hollyslowly: The Losers; Roque detonates a thing. (For a revenge driven conspiracy nut)
[personal profile] hollyslowly
I've started this entry about five times now. The past few days, after the black hole of despair that was Wednesday, I have veered between running off at the mouth and being unable to speak, so I suppose that's at least consistent. Wednesday, my big accomplishments were only crying while I made my bed and making it to work. Fortunately (I guess?) this week is the busiest week of my year, every year--the set up for a big silent auction that runs for the next month. So I was able to throw myself into something during the work day that kept my mind from running off the tracks with horror. And I did put in some long days, only partly to avoid the potential to scream inchoately in my apartment.

I'm not here for jokes about moving to Canada. This is my country, too. I am a real American, too, whatever "real American" means. I'm not going away.

In terms of responding pragmatically, I donated to the ACLU and I have set up recurring monthly donations to Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Lambda Legal, and I have encouraged my friends to support organizations that are important to them as well. I have hopefully shared a bit of understanding with my moderate friend - I am eternally the flaming liberal of our friends group - as to why so many people are now living in fear.

I am trying to determine how to react on a local level, what to do, how to help. One of my high school classmates posted on Facebook that she was a beneficiary of DACA, which is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals/"Dreamers" executive action that protects people whose parents immigrated without documentation and brought them over as children. I grew up with her. She doesn't know if she will be deported, leaving her three children in the US without her or a family support network.

The scale of our failure here is what I am struggling to cope with. Crying again thinking about it, although at least that is the first time today. Yesterday it was because I read an article comparing this moment in time to the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination on post-Civil War Reconstruction, which suggested Americans fifty years from now will one day look back on the eight years of the Obama era as a "tragic moment of lost promise, a failed opportunity to build a more just and equitable society." (source)

Ah, Jesus. That's still rough. I keep reminding myself that Clinton won the popular vote, which sometimes helps. It means there are more of us than there are of them.

For the first couple of hours, every time I thought to myself, "President-elect Trump," my mind slipped off the phrase like it was oil-coated. I kept thinking about her having to call him at 3 in the morning to concede the election. I was genuinely sick to my stomach most of the day. Just the thought of it. I have made myself get accustomed to the knowledge that yes, he is going to take power in January, yes, he is going to have complete control over our executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government on the federal level, yes, his cabinet is probably going to destroy the earth and possibly NATO.

Of course, I also participated in that most useless form of Internet activism, the signing of a petition requesting the Electoral College (THE MOST RIDICULUOUS, ANTIQUATED, UNDEMOCRATIC--stop it) support the popular vote and elect Clinton.

I actually have signed three Internet petitions today, although at least one I expect might have some positive outcome. It was from my college, looking for support to turn Oberlin into a Sanctuary Campus. My college has an internationally renowned conservatory attached to it, which incidentally received a Medal of the Arts from Obama a few years back, and a large part of the student body, at least when I was there, is international.

I was raised in and live still in the rural South. The first presidential election I remember is the 2000 election. One of my most visceral memories is watching the 9/11 attacks in my social studies class in eighth grade and the boy next to me excitedly saying, "We're going to wa-ar, we're going to war." And I think I am less afraid of what is going to be done to us than I am of what we are going to do to everyone else.

Date: 2016-11-12 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carlyinrome.livejournal.com

Right there with you, bae. Right there with you.

Date: 2016-11-12 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
One thing I've had to face is that I will most likely be fine under a Trump administration, unless I need an abortion or want to marry a woman. But I am sick with worry over every other person huddled under the liberal umbrella. I am just so sad. I'm swinging around to pissed off, though.

When I bought groceries the other day I tried to find a card to send you but nothing spoke to me. However, I am currently wearing the red nail polish you sent me a while back.

Date: 2016-11-12 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com
Act locally. Get involved with your town/city's politics. Call your representatives- yes, CALL. Most people don't, and it gets their attention. There's an excellent twitter thread by a one time staffer about why voice to voice is important, I'll try to find it.

Let's go to work.

Date: 2016-11-12 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
Yes. Yes and yes. Wednesday was hard. But I have been holding on to this quote from Obama, which I saw on the Humans of New York FB:

“I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped. I had been in the state legislature for a long time, I was in the minority party, I wasn’t getting a lot done, and I was away from my family and putting a lot of strain on Michelle. Then for me to run and lose that bad, I was thinking maybe this isn’t what I was cut out to do. I was forty years old, and I’d invested a lot of time and effort into something that didn’t seem to be working. But the thing that got me through that moment, and any other time that I’ve felt stuck, is to remind myself that it’s about the work. Because if you’re worrying about yourself—if you’re thinking: ‘Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?’ – then you’re going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.”

I have it on my fridge. I'm ready to go.

Date: 2016-11-12 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com
G-damn, I am going to miss that man. What a mensch. I will continue to love him til the second he leaves that White House.

Date: 2016-11-12 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
That's what my sister and I were talking about earlier today. On my news feed I saw a bit about photos taken by the official White House photographer, and I could barely look at them. Right now those are the water in. . . I don't know how to turn a camel into a metaphor. But that's what I'm taking with me into the wilderness.

That, and Clinton won the popular vote. I have repeated this an average of 3 times a day since Tuesday.

Date: 2016-11-12 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carlyinrome.livejournal.com

I've been stuck on rage for a while. The night of the election, though, Nina was taking the red eye to New York, and I was crying terrified that someone was going to hurt her in the airport or on the plane. My beautiful, amazing friend could be killed because of how she looks, and it probably wouldn't even make the news among all these other atrocities. Pence wants to remove LGBT from the legal definition of hate crime. We have elected a man who is actively taking steps to make sure people who assault or murder gay people do less prison time. WHY.


I love you. I think of you a lot, and it means a lot to know you're thinking of me too. <3


Date: 2016-11-12 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
It took me a while to process the grief. And I am still going through it, obviously, what with the crying. I did a little weep while washing out my coffee filter about 20 minutes ago, and I imagine this will continue occurring over the next 4 years-eternity, however long the bloodbath lasts.

Someone I know was saying that she was ashamed about hoping to wake up and hear the news that Trump had had a heart attack, but I counter that by saying Pence is worse, because he actually believes in something. And, from what was said during the campaign, it sounds like the VP is going to be in charge of policy, much like it was with Bush and Cheney. Trump just wants the glory and the attention. So, on the whole. . . awesome.

Heavy sigh. Deep breath. I've been repeating, "This is my country, too," to myself and anyone who will listen. Because it is. This is our country, too. And looking at the map of how our generation voted (50 states against Trump) is comforting. I keep thinking of the '60s film "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" with Poitier - when he's talking to his father about the objection to his interracial marriage he says, "You and your whole lousy generation believes the way it was for you is the way it's got to be. And not until your whole generation has lain down and died will the dead weight of you be off our backs!" And I guess we just have to go through it until we get there.

I love you <3
Edited Date: 2016-11-12 10:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-11-12 11:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com
That's apt. We have fucked up my Kid's prospects for peace and prosperity. I'm heart sick for that alone.

Date: 2016-11-13 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
I know. Thinking about the Supreme Court is too disheartening. But hey, at least corporations are people.

Date: 2016-11-15 06:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sheathe.livejournal.com
As an outsider I hope I can offer a different perspective.
I, like most of the developed world, am looking on in bewilderment as to how this happened.
And moreover, how nobody saw this coming. One explanation I've seen that rings true is that the political left have engineered a society where dissension and racist/homophobic/etc. views are not welcomed.
That doesn't stop people from having those views, or talking about them in their own private echo chambers. It just removes those topics from public discourse. So when a pollster asks Joe Racist from Bumfuck Kentucky how he's going to vote then he can't admit he will vote for the racist misogynist, but on election day that's exactly which lever he pulls. We are seeing a similar thing here in Australia, in our last federal election there's been a sudden rise in openly racist political parties gaining seats, and those who voted for them did so because their lives are so shitty that they feel that the only way to justify their position in society is to blame someone with brown skin who dresses funny.

And mocking these people is not the answer. And seeing them as "other" is not the answer. That's how we got in this position. They are victims of unchecked greed, corruption and profiteering by the ruling elite.
I feel like the only way we get back to sensible social progress is by allowing everyone to have their say, to address the ideas, the causes for the suffering, and work together on real solutions.
The time for us vs them has finished. It was a failed experiment.

As for the future of a trump america? The supreme court appointment is going to set things back for a good 20 years. That's probably unavoidable now.
Will he ruin everything? No. Even the republicans won't let things self destruct, they denounced him in the election. They will block as much of his stupid as they did Obama's social change.
Will he have a fucktonne of nukes at his disposal? Yeah. That's scary. I hope his advisors are good enough to ensure he doesn't reach for the big red button.
Also: Trump represents the end of the TPP, which was a fucking awful deal for Australia. So that's some amazing good that has come from this.
Things are going to be interesting for a while.

As for Hillary?
She provided the same social progressive front for a corrupt back end that has been in American politics for so long.
She was not a good option for the disenfranchised, there were no good options.
Had it been Bernie vs Trump then it wouldn't have even been close.

If the USA could learn from this election and make a constitutional change to preferential voting like the rest of the civilised world that would be awesome. But it won't happen.
My 2c

Date: 2016-11-17 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
Hey Hef, always glad to hear your opinion. I've been doing a lot of reading and reflecting over the past week, as I know many people on the left are. I'm not sure where we go from here, quite honestly. Although I do want to say that this:

That doesn't stop people from having those views, or talking about them in their own private echo chambers. It just removes those topics from public discourse. So when a pollster asks Joe Racist from Bumfuck Kentucky how he's going to vote then he can't admit he will vote for the racist misogynist, but on election day that's exactly which lever he pulls

is not quite the narrative that is supported by the numbers. I wondered about that at first, too, and it is certainly being pushed forth as a reason for the election results--that because of "political correctness," people are afraid to say what they're really thinking, don't address it in public, but still vote/act based on those opinions. If you're interested, here is what I read this morning that made me rethink that; basically, it says that if that were the case, he would have overperformed in places where the dissent against him was the loudest, which was not the case.

I think when Brexit happened, that was the first time I thought--shit, he might win. Although I definitely pushed it to the back of my mind, as many people did, because it still seemed outlandish. It seems so counter-intuitive to me that people who grew up the same way that I did - I was raised to think for myself and to care about other people; I was also raised in a working poor household - can look at this man and think he gives a fuck about them at all. Clinton, for all her faults, has been a public servant for decades; she cares about this country. And Republicans have been trying to destroy her, literally, for decades. Frankly, what impresses me is that she still loves this country enough to continue serving it, after the way she has been treated. And you can't separate the way she has been treated in her political life from a strain of misogyny that runs very deep in this country.

Thinking about the Supreme Court is straight-up devastating. Nothing makes that better. The Democrats may retake seats in Congress in 2 years or the White House in 4, but we have lost the Supreme Court for a generation. And we will all have to live with the consequences of that.

Continued in part 2, as this is apparently the longest comment I've ever written--when did these character restrictions start?

Date: 2016-11-17 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
Part 2--

I have tried to tell myself that Republicans will block the most egregious things, and perhaps they will. I think he may have already alienated some of them with the idea of pushing for Congressional term limits and lobbying restrictions. But I don't have a lot of hope on that respect. They rolled over for him pretty quickly after the initial furor of the sexual assault tape came to light. They deserted en-masse, and now they're all pleased to work with him.

I'll defer to your judgment on the TPP's effect on Australia, as I only know the broad strokes about that agreement. I know many people were concerned with the potential ramifications on intellectual property rights, so perhaps something better will come of this.

I find the big talk going around that Sanders would have won in the general election deeply irritating. This article is an encapsulation as to why. I voted for Sanders in the primaries, but more people voted for Clinton, so she was the party nominee. And, just to re-emphasize this, more people voted for Clinton than voted for Trump. People turned out for her. Because of the way our votes are counted, though, we turned out not to matter.

After watching the campaign, I believe that Trump would have destroyed any nominee put forth by the Democrats, simply because he didn't care about the veracity of what he said, and until far too late in the game, neither did most mainstream media. They treated him like a joke - and I was definitely guilty of thinking of his candidacy as a joke - but a joke that they covered constantly and uncritically. By the time they realized, "Hey, we've neglected our duty to fact-check someone running for the highest office in the land, better get on that ASAP," it was much, much too late.

And all of that is without taking into account the potential influences of a third state on the election, or the fact that the FBI decided to throw a wrench in the works 11 days before the vote and didn't take it out until 8 days later. I don't think it can be overstated how wearying the idea of a scandal-plagued president is. Which makes the actual result of the election almost hysterically ironic.

It may please you to know that Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, another voice for progressivism in the Senate, have both been put in leadership positions as the Democratic party works to reform itself.

Date: 2016-11-18 05:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sheathe.livejournal.com
Good link re: shy voters.
I agree with their reasoning and the math seems sound.
I guess people will be picking apart why Trump won for ages.

I disagree on the sanders thing; the author of the second link you posted just comes across as arrogant and sets up a lot of straw man arguments rather than addressing the core narrative of the sanders vs trump idea. That Trump won supposedly because he was anti-establishment (if that's true, and nobody really knows yet) means that if the democrats had gone with Bernie we would have seen a more even split among the disenfranchised voters. But maybe Trump won on the basis of white male privilege and Bernie would have been no different to Clinton in outcome. I would have liked to see Bernie get up, but I'm a socialist at heart so...

It's very interesting to read some dissections of facebook and twitter's role in all this. With fake news stories allegedly generating more traffic than genuine news.

I really hope we won't see any American refugees coming to Australia, not because they won't be welcome, but because that's really not what the USA should be.

Date: 2016-11-20 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
We are likely going to have to agree to disagree on Sanders v. Trump. For what it's worth, my younger sister agrees with you.

I am also very curious about how all of the "weirdness" of this election is analyzed. I was pleased to see that Facebook is pledging to crack down on the fake news promulgation, but (1) LITTLE LATE NOW GUYS (2) how effective will this be? Where is the accountability?

I agree--I feel like the folks who most likely will not be threatened by a Trump presidency - for example, me, a white person with employer-guaranteed health insurance, not disabled, not a religious minority, a citizen - have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters whose basic rights are now being called into question. It is our duty to speak up for those who can't speak up for themselves.

In disheartening news, my Representative was in that selfie from Pence, right in the front row, big grin on her face. She's been in office a million years and will remain there a million more, and I disagree with her position on literally every issue. So it was super fun to call her office and be like, "I know you love our country because of the years you have devoted of your life to public service, so please join us in opposing the nomination of a white nationalist as chief strategist." Like, so fun. :/

Date: 2016-11-21 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sheathe.livejournal.com
Well if it gets so bad that you need to hide there's always a spare room for you here in Aus. <3

Date: 2016-11-23 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formanymiles.livejournal.com
It's good to have friends <3

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