Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bug Hunt

 Edit: Addendum at the end of the post /JW


Private Hudson: Oh dear Lord Jesus, this ain't happening, man! This can't be happening, man! This isn't happening!
-- Aliens, 1986


We are lost.

Far from home.

Cut off from help.

Wounded and alone.

Surrounded by terrors.

And it’s going to be a long time before rescue.

We’re going to lose people along the way. We will. There is no doubt. At this point, the best we can hope for is that they go down swinging.


Oh you bet. I don’t think we know just how bleak as yet.

But sugar coating it isn’t going to make the situation any better.

This is our worst nightmare, this is unknown darkness filled with monsters.

We are now facing an unhinged uncouth unrepentant proto-fascist in the White House not only enabled by a willing Congress and a vulnerable Supreme Court, but aided and abetted by a newly emboldened mob made up of bigots and haters of every foul stripe.

Nearly all the checks and balances on our government will shortly be disabled and we are soon to be the target of their vindictive madness.

The situation is so dire in fact that I actually used the word “emboldened” as if the Bush years were now a source of gentle nostalgia and benign inspiration.


Panic will only make things worse.

And howling into the dark won’t frighten away the monsters.

Rage and fear won’t help. Running away won’t save you; there’s nowhere on the planet that won’t feel the effects of what is about to come.

As the man said, we’re in some real pretty shit now, aren’t we?


Private Hudson: Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!


We did. We got our asses kicked.

We’re standing in the wreckage, the smell of charred meat and burning fuel in our nostrils, and night is coming.

The White House. The Senate. The House of Representatives. And very shortly, the Supreme Court.  All are lost.

The conservative extremists who will soon control those bodies will not hesitate to force their ideology upon the country. And they will do so without restraint. They’re already gleefully crowing about it and they can’t wait to get their revenge for all the wrongs they believe they have suffered.

It doesn’t take any great clairvoyance to see what’s coming. 

We are going to lose our healthcare. Who lives and who dies will once again be decided by faceless insurance adjusters and for-profit medicine and your employer. And the priests, of course. Always the priests.

LGBTQ people will likely lose everything, including their freedom and their very lives. The best they can hope for is a fearful return to the closet, the worst is written into every history of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Women should get used to the idea that they will shortly become property of the state. And the Priests, of course.  Their choice will soon be forfeit – or in the charming vernacular of our new president, their pussies are now up for grabs.

The rich will now get richer and not one penny of that will ever trickle down to you. The idea that handing out yet more tax breaks to the wealthy will somehow translate into good jobs and a restored middle class is nothing but delusion of the most ludicrous persuasion, but that’s what’s coming.

Our new leader has promised he’ll bring jobs back to America. What jobs? Slave wage labor in the long vanished textile industry? Maybe not every American wants to be a maid cleaning toilets 80 hours a week in a Trump resort for whatever pocket change the Wealthy tenants leave behind once the minimum wage has been eliminated along with the Affordable Healthcare Act. Out in the factories, will President Trump rip out the automation and advanced manufacturing processes and put the proletariat to work making iPhones and Volkswagens with their hands? Or will each of us be handed a shovel and marched to the southern border to build a wall for America, for Freedom, for the Fatherland?

Undesirables will be shortly rounded up. Conservatives have spent the last eight years pissing themselves over fever dreams of concentration camps and reeducation centers manufactured whole cloth by the likes of Glenn Beck and Alex Jones. Now they cheer the idea of Trump rounding up Muslims and Mexicans and putting them into camps for “humane” disposal. Best have your papers in order, especially if your skin tends to the darker end of the human spectrum – especially since Trump has declared his intention to clear out the ghettos and inner cities.

And, of course, he has promised us a great war of conquest and riches, where our enemies will be vanquished or converted, and our soldiers can earn themselves glory under the Eagles of the Legion while the world trembles and bows down before our might. Remember to tell your children to come home with their shields or carried upon them as true patriots.

And that is just the start, the dark clouds on the horizon before the storm.

Today every white supremacist, every religious lunatic, every raging gun nut and beer-bellied militiaman, every flag-humping jingoist is cheering.

They have indeed, at last, taken their country back.

All their dreams are coming true.


Private Hudson: Well, that's great. That's just fuckin' great, man! Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now, man!
Corporal Hicks: Are you finished?
Newt: I guess we're not gonna be leaving now, right?
Ripley: I'm sorry, Newt.
Newt: You don't have to be sorry. It wasn't your fault.
Hudson: That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?!
Burke: Maybe we can build a fire, sing a couple of songs, huh? Why don't we try that?
Newt: We'd better get back 'cause it'll be dark soon and they mostly come at night. Mostly.


There are more than a thousand messages in my inbox this morning.

All of them ask the same question: How could this happen?

How could this happen?


How could they have been so wrong?

That’s the question, isn’t it?

Historians, pundits, political scientists, citizens, all of us, we’re going to be debating this election for a very long time.

Somewhere in the future, there’ll be a pitched battle among Wikipedia editors regarding the precise wording of how we ended up here. Citation needed! Citation needed!

Experts and the ignorant alike will debate economic factors and the demographics of fear and hate fueled by the media, the worthiness of the respective candidates, the fundamental difference between urban and rural populations, the growing (or lessening) influence of religion, black turnout, the Latino vote, women who vote against their own interests, the perennial angry white male, energy, immigration, terrorism, and of course sex and email and the chicanery of the FBI.

At the moment and for the foreseeable future, a whole bunch of experts who expertly predicted in their expert opinions based on their expert polls why Hillary Clinton would most certainly win, are expertly telling you why they were expertly correct even though it turned out they were utterly and thoroughly wrong and why you should trust their expert expertise on this matter.

But the simple answer is that there is no simple answer.

No single cause.

Not exactly.

Except maybe there is.

Let me show you something:



That’s how the country voted this time around. Red for Trump, blue for Clinton, broken down by county.

What do you see?

Look carefully.

Look carefully and think it through. What do you see?

The population is not distributed evenly, of course, nor is is it uniform. The population density is higher at the coasts and in the cities. Urban areas tend be more liberal, rural more conservative. The South is more religious than the North and therefore more conservative. The Southwest and Pacific North West tend to higher concentrations of sovereign citizens and anti-government militias. Union manufacturing tends to the North East, non-Union to the South. Agriculture and ranching are the Midwest and the Great Plains. Immigrants settle around the edges or in specific urban areas. Florida has a high concentration of older white retired people dependent on Social Security and Medicare and small retirements. The West Coast tends more liberal than the East – but voting begins in the East and travels west in real-time and that matters in a world of instant broadband communications. And etc. Etc. Etc.

There is far more to that map than just red and blue.

So, what do you see?

Compare that map to this one:


That’s 2008 when Barack Obama beat John McCain.

A lot more blue, right?

Or is it?

A lot more blue in Michigan and Wisconsin, in New England … but not really anywhere else.  The breakdowns in California and the Pacific North West, the Southwest, Texas, Florida, the Old South, are all essentially the same.

Look at this:



That’s 2012, Obama and Mitt Romney.

What do you see?

Look at the aggregate, 2008 to 2016. Eight years, three presidential elections, two elections for Congress – the first of which turned the House red and the second which did the same for the Senate.

What do you see?

You see a lot of red, don’t you?

But what does that mean?

What does it mean, really?

Does it mean the majority of the country is overwhelmingly conservative?


Because you’re only looking at two dimensions. You’re not seeing depth, you’re not seeing all those things I mentioned up above.

Any political scientist will tell you that right out of the gate.


And that, right there, is their mistake.


You see, while liberals and conservatives make up roughly equal percentages of the population, the majority of the map is conservative.

The majority of the map.

Look at it. You can see it for yourself. That’s a lot of red.

And it matters, because our system of selecting a president was designed to be, or eventually evolved into, a hybrid of both state (or political party) based processes and direct democracy. 

Thus, the Electoral College.

The states (and the District of Columbia) put forward Electors and those electors select the president and vice president based (more or less) on the popular vote. However the important note here is this: “popular vote” is at the state level, not the national level. Which is why this year Clinton won the popular vote but Trump won the Electoral College.

Now, nobody likes the Electoral College – especially if their team loses.

But it was put in place for very good reasons (reasons that should be required in testable detail in every high school and college in this country, but are often never even discussed. I digress). Chief among those concerns were because without such a system, a) large states (population wise) would always control every election, and b) because direct democracy becomes tyranny of the majority in short order.

Now, we can argue the merits of the Electoral College until Trump ships us all off to the camps, but as I have repeatedly said to you: pragmatically, this is the system we have right now.

This is the system we have right now.

I’m not telling you anything you shouldn’t know already and nobody knows this stuff more than professional political organizations. Every Republican and Democratic and Third Party political machine looks at that map in multiple dimensions. They crunch the numbers. They spend millions to build complex mathematical models based on demographics and ground sampling and polls and history and guesswork. Then they design strategies to woo both voters and electors though a complex organic network of evolving political organizations and information systems. And even then, it’s mostly just guesswork and general case tactics because it’s impossible to tailor such a massive and hideously complex undertaking below a certain level of granularity. Even in the most well funded campaign, there are only so many assets to go around, so attention is focused on swing/battleground states specifically because you need those electors to win.

It doesn’t take much, as those maps up above demonstrate. A little more blue, and little more red, not much, and the election swings.

It’s easy to get lost in the details, almost impossible not to – especially if this is your job.

We could spend another million words talking about this, and you can bet millions of words will be devoted to exactly that over the next few years.


The first thing you learn as an intelligence officer is this: statistics aren’t reality.


Systems, strategies, polls, those aren’t people.

And that’s what that map is, you know. People.

That’s what the map is showing you. People. Attitudes. Outlooks. Ways of life. History. Religion. People.

Much has been made of the difference in campaigns. Clinton was well organized. Well prepared. Focused. Strategized. Polished. Experienced. Trump was a mess. Crude. Disorganized. Vague. Off-topic half the time. Supported by Neo-Nazis and the KKK.

But the thing is, those little red squares are full of Americans who don’t see themselves as haters or bigots, racists or misogynists. Rather they see themselves as the heartland of America, because they are.  They see themselves as the ones who feed the world and keep the wheels turning, who love their God and their children and their country and their way of life. If you drive through those red areas on the map as I did last month and you listen to the radio, to the endless sermons of fire and divine wrath, to the Good Ol’ Country Boys singing about flags and trucks and guns, to the endless conspiracy theories of doom and betrayal from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones, you start to get an idea of why they voted for Donald Trump. I mean, somebody is listening to those broadcasts or they wouldn’t be so damned popular or so many. 

It wasn’t the email. Or Benghazi. Or any of the myriad debunked conspiracy theories.

Or rather, it wasn’t just that.

Clinton’s professionalism, her ground game, her polish, her experience, even her pantsuits, all worked against her here.



It was most certainly the Democratic Party’s fault, but not because they didn’t select Bernie Sanders.

Because if you think for one minute some aging hippy intellectual, a declared socialist, from one of those liberal New England states would have fared any better in those red areas on the map with his talk of free college and windmills, you haven’t been paying attention.  And all those hardcore third party voters who wrote in Bernie or blackened the circle for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson simply gave the Electors that much more margin to throw in with Trump.


Now before you get all pissed off, I’m not blaming Bernie supporters or third party voters for how things turned out and as I have said many times previously, you each have the inalienable right to vote your franchise as your conscience dictates.

And you, like the rest of us now, will now have to live with the consequences of it – though I’ll take this opportunity to remind you that those consequences don’t apply to all equally and some are going to pay horribly more than others. 

I digress.

My point here is this: Third party voters didn’t cost the democrats this election.

Neither did the media, though it certainly didn’t help matters much. And if the press is to remain worthy of the protections afforded it in the Constitution as the watchdog of liberty, sooner or later we’re going to have to demand it live up to its responsibilities in a more professional manner or we’re going to have to decide whether those protections are still deserved.

That said, third party candidates – including Bernie – would have fared no better against Trump and probably worse.

No, this race was lost by the political parties.

It was lost by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, both of which looked at that map and saw little squares full of numbers instead of people.

The Republicans ended up with Trump because after 30 years of increasingly strident religion-fueled lunacy, after a full eight years of conspiracy theories and obstructionism and childish histrionics, they were unable to produce anything better. They were hoisted on their own ridiculous petard.

More than anything, Republicans ended up with Trump because they could not compromise, they could not bend their sacred principles.

The Democrats ended up with Trump for the same reason.

Look at that map again.

What do you see? 

Walk it back for the last 30 years. The blobs of red and blue move a little bit, growing, shrinking, but the overall values change very little – particularly if you adjust for population growth and migration.

What’s that tell you?

Democrats – liberals and progressives – are just as inflexible and just as lousy at reaching out to the other side as Republicans are. 

You and I laugh when the GOP declares with all seriousness that they are reaching out to minorities of color. To women. To the LGBT community. To immigrants. We laugh, and rightly so, because it’s ridiculous.

But if you look at that map, you’ll see Democrats – or third parties – aren’t any better at reaching out to rednecks and evangelicals and all those people who listen to those radio stations I mentioned up above.


That’s why Hillary Clinton lost.


Abortion. Trade. Immigrants. Terrorism. Guns. Jobs. Same sex marriage.

All of these things are aspects of the same division: those who embrace change and those who fear it.

Clinton, as Bernie Sanders supporters are wont to point out, is an establishment candidate. Staid. Pantsuit. Wall Street. More of the same. She should have been able to bridge that divide, to cross over, far far better than some rich billionaire from New York. But for numerous reasons she couldn’t or didn’t – not even to the degree Obama did in 2008 and 2012 (which as it turned out, was just enough). And again, if you think Bernie Sanders, a guy much further left than Clinton, could have done better with the same demographic, you’re just fooling yourself.

Trump shouldn’t have appealed to any of those in the red zones of that map.

I mean, look at that guy. Billionaire. New Yorker real estate developer. Atlantic City and Las Vegas casino owner. Married to a string of super models. Obnoxious. Uncouth. Foulmouthed.

But it was Trump’s bombastic disorganized campaign – and the man himself – which tapped directly into that fear of change at a visceral level. 

Make America great again, and to the white people in the red zone, that means churches and deer season and homecoming and fences and Little League games, build a wall and keep America for Americans.

That’s why the pundits and political scientists and the pollsters got it all wrong.

Those people, if you call them up on the phone and ask if they are racists, they’ll say no. Because they don’t think they are. Because to them racism is burning crosses and lynching and they aren’t doing any of that. But they don’t want brown people moving into their neighborhoods, because on TV people with dark skin are thugs and rappers and terrorists and not like them. If you ask if they hate Muslims they’ll say no, but they love Jesus and they hate terrorists and the sons of bitches who blew up the World Trade Center, just like their grandparent hated the Japs and the Krauts. They don’t hate Mexicans, they hate people who take their jobs.  They go to a Trump rally and who do they meet? People just like them, people who look just like they do, who own farms and small businesses, who lost their jobs to Mexico and Bangladesh, who are angry that they have to pay taxes to support welfare cheats and moochers, who go to the same kind of church they do and worship the same God. They want America to be great again like it used to be for their grandparents, that golden magical time of the 1950s with jobs and traditional marriages and white picket fences and they don’t want to hear about how that time wasn’t a paradise for everybody.

They don’t want change.

They want it the way it was.

And that’s why Hillary Clinton lost.


But that’s also how we fix it.


You see, Trump is about to learn the Obama Lesson.

Trump is about to face Obama’s Gitmo.

He’s not going to be able to make good on his campaign promises.

Not all of them. Not the ones which matter most to his supporters. 

No, he’s not.

Trump is not going to build a wall.

It wouldn’t work. We can’t afford it. Mexico isn’t going to pay for it. And if you look at the practical aspects alone, it’ll take longer than Trump’s next four years in office just to do the site surveys and the engineering assessment and the various feasibility studies and decide on preliminary designs, let alone find the money for those things and bid the contracts. Trump is used to spending his investors’ money, but the government doesn’t work that way as he is about to learn.

He’s going to most certainly repeal Obamacare.

That’s inevitable at this point. If he doesn’t, his supporters will burn Trump Tower to the ground. But see, his promise was to replace it with something better. Think about what that’s going to take. Think about what it’s going to take to repeal the ACA and replace it with something better. Republicans have been threatening to repeal the ACA for seven years. You know why they haven’t? Because they know what happens should they succeed. The ACA is deeply ingrained into the fabric of the country now from top to bottom. It’ll be utter chaos. You can’t go back to the way things were. It’s impossible. They can’t just pull the plug. They’ll have to keep all the things people want, pre-existing coverage protections, covering your adult kids, expanded Medicare, they’ll actually have to make good, they’ll actually have to replace the ACA with something better. And that’s the real kicker, if they do, if they do replace the ACA with something better, affordable healthcare for all with all the things you want, how is that bad for you? And if they don’t, well, Trump won’t see a second term and neither will most of Congress.

He’s not going to ban Muslims from the United States. He can’t and he knows it and he’s not even going to try.


He’s not going to bring manufacturing jobs back to America.

He can’t just wave his hand and eliminate NAFTA and the TPP. He’s thinks he’s going to personally renegotiate those treaties to penalize manufacturing in foreign countries and force business to build factories here? That’s hilarious, given that those jobs left the United States long before NAFTA. More importantly Wall Street and his wealthy friends will fight him every inch of the way because that’s how they made their fortunes. Trump says he’ll impose tariffs on Mexico and China. Except that only works if you can get the same products made in the United States when the foreign sources are cut off, which you can’t, at least not until the factories are built and the workforce trained and the supply and distribution lines put in place but you’ve got no reason to build those factories here if you can get products from overseas for less. It’s a classic chicken and egg dilemma. Worse, it will lead directly to a trade war and all those industries that depend on those foreign products, like the auto and electronics sectors (not to mention Walmart) will suffer almost immediately. You can expect a recession and the loss of tens of thousands of domestic jobs and sooner or later voters are going to wise up to the fact that every time Republicans are in charge that happens.

But for argument’s sake, let’s say he succeeds. Let’s say he brings back millions of manufacturing jobs without a trade war and he does it in the next few years. How is that bad for you?

Trump promised to cut taxes and fix the budget deficit. 

You can’t do both. It’s one or the other.

You cut taxes, you get a bigger deficit. Especially since he’s promised to increase the size of the military (and build a trillion dollar wall).

You’d think a guy who’s gone bankrupt four times would be better at the math, wouldn’t you?

And again, if he does succeed in eliminating the debt and lowering taxes via some heretofore unknown economic wizardry, again, how is that a bad thing? Hypothetically speaking, of course.

And, finally, perhaps the most impossible promise he made was to defeat “ISIS.”

How he’ll do that without committing to full-scale war or adding trillions to the debt I’ll leave as an exercise to the reader.


But here’s the real kicker: Republicans will now have to govern.


Donald Trump will now have to govern.

It’s all on them. All of it.

If they fuck this up, they’ll never get elected again.

That disorganized bombastic campaign appealed to the people who put him into power, but that’s not going to work in office.

Not at all.

And all the people he’s so far produced or suggested to help him with the task of governance are terrible at it.

And the one thing Americans, especially those Americans in the little red squares, will not tolerate is incompetence.

Ripley: How long after we're declared overdue can we expect a rescue?
Hicks:  Seventeen days.
Hudson: Seventeen days? Hey, I don't mean to rain on your parade but we're not gonna last seventeen hours! Those things are gonna come in here just like they did before! And they're, they're gonna come in here…!
Ripley: Hudson.
Hudson: …and they're gonna come in here and AND THEY'RE GONNA KILL US!
Ripley: HUDSON! This little girl survived longer than that with no weapons and no training.
Ripley: [looks at Newt] Right?
Newt: [salutes]
Hudson: Then why don't you put her in charge?!
Ripley: You'd better just start dealing with it. Hudson! Listen to me! Hudson! Just deal with it because we need you and I'm sick of your bullshit.

Yeah, but what now?

What now?

Sure, Trump will eventually implode and take what’s left of the Republican Party down with him.

But now what? What do we do right now?

Now? Now you set aside your goddamned idealism and your principled stand and you get practical.

Look at that map.

Look at it.

You figure out how to bridge the gap. Both the Republican Party and especially the Democrats (and all the Third Parties too), need to figure out how to reach the people in those little red squares. How to address their fears without inflaming them. We must find a way to manage both the traditional past and the unknown future and turn that map purple instead of red and blue.

It can be done.

We’re going to, all of us, have to compromise some of our principles for the sake of our nation.

That map tells you how to step back from the edge. If you have the wit to read it.

But in meantime what about all those terrible things I listed at the beginning of this article?

Healthcare. LGBT rights. Women’s rights. Reproductive rights. Education. Religion. Wealth distribution. War. All of it, what about that? We’re going to lose all the progress we’ve made.

Yes, very likely we are.  Or at least a lot of it. For a very long time.

And what?

You thought I was going to blow smoke up your ass? Make you feel better? You haven’t been paying attention.

You thought the future was going to be easy?

You thought there wouldn’t be setbacks?

You thought we’d won? You thought the battle was over? You thought the racists and the bigots and the misogynists and the goddamned haters were just going to go quietly into the night? You thought the priests and the privileged were just going to zip up their pants and give up their station, their power, and join us?

You thought we were just going to waltz into the space station and rescue all the juicy colonists’ daughters from their virginity?

Is that it?

Is that what you thought?

If that’s what you thought then you were wrong and it’s long past time you faced it.

This isn’t going to be a stand up fight, this is a bug hunt. And just like Private Hudson, you’re going to have to start dealing with it because we need you.

Help isn’t coming, Folks. We’re going to have to rescue ourselves.

So gear up, Marines.

And let’s get after it.



(1) Commenting 1: comments are now well over 200 on this post. When that happens, you have to scroll to the bottom of the page and click <load more…> to see all of the comments, including those nest under other comments. You may have to do this several times. If you want to read all of the comments, you should do this first.

(2) Commenting 2: comments are moderated. I don’t care if you don’t like it. Behave yourself and your comment will post. Act like an ass and it won’t. This isn’t Yahoo News or Facebook. The rules are clearly posted. Due to the nature of this post, I have relaxed my commenting rules a bit, however, those rules are still in force. If you’re engaged in bugfuckery, your comment will be deleted without posting. Be polite, do not engage in personal attacks, and try to keep the conspiracy theories to a minimum unless you want to be the subject of future posts. 

(3) Commenting 3: comments are moderated. By me. I get to them as soon as I can, however sometimes I have to eat, or sleep, or do other things that are none of your business. Be patient or go find somewhere else more to your liking. Sending me angry messages about your First Amendment rights will get your comment deleted without further consideration.

(4) Rhetorical Style: Some of you are new here and are apparently unfamiliar with the type of style I use. The first part of this particular post outlines the very real fears a significant portion of this country is feeling right now. You can laugh at that or be outraged as your various inclinations indicate, but the reason people feel that way is because your candidate or those supporting him have said that’s exactly what they intend. When conservative priests and politicians go around telling LGBT people they’ll be put to death as soon as Trump is power, you don’t get to say their fears are unfounded. If you don’t like that I outlined those fears in such bald terms, then you can join us in standing against that kind of hate coming from your own party exactly as you demand moderate Muslims denounce the radicals in their own midst. Otherwise you can shove off.

(5) Rhetorical Style: those conservatives commenting that they think the fears outlined at the start of this article are unfounded and unfair are missing that I’m engaged in deliberate hyperbole as a lede. That said, after eight years of listening to conservatives float every type of hysteria from Secret Muslims to Jade Helm, I find your feigned outrage amusing.



  1. Dammit, I hate when you're right. *sigh* Ok. Big girl panties firmly in place. Let's do this.

  2. The danger as I see it is the control of the Supreme Court along with both houses. We're in for a long dark time. Winter has come.

  3. Thank you! It's disheartening as a woman, and knee jerk reaction is to be really, really angry, that a religion I don't subscribe to and men I don't know, runs my life, but it won't stop me. No sir.

    1. Apparently you personally know Obama?

  4. All right sweethearts, you heard the man and you know the drill. Assholes and elbows!

  5. Getting rid of gay marriage is going to be harder than they thought, too...

    Lots of people in those red squares don't have an issue with gays... I know the evangelicals and Pence do, but the evangelicals don't make up all the reds in the red squares... lots of other types do, including gun loving hunting types who think there's nothing wrong with the gay friends they have...

    Not to mention the Peter Theil's of the world, either... or the young people who have lived in the last 8 years thinking it's perfectly fine that some folks are gay and want to be married.

    I think gay marriage will be a big hurdle for them... yeah, they can roll back the rights, and a chunk will celebrate, but it's not as big a chunk as they think... people didn't vote for Trump because they hate gays, imo...

    And Trump isn't really anti-gay himself, either... he's from NYC, after all.

    I really think that's gonna be a tough hill for them, in the end, far more difficult than other things, because people are used to it, we're all friends with those who are like that, and they're just as apparent in the red parts of the world as they are in the blue... just my two cents.

    1. The problem is Pence and I really believe from what I have seen and what Trump has said he'll be the one pulling the strings and making the majority of the decisions. This is the conversion therapy guy.

    2. The problem is Pence. From what everything I have seen and read and what's come out of Trump's and his kid's mouths... he's going to be the one making most of the decisions and pulling the strings. The conversion therapy guy who is big on god. God unfortunately is going to have a lot of pull and a lot of place in the US for the next 2 to 4 years. I don't think it's going to be as hard as you and I hope it will be.

    3. You assume the Red side even wants to get rid of gay marriage. Most of us don't care.

    4. It doesn't matter if you do, or not. Pence wants it. He also wants no birth control and no reproductive rights. He will have it whether you want it or not.

    5. All I can say, as a woman from Indiana, is educate yourself on who and what pence is. Trump scares me but pence terrifies me. His stance is “I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,” .

    6. Pence is a "true believer" of the Christian far right; a fundamentalist and evangelical, likely a Dominionist as well. He used to pal around with Michelle "Batshit" Bachman. He's the culture wars all over again, but with speed and stealth as his weapons. He then feigns surprise over the outrage that follows. I know, I'm a woman living in Indiana.
      Roberta Fewell

    7. I'm a gay woman on S.S. I. Triple threat. I've been bawling for two days. Fearful of my future. I gotta duck and pray!

  6. Thank you - I desperately needed this. I'm scared and needed some direction, but I'm not a coward. Let's rescue ourselves - that's my new motto!

  7. With Kris Kobach on the transition team, I think things are going to be even worse than you say. Kobach's the man who drafted the "papers please" law in Arizona. So, mass deportations. What's the first step? Gotta have some deporters. How you gonna do that? Gonna deputize every police officer in the country, that's how. (I have clipped a paragraph of additional nightmares; enough's enough.)

    And then there's banking and finance. He's talking deregulation again, because it worked so well the last time. He's also talking tax cuts and military spending; going to blow up the national debt. My guess is Trump will try to default, because that's what he's done before; leave his supporters holding the bag. Considering that the House nearly did that a few years back, he may do it.

    You see something in that map that I don't. You're the only major blogger I know who appeals, at least a bit, to both red and blue. Show us how!

    1. "Show us how!"

      I am wondering the same thing myself. I've joined and donated to organizations like Standing Up for Racial Justice and Sojourners, but how exactly do people like me--who know fuck all about rural America, guns, fish fries, church bazaars, picket fences, and the like--begin to do this in practical terms?

      "Both the Republican Party and especially the Democrats (and all the Third Parties too), need to figure out how to reach the people in those little red squares. How to address their fears without inflaming them. We must find a way to manage both the traditional past and the unknown future and turn that map purple instead of red and blue.

      It can be done.

      We’re going to, all of us, have to compromise some of our principles for the sake of our nation."

      Principles such as? Examples, please. And how can a rank-and-file suburban liberal like myself have *any* of the power that the political parties clearly have (but have obviously misused)?

  8. well written. Thank you. (Holding back a whole lot in that simple statement, just so you know.)

  9. This was hard to read. And I already knew all of it. And it's going to be so fucking hard. But we have to do it. I am ready to hunt some fucking bugs. Lets go!

  10. This makes me feel somewhat better about this incredibly awful situation. . .just an hour ago I was thinking about how the right and the left don't ever talk to each other, that I only see and read what my friends think and post, and they think pretty much the way I do. I am afraid to look at any right-wing websites, but I am guessing that it's pretty much the same "over there:" they only read and hear what other people like them read and hear. And I was thinking, what do I do now? How can I work towards a better situation, besides promising my Muslim, black, gay, etc. friends that I'll try to protect them? And here you are with another brilliant essay. Thank you. My heart is a little lighter.

    1. I'll gladly talk with your Rachel, perhaps you can learn from the other side. I have lots of Democrat and Republican friends. Maybe help you see the red side of the line as something other than an enemy.

    2. Rachel,
      Try and protect your Muslim, gay,black,etc friends, from whom? I am the epitome of the people you fear. A gun-toting, evangelical, conservative, white, heterosexual male. My 17 year old son and I spent election night laughing our asses off at all the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth by you libs. And worst of all, he ***GASP*** works at Chic-fil-A!

      But guess what? This is the same kid who works with disabled children, gives educational demonstrations to grade schoolers, and is a junior leader at a summer camp for kids with Crohn's disease.

      You talk about your minority friends. How often have you fed them or had them stay at your house? In the almost four years my son has been in high school, blacks, Muslims, and probably gays (didn't ask, don't care) have eaten and stayed at my house literally dozens of times.

      The moral of this story is let's everybody pump the breaks on the whole the right is out to get everyone who doesn't agree with them. Frankly, the left seems to be cornering the market on that...

    3. "My 17 year old son and I spent election night laughing our asses off at all the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth by you libs." - thanks for proving you don't understand a word of what Jim said. The moral of the story is that you laugh at what you don't understand, because you are a white, conservative, gun lovin', churchy white male.

  11. VERY. NICELY. SAID! Thank you Jim for a reality check. BTW - It looks like there are two "you"s in "Now? Now you you set aside your goddamned idealism and your principled stand and you get practical." Or, you were making a point... for a reason...

  12. You give us a lot to think about.

  13. Very honest and realistic view of the current political climate. Always love reading your blog. Time to get back to work.

  14. The thought of going backward, losing all that has been gained in the last decade or so, is devastating. I could tolerate this new administration if it meant stasis; going ~back~ is unacceptable. For that reason the mid-terms have taken on enormous importance. Please, let hime screw up so bigly that the entire House is ousted and a third of the Senate goes blue...we must fix this..Starting now.

  15. Julie Yates MayfieldNovember 10, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    I'm going to have to have a few more days ... but let's fucking do this.

  16. Thank you. Well-written and well-thought out as always. It's going to be rough but we'll get a chance to make good in two years, and another two years past that, etc...

  17. Can this possibly happen?

  18. This is so good. I know it took time to pull this together so I want to thank you for it.

  19. I know we will have to deal with it. But, like I've told several people that are complaining that we are mourning our losses and licking our wounds, for eight years they've whined about how the brown Kenyan pretender sat in the White house - after being legitimately elected by electoral AND by popular vote - they need to give us more than 8 hours or even 8 days before telling us to shut up and deal. People need time to mourn, they need time to be sad, they need time to assimilate what has happened here: Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and yet lost the election to a walking talking tiny fingered yam with no governing experience and a list of campaign promises that curdle our blood. We do need to be given some leeway to mourn that. And I'm kind of tired of being told we shouldn't be surprised. People are always surprised when they really believe in something and it doesn't happen - even when they know, intellectually, that it CAN happen. It's simply human.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of the electoral college and I think it needs to be looked at. In addition to "preventing the tyranny of the majority," it is one of the things that prevents us from having viable, strong third+ parties. The system we have now requires that one of the candidates MUST get 51% of the electoral votes. No third party really has a chance at doing anything but spoiling elections for one of the two major party candidates. I also don't like that I, as a New Yorker, actually get less say as an individual about our presidential election than a person from Montana. The calculation for electoral votes gives Montana residents a significantly higher number of electoral votes by population than New York. In electoral voting power, Montana ranks 9th in the country, while New York state ranks 51st. They get more votes per a smaller number of people than New York and California. I get that we need to consider the needs of all of the people in the country, but isn't that what the legislative branch of government is for?

    I'm disheartened by our system, and I don't see it as ever changing. We mouth desires to fix it, but it never happens. We wind up with a Supreme Court that apparently looks at the Constitution in hugely different ways determining that corporations are "people" and as such, have free speech (my solution is to define as people beings that can be put in prison. If you can't go to prison, you aren't a person).

    Sorry I'm all over the map here, but I'm discouraged, I'm angry, I'm sad, and I need more time to process this before I get back in the game. I don't think I'm alone in that.

    1. Terri - thank you so much for your comments. I agree with so much that Jim has said and written, but I also agree with YOU. I'm still stunned/shocked/gobsmacked, and will be for awhile. I NEED this time to mourn, to cry, to feel hopeless and helpless, to be angry, to clench my fists with angst...I need all of those to help ME work through this and process it all. There will come (for me) a time to start healing and looking for productive ways to try to move forward...but for NOW I need to be wallowing in my own emotions and feelings. THANK YOU!

    2. I agree with you--especially your definition of "person."

      The best hope I can offer is that we lived through Shrub's 8 years with Cheney running the country, so we can survive this. And I agree with Jim that once the red spaces see what a "red" government really does, they'll be ready for a different kind of change.

      I guess I'm most disappointed at what this says about the value of being an honorable person.

  20. Perfect explanation, and love the use of the Aliens reference again...it was my thought when I first saw the results. But you are right, many Trump supporters don't consider themselves racist, nor do they even consider Trump a racist. People believe what they want to believe, and there is the willful blindness that comes with desperation and fear.
    After taking a day off for shock and awe, I decided that I will not lie down accept the GOP plan and just "wait til next time". We need to stand and fight, we are all in this shit together.

  21. You had me at bug hunt. I adore anyone who knows the Aliens dialogue as well as I do. Doesn't hurt that you also make sense. You did good, Bishop.

  22. That particular read stung my pride, in no small measure because you're right.

  23. Thank you. I really needed to hear that.

  24. Thank you, sir, for clear, concise, accurate information!

  25. BTW Jim, Happy Veteran's Day tomorrow!

  26. You continue to blow me away with your candor and big dose of reality. Thank you for remaining sane while I lose my mind, lose heart, lose faith and hope for a meteor.

  27. Its time start planning for the 2018 midterms... and fire for effect....

  28. "I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days....

    ...If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.

    With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems."

    I think we need something like the above. The solution is to actually listen to each other rather than shout at each other. The solution is to accept that no one gets what they want, and everyone gets something they can live with. Otherwise, we get something else.

  29. This is the first goddam thing that has helped me see the light on the horizon! This is the first goddam thing that has made me realize that I have to fucking DO something more than post goddamn shit on Facebook! I need to make a plan. It won't be easy, and I'm still in tears at the drop of a hat, but, maybe there is hope that this won't last forever and be the end of the free world as we know it.

  30. You are right...we have to deal with it. Being a fellow veteran, I know all too well you do not get to pick your leaders, or your soldiers. You have to deal the hand you were dealt, and do the best you can to complete the mission. All the hate rhetoric is doing nothing but deepening the divide on both sides, making it more like the Grand Canyon to cross. We need to hunker down and work at this. Turn off the TV and talk to your neighbor. Find out how they think, and why. And for God's sake, make Critical Thinking a mandatory course in the curriculum starting in Kindergarten, not college.

  31. I'm tired. I enjoyed 8 years of Obama administration except for the times of different campaigns and those times when I have to deflect hatred and ignorance. I thought, I fully believed, that there would come a time of peace and acceptance but we waved a different flag. After promoting a black president we then immediately promoted a female president. We were anxious to show the world that we were ready to step into the 21st century except, many of us were not.

    Honestly I do not want to appeal to those who believe that some people are more equal than others. The thought sickens me. And, it probably sickens those on the opposite side too. So, perhaps this is the "rest" for the opposition that I so badly wanted for myself. I feel like I deserve it more but then again, I did say I enjoyed much of the Obama administration. I wanted more. I felt safe and secure for several years and I want more. But those very things which bring me the feeling of contentment grow resentment in others.
    So, where is the middle ground? There exists a great schism between the sides. Which side takes the leap of faith that they will be safe when negotiating with the other side? I have to admit, it will not be me. It is not that I have nothing to lose because I have nothing at all. I cannot appeal to a beast that would devour me before I knelt to offer my sword. Again, I am tired and confused. That which I call love is not what others call love. When we both want opposite desires, what is the starting place?

  32. I think you might be wrong about why Clinton lost.

    Look over the final polling numbers again and compare them to the last 2 elections. Trump slightly underperformed both Romney and McCain. But Clinton VASTLY underperformed Obama. Clinton's popular vote was an average of 5.5 million lower than Obama's last 2 wins. That's 8%. That's huge.

    The people in those rural "red" counties - they sure as hell didn't vote for Obama in the last 2 elections. They're not the 5.5 million voter difference between him and Clinton.

    The establishment candidate didn't inspire the same desire to vote as Obama did, twice. She didn't inspire the Rust Belt. Look at Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. Look at the record low turnout in Detroit. That's why we're here now - an uninspiring candidate was on the ticket.

    Sure, we can maybe try to bridge the gap. That's going to require education. That's something the rural red counties don't seem to care much for, nor do the Republicans much care about funding it. Uneducated, frightened, hateful, broke, hyper-religious people are far more likely to vote for the GOP en masse than are educated people. Look at the demographics. City vs. rural. Educated vs. uneducated.

    And how are we supposed to bridge a gap that consists of people literally dictating how others live their lives, even when it harms nobody else? How does it harm anyone if someone chooses to use birth control from Planned Parenthood? How does it harm anyone if two random people get married, regardless their genders? That's not a compromise that anyone should be willing to make - such decisions cannot be forced upon others.

    Turn it purple, you say? Yeah, how do you propose to do that?

    I think the real question is: Would Bernie have inspired those extra 5.5 million voters to get off their couches and vote? Can the DNC learn the real lesson from this loss and emerge as a party that truly supports the people, instead of attempting to ride dynasties? Or are they going to try to run Michelle Obama in 2020 and ensure another 4 years of Trump? (Love Michelle. Absolutely LOVE her. But enough with going back to the well.)

    1. You certainly don't have to worry about Michelle Obama. She hates politics and has said repeatedly she will never run. I suspect she is counting the hours until she gets out of that prison she's lived in the last 8 years. As to Bernie, if you really believe they would not have done far worse damage to him than Hillary, well I hope you enjoy that belief.

    2. Exactly. And Bernie personified voter enthusiasm.

    3. THC, just so you know, the way you drip venom about the red area's is exactly the reason why you dont understand them. Anyone who does not think like you is wrong, they must not be educated, or they must be frightened or hateful or broke or hyper religious or something must be wrong with them. That kind of attitude about your fellow Citizens is why the DNC just lost all voice in the official governance of this country.

    4. I guess my other thought is Did anyone bother to ask why the red states voted that way? because I see a lot of conjecture as to the motivations about republican voters, but no one has asked me since the election Why i voted as I did.

    5. Had we been paying better attention, this might have been obvious before we lost. Salon has a great article on the Quinnapiac poll from last spring. One of the critical findings:
      "A total of 57 percent of all voters “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” with the statement, “America has lost its identity,” as 43 percent “somewhat disagree” or “strongly disagree.” Among all Republicans, 79 percent agree, while only 36 percent of Democrats agree. The highest level of agreement is expressed by GOP supporters of Donald Trump, as 85 percent “agree,” the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds.

      And this:
      "The pattern continues as 62 percent of all voters, including 85 percent of all Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats agree that their “beliefs and values are under attack.” Ninety-one percent of Trump backers agree, the highest of any candidate."

      Bottom line, this statistically confirms everything Jim said here, and we paid it no mind when it came out.

      But I've also come to believe that personality and charisma play a significant role. President Obama had the ability to bring people to him and inspire. Sadly, that is just not Hillary's personality although I believe she would have made a good, and maybe great, president. While I find Trump utterly repugnant, a reporter noted the other day that he found voters everywhere who said they had never voted before but Trump was the first politician that spoke their language and they could understand what he said.

      Bottom line is trying to bring this country together is extremely difficult because so many of our citizens live completely different lives. That makes understanding just plain hard.

      I am tired, been fighting for women's rights for 45 years. But I will recover after a few days and fight anew. I have a daughter and grandkids who have to live in this world that we leave them. In the meantime, we have to resist the coming storm in any way possible, confront hatred and bigotry whenever and wherever we see it, and rethink how we make the necessary changes.

    6. Scott: "I guess my other thought is Did anyone bother to ask why the red states voted that way? because I see a lot of conjecture as to the motivations about republican voters, but no one has asked me since the election Why i voted as I did."

      All right, Scott. I'll bite. Why? I'm all ears.

  33. I'm an atheist. But this whole thing, this whole election cycle, reminds me of Moses and the story of the golden calf and the Israelites. Moses led them out of Egypt and out of slavery, then goes up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. While he's up on the mountain, they take all the gold in the encampment and melt it down to make a golden calf. When Moses comes back down the mountain, he sees them worshipping the golden calf and throws the tablets down, breaking them. Even as a child, I wondered what Moses was doing up there on the mountain when the Israelites needed him. He wasn't thinking about them. He was more concerned with what they should be doing rather than what they actually considered to be important. 'Bridging' the gap between the red states and the blue states means that we actually have to look at practical solutions to everyday problems, rather than optimum solutions that will only work with the cooperation of both parties. At this point we have to look at local solutions to these problems because we won't get any cooperation from the Republican party.

  34. Thanks for this - very cathartic.

    One slight quibble (maybe two) - there are a couple of spots where I think you meant "fared" rather than "faired." I'm sure others will have spotted this and pointed it out by the time I finished reading and posting.

    Greg - ETC(SW) USN - Retired (because the name/url doesn't post the way it used to)

  35. I love you. And I hate you.

    I know what you are saying because I live in a small New England town. I see the same thing here. We may have gone blue, but that's from the younger generation and those who have moved here. New Hampshire is largely a "white" state and yes, I have heard the "N-word" thrown around at the breakfast place the locals frequent (which, ironically enough, is owned by two gay men).

    What scares the bejabbers out of me and others is how this will affect us. I have already seen the posts where people who voted for Trump can't possibly believe they will undo the ACA without something to replace it. But we know they will. That leaves my 16 year old son with Crohn's Disease quite vulnerable when he gets $13k treatments every 8 weeks. He's on the autism spectrum too, high functioning, and I now have a desire to see him not do quite as good as he's been doing in school because maybe he'll qualify for disability that way and I don't have to worry about him falling off our insurance or lifetime caps. A friend's niece is in the middle of cancer treatments, and they are thinking about the lifetime cap too. People are going to die because of this for a variety of reasons. Some will be in the anger we're seeing unleashed as the racists feel empowered and others deny it. I know you see it too. And I know you're not being glib about it.

    My Dad fought in WWII. He died last year. I'm glad he didn't live to see the country he fought for turn into the country he fought against.

  36. I love you Jim Wright. You have said exactly what I've been thinking, and saying too -albeit not nearly as eloquently- as I've spent the last day's crying into my scotch, then being angry, then gearing up my resolve to turn that anger into action!
    Aux armes citoyens, formez vos bataillons, marchons, marchons!

  37. I think something that you might be overlooking, that more than likely, had a significant impact on the election would be voter participation. Hillary Clinton won 5 million less votes than Obama did in 2012 and 10 million less than he did in 2008. The vote totals however for the republicans, however, pretty much stayed the same over that specific course of time.

    You can't blame third parties for those numbers at all.

  38. Thank you. The first thing my household did after getting the news Wednesday morning was to sit down and assess the situation: What is our greatest threat in the upcoming administration. We figured out it was economic because we're living on Social Security and other such funds. Getting a job is tough, keeping one through the next 4 years will be challenging, and we've got limited options for income. But in order for us to be able to help anyone, we've got to get it together and be ready should the fecal matter hit the fan. Same thing with the political parties--this pretty much sets both parties back to nil. Time is NOW to plan and start acting. Hysterics and shirt renting isn't going to get us very far. Opportunity favors the prepared, not the floundering.

  39. Thank you Jim for yet again being pragmatic in the face of fear. We will weather this storm. I wont lie, I am still scared but I will find the courage to do what is right not what is easy.

  40. Well done, Mr. Wright. Working together in dignity and respect is the only way and I'm ready to make it happen. Who's with us?!?

  41. Thank you for such a well written piece. So totally true.

  42. Thank you for this piece. So totally true.

  43. Thank you, Jim, for writing this. My husband and I have said as much to each other, but it hasn't stopped that feeling of dread creeping in. I'm usually an optimist, but regarding politics in the USA I've become much more pessimistic. I've been certain for a while now that in my lifetime we very well might see the US break apart due to the increasing distance I've felt between republicans and democrats. Having lived in both urban and rural areas, I've seen that divide grow wider, and it's like watching Mommy and Daddy fighting before the inevitable divorce; both are broken, and both hurt, but neither one wants to say they're sorry first.
    I'm hopeful that what you've described is the worst that happens, but I feel like it's only the best-case scenario. Oddly enough, having another opinion similar to mine has made me less pessimistic and more... hmm... fatalist? At least with a calm mind I can figure out where to go from here.

  44. "You can expect a recession and the loss of tens of thousands of domestic jobs and sooner or later voters are going to wise up to the fact that every time Republicans are in charge that happens."

    That wising up part seems a bit optimistic to me. We saw this happen in the Bush presidency. Somehow none of the negatives were ever laid at the feet of the administration. I figure that I will be hearing a lot of "since everything under Obama was Bush's fault, now we get to keep blaming Obama"

    1. Agreed. That was the one flaw that jumped out at me in an otherwise excellent analysis. People don't like admitting they were wrong. Most voters who supported Trump and who generally prefer Republicans to Democrats will continue to do so, regardless of the facts about recessions, job losses, health care coverage, Medicare, Social Security, etc. They'll continue to blame Obama, Democrats, liberals, they'll continue to espouse wacky conspiracy theories, and they'll generally do anything they can to twist the situation to conform to their own biases. (To be fair, we all do it, it's a basic element of human cognitive psychology.) So what happens when the voters don't wise up?

  45. What we do now is PAY ATTENTION on the local and national levels. We support good laws, no matter who proposes them, and challenge bad laws, no matter who proposes them. Asshats can have good ideas while the good=hearted can have horrible ideas.

    When we challenge bad laws, we explain exactly why they are bad. Not all bigots are so blinded that they'll cut off their noses to spite their faces: tell them how a law will hurt them and their families and they'll do the right thing.

    We also pay attention to our elected officials. Call out hypocrisy; help people understand what happens in the world so that they don't fall prey to oversimplified stories intended to scare them.

    But don't argue with idiots. You know the ones: Jim's written about them in the past.

  46. Jesus. Electrifyingly brilliant. I have one real and true hope for the coming four years: that I at least go down swinging. Thank you.

  47. It's not as bleak as all that. Look on the bright side. According to the website, www.greatagain.gov, "Rather than continuing the current path to undermine and block America’s fossil fuel producers, the Trump Administration will encourage the production of these resources by opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands and waters." So, you see, the Trump presidency will end as soon as they start fracking the Yellowstone caldera. It won't take long. And most folks won't even know what hit 'em.

    1. Actually its not Yellowstone that will end Trumpland. But the first off-shore drilling rigs that anchor up off the coasts of Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Long Island and New Jersey.

  48. good read

    I voted for Hillary, with no regrets btw, i think she would have done a fine job.

    I do think you under estimate Sanders success in rural areas against Clinton not to mention his overwhelming popularity amongst millenials. Rural areas that Clinton got pounded by Trump, Sanders may have made up some ground, especially in Michigan and Wisconson, states he won in the primaries.

    Not to mention he has an ACTUAL record of voting against trade deals, wars, and not being controlled by big money interests, unlike Trump. There is a ton of authenticity there also.

    Maybe an FDR democrat was needed this time around, maybe?

    I do however believe he would have lost all southern states but he would have held michigan, wisconsin, and pensylvania along with the entire north east, west coast including new mexico and nevada.

    Like I said, maybe just maybe we got it wrong. Just the opinion of an average guy.

    Thank You,
    Jason Wood

    1. Everyone loved Bernie, not just because of the good work he did, but because he was never serious attacked on his record. Making an actual Socialist the nominee and the full press of the entire capitalist business infrastructure is going to come out against him. They'd have turned him inside out.

  49. I went into the kitchen very early Wednesday morning, only to come face-to-face with a roachzilla. (I'm terrified of those creepy, vile things.) After I managed to get rid of it & focus on the tv, I found out that orange cockroach won. I haven't felt all that great since then. Until I read your essay. Thank you. I'm still not happy, but I think we can roll up our sleeves & continue on with the battle. Let's go on a bug hunt!

  50. Jim, YOU should be DNC chair!

    Screw the zealots of both the Establishment and the Left for their blind adherence to purity. We need someone with the vision you possess to build a new Democratic party that will try to address the legitimate concerns of all Americans.

  51. Robert Reich suggested that a bit of legislative ju-jitsu be tried. Replacing the ACA with a "Medicare for All" system would be the easiest way to get to a single-payer system. And DT has, in past years, said that everyone should get medical care. Of course, they would need to make the payments to the medical care providers much better than now.

  52. Greetings,
    I have been reading your blog for a while now, and usually agree with you. I agree with this essay also, but I have one comment. One of the largest percentages of "voters" in this election were the non-voters, people who sat home and didn't vote at all. While third-party candidates didn't have much of an effect on this election's outcome, I believe had Sanders been the Democratic candidate, a large number of those stay-at-home voters would have come out to vote. And that would have changed the outcome. Just my opinion. Keep up the good work.

  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. I love your writing and think that your analysis here is brilliant, probably the best one I've seen yet. My only criticism would be the one that a previous comment raised, namely you didn't discuss the fact that this was really lost because Hillary failed to turn out voters in the same numbers that Barack Obama did. Trump's numbers were much closer to the two previous Republican candidates' numbers. I think that we have to ask how much of this was caused by vote suppression and how much was caused by lack of enthusiasm for the candidate. There is also the historical fact that only once in the last 60 odd years has a party held the presidency three elections in a row, Reagan/Bush.

  55. Absodamnlutely! This is the slap in the face I needed, Sir! Damn well said! It is time to roll up our sleeves... "help isn't coming and we're going to have to rescue ourselves". I'm with you... let's get to it!

  56. Thank you. I will be reading this again and again over the next four years, whenever I start to lose hope. Bonelady

  57. I hope you are right about things like pre-existing condition coverage, etc. I sure hope you are right. I am scared witless for oh so many reasons, not the least of which is my very Jewish name. I think you are right about most of what you have written. We are in a bad place and many people are going to be worse off than me and my husband - people I know and care about, and people who I don't know but who I think count. I am sad and scared right now, and still need time to wrap my head around this, but I will, soon, and I appreciate your wise words.

  58. Two things that struck me in the numbers - 47 odd % of people didn't vote. Why? Forgot like Saban? Didn't like Kapernick?

    The other is that the Republican total of the general vote stayed the same. The Democratic dropped from Obama's 2004 to 2008 to 2012 (73 mil to 49 mil I believe). Not enough appeal of the pantsuited it appears?

  59. Jim, as always, Thank You! After the election I felt devastated. I'm a 20 year Navy Vet, and I couldn't believe that Trump actually won. I chalked it up to a last dying breath of a white America that is fighting hard against the reality of a growing diversity within the country. The question will be; Are these death rattles going to last only 4 years, 8 years, or longer?? You articulate the reality of the situation with great clarity that truly has made me feel, at least, a little hopeful. Thanks, and Shipmate, Thanks for your service!

  60. My name is Kate and, while I have been following your column, I haven't commented before. I thought that it would be relevent to share what is - with better and worse moments - what is helping me. It was the helplessness that was the worst.

    After a very bad night on Tuesday, I remembered that I am a damn folk singer. I have the tools for this! I am equipped to emotionally cope with terrible, oppressive government. And to help others do that. I was reminded that, whatever the government, we all have gifts to make things better, to deal with grief, to inspire, to comfort, to protect. We can act despite government or politics. Actors, poets, teachers, lawyers, writers, musicians, people with time and energy or resources to donate can still act. Even if it is just to be kind, we are not powerless. Another friend found comfort in paying it backward at Starbucks because there was grace in people being kind no matter who they voted for. A friend who is a yoga instructor helped herself and helped others to just breathe and to find calm. 

    I went to hear a friend's band last night and they opened with a defiant version of "O-o-h Child" that became a f***ing anthem and then they went on to play a set that had exhausted dispirited middle-aged folks dancing like crazy people. Both musicians and audience were reminded that there will still be joy and fun and we can still have that.

    Finally, an Irish American friend of mine posted this and I am sharing it with his permission.
    "I received a promotion this morning. I went from your everyday civic voter to a human rights activist. My voice will be collected with others to make a deafening reminder that we insist to be held safely in this nations embrace, all of us.
    To all my friends who are afraid because their lives as US immigrants, as LGBT persons, as non christians, as women, as people of this nation, you will always find safety and comfort in my house.
    To my friends who are not yet, and hopefully never, on the outside looking in, if that time should come when you are no longer welcome in the community you thought would save you, you too are welcome and safe in my house. I will carry a banner, raise a flag and march determined to keep you all safe. I will not let my fear stop me.
    Love and peace to you all."

    I am really lucky to live in a blue state and I know it must be much harder to be surrounded by people who supported Trump but I found that these things have helped me and maybe they will help you.

  61. I feel sad for all the rust belt and coal miners who have been screwed by both parties. Jim is right in that the GOP now has to work and produce acceptable outcome.
    I read today that ISIS is loving that Trump won. They believe Muslims will fear for their lives and unite against the US.
    It will be a painful 4 years watching Trumps family sucking off tax payers money, well exact ally the way Cheney/Haliburton did

    1. Expect this to be the most corrupt, self-dealing, felonious administration in history--one that will make Nixon's and Reagan's look like a bunch of choir boys. And, do what had seemed impossible: make Bush 2 look good by comparison.

  62. This is almost identical to what I've been thinking the last day and a half. There's some interesting journalism on the fallout from Obamacare repeal, including the 2 year sunset provision in the repeal legislation waiting to happen that will prevent people from losing their coverage before the midterms. Which is maybe the most calculating thing I've ever seen in politics.

    Healthcare is kind of my jam, though I'm all over policy. And you're right: it's tough to see how the GOP doesn't deeply damage itself over the next few years. They expected to have HRC as a scapegoat for blocking their agenda. Now they're going to have to figure out...not how to sell it, because they clearly don't care about popular support, but rather how to sidestep the damage from repealing the ACA.

    But that's just one of many hurdles and landmines. Trump is going into office the least popular president ever elected, and that number can only go down. He's a walking parody without the least ability needed for the office. Add to that his vindictiveness, thin skin, and having to work with people in his own party who hate him, and it's a recipe for a true shitshow.

    I've been gaming out a a ton of possible scenarios based on different actions, inactions, and potential scandals. None of them play well--you're absolutely correct in how bad he is for the GOP brand. And that regardless of how much it hurts them long term, the damage they do will be significant, probably deadly, and take forever to repair.

    The only hope is that Trump fights them on everything because that's who he is, and trips up any and all process on the GOP agenda. 2018 is a tough, tough year for blue states, but I have to hope that the country will be so embarrassed and stay so angry that we'll see a wave election.

    So far this is the only piece of writing that's meshed with my own thoughts so well, though you've clearly thought it out better and more thoroughly than I have so far. Incredible work, man.

  63. We need soldiers like you to kick us recruits in the ass. Where do I join, sir.

  64. Wish you weren't spot on. I heard Warren Zevon as I read your post. Might take more than lawyers, guns and money, though. And so, the struggle continues. Thank you for your unfailing honesty and clear vision. Vigilance is my new motto.

  65. If all 33 Trump states, each had the population of 1, and all the other millions of Americans lived in the other 17 blue states, those 33 votes would override all the millions of votes in the blue states. Reverse the colors and it's still true. This should be unconstitutional.

    1. That's not how electoral votes are calculated. It's based on population. If each of those 33 states had a population of 1, and the rest of the nation lived in all the other states, it is likely that those 33 states would get one electoral vote, and the rest of the 17 states would get (sort of) proportionally more. Since the rule is that 51% of all the electoral votes must go to one candidate for that candidate to win, the electoral votes of all the other states, based on their populations, would far exceed that of the 33 with only one person each. Unless you are positing that there are, indeed more red voters in the blue states than there are blue? In which case, the red votes SHOULD win.

      If I'm misinterpreting what you are trying to say, please explain.

    2. The number of electoral votes per state is the sum of the senators (always 2) plus the representatives (at least 1, proportional to population) -- lower population states get more EV per capita than higher population states.

    3. to Bardgal - it's not unconstitutional because it's actually what the Constitution specifies.
      to Terri - I feel like you're hanging up on the numbers instead of viewing the concept. Actually, each state gets at least 3 electoral votes, regardless of how small its population may be. So Wyoming has roughly 143,000 people per electoral vote, while New York, on the other end of the scale, has about 519,000 people per electoral vote. While Bardgal's example overstates the case, it is true that, when it comes to electoral votes, the vote of a single voter in Wyoming has more value in electoral votes than that of a voter in New York.

  66. If anyone wants a preview of the next few years, take a good look at the smoldering ruins of the State of Kansas, the infrastructure of Michigan, and the political systems of New Jersey and Wisconsin.

    How can we push back against a group of asses that have no shame or compunction about how they achieve their own results?

    1. The kind of thing I will never understand is that MI voted for a Republican after their Republican governor POISONED their children! What is it that takes precedent over your children's health?

  67. Hey, Jim, that Muslim ban is apparently back up on the Trump website. We couldn't be that lucky.
    Jeanne Craver

  68. I've been comparing numbers. I realize they are still counting votes, but... Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and that vote count keeps getting hire. It is currently 60,071,781. Know what Mitt Romney's vote count was in 2012? 60,933,504 votes. That is 1.2M more votes than Trump got. Basically, it was the same Republican base as last time. Just, it looks like a few more Republicans voted for Gary Johnson this time than last time.
    Barack Obama won reelection with 65,915,795 votes.
    Gary Johnson's 4,101,931 votes and Jill Stein's 1,228,594 votes don't make up the voter shortfall this year. And remember, combined they got 1.6M votes in 2012. Democrats didn't show up in droves this year the way they did four years ago. The states that are still counting ballots aren't going to make up the shortfall. Democrats figured Hillary had it in the bag, because that is what the media told them and they stayed home. Even some Republicans stayed home.

  69. First order of business..... Cut off his balls at the midterms.

    1. That's what I've been trying to tell my American friends. Get organized, find out who's vulnerable and work like the devil to defeat them in 2018. It wouldn't take much to change the majorities in both the House and the Senate, no need to wait for another presidential election. (And yes, I'm Canadian).


  70. Well, you didn't sugarcoat the situation, but I found this oddly comforting all the same. A little less "It's the end of the world!" and a little more "We have to do all that AGAIN?" Thanks for the levelheaded assessment.

  71. " It’s all on them. All of it. " There you go.

  72. Very insightful. Thank you. Donald Trump is going to learn very quickly that he isn't going to get what he wants. The President doesn't make laws. The Congress does. If he loses the support of even a small percentage of the more moderate Republicans there won't be enough support to get anything passed.

    This will not destroy the United States. We have had bad presidents before. The voters have another chance in two years to voice their sentiments. If the Trump administration messes it up really bad, the voters can, and will, flip control of Congress. It happened to Clinton, it happened to Obama, it can happen to Trump.

    Frank Jurgens
    Houston, Texas

    1. But now there is all the voter suppression, gerrymandering, and Koch money to contend with.

  73. Alright, Mr. Wright.


    I'll try. I cannot and will not promise that I'll succeed for there are limits beyond which I'll not be pushed by God or the devil, much less mere mortal man. Especially where the safety and well-being of people I care about are concerned.

    But I'll try. I'll try to be calm and rational and understand that things are going to suck for a while.

    I'll try to work with instead of against.

    Whenever possible I will fight with votes and actions and words and whenever necessary I will compromise as much as I can.

    I'll try to keep all this in mind.

    But at the risk of sounding just like the lunatics who are now running the asylum, I reserve the right to keep my powder dry.

  74. Regretfully, I'm likely to be collateral damage in this. I'm fighting a tough cancer that requires treatment at a specialty hospital. My next round of treatment will cost $150K-$200K. I have insurance through our state exchange, and I'm ok for now. If they nuke the ACA with no alternative, just to prove they can, and I expect they will, I will fall through the cracks. If my cancer was lung cancer, they could call it a lifestyle disease, and say it was my fault. But, there are zero known lifestyle risks for my diagnosis. But, it won't bother them to accidentally lose a few blue state voters along the way, as long as it's part of the greater good of dismantling everything the uppity black President did the past few years. I fear I won't get another chance to vote against the giant orange POS. I can't imagine the fear that the truly vulnerable populations must be feeling right now.

    1. Damon, my heart goes out to you. I hope to God that you get the care you need to be cancer-free--and that your insurance will cover you through your treatment before the ACA repeal takes full hold.

  75. ok, now how do we reach the unreachable? They won't listen now and their going to be really pissed off shortly.

    1. buy them a cup of coffee like I do. Every day I have coffee from a small group of friends after I complete my daily work out. Most of them are as Jim describes it, not racists just ignored. We talk about politics all the time. We all agree, although we might disagree on some issues, we will not be disagreeable in voicing our thoughts. I told those friends a while ago, no matter the outcome, I am not going anywhere, I am not changing, I will be respectful of your thinking as long as you are of mine.

      That is how a dialogue begins, and how change can be affected. One person at a time, one thought at a time. Of course I have the time, I am retired.

      To affect change, you must nurture your thinking like they are precious seeds of an endangered plant. Care for it, keep it watered and fertilized, prune it when needed and NEVER take your eye off the ball.

      It is how I have succeeded in opening minds to new ways of viewing the world.

      Just my 2 cents.

  76. I enjoyed reading this article, especially the insight in why HRC lost, and how these red zones think. However, their view is so limited per what Im reading. They think America is theirs, and theirs alone. I hear it too, thinking that America is some type of sports team, and they want to beat Mexico and other countries in everything versus working together in a global world. They dont seem to differentiate between members of a group: Muslims, LGBTQ, Mexicans, etc. and paint everyone with the same brush, and react with such hostility to anyone not like them. They seem to think from what's written in this article they are only the good people, or owners, and maybe the same people that dont mind that Native Americans dont have land now. If Im misinterpreting from what you mentioned in your article, let me know. Moving on: How do you talk to people that dont want change except as how Trump did? Manufacturing jobs can come back to some extent, but not enough to appease them due to technology and with an effort to stifle climate change. I think a possible way may be to show them that they can be part of the changing future: get them free schooling/training skills so they can move up their social status and grow, talk to different types of people that not everyone (even other Caucasian people dont have their same views), realize that we abide by the Constitution not a Bible, give better incentives to farmers to help them make it easier to compete, be organic, etc, and Im sure other ways that I havent thought of or mentioned. However, if they simply dont want to change or be a part of a world that is leading away from fossil fuels, or accepting of basic rights to all, then what is there to do? You mentioned concessions to idealism, but what types of concessions? Just thinking out loud, making conversation. Thanks for the article. One more thing: for the ACA replacement, the Republican platform thus far introduced many alternatives, none of them being Medicare for all. Mainly it was letting the states compete in the race to the bottom, creating plans with little coverage under states with looser regulations, and premiums based on health status. The Republican base voted in Trump not only for their nostalgia for this past America, but simply for the Republican platform of a "free market, make it or break it with little to no safety net" type of mentality. Im not sure if they ll think "better" is Medicare for all , Im thinking their version of better is competition/capitalism with little to no checks or regulations. There is more than social issues at stake here, and there will probably be people that truly agree that this is a "better" version. Thoughts?

  77. I don't know if the omission was intentional or not. I think that significant part of that "Blue Turned Red" difference was likely due to manufacturing/extraction workers who have lost jobs, but I really don't see the Democratic party (traditionally the champion of the Worker) doing much of anything to help out.

    The tough part of that is a big part of what you did address- manufacturing/extraction isn't going to come back (at least, if we're going to meet the Paris Protocol standards, we can't AFFORD for coal to come back, and need to keep on phasing out oil).

    How do we address that? I agree, the GOP sure as hell isn't going to... they profit from keeping manufacturing and extraction as cheap as possible, meaning overseas.

  78. i won't survive this....aging, crippled up old transsexual....i've already signaled for a meeting with my maker. as for the fight, shoot i'm not even acceptable fodder, unworthy even as a sacrifice.

    for you guys who have anything left, go get 'em! you will have to start from scratch but you've got it in you.

    1. Hang in there, PennyJane.

    2. You are most certainly NOT unworthy. Everyone good is necessary. Now, more than ever. Please don't give up.

    3. Not one damned citizen of this country is unworthy. Not one, and certainly not you. Unable? Perhaps. But never unworthy.

  79. The environment? Global Warming? Mass extinctions? There's no going back on these things. Once we're beyond the tipping point, there is no recovering.

  80. Brilliant piece, as usual, Mr. Wright. Thank you for the perspective. I've been trying to voice some of this for the last few days, you've distilled it down to the essence.

  81. Thank you Jim, from a former US ARMY member, when people asked me how I was doing, I said, this is not the country I volunteered to defend, full stop
    5th Inf Mech 1980-81 7th Army JMTC (USAEUR)81-83 40 Inf MECH (Cal Nat Guard)1983-90 let's do this Marine ;-)

  82. Spittle-flecked poop incoming in 5... 4... 3...

  83. This has been a brutal, brutal wake up call but you're absolutely right. We've ignored, dismissed, and ridiculed red America for too long and at our own peril. We're now faced with the results of that refusal to see them as our equals. we now have to look past the racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc. bluster and figure out what it is that they're just so PISSED about. At this point, that's not even close to being optional anymore.

    We have to handle this on two fronts, first Trump et al. have to be resisted, restrained, and fought tooth and nail every time they work to take away our civil rights or ruin our country from within. But we also have to very, very seriously work our asses off to find the common ground with the people not on the edges of the country or in big cities. We have to be extremely persistent and understand where they're actually coming from. We have to identify what they really want and how we can work with them to make it happen while preserving the progress we've made and continuing to move forward. We can't drag them forward against their will, we have to sincerely offer them an equal place in our collective future. If we don't do that, we're going to lose much more than an election.

  84. For years we've been fed a load of crap about how great Republican policies are. Well, we're about to get them. Shoved down our throats. For those who wanted this, careful what you wish for. Much like the alcoholic or drug addict who must hit absolute rock bottom to finally turn around, I'm optimistic that a Trump presidency with a Republican Congress will finally dispel their myths, at least for the next few generations. I thought it would happen after Bush II, but we couldn't get so lucky. It's unfortunate what we're all going to have to go through to get there. I just hope we survive the process.

  85. I get what you are saying, and I don't want to ruin it for you, but Hudson doesn't survive this.

    Also, LV426 gets nuked... It goes into meltdown.

    It ain't the aliens I'm worried about, it's the drop ship getting here in time... so to speak.

    So think of 17 days as 4 years...

    And whoever is running next, I certainly hope it's Ripley and she has her autoloader suit.

  86. Thank you for the "Aliens" references. That rebuke to Hudson from Ripley about needing him and not his BS is really relevant because all my friends have been Hudson hysterical since Trump won. Not only that but "Aliens" was released in 1986 in the middle of Reagan's de-industrialization plans but also the AIDS epidemic. Just hope we don't nuke the site from outer space.

  87. What nobody has stated in any of these comments, and Jim didn't mention was the elephant in the room. Many people, women included, just weren't ready to vote in a woman president. No matter how qualified. A lot of the ridiculous excuses for why people "just couldn't vote for Clinton" was code for: "Couldn't vote for anyone with a vagina."

    1. Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but everyone I know who said, "Couldn't vote for Clinton" seriously considered or actually did vote for Stein.

  88. Where do we compromise on the right to choose? Where do we compromise on LBGTQ rights that should be protected already by the 14th Amendment? I can compromise on immigration, but our economy depends on undocumented workers it is our people and businesses that hire undocumented workers, just as drugs fill a need in our society so do the undocumented workers the demand creates the supply a simple business maxim.

    I am willing to compromise on some things but there are other things that I will fight to support.

    Can we agree that the government has no business in our bedrooms, bathrooms, and doctor's office? This is small government trusting the citizen to make the best choice for their life. This is the meaning of freedom for me.

    All I have is questions. I am a reasonable person I bear malice to no one who can defend their position logically, I do not suffer fools or those unwilling to try and compromise. I fear this excludes all people who owe allegiance to their personal religion over that of the nation. No man can serve two masters. Our founding fathers understood this and specifically excluded religion from the Constitution.

    We need to agree on some facts about reality. I do not know if industrialization is causing global warming, what I do know is it makes no sense to foul our nest in the process of living. We should as a matter of business seek to maintain the quality of our environment and to include the environmental costs in the cost of doing business.

  89. Great column. Plenty of food for thought. Absolutely loved the Aliens references. One of my all-time favorite movies!

  90. Loved the Alien references, found this:
    Ash: You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
    Lambert: You admire it.
    Ash: I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.
    Parker: Look, I am... I've heard enough of this, and I'm asking you to pull the plug.
    [Ripley goes to disconnect Ash, who interrupts]
    Ash: Last word.
    Ripley: What?
    Ash: I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies.

  91. This is my first comment. Up until now I have been a rabid liker/lover/angrier/wower/cryer via facebook emojis. First, thank you for writing this; the unvarnished truth. I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed that we don't get to "take off, nuke the site from orbit... it's the only way to be sure."

    I look at the millions of surplus blue votes on the coasts and in the cities, and the first thing that comes to mind is that we as a country, red and blue, have been doing this exactly backwards. We migrate to seek-out something that is comfortable. Likes seeking their own. This is wrong. This is what creates the bubbles, the echo-chambers. Reaching out? How about mass migration?! Seriously. It worked for the white man in destroying the indigenous peoples. Why can't it work for us to wipe-out fear, loathing, and the unknown - one handshake, one mowed lawn, one cleared-of-snow driveway, one repaired faucet at a time?

    We're coming for ya, deplorables, and we're bringing children, radio fliers, Chevies, picnic tables and just maybe a dog-eared copy of Mother Jones and Ebony.

    p.s. I love that you have Live Journal as a possible login. That is so old school; makes me long for my myspace account.

    1. How would we migrate from the urban areas to the rural areas when the jobs we do exist nearly exclusively (in reasonable numbers) only in the urban areas?

      How many lawyers or doctors or project managers or software developers or mechanical engineers are needed out in the middle of Farmland, South Dakota?

  92. Very well written Jim and I agree with almost everything, except the part about Bernie not faring any better than Clinton in red states. Having personally talked to thousands of people campaigning in red states for state and local Democrats, the hate for Clinton was strong. Bernie would have done much better simply by not being her.

    1. I agree with it all now and going forward but I also believe for what it's worth, Bernie wouldn't have stooped to wallow in the mud and we might have had a race that talked about policy and ideas rather than the moral stabbings that were leveled by each side.

  93. Jim, If I may add or comment. 1) I do think you are taking "building a wall" a little to literally. You are right that its cost would grown into the billions. But that would be cost added to the 7,000 large US corporation that continuously depend on undocumented workers to fatten up their shareholders. And at the expense to the consumers, simply put. I don't think Americans really understand what are the true cost of that hamburger in their hands, once you removed the cheap labor used to pick all of its ingredients. 2) One major part why Clinton lost as to do with legacy and the Bush effect. Back in 2001, everyone thought it was a good idea to hire the son of a former president to do this job. And boy oh boy did that cost us dearly (and cost the lives of 450K Iraqi Civilians as well). There is already resentment towards political family legacies. so Really? A former president wive is the best the DNC could come up with? After she had lost to Obama? In 8 years, no other potential contender to better follow up then a Clinton? 3) The US middle class as been left behind on the country economic recovery, and the poor got it even worse. I do like President Obama, but I would say that is the one thing that should have been more focussed on. Wages aren't keeping up and cost of living increasing while the market is hitting records levels. Companies are declaring amazing quarters and most of us felt as we got left behind. He and his party should have done more instead of pushing for the TPP. Lesson learned, I hope.

  94. I'm one of those LGBT people who are looking to lose a lot. I'm terrified even.

    But I'm also a Marine. Point me in the right direction and give me an objective, because I'm feeling like shooting anything that moves right now.

  95. I love your articles and agree with you a vast majority of the time, but you are completely wrong on your conclusion that Bernie Sanders would have lost too. Bernie would have carried a much larger portion of the total electorate. There was a substantially low voter turn out this election, and we all know who wins low turn out elections, the republicans do. When there is a high turn out the dems win. That's not just something that Bernie said, it's very true and backed by the numbers. Look at this election compared to all of them, but atleast 2008 and 2012. Millennials stayed home... why?........ because they know Bernie was cheated and they know HRC is for sale. Almost 6 million people less who voted compared to 2012. HRC carried an incredibly low number of millennials I believe 19% if I remember correctly. Bernie personified voter enthusiasm and HRC did not. There aren't any real amount of voters who would've shown up to vote against Bernie because those voters are already voting for trump to beat HRC who they hate even more than Bernie. The additional votes to block Bernie are already cast to block HRC.

  96. Love it Jim. Compromise has been the key all along and forever. Without it, there is no different future, just a rerun of one side or the other since politics and the need to govern a country, any country has existed.

  97. Trump is going to give those who voted for him change all right and they are not going to like it one bit. He's already begun to surround himself with his Wall St. crony buddies, lobbyists and a list of GOP loonies lining up for cabinet positions. Yes even Newt is trying to get his foot in the door.

    I believe the Trump voters fell victim to a liar and a con man and I believe his actions will prove that true.

  98. Jim, I really appreciate your hard work in the past months, years, and this post is yet another great example of what "thinking it through" really means. I don't think a lot of people thought of this before you wrote it, or would have on their own if you had not. Bravo.

  99. Thank you. Add I've been recovering my nuts from the living they took on Tuesday, I've tried explaining this scenario to a few of my circle in the most despair. I will gladly forward this as a call to duty and as always, thank you for your efforts Jim.

  100. Hi!
    As a guy from the other side of this conversation, I live in the heart of Alabama, I think the writer has done a great job on this essay. Now moving on to the points he made that the audience missed: We who voted Republican are not uneducated. We are not Liberal, and received our education from places where academia is a nice theory, and good for math and figuring out the angles, but if it didn't get a seed in the ground, or the car running again, or the roof fixed, it was not of much use. Now that's not to say I don't read, and am incapable of understanding complex theory. I have a degree in Physics, so I understand complex theory just fine. The point is I still value real world answers over theory.

    Now to further help you understand the 'red states' you need to drop the ignorant attitude of the liberals that anyone who does not agree with you is 'gun loving, bible toting, pick up driving red neck'. Or in more plain speech :Racist, bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic, anti-LGBT.
    The moment someone throws that at anyone from the red states, we don't care what you think any more, because your not going to hear anything we say anyway. We have gay friends, black friends, and maybe even a few Muslim friends. We don't repress them, and they understand we value them as a person, not a demographic. I value my good friend 'heavy' because he was a Marine like me, is great at fishing, and makes the greatest jokes in the world (often at the expense of Liberal ideas btw). But he does not pull the 'race card' because he takes responsibility for his life and his actions, but I digress that's more into this issue than one essay response could cover.

    The election for me, and i think many like me, was about a lot more than most liberals realized. The media, the DNC, and the left as a whole is misunderstanding WHY trump just won. He won because he was human. He was flawed, and made mistakes, and said the wrong things, and had a past. But we are flawed, we make mistakes, we say the wrong things. To us HE was honest. He is FAR from perfect, but he was someone we could understand because unlike Hillary, or Burnie, or even Obama, He never tried to be perfect, he was just him. When people try to be perfect, we know they are hiding something much worse underneath. So the Red states dont like idealistic, it's not practical, and Idealistic perfection is useless. Theirs a lot more, but I'm kinda done talking and I'm sure your done reading.

    1. You say that you voted for Trump because he was human, despite his flaws. But surely the same could be said about Clinton. How do you decide which human flaws to disregard? I would have thought that Trump's overwhelming dishonesty would have turned you off. How could that possibly be a good thing in a President?

    2. All right, so you answered my question I posted earlier re: why you voted for Trump.

      Now, it sounds like you're all about the practical solutions and putting "real-world" answers over theory. That pragmatism sounds like something we can both agree upon.

      That being said, which real-world solutions do you feel Trump can bring to the table? Again, I'm all ears.

  101. Thanks for a clear eyed and eloquent presentation of where we are and how the heck we got here. I will reach out to republican friends, already started. But I'd like suggestions on how to talk with them about potential common ground. Things that actually have worked to bridge the gap. I just don't know many red state people. But I love your blog and hope folks in the middle of the map read you also. Thanks for loving our country.

  102. I have been reading your blog for several years. This post was the Bracers of Defense that I needed. Thanks so much for putting yourself out there. Plus I love the SF references. Starship Troopers was one of my favorite novels growing up. Along with all of Heinlein's youth novels, like Tunnel in the Sky and Citizen of the Galaxy.

  103. Thank you for providing some clarity to what we're looking at. To be honest, I'm still in a state of shock so it's hard to make heads or tails of anything the last couple of days. But we need to recover from our collective freak-out and get back to work because Tuesday night was just the first wave of awful that's coming at us with full conservative control. My fear is that the internal personality disorder fight within the Democratic Party right now won't be resolved by the time midterms roll around and we'll miss our first opportunity to stem the tide.

  104. Allow me to preface this by saying that I've been following you on Facebook for awhile now, but lacking the ability to comment there, I haven't been able to introduce myself or speak up until now. I must say, your perspective is very refreshing. That said...

    After reading this, I'm alternating between rising up and fighting, and quivering with overwhelming fear. And it's unfair, because I did not vote for this! I voted for Bernie in the primaries and Hillary in the race.

    I move into fear because I am a single, mid-fifties apparently white woman (I'm 1/8th Native American but you wouldn't know it to look at me) who is self-supporting and working in academia--currently as a secretary, but with eyes on getting my masters and teaching.

    Except the results of this election have me extremely worried about whether that is still a viable future, and hearing that women's rights will be taken away frightens me even more. Should I pack up and move out of the country now? Go someplace where women will still have the rights to live single and independent? Will the rights we lose be THAT bad? Do we have any power at all to stop this? Or must we simply endure?

    I'm not in favor of anyone losing any rights, but there are some rights that while they'd suck to lose, we could get through it for a few years and then put it back into place with the next administration. Then there are other rights which, if lost, would make it impossible for me to survive without marrying some fool I don't want to marry.

    What do I do? How safe or vulnerable am I? I don't even know whom to ask.

  105. Thank you for bringing me off the brink. For using your perfect logic to show us what happened, why, and what will most likely happen. But most importantly, for taking the emotion, raw emotion, out of the equation. Thank you again. Looking forward to future enlightenment, and wisdom

  106. Jim, a great post - Thank You for this!

  107. Only you would think to use Aliens quotes for this situation, one of James Cameron's early classics. One of the few sequels that manages to slightly surpass the original and features one of my favorite actors and long time Cameron collaborator, Michael Biehn. Biehn's performance as Johnny Ringo in Tombstone is master class.

    But anyway the election. As I told one of my friends from work the white working class rust belt voters are about to get a jack boot education on just what the GOP thinks of them. If they thought things were bad under Obama they better buckle the fuck up buttercup. Everything from Social Security privatization or retirement age to health care to minimum wage is in the cross hairs Republicans and the oligarchy of corporate shills that own them.

    I have never been more relieved to be out of the military, to not be their cannon fodder any longer. I will not flee to Canada or anywhere else, I will stay and fight to be a thorn in their side if nothing else. We need set our sights on the 2018 midterm elections as our first line of defense.

    Justin Ruhl

  108. I've never been so terrified and still laughed so much. Thank you. I agree with all of this except for this statement "You can expect a recession and the loss of tens of thousands of domestic jobs and sooner or later voters are going to wise up to the fact that every time Republicans are in charge that happens." I don't think that they're ever going to get it. It's happened over and over and it's been pointed out over and over, and they still don't get it.

  109. Since we're gonna lose that ground anyway...... maybe we can booby trap it and use it draw out bugs :)

  110. I don't know.

    This isn't my country anymore. This is AmeriKKKa, not America now. I don't, I can't see how it can get better. Right now I'm not running on any hope.

    I am not an immediate target, being white. But I am a female. I live in a rural area. And I am more liberal than I am conservative. So sooner or later, I will be a target. And considering the way these screechmonsters treat their immediate targets, I know I will receive exactly the same amount of mercy they give others: namely, none.

    That scares me to death, so much so that I've considered (and still am) suicide. Better to die free at my will than by others' vicious decree.

    As it is, I will lose my healthcare. I will have no insurance, at all. Right now what I have is the Medicaid/Care through the state. That quite probably saved my life when I got hit with not one but two bouts of bronchitis in less than a year. Once you get bronchitis you are susceptible to it for the rest of your life, and it can get worse. Where I live, I'm already feeling possible effects, and the thought of winding up with another episode of bronchitis scares the shit out of me. It would have cost me over $200 for one treatment at the quick-care clinic; God only knows what a regular doctor would charge (which is why I don't have one). I'm poor despite having limited employment: all my money goes to bills and care for my pets. I have almost no savings at all; I actually have about 4K in credit card debt that I'm struggling to pay off. When you're poor, you rely on credit to get you through; I only get paid once every 2 weeks so making that check stretch is difficult at best.

    I have friends who are LGBT; I fear for their lives. I, while straight, have been mistaken for gay a few times because of the way I dress and wear my hair, both of which are decidedly unfeminine-as-approved by the now-dictatorship. So it's not a stretch to assume that I would be possibly targeted for this as well.

    And then, of course, there's the nukes. This is why I'm not bothering to leave the country; what's the point? There is NO safe place on this planet with those things around. We can make weapons with the destructive power to kill a thousand earths a hundred times over, but we cannot create a simple easy-to-open plastic packaging. (We are a stupid, stupid species indeed.) The thought of dying in a horrific fire terrifies me as much as the thought of dying at the hands of a bloodthirsty mob or a slower death by suffering from lack of critical resources does.

    So I don't know. I don't know if there's anything here that's worth still fighting for. Part of me wants to say the hell with it: let the bastards who support this shit sink with the ship and drown like the rats they are. (And no, that doesn't make me any better than them, you're right on that. I will however be honest about my current feelings.)

    I will think on your words. But like one commenter said, I too will reserve the right to keep my powder dry, so to speak.

    May you and your family stay safe in the new Dark Ages.

  111. As a person who lives in one of these rural red counties (Northeast South Dakota), Jim, everything you have written is accurate. A lot of people in this country feel they are and have been left behind and the rest of the country 1-Does not understand them, and 2-believe that the rest of the country is out to destroy what they hold dear.

    I live here, and I teach (or at least attempt) young adults. It is a very real challenge. How many readers are experiencing a population loss of their community of over 70 years in the making? I am living in the middle of it. Every year, there are fewer people around today than there was last year. More empty farm sites, longer distances to drive for anything, less to do because there aren't businesses to sponsor activities or even HAVE activities. I once lived in a place where it was a two-hour drive to see a movie. I have taken kids on trips that had never been to McDonald's until they were 16,17, or 18 years old (I don't like Mickie Dee's either, but I hope you get my point).

    If you experienced this kind of loss for 70+ years (since the Great Depression for us, outside of a short blip during the baby boom), you may understand what many people out here feel. For a lot of people, the 50s WAS the golden age, and it has never been as good for them, their family, or their communities since.

    Please, understand where some of these folks are coming from. they are not all (including me) evil.

  112. Put me in the camp that believes this was as much about enthusiasm and turnout as anything else. Trump won with fewer votes than Romney lost with. Too many people were just...tired of the Clintons (fairly or not).

    I do agree though that both political parties need to do a better job reaching out to those red squares. Unfortunately the alt-right media has done so with a blizzard of lies, but fundamentally no one seems to have a clue how to address the fact that industrial small town America is dying/dead. Trump can yammer all he wants about bringing coal jobs back (to note one example), but when you check out the stats on coal employment vs production (and productivity, see the chart about coal mining jobs here: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Coal_and_jobs_in_the_United_States) it's quickly obvious that it wasn't the EPA or foreigners who took those jobs, it was automation and technology. How do you reach out to people who fundamentally don't want to hear the truth? That those jobs aren't coming back? They've heard about job retraining for years, but *there are no jobs* in those communities to retrain for.

    One of the best things I've read recently (not from this site :) ) is this: http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/

    It was written a month before the election, and I encourage people to read it all. The first few points will probably anger you, but at least read until he gets to point 3.

  113. "We have met the enemy and he is us."
    That came to mind as I was reading. You're right of course, but
    today I still wept for our nation. I live in one of those little red
    squares and knew how most of my neighbors would vote. I think I underestimated the wide spread of the narrow-mindedness. So f#$%$#& sad.

  114. Nice article Jim. As usual you articulate things very well. I dohowever think that you may be wrong on the 3rd party folks.The DNC played fast and loose with Bernie Sanders. It was so obvious that folks turned against the candidate that they put forth:Hillary Clinton. As you said..those little red and blue dots are people and I got to talk to a lot of them where I live and FB. People were furious...and they felt ignored..Now we are going to pay for that anger. I agree with your assessment of the situation..it's going to be hell.
    I am here for the long run..I probabaly won't be around to see the end of this;I'm probably your age,Jim but I will hunker down and fight to leave something better for my kids and grandkids.So count me in! hand me that shovel..and let's get to work!

  115. Nevada got a lot of things right on election night. I humbly suggest we liaise with their organizers/ground game.

  116. I hate you, dammit, because I think you're right.

  117. No. They are not good people. I'm Texas born and raised, and that's what I always thought - at the heart, they were good. But they're not. They're okay with racism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, sexual assault, and, most probably, incest. They are. The man said who he was, in so many words, and they voted for him anyway. They voted for him because they want what they want and they don't care who else is hurt in the process. I don't give a damn if they're scared. You don't save yourself by throwing someone else overboard. What we are finding out is that there are a whole lot fewer good people than we thought.

  118. "Grow a pair and set'em to swing mode."

  119. There's something far larger happening that is being missed:
    Trump got an incredible, tangible benefit from powers outside our own country that are hostile to our interests. Julian Assange, as we all know, is now bragging about how he kept Clinton from winning. We've also got another Washington Post article about the talks happening between Trump and Russia--during the campaign. The Independent UK just ran a video of Putin's cabinet celebrating a Trump victory...

    This should be cause for concern, but I'm going to give you a few more things to chew. While it's true Trump will likely never have that magical wall built, he can still...
    1. Abandon our allies in NATO, just as he said he would, just as he might have the votes to manage.
    2. Revoke Internet neutrality, just as he said he would "because it's good for business."
    3. Overturn Dodd-Frank, thereby getting rid of the very provisions meant to prevent another bank fallout--AND get rid of the provisions that force transparency in banking.

    If a Democrat were doing all of these painfully obvious things to subvert our democracy, the country would be shut down due to rioting in the streets. As it's a Republican, we're hearing about how good this is for business. We should, at the very least, be aware of what is happening. The only person I hear speaking against it is Elizabeth Warren.





  120. There was a change in voting though. The polls were wrong because they filtered down to "likely voters". There was an army of those cast aside as "unlikely voters". The people that normally dont vote because they've been disenfranchised by the system and generally dont vote. They saw Trump and latched onto him not only out of protest of the establishment, but also because he was the first one in several decades that actually bothered to speak to them, on their level. That was BIG.

    Then Trump started making wild proclamations and promises about restoring their broken and shelled out factory towns about bringing back manufacturing to America. He spoke to them.

    The DNC however, fewer overall voters showed up. The republican votes; those red squares, rose ever so slightly because of the renewed insistence on voting by some. But largely it remains unchanged. But looking at the democratic votes; they just didnt show up. Yeah, those blue squares may not change in size, but there's a lot of democrats that just wont go to the polls unless they're truly energized about a candidate - hence the belief that Bernie would have pulled more of them out to the polls and ignited the Youth Vote as happened in 2008 for Obama.

    Thank you for your insight and hopefully this goes just as viral and we can get more people prepared. I dont think people realize that things arent really that much different, we have 2 months to get a grip and devise a plan on how to confront and challenge major changes such as all of the issues Jim wrote on here. He has to get congressional approval for most everything - and there's still a 48-51 + 1 independent. If the independent sides, as Bernie usually does, then that's a 49-51 split. Meaning fillibustering the most damaging legislation is going to happen. This does include budgets and tax policies.

    The one thing that Jim did not touch on though; Diplomacy. Trump is far from diplomatic. The cold war was started due to our leaders being brash, braggadocious, and keeping information away from our allies. Trump has a very real chance of accidentally upsetting several of our allies with his brash demeanor. His temperament is abhorrent and can lead to saying and doing things that could lead us to war - especially with the wrong countries. Notably China, Russia, and most places in the Middle East.

    I dont fear the supreme court as much. There's currently one seat open. Throwing an actively activist judge on the bench, even on the extreme far right, isnt going to tip the scales of the court much. That person may be a deciding vote in some cases but SCOTUS is still supposed to use the law as their guide - even Scalia knew this. They do have to side with the law and they cannot create new law only define what exists. Unconstitutional laws will get struck down, regardless of the approval of Congress and POTUS.

  121. You just saved my peace of mind. Purple, I want that whole map to be purple!

  122. This was en excellent post Mr. Wright and I thank you for it. It has given me a piece of the perspective puzzle that was eluding me with this whole mess.

  123. 1) Also : Trump put back on his website: ban on Muslms: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/11/10/trump-campaign-staff-deletes-mention-of-muslim-ban-from-website/ 2) I know in your article you disagree that if Sanders was on the ballot that would make a difference, but another reason why HRC may have lost is simply low turnout. Not enough Democrats were enthused. I dont even think the third party vote is to blame, just the complacency. Turnout in general was low; alot of people were not involved at all or cared to be on either side. I think it may be possible if Sanders was on the ballot, more people would have been enthused. You mention the reason to be that the red zones dont want change, but even among those people in red zones, Trump didnt win by some great landslide; the popular vote was very close. Sharing another perspective. Thoughts?

  124. Jim, I think that is as effective a wake-up call as we are likely to see. And I think you're right in that many citizens in each party want a great many of the same things, but simply have different views about what forms those things take, or which candidate seems most likely to bring them about.
    I think a lot of us are still smarting and, from disagreement, are more inclined to argue and bicker with each other. But it will have to end someday if we want that "Great Nation" we keep clamoring for. Breeding animosity does not bring union or healing. Only love can do that. Only love can bring peace. And it is easy to love only the like-minded people; nobody is perfect, but they're easy to get along with if their flaws are closer to your own. Sure, it's easy to love people you, yourself, can reason with and empathize with and understand and accept. But...the person who can love even those he might once have otherwise labeled "a$$hole", love them without being able to understand them well - that person is the kind who can heal a nation. Let's empower those kind of people.

    1. Karl, I have conservative friends and you are quite right. Some of them at least do understand that nobody wants there to be more abortions; nobody wants able-bodied people to have to rely on food stamps; most people at least see the value in a good education.

      But banning abortions won't keep them from happening; free contraception, accurate sex education, and measures to alleviate poverty actually do more to reduce the number of abortions. Cutting off public assistance won't magically make more living-wage jobs appear; it will only sink those businesses who depend on people who are on public assistance. (Taking money away from the poor is never a good idea.) Telling people they have to work harder in school won't fix the problems that come from a cycle of poverty, violence, and lack of opportunity.

      If there's a disconnect, I would say that conservatives are more likely to believe that everyone has an equal shot at success; that income inequality isn't as bad as people think, and that it's easier to overcome.

      There are people who know how everything is and won't listen to anything different. (This is true on both sides.) But there are also those willing to listen and work together, *if* we don't lump them in with the first group.

  125. Today, the shock finally wore off and I actually started crying. In the meantime, a family member, who is a Trump supporter, called me and started in on me cause I ask her in a FB post to please be nice with her comments, and she just started in on me to the point were I asked to her "please stop, can't you tell I'm upset" and she wouldn't. I ended the call abruptly. Anyway, still crying, I going through my fb posts aimlessly unfollowing a lot of people (not defriending them) on FB. When I came across this post. And even though I'm still a little upset, I just want to thank you for being the voice of reason and posting this essay. It did help. Just right now I need to cry, eventually I'll stop and put my big girl panties on. I guess now, I know what it's like to have the shoe on the other foot.

  126. That. Was. Awesome.

  127. Brilliant and cogent as usual, Jim.

  128. Damn, Jim, you're good. That was exactly what I needed. Thank you.

    That Other Jean

  129. Thank you! Give them enough rope, right? I'll get out from under my bed and start to work on the Shenandoah valley.

  130. This will be the winter of our discontent. A lot of anxiety and a lot of great expectations that will not be forthcoming. What I see for the first 100 days is the establishment Republicans erecting a blockade against Neofascist Trump's sleazy new cabinet as the two factions ECLARE WAR on each other, and the Games begin. we can only hope by Spring they will have DEVOURED each other, along with Trump and Pence. Or cannibalized each other, whichever you prefer

  131. The first half of your post is fear-mongering bullshit, Hillary talking points, and voters know it. If Trump was really going to build a wall, then throw all the Mexicans over it, how did he manage to get nearly 30% of the Latino vote? Your precious lesbian Muslims can relax. He's not rolling back anything.

    Hillary collected 10 million fewer votes than 2012 Obama and 15 million less than 2008 Obama. She lost because she inspired no one other than those who were enamored with the fact that she possesses a vagina. Yes, Bernie would have mopped the floor with Trump's ridiculous hair do, as would have Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. Why follow the failed Republican establishment playbook of picking the next person up who supposedly paid their dues?

    What you liberals don't seem to understand about the Electoral college was that the position of President wasn't supposed to be that big a deal. The Federal government had only a few strictly enumerated powers, Congress did the legislating, and the President was supposed to implement the laws they passed. Sovereignty was primarily the province of states and local governments, so the Electoral College existed to protect one state's sovereignty from the others, not from the weak central government.

    Time to clean house. You need new blood. Get those Castro boys or Corey Booker prepped. Check their emails first.

    1. The first half of your post is fear-mongering bullshit...

      No kidding?

      Well, next time I'll remember to use a rhetorical style more suited to your literal comprehension. You're welcome.

  132. Thanks, Jim. I don't agree on every point but I do in broad, and you've given me some good new ways to process which are always appreciated. I'll keep on reading and will comment on the occasions I feel I have something to add. --Nat

  133. Thank you. Wow. What an awesome, amazing read. Brutally honest. You're my new hero. F* this shit, we're going to fix it.

  134. Thank you, very well put. Love the aliens analogy. As a man that is 5 9 and 150 pounds and always work tough manual labor, when I am pushed to the limit and feel I can't continue. I picture myself as Conan pushing the wheel, put your head down and go one step at a time. Eventually you will get there.

  135. Lovely, but ..........Hate to step on your obvious common sense. but after considerable consideration:

  136. I understand what you are saying but how are we going to reach out to a group of people that don't accept reality? Bush 2 wreaked the economy and got us not a war but Obama is the one response for economic inequality and is the most militaristic president. He was even responsible for Katrina. What I'm saying is no matter how bad it gets they will never blame him and somehow it will be the liberals fault. So how do I reach out to someone who won't believe anything I say? To whom any evidence contrary to what they believe is somehow tainted? Case in point go to charity navigator and look at the comments section. FYI this cognitive dissonance is a problem on the left and right.

  137. Thoughts on the election, and the possibility of Senate filibuster. I think this is not a good idea. Republicans won the presidency and both houses of Congress. So, let them govern. The Senate should vote against what they don't like, but not filibuster.

    One of two things will happen, by giving the winners enough rope:

    1] They will drag us to the Promised Land, restoring jobs, improving infrastructure, lowering taxes, etc., or

    2] They will hang themselves.

    In two years, the voters will once again ask:"Am I better off now than in 2016?"

  138. It doesn't matter that you have no respect for the will of the voters. They don't care about your opinion. You lost. You backed a loser. Deal with it.

  139. I am sorry to interrupt this productive discourse with a technical question, but how do I view the maps referenced in the article? Even "Inspect Element" doesn't give me any information. Is this site optimised for a particular browser? (I use Firefox). Thank you.

  140. 2 years to organize and restructure our message...
    We need to be smart in order to keep what we have and then flip some of the red...

  141. You know -- this doesn't help me feel any better about things.

    You are cool beyond words, Mr. Wright. Cool beyond words.

    Thank you.

  142. “We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.” - Chesty Puller

  143. Do I at least get a pulse rifle? I'd really like one about now. /sigh

  144. People must realize that manufacturing jobs will NEVER return to the levels they once were in the US because of 1) technology, 2) unions, 3) workplace safety laws, 4) prohibition against child labor, 5) a minimum wage, and 6) environmental protection regulations - all things missing in today's leading manufacturing nations. US factories produce goods more efficiently than anywhere else in the world, but efficiency alone is not enough overcome all of the other costs. A basic cotton polo manufactured in Bangladesh costs about $3; the same shirt made here would be $13. So are you willing to have your boss treat you unfairly without recourse? Are you willing to be locked in a factory so no one can sneak out for a break, or clean machines without proper procedure being followed? To send your child to work? To take whatever pay is offered to you at the whim of your employer? To live in a city where the air resembles Bejing? To pay 3X more or greater for basic clothing and household goods? No? Then manufacturing jobs will stay right where they are now - in China, India, Bangladesh, Mexico, etc.

  145. that would be a fine point, were trump the sole occupant of the executive branch and inclined to govern with a serious acumen. now, look at his nominees for his cabinet and other significant offices, who dictate and deliver much of the policy that actually impacts us. you think he's gonna reign 'em in?

    now look at his congress.

    and look at the future of the supreme court.

  146. A little glimmer, Trump and Congress have 2 years to the midterms. If they can't learn to govern by then Americans have no problem voting the Congress out, regardless of gerrymandering. We have 2 years to turn purple. Start working now folks.

  147. Yes. So much yes. Don't pull those punches.

    We The People have the power to decide our future and the best of us will not go gentle into that good night. Our ancestors fought and died for the freedoms we currently enjoy. Its time for our all-too-complacent country to stand up and fight for those inalienable rights those who are now disgustingly emboldened seek to rip from us.


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