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Alexander writes: "The truth is we are stumbling badly in large part because we are just beginning to learn to walk. Roughly 50 years ago, we still had an explicitly racist system of laws and government: a racial caste system. It was not a true democracy by any stretch. We still don't have a real democracy. And we've managed to rebirth a new caste-like system in recent years, a new Jim Crow. In the words of William Faulkner, 'The past is never dead. It's not even past.'"

Professor Michelle Alexander. (photo: Clutch Magazine)
Professor Michelle Alexander. (photo: Clutch Magazine)

Learning to Walk

By Michelle Alexander, Michelle Alexander's Facebook Page

16 November 16


ike millions of people, I am still struggling to wrap my mind around what the election means for our collective future. I won’t try to sort it out here, in a Facebook post.

What I will say is that what happened can't be explained simply as a failure of the political establishment — though it has failed spectacularly. Nor is it simply a problem of racism or sexism — though both are alive and well and flourishing in this moment. Nor is this election simply a matter of economics, though global capitalism and neoliberalism have created a world in which people of all colors are suffering greatly as factories close, work disappears, wages stagnate, and human beings are treated as disposable — like plastic bottles tossed in a landfill — as political and media elites (not just Trump) spew propaganda that encourages us to view “the others” as the enemy.

The problem runs deeper than all of that. The truth is we are stumbling badly in large part because we are just beginning to learn to walk. Roughly 50 years ago, we still had an explicitly racist system of laws and government: a racial caste system. It was not a true democracy by any stretch. We still don’t have a real democracy. And we’ve managed to rebirth a new caste-like system in recent years, a new Jim Crow. In the words of William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

What many of us have been attempting to do — build a thriving multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-faith, egalitarian democracy out of the rubble of slavery and genocide — has never been achieved in the history of the world. Some say it can never be done.

Is America Possible?

That’s the question we face right now. And it’s the question Dr. Vincent Harding posed before he died and joined the many ancestors who are whispering to us, urging us not to falter now.

Posted here is an interview with Dr. Harding that aired a few years ago. NPR has been rebroadcasting it this weekend, rightly believing it is more relevant now than it was then. Dr. Harding was a friend and mentor to me and I miss him, especially now. How I would love to hear what he has say about this moment. I can’t ask him, but I am grateful that I can listen to the wisdom he shared before he passed on.

Vincent Harding - Is America Possible? your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+12 # goodsensecynic 2016-11-16 23:54
I am not an American - never was, never will be. Since my first visit to your republic in 1951, however, I have traveled through 38 states + the District of Columbia, worked (as an agricultural laborer in California in 1961 and as a university professor in Hawai'i in 2007) and vacationed in Maine and Florida, Ohio and Arizona ... and so on. And, yes, "some of my best friends are Americans."

With this background, I entertain the conceit that I know the USA - its political economy, its culture and its people - pretty well.

At times, my views are close to what my New York friend, Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), wrote in a harsh Harper's Magazine article ("In a Manner that Must Shame God Himself") in November, 1972 - just after Nixon's nomination for his second (aborted) term as president. At other times, I am more optimistic and think of the USA in the language that Leonard Cohen used to sing "Democracy [Is Coming to the USA]" [available on YouTube].

What roils me, however, in the implosion of the recent election, is the terrifying background to what could have been either a Trump or a Clinton (but, never, I am sad to say, a Sanders injection of sanity).

(continued below)
+21 # goodsensecynic 2016-11-17 00:01
Last night, I spoke with Jameel Jaffer, who's the founding Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. He mentioned that the number of pages of documents declared "secret" daily by various security agencies is larger the number of pages of all other printed matter entering the Library of Congress every day.

So, I ask you to remember what Ben Franklin said: "Those who would surrender a little liberty to gain a little security will lose both and deserve neither."

Your country - despite Bannon, Giuliani, Buchanan, Gingrich, Palin, Trump and Hillary Clinton - will probably survive in some fashion. But the warnings and the cautious encouragement mentioned above will have to be taken to heart if survival is to include democracy, prosperity, equity and environmental sustainability, and if "liberty and justice for all" is to become a part of your future.

We can quibble about the dates, but it's possible to say that the American Empire was conceived in 1947 when Truman signed the "National Security Act" and, according to Gore Vidal, changed the American Republic into Imperial America and went into decline either in the symbolism of 9/11 or in 2008 when the neoliberal chickens hatched largely under Bill Clinton came home to roost in the Wall Street collapse. Either (or any other) way, the jig is up.

A massive rethinking of how to manage a short-lived Empire in decline is desperately needed - for yourselves and for the rest of the biosphere.
+3 # kyzipster 2016-11-17 11:25
I'm afraid it will crash and burn before there's any political will to manage it more gently.
+8 # bubbiesue 2016-11-17 00:13
Beautiful song, even with no melody. It is, perhaps, America singing.
+5 # lorenbliss 2016-11-17 01:41
It is truly astounding -- but simultaneously no surprise -- to witness the lengths to which the One Percent and their Ruling Class vassalage will go to preserve Identity Politics, the inherent divisiveness our capitalist overlords chose long ago as their primary antidote to class consciousness and the Marxian epiphany it inevitably evokes.

Now of course in the USian election of a genuinely Nazi regime, we see the ultimate fruition of Identity Politics, now proven even more effective at building a malevolently militant Aryan Right than at ensuring the hopeless division of the Left.

In other words, by its vindictive embrace of Identity Politics, the USian Left first reduced itself to a pseudo-Left and now has slain itself entirely, witness the USian replay of how the Germans discarded their own Weimar-guarante ed liberty in 1933.

But -- Identity-Politi cs propagandists like Garrison Keillor, Rebecca Solnit and the far more subtle Michelle Alexander not withstanding -- from beyond the pseudo-Left's remains another Left is arising. It is potentially a Red Banner Left, seemingly acutely aware of the capitalists' seductive cunning and the bottomless evil maliciously fostered. Thus it freely acknowledges the need for the ideological discipline inherent in Marxism.

The question then is not whether the One Percent will respond to the failure of its Identity Politics deceptions, but rather just how violent it will be in its effort to suppress our awakening.
+7 # goodsensecynic 2016-11-17 06:43
I may not be as optimistic/pess imistic as you with your realistic/roman tic notion of a "Red Banner Left" in the USA.

My experience is that most Americans wouldn't know a communist/socia list if she were to leap naked on a bar stool, clad only with a scarlet sash, wielding a hammer in one hand and a sickle in the other, singing "The Internationale" appropriately off-key.

Whether or not the "final conflict" is at hand, however, Americans would do well to read Sheldon Wolin's account of "Inverted Totalitarianism " - available in three forms:

(a) "Inverted Totalitarianism
How the Bush regime is effecting the transformation to a fascist-like state" - an article in The Nation ;

(b) "Democracy Incorporated:
Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism " - a book published by Princeton University Press in 2008; or

(c) a filmed interview conducted by Chris Hedges.

If naught else, it provides a compelling diagnosis. The therapy is up for grabs and the prognosis is anybody's guess.
+8 # jdd 2016-11-17 07:30
Among the many writings of Michelle Alexander, one truth stands out, cogently argued in her essay in The Nation entitled "Why Hillary Clinton Doesn't Deserve the Black Vote." Apparently, as with the case of the white working-class, Ms. Clinton did not bother to listen.
+4 # kyzipster 2016-11-17 09:24
It's possible that Trump has exposed the shadow of our culture. As we've been moving to a more equal, multi-racial, multi-cultural society, this intolerance has been boiling under the surface. It was always there and now the presidency has legitimized it. Given it a voice and empowerment beyond conservative AM radio blowhards and the bickering of online forums. In some ways, in the worst ways, this was a huge cultural shift.

Looking at it through the lens of Jung, in order to move beyond it, perhaps we needed to move past any denial to see it fully with all of its ugliness so that the immoral aspects of this shadow can be destroyed and we can heal as a nation. Become more whole. It will destroy itself eventually, hopefully, but it will not be peaceful as this plays out. The alt-right and all the rest is not asking for therapy.

Is this identity politics? Beyond economics, war and US exceptionalism 'the things that matter politically'? A political sideshow that only aids the establishment and its grip on power. Sure, but that's only part of it.

The cultural and individual wounds, the trauma of oppressed minority groups is very real and this has also been touched deeply in this election. Reopening old wounds and creating new ones. It should never be ignored, dismissed as identity politics. It's far beyond that.

This was the price of Trump and we all knew it, it needs to be acknowledged along with any good a person might think will come from this shakeup.
+7 # Radscal 2016-11-17 17:57
I see a significant part of the Trump "win" being the white supremacist's last stand against the march of demography and social consciousness.

But I also see that a huge part of his triumph was that he spoke the language of populist anger at the ruling elite and their propaganda media.

In short, most blatant bigots voted for Trump, but most Trump voters are not blatant bigots.

I find it bizarre that people would believe that the savior from a government that serves the interests of wealthy oligarchs is to elect an actual oligarch, who has bragged about buying politicians, but this election was establishment vs. insurgency, and insurgency won. It's a sin the DNC prevented a progressive insurgency from winning, but they clearly preferred taking a chance at losing to Trump than to winning with Sanders.

As to identity politics, the Marxian view is that the elite utilize what are really minor differences between members of the proletariate to divide us so as to rule over us. And the rage promoted by the elite does drive people to commit horrible acts against the "other."

I don't think anyone here denies that.

No one is born a bigot. It's taught. Who benefits from teaching bigotry and encouraging individuals and groups to act out those bigotries?
+2 # kyzipster 2016-11-17 20:10
I honestly believe that his populist language had little to do with his rise. He could have left it all out and campaigned on small government and tax breaks and still won as long as he bashed immigrants and Muslims. Trump himself said that they'd cheer for him if he shot someone, I believed him.

Speaking in an obnoxious way to the establishment contributed a lot and probably attracted many but it was mostly crossing a line that no presidential candidate crosses, giving voice to this underlying rage, resentment and misplaced blame. They've been feeding at the right-wing propaganda trough for years, decades.

I'm suspecting that his appeal to the disenfranchised white rust belt factory worker is mostly a myth created by the media. They were trying to make sense of this fascist movement and using Trump's populism as an answer, find a few people to interview to parrot what Trump was saying.

Of course it's a combination of things but I think it's mostly hate and attitude and the delusions of the Culture War, simply tribal. Only a few might have switched to Sanders. Sanders could have won by firing up the left but I don't think he would have influenced Trump voters. The Culture War would never allow it.

I don't believe that every Trump supporter is a bigot and I'm pretty sure that not every Nazi hated Jews.

This is the best analysis I've seen, or at least it's in line with what I see. Depressing.
+5 # Radscal 2016-11-17 22:02
"I'm suspecting that his appeal to the disenfranchised white rust belt factory worker is mostly a myth created by the media."

Nate Sliver's fivethirtyeight .com did an "autopsy" of the election and concluded:

"Still, it is clear that the places that voted for Trump are under greater economic stress, and the places that swung most toward Trump are those where jobs are most under threat. Importantly, Trump’s appeal was strongest in places where people are most concerned about what the future will mean for their jobs, even if those aren’t the places where economic conditions are worst today."

http://fivethirtyeight .com/features/trump-was-stronger-where-the-economy-is-weaker/

HRC lost by razor-thin margins in those "white rust belt" states that Sanders won in the primaries, and which Obama had won both times.

Trump got fewer votes in those states than McCain or Romney had gotten when they lost them.

Sanders clearly motivated many of those voters. HRC clearly did not.

As I've written before, the bigots weren't going to vote for Sanders... but it's pretty clear that a LOT of other people who didn't vote for HRC would have voted for Sanders.

I'll check out the Bill Moyers article. Thanks.
+4 # Radscal 2016-11-17 23:23
I neglected to copy pasta this:

New York Times’ exit polling data. Staring Americans in the face were the following findings:

* 79 percent of voters who agreed that the condition of the nation’s economy is “poor” voted for Trump, while 55 percent of those feeling it was merely “fair” did the same.

* 78 percent of those saying their “family financial situation” is “worse today” than in the past voted for Trump.

* 65 percent of those who said the “effects of trade with other countries” has been to “take away jobs” voted for Trump.
-1 # kyzipster 2016-11-17 21:05
Many of these bigotries go back centuries, deeply cultural, they go back millenia with women and LGBT people.

The Culture War has used these existing bigotries. Only one side has played this hand, they have even apologized for their Southern Strategy. Both sides have created a few but they're more superficial imo, than racial and other prejudices. With the Culture War, there are stark differences between parties. Yes they're both serving the interests of the .01% but suggesting that the 'elite' taught these bigotries seems way out of touch and it does dismiss the histories and experiences of oppressed people as simply political. I don't see the value in denying these differences and I won't hesitate complimenting the Democratic side for taking the higher moral ground.

A person could argue that Clinton would traumatize cultures in the Middle East, killing more people and that's worse than rewarding Trump but we have to accept what Trump is and the voters who rewarded his behavior. If Clinton had won I'd be nothing but supportive of protesting her neoconservative foreign policy and neoliberal economics but she didn't win.

I honestly don't think the bulk of Trump supporters could ever vote for a Sanders, they're too entrenched in their delusions.

To deny what's going on here, to suggest that somehow the Greens or a socialist might win them over someday if they can just give them what they want is the same mistake the Democrats keep making, for over 30 years.
+4 # Radscal 2016-11-17 22:15
"Yes they're both serving the interests of the .01% but suggesting that the 'elite' taught these bigotries seems way out of touch"

That's not what I wrote. I asked who BENEFITS from the continuation and promotion of bigotry?

And, in the context of economic theory in which I wrote that, who benefits from exploiting anything that divides the 99%?

Of course, you know who. And as you wrote, both party flavors serve those interests.

Yes, sexism, racism, etc. are deeply entrenched, especially but not solely in Judaeo-Christia n-Muslim cultures. They are most pronounced in the most religious cultures. And they tend to be least apparent in the most secular cultures (like Western Europe).

But the Culture Wars serves to divide us, and so benefits both party flavors.
-1 # kyzipster 2016-11-17 22:38
"But the Culture Wars serves to divide us, and so benefits both party flavors."

That's the false equivalence I'm talking about. It's a denial of the history of the Southern Strategy. The marriage of the religious right and the Republican Party that enabled them to end decades of Democratic dominance in Washington, the influence of FDR and Labor. Diverting the concerns of the population to cultural issues, away from economic ones.

The Democratic Party hasn't benefited from the Culture War, they've been nearly destroyed by it. They've lost the left largely because of the power conservatives have yielded over them since Reagan.

Democrats participate but largely in a defensive posture. Much of their identity has developed from the concerns of all of those who have flocked to them because the opposition pushes groups of voters away with their methods. Anything attacked by the Conservative Movement becomes part of the liberal identity. Minority rights, the environment, women's rights, etc. We don't run to the Democrats to save us, we run away from politicians courting religious fascists.

Corporate money and lobbying, their move to neoliberalism has made the Dems corrupt, but the right-wing Culture War has brought us to where we are today. Trump in the White House and Steve Bannon right down the hall.

It's simplistic to dismiss it all as the influence of the top .01%, of course they benefit from our sorry state of politics but that doesn't explain the dynamics.
+4 # Radscal 2016-11-18 01:17
You're trying to oversimplify both what I wrote, and the way corrupt politics works. As I've mentioned before, I was aware of and fighting against the Southern Strategy decades ago.

Let me try a more "simplistic" approach.

You had written, "Yes they're both serving the interests of the .01%."

Do you understand that the 0.01% benefit from divide and rule?

This has been a constant since the dawn of civilization. All that's changed is the specific issues used to divide us. And even some of them come and go as cultures evolve.

OK? Now, to the Culture Wars:

The Democratic Party chose to take one stance on the "Culture Wars." For that stance, they are given donations from groups and individuals that agree with their stand.

Meanwhile, the 0.01%, who benefit from the Culture Wars divisionism provide the Democratic Party with huge sums of money, and they provide former politicians and their families and associates with lucrative "contracting" or lobbying or "speaking fees."

So, the Democratic Party Establishment benefits from the Culture Wars.

What's destroying them is neoliberalism. Or more specifically, the public's growing awareness of the effects of neoliberalism.

And more and more I'm saying good riddance to them.

Please spend 15 minutes to see what a brilliant economist, who predicted both Brexit and Trump last May has to say.

From Jimmy Dore's site:
+5 # Skyelav 2016-11-17 12:24
Remember, we can't change people unless we understand them.
-2 # kyzipster 2016-11-17 20:26
They can only change themselves unfortunately.

I don't think there's that much to understand when it comes to support of Trump and the right-wing Culture War that made way for him.

These people would never vote for a Democrat, a Green or a candidate who calls himself a socialist. Not enough to make a difference.

Best we give up on trying to understand what they want, Trump is what they want and progressives can't provide it.

We need to focus on the righteousness of progressive politics, give the left what it wants. 'The left' meaning everybody else. Conservative, white Middle America can come along if they like what they see.
+5 # Radscal 2016-11-17 22:27
Wow! Do you really believe that people can't be touched by the truths of loved ones, or have their minds changed by those they respect, and so evolve more inclusive, caring beliefs?

I hope not. I've seen so much of that growth in my own family (and in my own self), and in the families of my friends and loved ones that I find it impossible that you haven't seen the same.

I've also seen the opposite. People change. Look at the remarkable change in attitudes in this country regarding LGBTQ folks in the past several decades.

I see our struggle as providing the path for more people to become more caring. And demonizing and/or cutting off "others" will not achieve that.

We will not change every mind in a single generation. But if we are to continue bending that arc of history towards justice, we must try.
0 # kyzipster 2016-11-17 23:16
Sure, people change slowly. What I'm saying is focus on the righteousness of progressive politics, focus on what is right and they can come along if they want. Attraction rather than promotion, a twelve step principle.

You can't shove it down their throat. That is liberal elitism, trying to change people who don't want to be changed because we think we know better. They can only change themselves.

Trump is what they wanted, they surprised us all. We should focus on what we know is right, not try to figure out what they want, not try to understand 'them'. This mythical white male disillusioned former factory worker the media created. Trump voters trended higher income, he also got a majority of white women. I think we understand 'them' and what they want. The other side never fails to provide it.

I hope the Democratic Party is seeing this more clearly after this election. Stop pandering to conservative America as if they will ever vote for a Democrat or a Green or a socialist.

This is exactly what Sanders did and he's a great model for the future. Attraction rather than promotion. Conservatives could have abandoned sides and gotten behind him, he was getting air time on Fox and the rest. There were few in both camps imo. This was tribal.
+5 # Radscal 2016-11-18 01:32
Yes, "attraction." And I suggest you're not going to attract anyone by framing them strictly in negative stereotypes, and assuming you know everything about them that you need in order to continue to hold those prejudices.

Do you know many people who voted for Trump? I mean, do you have a personal relationship with any? Of those I know, I'd estimate about 1/3 fit your stereotypes to one degree or another. About 1/3 are partisans who'll vote for anyone with an "R" after their name.

And at least 1/3 were NOT happy to have to vote for him, but were scared to death of HRC and her NeoCon endorsements and neoliberal policies.

Trump got very little airtime on Fox until he'd been nominated, and most of it was negative. In fact, for a while, he refused to even talk to them at all because they were so "unfair" to him.

It was CNN and especially MSDNC that aired hour after hour of LIVE and uninterrupted coverage of Trump's events. It was the NY Times and WaPo who wrote about every tweet he posted.

And, the corporations that own those networks were among HRC's top ten donors, and the NY Times and WaPo were almost entirely pro-HRC from day one.
+2 # kyzipster 2016-11-18 11:00
I'm generalizing the bigotry of a fascist movement. There's nothing inaccurate about that.

I'm close to 4 Trump supporters. 3 are family members. None of them have a problem with my sexual orientation and never have. They wouldn't use the "N" word but they accept Fox News' perspective of BLM without question which is horribly racist, along with every other xenophobic and racist POV that's been normalized in their media.

These family members fully support political opposition to my civil rights, 'hate' of me would never cross their mind or mine, they don't hate me. They're clueless about Pence, it wouldn't occur to them to think about his frightening views with any depth because Fox doesn't go there. Had Sanders won the nomination, they would have accepted every bit of propaganda against him.

At what point is a Trump supporter innocent of this bigotry? I honestly don't know.

Of course we shouldn't sling insults. I live in Kentucky, I can see this Culture War clearly, the way we're dehumanized by the left. I find it disheartening. My perspective may give me more clarity. This sort of elitism needs to be addressed but I don't see it as the reason we have Trump. Over the long-term it contributed but in this election cycle it did not.

If Democrats had stuck to progressive principles years ago, the way Sanders spoke to his beliefs with no concern for public opinion, we'd have a much different landscape today. Pandering to conservatives has nearly destroyed them.
+2 # Radscal 2016-11-18 16:20
Cool. So in your personal experience, 75% (or was it all 100%?) of Trump supporters do not fit the stereotype.

As I've written from the start, there's a significant portion of Trump supporters who do fit the stereotype, but they alone could not have gotten him elected (though they might have gotten him nominated).

Yes, I agree that if the Democratic Party had become more progressive instead of embracing neoliberalism, our country, and the world would be far different, and far better for it. But, they chose to become even more the party of Wall Street and the Military/Indust rial complex than the Republicans.

Did you watch that video I linked above?
-1 # kyzipster 2016-11-18 19:50
100% do not question the propaganda that gave us Trump. They seem incapable, it's tribal.

Are they rabid alt-right lunatics spray painting swastikas and flying Confederate flags? No, but I have no idea where to draw the line when it comes to culpability. They seem pretty guilty to me in their support of blatant fascism.

If and when the government tries to deport 3 million immigrants, ripping apart families and communities and we're faced with Facebook videos of the horror, they will be as silent as Fox News. They will eventually speak when Fox can no longer ignore it but by then the GOP would have come up with plenty of soundbites to justify Trump's White House.
+1 # Radscal 2016-11-18 20:32
Are you aware that the Obama Administration has already deported some 3 million immigrants? The largest number in any Presidential Administration in history! And this at a time when undocumented immigration had dropped to the point that we had a net zero or even negative immigration rate from Mexico (due to the recession).

Do you remember when HRC said we needed to deport children who were fleeing the murderous results of the Honduras coup she supported, in order to "send a message to their parents?"

The media reported on at least 10 of those children being murdered as soon as they were shipped back to Honduras... but then stopped keeping track. Though we know the murder rate is still the highest or second highest in the world, and human rights activists and environmentalis ts are being slaughtered by Death Squads.

BTW: The Death Squads of Central America in the 1980s were under the charge of John Negroponte, who endorsed HRC. And Tim Kaine was living in Honduras the same years that Negroponte was our Ambassador there. I don't recall him denouncing Negroponte's endorsement.

You keep referring to the "tribalism" of "conservatives, " but seem to be rather "tribal" yourself.

Like I keep hoping, perhaps now that we have a common enemy in the White House, we can unite to fight this stuff.
-2 # kyzipster 2016-11-18 21:56
Ah yes, let's ignore Trump's threats because Democrats are just as bad.

I'm not cheerleading for F-ing Democrats. Let's sweep Trump's blatant fascism under the rug because 'Hillary!".

Get over your projections. You've decided that every post I make is an argument in favor of the Democratic establishment because that is what you want to believe. When I point out the danger I see in Trump's fascist campaign tactics, the resentment he has stirred up and legitimized. I'm cheerleading for Democrats, etc etc etc.

Trump's threats are far more serious than Obama's steady deportations over 8 years. Promising to step up to the demands of the Limbaugh crowd. Get them all out. We'll see what he does, it makes me nervous because the law is on his side and he has a favorable Congress that might fund it.

I don't think anyone wants open borders, we want a humane way to deal with it and an option for illegal workers to be documented if they qualify. Not even Hispanic people favor open borders when polled. For a little perspective, or not:
-1 # kyzipster 2016-11-18 22:05
"Like I keep hoping, perhaps now that we have a common enemy in the White House, we can unite to fight this stuff."

Let me get this straight, I criticize Trump, our 'common enemy', and you bring up Obama to prove that Dems are just as bad in every way because you think I'm cheerleading for Democrats when I criticize Trump?

This makes no sense. The election is over, Hillary will go back to making speeches for her Wall St friends. Trump will be with us for at least 4 years. Probably 8.

If I was saying 'told you so', I get it, but I'm not even thinking it.
0 # Radscal 2016-11-19 01:00
There is every reason to believe that a Trump Administration will be even worse for USians than was Obama or W or Clinton. I'm relieved that Cold War II seems to have been cancelled, and war against Russia looks far less likely, but I have no illusions about what could happen with a President who invigorates bigots.

My point throughout this "discussion" has been that we must unite with those Trump supporters who bought into his populist rhetoric. Because I have little doubt that Trump's Administration and the Congress will not fulfill them.

And if you reread your comments to me, and don't see them as argumentative and condescending, and if you don't see that you've misrepresented what I've written, then I apologize for misreading them.
-1 # kyzipster 2016-11-18 11:09
Why is there no outrage on the conservative side about Steve Bannon being invited into the White House?

Liberals always challenge our leaders when they misstep. Bannon and the alt-right is way beyond a misstep.

This is a difference that still exists between the two main political movements. Liberals are far less tribal and cult-like. We're fractured because of it and that's probably what lost the election but that's what a democracy is supposed to look like. Debate of opposing views reaching compromise by majority consensus.

We're dysfunctional as a nation because the Conservative Movement lost this ability years ago. Trump fractured their cohesiveness but it's quickly coming back together after his win and I'm afraid of the line they've crossed this time.

The extremism and shock value of the alt-right is yet another distraction. The rest of the right-wing media is simply a toned down version of the same sentiments. It appears that they're only being asked to roll it back a bit, to the Fox News and Limbaugh standard of hate and tribalism. Facts be damned. It's been normalized and no amount of civil debate is going to reach this crowd.

Making these false equivalences between liberals and conservatives is another distraction and it is also normalizing all of the bigotry and misplaced blame in the right-wing media, the institutionaliz ation of their Culture War. It's clearly fascism and it started long before Trump stepped up to it.
-1 # kyzipster 2016-11-18 14:30
Sorry about the long response, I guess I have a lot on my mind.

Another factor in this election that I find almost as disturbing as Trump is the changes in Kentucky.

Despite a belief that all Southern states are basically the same, KY has maintained a bit of sanity. I want to say there are 400k more registered Dems than Republicans in a state with a low population. This has kept our local politics balanced. We vote Republican in national elections and less so locally.

This election put the state house in Republican hands, the first time in 95 years. This is after a Tea Party governor was elected two years ago. Following a very successful term by a popular Democrat. This is only the second Republican governor elected in 40 years, I might have to look that up but it's something like that.

We've always been a bit more sane than Kansas, Mississippi and other places but we're seeing a huge shift here. For the first time in 16 years since I've moved back, I'm thinking I may have to leave. Local politics can impact day to day lives more than Washington from what I've seen in the South.

This new leadership has already announced plans to outlaw minimum wage increases voted in easily by councils in both of our major cities. We will be a 'right to work state' before long.

I don't think it has anything to do with Clinton, liberal elites or Trump. Perhaps it's mostly 8 years of anti-Obama, anti-Democrat propaganda on Fox News. Our politics are really that simplistic.
+4 # Radscal 2016-11-18 16:33
I have family in Tennessee who would disagree with your calling Kentucky a "Southern State." ;-)

But yeah, there are Democratic voters and progressives in pretty much every corner of the US.

A few years ago, we moved from the uber-progressiv e SF Bay Area to an arch-conservati ve county. But when I look at election results, I see Democrats losing by only a few percentage points. We just missed electing a Democratic Congressional Rep by a lousy 2,200 votes.

In the primary, we gave Sanders 60% of the vote (we use paper ballots). More people voted for Sanders than all the Republicans combined!

I strongly believe that if Sanders had been the Presidential candidate, we would have gotten those 2,200 additional votes, and turned a bright red district blue.

I see that Jack Conway was slightly ahead in the polls just days before he lost the gubernatorial race. Did Debbie Wasserman-Schul tz give him full support?

Because I seem to recall Alison Lundergan Grimes complaining that the DNC did not really get behind her run against McConnell.
-1 # kyzipster 2016-11-18 19:38
The polls are deeply flawed, we had the lowest voter turnout since the 1940s. The left doesn't care enough and conservatives still get out and vote with more passion. I think only 17% of millennials voted and now they're shocked at our new governor's behavior.

Conway is a good human being but a lousy politician. McConnell will never lose, Grimes may have a reasonable complaint but it's not the fault of the DNC, that one is on Kentucky voters.

We're very much the South, culturally we're a blend of Midwest and South, compared to Tennessee. We're South of the Mason Dixon Line but not 'former Confederacy' although slavery was legal. My ancestors fought with the Union. We've always been full of contradictions. Most of the country believes that we act out Deliverance everyday and that's kind of fun.
+3 # Radscal 2016-11-18 20:45
My use of the ;-) emoticon was meant to suggest we were in on a joke together.

I'm rather familiar with Kentucky and its history (and I kick myself in the butt for never stopping at the Corvette museum every time I've driven by it). The fact that your ancestors fought for the Union is precisely why my TN relatives chide their Kentuckian neighbors about not being "real" Southerners. So apparently you were in on the joke, even if you didn't get it.

I have a dear friend from Virginia. After she got married, she moved to her hubby's home in Alabama. People would frequently say to her, "You're not from around here, are you?"

And when she told them she was from VA, they referred to her as a Yankee!

The capital of the Confederacy, and they considered it "the North." They'd laugh about that.

So again, the minor differences between humans are real, including those you refer to as "tribal." But differences don't automatically mean conflict.

Conflict is profitable to the elite. Always has been.
+4 # Skyelav 2016-11-17 12:36
That includes our own shadow side.
0 # kyzipster 2016-11-17 20:31
If this reflects a sentiment I've seen out there, blaming Trump on liberal elitism, I don't buy it.

Liberal elitism is a negative and something to be addressed but we live in a world where we're labeled elitist for calling out the denial of science, religious oppression and all the rest. We're accused of disrespecting a cultural POV if we point out how out of control the NRA is. Doesn't matter what language we use.

This is how conservatives have been defining liberalism for 30+ years, make an accusation repeatedly for years and eventually even the left starts believing it. The media these days accepts anything they say as a balanced POV.

That's why society has largely given up on fact checking, calling Fox News out like we used to. This is what gave us Trump, the normalization of right-wing propaganda. Everything he said about minorities was straight from right-wing media. And now we dare not point this out or we're 'liberal elitists'.

Breitbart and the alt-right are getting discussed right now but Fox and all the rest are basically toned down versions of the same chit.

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