I haven’t posted here in a few months. I started this blog at the beginning of 2013, just after the re-election of Barack Obama. I become a bit of a political junkie in the sunup to the election, but never like this time, in 2016. Between a new need to research the literature for my doctorate, continuous needs to stay familiar with work, and the compelling need to stop trump, I had no surplus creation to bring to this blog.
I have debated with Republicans on Facebook and Livejournal about every little issue since 2004. It is useful to understand where they are coming from, and it is true love and craft to debate them I never get more interested in social media than in converse with people I don’t agree with. The best way to converse like this is about ideas, to avoid personal attacks. The minute I make a personal attack, I am losing The minute someone makes a personal attack on me, types in all caps, or even uses one more than one exclamation point in a comment, I know I am winning. This all got involved, heated, and mostly victorious, by my measures.
But now I know what crow tastes like.
One point made after the election by my republican friends was that they needed to tolerate 8 years of the liberal regime or Barack Obama, so we were now due 8 years of the conservative regime of Donald trump. I take this statement at face value.
trump was for change, and Clinton was for status quo.
Now that the election is over, and the uncertainties have collapsed to a new reality, I need to write about decency.
Reading articles I don’t ordinarily read, I understand that Obama’s outreach to global Islam, choice of stimulus over austerity, continued defense of abortion as a medical option for women, and later defense of gay marriage was an offense to the republican sense of right and wrong. Most of all, the continued anomie of most economies outside of the cities, combined with the mandate for health issuance for even the fit and able, was a double slap in the face to many Americans. Americans I would not have met except for my families from South Georgia, Western Louisiana, Central Florida, and New Jersey. Americans I met most forcefully last Tuesday.
Average statistics showing slow recovery and accelerating improvement gloss over the variance. There could be a hundred households doing great and greater every year, with a hundred million families cast forever into poverty’s despair, and that average would be the same as if all ships were rising. Income inequality was a campaign issue for both trump and Sanders. Obama and Clinton were tacitly understood to be working on it, but how much of that was their brand, and how much was their real effort. Were they liberal, or just neoliberal?
It has not even been a week since the election as I am writing this, meaning we still have 2 months of an Obama presidency. That was not, despite rhetoric, a boon for all. The Obama administration did not serve all well enough to convince them to reelect his successor. I did not know enough or car enough for people that I never met just 40 miles hence. Trust in the federal government has been withering and thirst for an outsider has been swelling for longer than I have been voting. So be it. I am doubtful that trump will be able, or want, to do more than a handful of the thing he made signature issues of his campaign, but inaugurations is still 2 months off.
What I commit to in these next 2 years and the next 2 after that is American decency. Namely, equal protection, freedom of speech, of press, and of religion. The separation of powers not just within the federal government but also between the tiers of government is an asset. I honor the 1st amendment as much as the 2nd, 4th, and 10th. We must find the right solution after we have tried all the wrong ones, and have come to crisis, its the only thing that gets our attention, because we always have something better to do. Or did. We are a diverse nation held together by laws and contracts, but most of all by the assurance that we are Americans.
Now to Make America Great Again.