The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
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    Trump is Trump, But Who Are We?


    Nearly three weeks in and Donald Trump is still the president-elect. Never mind how we feel; it's how he feels that counts. Just ask him. He has remained the man he always was, and why not? Good God, the man loves who he is!  His adoration for himself is dazzling. The scope of his self-love is breathtaking. In his eyes he is a commanding figure, a smooth operator, just what the world has been waiting for--a man with a colossal brain, a dick to die for, and no double chin AT ALL!

    But about the rest of us: For at least the next four years, if all goes as awry as we fear it will, Donald Trump and his partners in crime will be free to make foolish and dangerous decisions affecting every single one of us.  In order to stop them, or even to slow them down, we have to figure out who we are.  We're not the same people we were before all this.  We've been rocked to our core. 

    Are we bitter?  Damn right.  Are we weak?  Weakened, maybe. Are we strong? As strong as we were a few weeks ago, when we thought our strength, our mission, our remarkably good sense, would put an end to this Trump guy and all he stands for.

    We were wrong. It hurts. It's awful. But we're at a place now where we can't afford to make foolish mistakes. We're divided. We've splintered into factions.  We're still muttering over how this happened and who was to blame, and we're inclined to blame each other.  We're going to have to get over that.

    Still, there is no question the Democrats made some terrible blunders.  We're still hashing out what all they were, but the biggest blunder was in not addressing the real, everyday needs of the lower and middle classes.  The very people who were waiting for signs that help is on the way. It was easy to go after Trump. Every day brought something new and even more outrageous. But the needs of the people took a back seat to every shocking disclosure, until every speech, every TV ad, began to sound the same. Trump is bad. He's soooo bad. Let us count the ways. . .

    It's done now, and we can either go on blaming or we can recognize that the presidency of Donald J. Trump will be anything but normal. He is and always will be a spiteful, foul-mouthed, reckless egotist--a verifiable loose cannon--only now he'll have the backing of an equally reckless GOP leadership and the aid of a cadre of dangerous characters with shady pasts and presents.

    Instead of advancing our causes, we'll be fighting to keep them from disappearing entirely.  We know going in it won't be a fair fight, so the first thing we need to do is to abandon all wishful thinking. It's exactly what it appears to be.

    Donald Trump will never anything but an embarrassing, privileged low-life who will spend the next four years disrespecting the office of the president and irritating the hell out of us in the process.

    He'll be up at all hours tweeting silly, snotty stuff in order to draw a snarl or a laugh.  He'll be the first president in history to be accused of blatant overuse of exclamation points.

     And that's just be in his off-hours.  God knows what he'll do when he gets down to business.

    So the second thing we need to do is to shake hands and make a pact:  As crazy as it's going to get, we have to be the sane ones. We're the good guys.  No matter how hard they work to beat us down, we're the good guys. And, even knowing the honor the presidency should bring, Trump will always be Trump.

    As Charles Blow wrote in his column gone viral, "No, Trump, We Can't Get Along":
    You are a fraud and a charlatan. Yes, you will be president, but you will not get any breaks just because one branch of your forked tongue is silver.
    I am not easily duped by dopes.
    I have not only an ethical and professional duty to call out how obscene your very existence is at the top of American government; I have a moral obligation to do so.
    I, too, see it as my duty. And then there's that moral obligation.  I'm ready.  We're ready. 
    All together now.


    This, from the Atlantic:

    There really is too much to do any justice to it with a quote or two.  Everyone should read this.

    Thanks so much, Jan. James Fallows is one of the great ones.  I've added the link to my new blog page, Writers Against Trump, Ignorance, and Fascism.

    Keep 'em coming!  (Where were some of these guys before the election? Don't want to seem ungrateful, but we sure could have used them then.)

    Here are Bill Moyer's thoughts on the future post-Trump:

    It begins,

    America died on Nov. 8, 2016, not with a bang or a whimper, but at its own hand via electoral suicide. We the people chose a man who has shredded our values, our morals, our compassion, our tolerance, our decency, our sense of common purpose, our very identity — all the things that, however tenuously, made a nation out of a country.

    Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country. And we are lost for it. Snip

    And ends...

    But the disempowered media may have one more role to fill: They must bear witness. Many years from now, future generations will need to know what happened to us and how it happened. They will need to know how disgruntled white Americans, full of self-righteous indignation, found a way to take back a country they felt they were entitled to and which they believed had been lost. They will need to know about the ugliness and evil that destroyed us as a nation after great men like Lincoln and Roosevelt guided us through previous crises and kept our values intact. They will need to know, and they will need a vigorous, engaged, moral media to tell them. They will also need us.

    We are not living for ourselves anymore in this country. Now we are living for history.

    Not a "feel good" piece at all.


    I've added this on to my page, too, even though much of it depresses the hell out of me. 

    I aim to be a flaming Pollyanna throughout all of this, at least most of the time.  I can't do much but I can and will keep trying to rally the troops.

    Gabler says,

    This country has survived a civil war, two world wars, and a great depression. There are many who say we will survive this, too. Maybe we will, but we won’t survive unscathed. We know too much about each other to heal. No more can we pretend that we are exceptional or good or progressive or united. We are none of those things. Nor can we pretend that democracy works and that elections have more or less happy endings. Democracy only functions when its participants abide by certain conventions, certain codes of conduct and a respect for the process.

    I say we will get through this, but, no, not unscathed.  Neal wrote this two days after the election. I know exactly how he felt--I could barely speak and was convinced this would be the long, black depression that would finally do me in.  It's easy to see nothing but doom ahead--right now there's nothing but doom ahead. But if enough of us don't give up and keep on fighting, even against all odds, we'll at least know we tried to do something.  That's better than doing nothing.  We'll need to be the participants working to keep Democracy alive.

    Who are we? Just sayin… Mac McCarty has an idea or two…

    “We too were angry; but we were too busy being angry at corporate avariciousness and regulatory capture to see that a whole segment of the population lumped us in with the same people we were angry with. We didn’t relate. We didn’t communicate. We lost to popular anger. We, the elite, tilled the field and planted the seeds that Duterte and Trump used their demagoguery to harvest. We need to do better than that. Fast. For real — not superficially. Personally. We need some “woke” liberal elites real bad right now."

    But what we can do is reach out to include righteously frustrated people — regardless of race or station in life. Genuinely. Personally. If we’d done a better job of that in the first place, neither the US nor the Philippines would be in the mess we’re in right now. As anyone who owns the latest iPhone can tell you, gullible isn’t the same thing as stupid. And above all, this sorry state of affairs must not be allowed to normalize — as the never-ending street killings are beginning to do here now.

    Duerte is more popular now than when he was elected. Trump may follow suit. The police clubs are swinging at protesters in the Philippines unabated.

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