Wednesday, November 9, 2016
When the Absurd Becomes Real - Reflections, Take Aways and a Few Questions
"To feel envy is human, to savour schadenfreude is devilish," Arthur Schopenhauer.
Last night I was hoping to be a little devilish. I wanted to see him eat humble pie. Its not an honorable desire. But it was not to be. I was worried about Trump before the Iowa Caucuses. And i wrote that i thought he might run the table. And he did. I loved watching him take our Cruz and company. But then he set his sites on Hillary. And down she went.
Panic started to set in around 9 PM.
"Holy shit! Republican in charge if house senate exec and court. fuck" I wrote.
It got closer and Michigan started to move out of reach, Florida out of reach.
And it started feeling like 2000 when it slipped away from Gore.
"We are a country of idiots. it's hard to win three in a row but wow," i wrote.
James Carville started grimacing.
We started talking about the supreme court. They sat on Obama's nominee. And now they are being rewarded with a fresh supreme seat as he walks in the door. The bad behavior will be rewarded. Damn.
By 3 am, all my friends had left and i fell asleep.
I woke up to see that crazy look on Trump's face. Hillary did not say a word to the crowd, but she had called Trump to concede. Andrew Sullivan called it last week. Its the new american fascism. He said he'll win. I started paying attention.
I have had weird election nights before, 2000 the weirdest, but 1994 and 2004 were equally heartbreaking. Caroline and I are 2 and 2.
"Who won?" asked the little one this morning at 645 AM.
I just looked at her.
"I'm sorry," i told her.
Our older daughter wondered why there is so much hate out there. "we'll never have a female president," she lamented.
Caroline wrote: "As my wonderful Aunt Judy used to say... Hope for the best, but expect the worst. Yesterday I was wishing Judy and my mom were still here to cast a vote for the first female President, today I am glad they don't have to see this shit show."
We walked the kids to school.
Don't mourn organize i was thinking. But i still felt like mourning when i saw a women walking by with purple stockings and a "love trumps hate" bag.
love trumps hate... as many have said its time to learn to embrace the trump supporters, everyone, to try to understand them, to support each other, to love each other and take care of each other. Democracy is a mess, and it means we lose elections sometimes, but not ourselves.
When Bush won I felt like a captive and i'm sure the Bush supporters felt the same way with Obama.
I feel that way now. The coasts and urban areas are a different country. I kindov resent having to living the same country with the South and Midwest. We are multiple countries living here. We like the diversity of this land, the ideas that mix and clash and shape each other. Rather than resent, we embrace this urban mix.
But right now, the other america is in charge.
So i have to remind myself of the Separation of Powers and Federalism. The Tenth Amendment states:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people"
We live in a different land. And hopefully New York and California, the coasts can do our own things.
This is a space where we will be laughing, sharing, embracing, take care of others, our neighbors, listening, being smart, organizing.
Make no mistake. Their side won. Sometimes we lose in elections and in democracy.
And its probably a good idea to learn to respect and understand those seemingly left behind by globalization, those who lost their manufacturing jobs, those who feel like Trump's crassness speaks in a language they can understand. Hopefully we can all laugh and learn to understand each other a little more.
A few take away questions:
When will the next war start?
And where will it be?
How long will it take for the deportations to begin?
How can women stockpile RU 486?
How long will it take for the new McCarthyism to ensue?
How do we support friends who might be deported?
What is the flip side of this craziness?
What will happen with China, the climate, unions, healthcare, and the social safety net?
Who knows? But we all have to be smart about this all.
Toward the end Charlie Wilson's War, Philip Seymour Hoffman gives a small talk about the perils of wins in politics and the uncertainties of these moments:
"A boy is given a horse on his 14th birthday. Everyone in the village says, 'oh how wonderful.'
But the zen master says, 'we'll see.' The boy falls off the horse and breaks his foot. Everyone in the village says,“Oh how awful.” The Zen master says, “We'll see.” The village is thrown into war and all the young men have to go to war. But, because of the broken foot, the boy stays behind. Everyone says, “Oh, how wonderful.” The Zen master says, “We'll see.”
This might be one of those we'll see moments.