08 December 2016


A week before the election, I wrote, "If things turn out as we hope, one week from now, no one will ever need to think or write about Donald Trump ever again.  In losing the election, he will give us back the most valuable thing we want back from him -- the space he now occupies in our thoughts."

Obviously things did not turn out as we hoped.  I still insist on reclaiming that space in my thoughts, however.

At the moment, it's incredibly murky how things have turned out.  The omens are all over the place. Trump has weakened or reversed most of his worst campaign promises, from Obamacare to the Paris climate agreement to nuclearizing Japan to the wall to "locking up" Hillary to the Iran nuclear deal.  The possible membership of his administration team ranges from the horrifying (Bannon) to the baffling (Nikki Haley for UN ambassador) to the pitifully stupid (Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education), while some are almost reassuring -- as Republicans go, we could do a lot worse for Secretary of State than Giuliani or Romney.  Al Gore felt encouraged by his meeting with Trump on climate change, but the proposed new EPA head is just another denialist wingnut.  Every few days Trump says or does something which contradicts something else.  Under these conditions, trying to read every tea-leaf for signs of what the future holds* is not only futile but a recipe for madness.

It could be that hardly anything will change under Trump.  It could be that we'll end up with the full nightmare adumbrated by the worst of his campaign, complete with internment camps and a Gestapo.  Neither outcome, nor anything in between, would really surprise me at this point.  For now, I refuse to fret about it.  There's very little I can do to influence events, and what I can do -- such as supporting the Democratic party and concrete plans of action such as the National Popular Vote initiative -- will be the same regardless of Trump's trajectory.  If and when specific atrocities materialize, such as actual legislation attacking Social Security or targeting particular minorities, I and millions of others will do everything we can to stop it.  But for now, I am not going to obsess about a future whose details are so uncertain, and I'd advise others not to either.  A person has only so much mental energy.  Don't burn yourself out before the real battles even start.

[*For those who can't let go of the obsessive tea-leaf-reading, I recommend Booman Tribune blog, which is at least rational and detailed in its analysis rather than histrionic, and offers plenty of focus on what the left can actually do in response.  If you enjoy anticipatory Schadenfreude, check out Trumpgrets, a new blog showcasing Trumpanzees starting to realize they've been conned.]


Blogger Kevin Robbins said...

Thanks for Trumpgrets. Need the levity now and then. Nothing levitates more than SchadTrumpenfreude. Probably be seeing a lot of those tweets in the months to come.

On Secretary of State: I believe every citizen of this country is being considered. I just saw that Dana Rohrbacher is in the mix. Romney and Corker seem to be the only two reasonable choices. Pretty sure they'd quickly lose their minds and do a Colonel Kurtz.

09 December, 2016 11:50  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

Thanks for this, Infidel.

I confess that my art came to an utter standstill after November 8, and it's only begun to come back in fits and starts. On the other hand, I did start a weekend job for the season, and that has helped (hey, it's a bit of cash in pocket).

And for the past few weeks I just sat in disbelief at what has been happening.

But...you are right. We cannot afford to burn ourselves out, and more importantly, we cannot afford to just throw up our hands and walk into the corner and sob. We have to prepare ourselves for the battles ahead, and for that, we need clear minds and stout hearts.

Because to be brutally honest, I would venture that yes, they want us to despair, to feel hopeless, to believe that there is nothing we can do, that it is all over. And then I remember those who took part in the Civil Rights movement, who faced unbelievable odds--even more so than today--and yet they went out and faced down the storm

I would also recommend Al Giordano's Twitter feed, Milt Shook's site Please Cut The Crap, and The Daily Banter.

Again, thanks for this. It has been a big help.

Now I'm off to create art. :)

09 December, 2016 14:27  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Kevin: Trumpgrets always makes me wonder how these people could have been so naïve as to believe him in the first place. Too bad they didn't start to wake up until after the election.

There's an obvious candidate for Secretary of State available -- she has previous experience in the position and is currently looking for a job. But Trump will probably choose Phil the Duck or something.

Marc: Thanks. I noticed you hadn't posted anything in a while, at least on Tumblr or DeviantArt. Glad to hear you feel more like returning to it.

I'm sure the bad guys do want us paralyzed with despair and defeatism. I remember a similar situation in early 2010, when the election of Scott Brown to the Senate led many to think health-care reform was doomed. That inspired what I still think was probably my best-ever political post. This time, I just want to tune it all out for a while and focus on other things.

09 December, 2016 17:10  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

What really tripped me out was some of his choices to run things, it was somewhat hilarious, and the deal especially he made with Carrier (who's next? for a grand DEAL{:-) ... dont have to be concerned with Trump as much, as the crew he will have running shop ... I think he's still going to be having his game show or whatever they call it on the tele. I laughed when he was named "Person of the Year" (I think by TIME?? ... f**k no, I wouldnt waste my f'n time reading it {:-), I thought someone like Bernie Sanders would have got that, but WTF do I know, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh ... either way we slice it, we got 4 bloody damn tears of this shit {:-)

10 December, 2016 05:37  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

BTW, I been seeing in the news about the black ice and weather up in Portland, be careful if you try driving on that crap (hard to see, you have dry strips and then the transparent ice strips, they scatter), alot different than snow, we get it damn near every year here in North Texas, so I have a good deal of experience driving on it, but never take it lightly, seen some weird wrecks on that. Here in Dallas, we got hit with that cold blast, no precipitation though, got in the 20's at night, day in the 30's 40's range ... we should get up to about 50 or so today.

10 December, 2016 05:55  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Yes, he wants to go on being producer of his reality TV show while he's President. he thinks this is a part-time job or something.

We did get snow and ice on Thursday -- I left work early to avoid it. Pretty rare these days for it to get that cold in Portland.

11 December, 2016 02:05  
Anonymous NickM said...

Is Trump a hidden genius? Seriously. You can get a long way by confusing people. I'm not saying this is good at all. But I don't think he is as thick as J Danforth Quayle. Few have that gift.

11 December, 2016 06:37  

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