Responses to the Election

Thoughts the Morning After

by Sinead

•  Random, angry thoughts. Yesterday and today were write-offs as far as work is concerned.

•  Trump was the FUCK THOSE GUYS candidate. The Democrats were stupid and irresponsible to run an Establishment candidate whose main claims to office were her experience and credentials. The Republicans have been painting her as a Satanic figure for 25 years, and most Democrats were merely resigned to her or beaten down into accepting her. Throughout the primary and election seasons, I heard exactly three women express enthusiasm for her (a woman! president!); a fourth, around the time of the Pennsylvania primary, said, “Well, I guess it’s time to get on board.” There was obviously not a shred of a chance that she would make things better for non-rich people in the U.S. or any of the people trying to stay alive under U.S. bombs and drones. She was incapable of fixing the Affordable Care Act. She might have added new mandates and another layer of forms and eligibility levels and subsidies for the insurance companies; whereas Trump will just blow it up. You can see the attraction. Her “Get a life” to anti-fossil-fuel campaigners exposed in the leaked emails spiked my blood pressure. It struck me as sincere, though. I think she truly despises the left. But I voted for her – because I live in a swing state.

•  It rattles me that so many women voted for Trump. Or that ANY black people or Latinos did. This article about Asian American support for Trump is well observed and might be applicable to other groups. A guy whose writings on schooling I always kind of liked (pro-child, anti-authoritarian) wrote a couple of fawning letters to Trump and endorsed him. At first I was shocked; on reflection, I could trace a line from dislike of regimentation and coercion (corruption, condescension) to resentment of the candidate of expertise, credentialism, and the status quo.

•  The Brexit, Boaty McBoatface, Burn It Down force is very strong. 

•  Do mainstream Democrats seem more attached to faddish and sentimental campaigns like trans access to locker rooms and bathrooms than to authentic uprisings like Black Lives Matter and Occupy?  

•  We don’t have unions and worker organizing (let alone consciousness raising) channeling anger and resentment. For example, would it be so terrible for men to become teachers and nurses, if the jobs were unionized and paid as well as work in a steel mill? Maybe what they miss is the union, and the union-won paycheck and pension, not the mill. The Democrats offered pink-washing and feel-good gestures toward inclusiveness and self-esteem rather than class struggle and material gains. 

•  Clinton’s election would have kept me at my baseline level of depression. I am shocked by this result and worried about Mexican neighbors being deported, the survival of the local charter school for immigrant children, my daughter in law’s immigration application.

•  Friends recently had their first grandchild, so I dug out a children’s book that I got for my child when he was a toddler. How a Book Is Made by Aliki. We were handing it around and marveling at all the full-time, in-house, benefit-carrying jobs represented (by cats, in this case). We are all freelancers or retired (in the bad unplanned way), and none of our kids have secure jobs-with-futures. Trump isn’t going to fix that, but neither would Clinton. 

•  I liked Sanders’s post-election statement. I’m not convinced that he would have won the general election (DNC would probably have tried to sandbag him); my hope always was that his early success would pull in a “more electable” but more leftwing candidate to replace Clinton.

•  Anyway – White House, Supreme Court, Congress, and most of the state governments are clearly the enemy now, which is where we came in, right? Abortions can be wrangled even if they are illegal (but, shit – it’s excruciating to think of rolling the clock back to 1973); but you really need government action to curb climate change and manage drought and stormwater.  

•  I wonder if Clinton, Steinem, and that crowd broke the word “feminist” and if we should go back to using “women’s liberationist.”

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Look Sharp that Women Aren’t Scapegoated

by Ti-Grace Atkinson 

Everyone is very crazy right now. But lots of people are striking out at old prejudices.

Since the “polls” were off, so much for trusting the data from the media.

I’ve questioned from the get-go the fact that Hillary Clinton was running for president meant that this was the “feminist” moment. On the contrary.

We have to look sharp that women aren’t scapegoated.

As for the class-war that has been evidenced (through contempt for working-class voters), interesting that this has fallen especially on the women. Although if you believe that women have always been on the bottom, this is not surprising.

I don’t trust my own judgment at present, but I don’t want to let this perception to pass unremarked.

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“Revenge of the Forgotten Class”

In a piece of genuine but rare journalism, ProPublica’s Alec MacGillis actually went to Trump country to interview his supporters first hand. An estimated 42 percent of white women voted for Trump, even after his sexism was exposed to the world. How could that be? Many people, including those on the Left, tend to attack Trump voters as racist, clueless hayseeds, stupid rednecks, trailer trash and various other names for “deplorables.” Their own words, however, tell another story. Here is an excerpt.

At one small house, someone finally answered the door. Tracie St. Martin stepped out onto the porch, a 54-year-old woman with a sturdy, thick-muscled build and sun-weathered face, both of them products of her 26 years as a heavy-construction worker. St. Martin greeted the women [Trump canvassers] warmly, and when they told her what they were there for she said, sure, she was considering Trump — even though she usually voted Democratic. And when they got talking, in the disjointed way of canvassers making a quick pitch, about how Trump was going to bring back the good jobs, St. Martin was visibly affected. She interrupted them, wanting to tell them about how she had, not long ago, worked a job that consisted of demolishing a big local GM plant. Her eyes welled up as she told the story and she had trouble continuing.

The canvassers gave her some materials and bade her farewell. But I doubled back a little later….

St. Martin apologized, unnecessarily, for her emotions on the porch and expanded on what she had told the women from Buffalo: She was a proud member of Local 18 of the operating engineers’ union, which had been urging its members to support Hillary Clinton. The union provided her health insurance and decent pay levels, and trained her for demanding work, which, just months earlier, had required her to hang off of a Pennsylvania cliff face in her dozer as part of a gas pipeline project.

She came from a staunch Democratic family and had voted for Barack Obama in 2008, before not voting in 2012 because, she said, she was away on one of her long-term jobs. She was a single mother with three grown daughters. She had experienced all manner of sexual discrimination and harassment on very male-heavy worksites over the years.

She was, in other words, as tailor-made a supporter as one could find for Clinton, a self-professed fighter for the average Jane who was running to become the first woman president.

And yet St. Martin was leaning toward Trump.

Her explanation for this was halting but vehement, spoken with pauses and in bursts. She was disappointed in Obama after having voted for him. “I don’t like the Obama persona, his public appearance and demeanor,” she said. “I wanted people like me to be cared about. People don’t realize there’s nothing without a blue-collar worker.” She regretted that she did not have a deeper grasp of public affairs. “No one that’s voting knows all the facts,” she said. “It’s a shame. They keep us so fucking busy and poor that we don’t have the time.”

When she addressed Clinton herself, it was in a stream that seemed to refer to, but not explicitly name, several of the charges thrown against Clinton by that point in time, including her handling of the deadly 2012 attack by Islamic militants on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya; the potential conflicts of interest at the Clinton Foundation; and her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State, mixing national security business with emails to her daughter, Chelsea.

“To have lives be sacrificed because of corporate greed and warmongering, it’s too much for me – and I realize I don’t have all the facts – that there’s just too much sidestepping on her. I don’t trust her. I don’t think that – I know there’s casualties of war in conflict, I’m a big girl, I know that. But I lived my life with no secrets. There’s no shame in the truth. There’s mistakes made. We all grow. She’s a mature woman and she should know that. You don’t email your fucking daughter when you’re a leader. Leaders need to make decisions, they need to be focused. You don’t hide stuff.

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“This Is Who Is to Blame for Trump”

A Viral Video rant on the election.

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Compiled by Carol Hanisch

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