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post-election thoughts

November 11, 2016

I think this will be a weeklong series, maybe 3  or 4 posts every other day. Not going to try to organize it at this stage.

Personal reactions:

I was surprised how relieved I felt that the damn thing was over. I was already resigned to having a result I hate either way, so the shock was minimal. Having grown up in NY, I guess I also wasn’t afraid of Trump. IMO his ambition is essentially to become like Berlusconi. But there is one little thing I missed… Giuliani. The former mayor creeps me out big time. Unlike Trump, he seems to relish governmental power in a way that has potential to turn fascist. His name is being tossed around for Attorney General – nearly the last place I would want to see him other than Sec. of State. Giuliani may have some prima donna tendencies though, and if we’re lucky, those may irritate Trump enough to limit G’s rise.

Also, where I  work there were so far 2 days of unloading tension that’s been built up during the process, with the side effect of unintentionally offending coworkers after months of managing to keep our mouths shut, knowing we all don’t agree on politics.

Some Links:

An entire genre of election post-mortem pieces is forming (I’ve flipped through several dozen now). Each of the following is recommended.

Jim Newell of Slate [via idler], on how the Democratic Party establishment blew it so badly. Look past the outlandish title and intro of this article – the middle part, a retrospective on the case Clinton made during the primaries is devastating. I’ll let this article speak for itself.

Thomas Ferguson interview on RealNewsNetwork [via Phil Ebersole]. 2 major points by Ferguson. First he claims that the D party formula is done — Wall Street + Identity-Politics/social-progress. I’m not sure about that, I think Clinton just happened to be a spectacularly bad candidate. On the other hand, I agree that the link between the parties and bases is breaking. Especially, Republican constituents are now forming their own group identity apart from their party leadership, whom they’ve soundly rejected. If this continues, it is, yes, huuuge. Ferguson’s second point, resisted by the interviewer, is also a very interesting and significant one. It is that Trump could actually deliver (to both popular and corporate constituents) by having an infrastructure program. As the interviewer says, we shall see.

The articulate Glenn Greenwald for the Intercept, expanding on his previous critiques of nominally “centrist” (but often neoliberal) “establishment” reactions to fading popular support. Many good links to follow within as well.

Other assorted remarks:

MJ legalization passed in several states. Considering opiate use and abuse in Colorado has dropped after they legalized, that’s a wonderful thing.

Maine’s RCV initiative passed. Yess!!!  I think Proportional Representation and Ranked Choice Voting (RCV, aka IRV) are key pieces of the puzzle to avoid a repeat of what we had this year.

Here and there I am seeing recognition that Bernie would’ve been a better candidate than Clinton. I’ll take that as a good start.

Not a whole lot is being said about the WikiLeaks, even though that is precisely the center of the big story we are seeing this year. I will return to this.



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