Friday, November 11, 2016

My Election Feelings

I move slowly in a nightmare world where the United States has chosen as its leader a man with a severe personality disorder, an extremely thin skin, fingers which itch for the nuclear button, utter lack of expertise and knowledge the president is supposed to have, and arrogance combined with a thorough lack of interest in any values or principles that are not about his own glorification.    That is the short version.

An even shorter version is that now anything could happen, anything at all.

That all the branches of the government are in Republican hands could mean that the welfare state will be dismantled, but even if it does not, the frailest and most needy among us will certainly suffer, while tax cuts go to fatten the already fat wallets of the one percent.

I sincerely doubt that those who voted for Trump for reasons of economic desperation will find any improvement in their status.  It's more likely that their handicapped children will be stripped of any government support they are getting now, and that grandma or granddad will have to move in with them.  It's more likely that corporations will gain and that workers will lose, all over the country, because Trump will abolish as many regulations that he can, possibly including any that have to do with the safety and security of jobs.  And jobs returning to the US on Trump's say-so?  I have a bridge for sale to those who believe that he can accomplish that.

Naturally I want to be wrong.  I want Trump to be something greater and better than the man I have learned to know during his campaign:  A miserly mind, taking insult from everything and everyone, writing down enemy lists, proposing things which are against the Constitution, seeming, at least, to suggest that suing journalists will be something he is going to do.  And the first tweet he has made since becoming President-Elect (and being allowed back to access his Twitter account by his minders) is yet another childish, petulant complaint about the media.

As R. McGeddon wrote in Eschaton comments:

He's going to get the nuclear codes, while his staff couldn't trust him with a Twitter account?

That is the roots of my fear, and fearful I am.  Trump is too erratic, too unpredictable, simply too frightening as the president of the United States. What would trigger him?  What would he react to in international politics with threats and bullying?   I cannot predict him, at all, but some of the choices he has made suggests to me that he plans to drive this world to its end, if necessary, for his personal comfort, and he also plans to follow the old Republican model of appointing those who hate a particular government department to run it.  To the ground, that is.

Finally, an even longer and more personal reaction:

I heard the results the same way most people did:  As something we were not prepared for, as something that struck like a lightning from a blue sky.  There I sat, in shock, then numb, then my usual stress coping mechanism took over: a migraine.  It has only now ended, and finally let me enter the next stage of this process which is not grief but despair:  Questioning the value of everything I ever wrote, ridiculing my stupidity in sacrificing large chunks of thirteen years to this blog (yes, it was my thirteenth blog anniversary on election day),  questioning the meaning of everything I ever used to believe in: the decency of most people, the existence of empathy, whether even a single woman cares about her own rights.

I eagerly await the anger stage, and keep shoving that moderate-and-thoughtful Echidne aside.  She reminds me that those who voted for Trump are largely the people who always vote for the Republican candidate, she reminds that many voted for Trump as a protest against the unfeeling, uncaring powers that might be, against the elite (however they define that to exclude Trump from it), that many voted from the devastated ghost towns of the Rust Belt where the poor were not being helped while the one percent grew ever richer.*

I kick her aside and tell her to shut the fuck up, because that protest doesn't care enough about the world to worry that a man who couldn't stop responding to hints about his penis size now has complete access to the nuclear button, and I tell her to go and read how some in Trump's base have interpreted his victory:  As license to attack anyone who is not a white man.**

Because those who bought Trump as a protest vote also bought his contempt for women, his loathing against Hispanics and Muslims, his ridicule of a handicapped reporter and his underhand anti-Jewish ads.  For some small fraction in Trump's base, such as the Alt Right white supremacists and misogynists, it was exactly those things they voted for, and they interpret the victory as a hunting season where they could say (and perhaps do) whatever they wanted to members of the Others. 

And do you know what is the funniest about all this?  I sincerely believe that Trump doesn't care about the wall against Mexico, doesn't care about the Muslim terrorist threat or abortion or any of the other hate speech he has engaged in:  He cares about Donald Trump.

He chose to speak like he did, because that worked to expand the numbers of people who would vote for him from just the regular number of Republicans.  He also chose to speak only to men (I watched many of his rally speeches), because he wanted to capture the MRA section of the voters and the white men who vote for the Republican Party, and he knew that the women in that party would vote for him either because of their wallets, their husband's wallets or because of the commands of the men who run their churches and interpret the women's place in the world for them.

Then the hilarity:  The fundamentalist Christians went for a man who changes wives the way I change my toothbrushes: when they look a bit ragged. A man who bragged about his sexual escapades while being married, whose way of running his business certainly didn't follow the footsteps of Christ.  Despite all this, they voted for him and revealed themselves as the Pharisees they are.  At least Trump promised to keep the patriarchy going!  At least he promised lower taxes for upright and rich Christians and no abortions for those sluts he has played with in the past.

And the other hilarity:  I don't care about any of the post-elections evaluations of Hillary Clinton, what bad candidate she was, what a horrible history (arranged and perpetuated by the right) she had, what a terrible thing her e-mail scandal was (conveniently brought back by the Republican head of FBI, one James Comey, just a week before the election).  Not even her hawkishness or the unpleasant taint of a family dynasty (in the Bush mold) is relevant here, because the alternative was Donald Trump.  Choosing him over her is like saying that I should have cut my head off to stop my migraine.

I. Don't. Care. because of the seriously frightening consequences of picking the real life equivalent of Jack D. Ripper in Doctor Strangelove to run the most powerful country on earth, and because the things Trump promised his acolytes were obviously not possible for him to procure, and every single listener should have had enough brains to understand that, nope, nobody can produce both full employment, lots of American new jobs, greatly reduced taxes, greatly increased benefits and the end of all crime.

Adults should not believe in fairy tales.

But adults must now learn to believe in nightmares.


*  But they chose a one-percenter to vote for, and a man who has often exploited his own workers.

**  For a few stories, read this, this, this and this. Oh, and this.  For more stories, read this Twitter feed.  Not all the stories have been verified, and one has been falsified,  but enough of them seem real.

I have also been told by several women that they were sexually harassed by men celebrating Trump's victory and who let them understand that Trump was part of the reason for what they were doing.  He gave them license.

Then there is this: