I am surprised, but not as deep-down shocked as I probably should be, by the stunning Trump upset. It was only the sacrosanct polls that kept me from disbelieving that Hillary Clinton could really "win this thing." (And that type of phraseology from Democratic operatives is one of the many, many, many reasons that the liberal party's identity politics, fear-mongering and virtue-signalling failed so abysmally at winning this thing.)
So, while the deservedly discredited corporate pundits are busy clutching their pearls* and waiting for Armageddon, let me venture out upon the glass half-full route for now. I'll patiently wait until something that post-victorious Trump actually says or does forces me tear into this personally repulsive man with all the fiber of my being.
-- Flyover Country's giant middle finger to the establishment should make it harder than ever for Barack Obama to ram through the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the lame duck session. Such an action would expose him once and for all as being a tool of the oligarchy and a disbeliever in democracy itself. The people have spoken, loudly, against globalization and trade deals.
-- Clinton Land might add financial bankruptcy to its moral bankruptcy. Since they will have zero influence on anything anymore, the global money spigot to the family slush fund will dry up. The family might even have to sell off one of its properties to help pay the bills. Chelsea might have to get a job that doesn't involve sitting on a board for a million dollars a year. Her previous threats to run for office herself if the current crop of politicians doesn't please her will come to naught. Any more talk of a Clinton Dynasty will send Democratic operatives running for the hills in horror.
-- Peace might actually have a chance. It remains to be seen whether the Neocons will suck Trump into their noxious orbit, and whether his short vulgar fingers will seek out the nuclear button as soon as a foreign dignitary pisses him off. One thing in his favor is that he doesn't drink alcohol. (The jury is out as to whether cocaine causes his chronic sniffling.) Also, although liberals have turned a blind eye toward Obama's drone assassination crusade, they might not take as kindly to Trump boasting about every tribal Muslim male of military age he kills, just for the sheer fun of it. Maybe Trump will never develop the taste for bloodshed. Maybe his vices stop at bigotry and fraud.
-- Without a Democrat in office to placate the masses with trickle-down incrementalism, a social and/or labor movement from the left might have an actual chance, especially if/when voters discern that Trump is totally bullshitting about feeling their pain and bringing the jobs back.
-- Fearing that the ears and eyes and brains of their little ones will be damaged by Trumpism, parents might finally cut the electronic cord, permanently, and take the kids to the library for some real entertainment. Free the shackled imaginations of youth. Make America think again.
-- We thought that Clintonoid Neoliberalism was done for when the financial system crashed in 2008, only to have the oligarchs clamp their iron jaws down on the rest of us and suck up all the gains for themselves, widening the wealth gap to historic proportions. Now that Hillary is toast, maybe the experts will realize that tender liberal market solutions to social problems are a total sham. Of course, the greed industry will die over our dead bodies.
Like many of you, I got maybe four hours of sleep last night, and that sleep was tortured by some pretty weird dreams. Part of me still thinks I'm dreaming this whole thing, and that any minute now I'll wake up to the strident tones of Hillary's acceptance speech, lethal shards of glass from the cavernous Javits Center ceiling falling all around like joyless confetti as the rest of us take desperate cover.
So fasten your seat belts. Let the pundits roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth. Let the Wild (T)rumpus start. Let's try to make the best of another in a whole series of long national nightmares. Because there are always plenty of monsters to tame, plenty of battles to be fought. Giving up is never an option.
|No Joke: Obama Reads "Where the Wild Things Are" to America's Children|
* If there was a diplomatic post for Pearl Clutcher in Chief, I would nominate the New York Times' Paul Krugman for the honor. In a Tweet last night he actually blamed Jill Stein (who gleaned a whopping .07% of the vote) for costing Hillary the state of Florida.
Today, in a morning-after futile attempt at awareness, he bemoans the death of the "romantic vision" of the America he still loves: a concept he castigated only a few short months ago during his mean spirited spree of Bernie Sanders-bashing in the futile service of his failed candidate.
My response to the Pearl Clutcher of Wisdom:
The crash of '08 not only wasn't the kiss of death to neoliberalism (private control of the public sphere), it actually strengthened the resolve of oligarchs who destroyed lives and livelihoods by sucking up more than 90% of the "recovery." So maybe the election of Trump will be a wake-up call, rather than the coup de grace that liberals fear.My romantic vision of Krugman losing his column space out of sheer ineptitude and careerism is not, unfortunately, likely to be part of an American dream come true. The neoliberal concept of meritocratic experts "failing upward" will hold steady, at least until the results of climate change fry the grid.
I can't see him lasting a full term. Perhaps he won't be impeached, but criminal indictment is not out of the question. And that leaves Mike Pence a couple of years to do his damage. We can only hope that the Dems turn the tables and become the new Party of No.
And maybe Krugman will rethink his critique of the left. His call today for a romantic vision for the US would be funny were it not so tragic. In May, he sneered at it:
"Romantics: This kind of idealism shades over into something that’s less about changing society than about the fun and ego gratification of being part of The Movement. (Those of us who were students in the 60s and early 70s very much recognize the type.) For a while there – especially for those who didn’t understand delegate math – it felt like a wonderful joy ride, the scrappy young on the march about to overthrow the villainous old. But there’s a thin line between love and hate: when reality began to set in, all too many romantics reacted by descending into bitterness, with angry claims that they were being cheated."