lot has changed since then. And not for the better. I’ll repost it more or less as is and use it as a starting point for my current political thoughts as we get closer to the election….
I’ve thought a lot about this over the last few days as we head to the 2010 election. For Progressive’s like me, it’s forecast to be a rough one who’s results may lead us backward as opposed to foreward.
And, once again, the South will lead us there. We’ve always been good at looking fondly backward in the South–whether the facts support it or not. That makes for fertile ground for the Republicans. I’ve always said: “Republicans look backwards with Fear while Democrats look forward with Hope.
That got me thinking. Why is it the South is such a stronghold for the Republicans? Here are my thoughts:
- The South is heavy with fundamentalists and evangelical religions. These people have been played by the Republican Party like a cheap violin. Here is what I would say to them: Open your eyes. Under Bush, the Republicans controlled the government and did not ban abortion or execute any of the other points of your agenda. If they didn’t do it then, they won’t do it now. They are using you. Wise up.
- There is a history of Patriarchy in the South that is not dead. Many people, especially in smaller towns and rural areas, still follow the leadership of local political leaders with little thought. They are used to being led without questions or taking time to check the facts because they think they “know” the person and he/she is “one of us.”
- Education is not really valued by a large portion of Southerners. They are suspicious of the overly educated and think they don’t understand them. The Republicans are very good at playing dumb and coming off as one of the “good ole boys” while they use the votes of the poor whites in the South to channel money and benefits to their rich friends on Wall Street.
- Southerners resists looking at anything too deeply. Introspection is not valued in the South. Action is….The Republican’s play on this very well.
- Facts don’t mean much in the South. Truth has always been conceptual rather than a reality. Any region that can convince itself for over 150 years that the Civil War was about “states rights” rather than slavery is capable of any kind of self-delusion.
- The South tends to hate the idea of Big Government, even if they enjoy the benefits. They can over look little things like Social Security, Medicare, new bridges and highways, and insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and college kids. They somehow don’t make the connection that the federal government provides these things…
- Southerners value personal freedom above all else, as long as you are a straight white man.
- The President is Black and he’s a Democrat. To a large group of folks in the South, this alone is enough reason to vote Republican. Although you may never get them to admit it…
What can Democrats do to change all this and win the South?
- Learn to fight. The South and most of the Country values people who stand up for their principles. The GOP has Balls and the Democrats have Brains. You have to have both to win in the South.
- Push for independent, bipartisan redistricting commissions.
- Get out your message. We’ve got to publicize the benefits of the legislation we do pass and how it helps the poor and middle class as opposed to the Rich. The Democrats and The President have failed miserably at this for the few years. We have real achievements, but no one knows it.
- Take on the bullies at Fox News. We have got to make people realize this is not a news organization, but a propaganda machine that provides entertainment to the ignorant. We should be pushing companies not to advertise on Fox News. We should be telling the Management to turn it off in Public places like restaraunts and gyms.
- Call a liar a liar. This relates to number 1, but I can’t stress this enough. The Republicans look right in the camera and lie. And no one calls them on it. We have to start making people aware that there are things called “Facts” and stand up for them.
- Make this about Class Warfare. A class war is going on for years and most of the country just started to realize this. And the Republicans started it. Call’em on it.
- Make it clear: Unless you have an individual income of greater than $200,000 or a combined Family income of over $300,000, there is absolutely no financial reason to vote for the Republicans. If you want to vote for what is best for your pocketbook, vote for the Democrats. The Republicans really only answer to the Corporations and the wealthy.
- Make Obama white. That’s about the only way you can get about 35% of white Southerners to support the Democrats. We have to focus on the remaining 65% of the South with open minds.
- Wait it out….The older, closed minded, prejudiced Southerners are dying off. The younger ones are more open minded, better educated and have seen more of the world. These are the Southern Democrats of tomorrow.
- Make your Democratic friends vote. Even if you have to go to their house or job and throw them in the car and take them to the polls. There are more Democrats than Republicans in many parts of the South. The problem is Republicans always vote and Democrats don’t. If more Democrats would actually just show up at the polls, we would win a lot more races.
Those are my thoughts for now.
All I have left to say is:
If you are a Democrat, get off your butt and vote. There are no excuses.
If you are a Republican-why don’t you just book a spa day for Tuesday and let the election go? That would really be best for all of us….
Very interesting article in today’s New York Times. Well worth reading…
Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full article:
The North Carolina of 2014, it seems, is neither red nor blue, but a shade of deep Dixie purple. It is a state where Republicans could retain control of the legislature for years, thanks to an aggressive 2011 redistricting and also because of white conservatives’ abandonment of the Democratic Party after years of post-Civil War fealty.
But it is also a state where a modern-day Democratic candidate like Ms. Hagan — or even like Hillary Rodham Clinton — may still dream of a statewide victory. African-Americans, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, make up 22 percent of the population. Add to that a streak of true moderates, and the state’s white liberals, who can be found not only in the big cities of Raleigh and Charlotte, but sprinkled around the state — in the New Age boutiques of Asheville, the vegetarian-friendly cafes of Boone, the tech-sector office parks of the Research Triangle and in retirement homes from the Atlantic coast to the Great Smoky Mountains.
via North Carolina, in Political Flux, Battles for Its Identity – NYTimes.com.
There is a lot of good news for Democrats and bad news for Republicans in this article from ThinkProgress.org. It makes it even more obvious how the GOP’s days in power are numbered.
I find the information on education and the value of a college degree especially interesting….
However, there are interesting facts relating to education and the value of a degree as well. Here are a couple of excerpts and a link to the full article:
The 25 top counties for net Democratic vote gain include many of the most populous counties in the country. They include Los Angeles at the top, eight of the ten most populous (LA, plus Cook [Chicago], San Diego and Orange [CA], Dallas, Kings [Brooklyn], Queens and Miami-Dade) and 15 of the top 25 most populous. The rest, without exception, are large counties that include a major city or are urbanized inner suburbs of a major city. The magnitude of Democratic gains in the top 25 ranges from 1.2 million in LA down to around 140,000.
The top gainers for the GOP, in contrast, tend to be in much smaller counties on the periphery of metropolitan areas (“exurbs”). The top 25 GOP gainers include no county in the US top 25 in population and include only one in the top 50. And the magnitude of GOP gains in the top 25 is much smaller than those enjoyed by the Democrats. Indeed, the largest GOP net gain of all—90,000 in Provo county, Utah–is not only smaller than the 25th ranked gain for the Democrats (140,000) but also smaller than Democratic gains all the way down to the 61st ranked Democratic gainer county.
Democratic strength in dense areas is clearly one reason for the Democrats’ increasing electoral potency, particularly in Presidential elections. Conversely, the concentration of GOP gains in more lightly-populated areas limits their strength now and in the future…
The report notes that 34 percent of Millennial generation 25-32 year olds have a four year college degree, compared to 25 percent among Gen Xers at the same age, 24 percent among both late and early Boomers and just 13 percent among those from the Silent generation. Millennials are also receiving the highest relative values from their degrees. A Millennial college graduate has median earnings of $45,500, compared to just $28,000 for a Millennial high school graduate. Back in 1965, the gap was much narrower: a Silent Generation college graduate earned $38,800 (2012 dollars) while a high school graduate earned $31,400.
via The Hidden Demographic Shifts That Are Sinking The Republican Party | ThinkProgress.
Still no final decision in the VA Attorney General race.
It’s down to provisional ballots- a by product of Voter ID laws. These are ballots made by people who came to vote without acceptable ID.
This is the fun we have to look forward to in NC next year….
More cost and unnecessary red tape being forced on us by the GOP in order to suppress Demoocratic voters and interfere with Democracy.
To me, this also opens the door to more potential Voter Fraud in the handling of these provisional ballots by the localities….
From WDBJ 7:
With the attorney general’s race still too close to call, provisional ballots could determine who wins.
At this time, it’s unclear of exactly how many provisional ballots were cast statewide.
A provisional ballot was cast if a voter didn\’t have ID or showed up to the polls and wasn\’t registered to vote.
Localities where a provisional ballot was cast must report those to the State Board of Elections to determine if the vote becomes official; a process that could take up to a week.
via Provisional Ballots could determine Attorney General race | Local News – Home.
I’m sorry, but this is really making me get on my native Virginian High Horse…
Apparently, Ken Cuccinnelli is refusing to call Terry McAuliffe who defeated him in yesterday’s Virginia Gubernatorial Election.
This is simply not done.
Good Sportsmanship and Gentlemanly behavior are very important to Virginians. This behavior is just plain tacky…
As the FFV’s, or the First Families of Virginia to the non-cognescenti, would say:
“Ken Cuccinnelli is DNOKD.”
“Definitely not our kind, dear….”
This partially explains his loss…..
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli R had not called Democrat Terry McAuliffe after losing the Virginia gubernatorial race and had no plans to do so as of late Wednesday morning, according to a report in The Washington Post.Cuccinelli has already publicly conceded he lost the race.
At a press conference later on Wednesday McAuliffe said he had still not heard from Cuccinelli.”I have not had the opportunity yet to speak to the attorney general,” McAuliffe said.
The fact that Cuccinelli has not called underscores how bitter the Virginia gubernatorial race was for both candidates. Much of the advertising by both Cuccinelli and McAuliffes campaign was negative. And despite public polling ahead of Election Day showing McAuliffe with a wide lead over Cuccinelli, the now governor-elect only narrowly defeated Cuccinelli.
via Report: Cuccinelli Has No Plans To Call McAuliffe.
I’m still recovering from the heart palpitations and adrenaline rush from waiting out the Virginia election results tonight and wanted to capture my thoughts while they are still fresh.
Before commenting, let me remind some of you of my background. I was born, raised and educated in Virginia. I lived there until about 25 years ago. Also, about 25 years ago- and please sit down now- I worked as paid campaign staff for Republican candidates. That was prior to my “road to Damascus” moment when I realized I really wasn’t a Republican. That was also prior to the GOP going completely crazy….There once were socially liberal Republicans.
Like a lot of people, I became a Democrat by choice and after much thought. That’s the difference between the GOP and the Dems. Democrats think. Sometimes too much…
The Virginia gubernatorial election today should not have been this close. It was a nail bitter. Let me give you my perspective as to why:
- Both Candidates had very high negative ratings in polling. No one loved Terry McAuliffe, but a lot of people hated Ken Cuccinnelli more. This was not a scenario to drive Democratic turnout. People are much more likely to show up to vote for someone than against someone. I’m not sure if McAuliffe could have defeated any other Republican as he was not beloved by anyone. Again, anti-Cuccinnelli hatred was the motivating factor to Democrats and hate doesn’t really drive Dems like it does Republicans.
- The polls, for the last few weeks, were showing a blowout. People thought they didn’t need to make the effort to go vote against Cuccinnelli as it looked safe that McAuliffe would win.
- Nothing makes the Tea Party madder and motivates them more than polls showing their candidate will lose.
- Virginia does not have any early voting. It takes an extra effort for working people and poor people to go to the polls. Thinking McAuliffe was a safe win, they didn’t make that extra effort.
- The Religious Wrong and old white people will vote for their candidates, like Cuccinnelli, come hell or high water. I wish we could find a way to instill that drive in Democratic voters.
- I don’t know to what extent Voter ID laws suppressed Democratic turnout, but I’m sure it did. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to suppress Democratic turnout.
- Thank god for Northern Virginia and the Government shutdown. That motivated people in Northern Virginia, who are heavily Democratic to turn out.
As I said, this should not have been this close, but it was. It wasn’t close enough to effectively end Ken Cuccinnelli’s political career or kill the Tea Party. Those are the real negative repercussions. This battle will continue.
The good news is that the absolutely bat shit crazy GOP Lt Governor candidate went down in flames. This gives us a well positioned Democrat to run for Governor in Virginia in 4 years when, due to Virginia law which prevents Governors from seeking re-election, McAuliffe won’t be eligible to run. The other bit of good news is that McAuliffe ran on very left-of-center positions and still won. Even though he was personally unpopular. That proves that Progressive positions are not a death sentence even in a state still as conservative as Virginia.
It looks like the Attorney General’s race in Virginia is still too close to call. Right now, Democrat Mark Herring is down by fewer than 200 votes. That total has been changing constantly and the winner flipping back and forth. The results of this race will prove interesting down the road. This office is usually a stepping stone to future gubernatorial candidates. The Republican candidate, Mark Obenshain, is the son of conservative Republican Richard “Dick” Obenshain who was killed in a plane crash while running for the U.S. Senate seat ultimately won my John Warner in 1978. He has a legacy and could be a real threat as a future gubernatorial candidate- and he is very Conservative but not as Conservative as Cuccinnelli and defeated Lt Governor candidate E.W Jackson. Since both Cuccinnelli and Jackson are crazy Tea Party Conservatives, this does not mean much in comparison. The GOP had all their hope on Obenshain as even they had written off Cuccinnelli and Jackson.
One other thought. E.W. Jackson was not only crazy, he was Black. Ralph Northam beat him by 10 points in the Lt Governor’s race, by far the largest spread of the night. To me, this proves the Tea Party will support any right-wing lunatic- as long as he is white….