The Shock of 11/9

I need to give NPR and the New York Times a rest. That goes for Nate Silver too – not that there’d be any reason to read his stuff now anyways. I feel like I’ve been the victim of a 18 month con.

A friend of mine said the shock of 11/9 has been worse than the shock of 9/11. He’s right. Over the next few months much will be written about how all the Polls could get just about all of the data so wrong.  Certainly there was some sort of “Bradley Effect”; closeted Trump voters who were too chicken shit to admit to  their true colors. But there’s something else going on here.

My emotions can get the best of me when I’m sleep deprived. Yesterday morning I found myself holding back tears. In the afternoon I was angry. Now I’m just sort of numb.

Here are some random thoughts. I’m sure I will be more coherent after I’ve had some more time to process things.

This election will change so many things. Life will be more difficult for a lot of people I care about. I’m an older, self-employed, white male. I’ll get a pass from a lot of the coming shit-storm. If there’s another economic recession I’m cooked. But I’ll be pretty immune from the overt bigotry of the Duck Dynasty wing of the Republican party and their fellow travelers.

During the Nixon and Reagan years we questioned the administrations’ commitment to civil rights. But we took solace in the firewall provided by the Federal Courts as guardians of the Bill of Rights. Not so much now. The old litmus test for Republican Supreme Court Nominees was overturning of Roe vs. Wade. You can bet the overturning of Obergefell v. Hodges is now part of the test. Oh, and voting rights too.

Diplomacy is not transactional. Treaties are more insurance policies than business deals. There may not be any immediate benefit but we enter into them because we might need them in the future.

Of all the rolls a President is called upon to play the one I can imagine least is “Mourner in Chief”. Can you imagine this guy showing up at a Black church and providing any meaningful comfort to the families of some future victims of gun violence?

Even the most powerful man in the world cannot change the laws of physics. If the tipping point on Climate changes has not come already it’s likely to occur on his watch.

The oath of office is no cure for clinical narcissism and it’s need to lash out at every perceived slight. Our country will be embarrassed often. They will need to install a revolving door at the staff entrance to the West Wing.

As I withdraw from news cycles I want to be much more intentional in cultivating my relationships with family and friends. We can maintain our spirits and our optimism within our own villages. If you and I haven’t hung out in a while call or text me for coffee or a drink. The answer is yes. I’m literally going to make a list and check it twice. I’m also going to spend more time with kids. I’m pretty good at being the cool uncle. I just don’t do it often enough.

Maybe this Republican can channel the first Republican President in his inaugural address.

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

 

One thought on “The Shock of 11/9

  1. I suppose the 7 stages of grief can apply to an election outcome too, Michael. After all, we witnessed the death of a movement – one that was gradually awakening our “better angels”.

    I still believe that humanity is evolving to a higher consciousness beyond self-centered competition and consumption. Evidence of this doesn’t get paid much attention in the media, but it’s there and growing.

    The election of an anti-Christ just reinforces the idea that real change has to come from the bottom-up.

    In the meantime, like you, I will withdraw from the political news cycle, and concentrate on what’s in front of me in the present moment. Afterall, it’s said the only way to change the world is to change oneself. God bless us all.

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