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Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in 2016 Presidential Election | 59 comments

An American Tragedy Starring Phony Populism, Megalomania, Lying Hillary And That Basket Of Deplorables

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The ascendancy of Donald Trump to the presidency is tragedy. This is because beyond Trump himself — a vile and pathetically borish boy-man incapable of growth, comprehension or compassion — were people who believed he would not only give voice to their angst, he would be able to act on it as president by turning back the national clock.

But lest we forget, lurking behind Trump’s pitchfork posse was a visceral racism, hatred of our black president and misogynistic loathing of the Democratic nominee, as well as a deep anger over the demographic tide going out on the white American hegemony; in fact, anger over change of any kind.

There also were genuine grievances, not the least of which were income disparity and offshoring jobs in an increasingly globalized world. Trump, it seemed, was that rarest of Republicans who understood. He spoke the language of the disaffected. But all his supporters got in return for their unquestioning support was a phony populism, more fear and the ravings of a paranoiac who will have great difficulty fulfilling his campaign promises even with a Republican Congress.

Supporters kept filling the seats at Make America Great rallies and cheered Trump wildly to the end. They didn’t care about the facts any more than Trump did. In a deeply depressing climax to a campaign that began in June 2015 when Trump descended deus ex machina from the escalator of his 5th Avenue penthouse to announce his biggest celebrity stunt ever, Trump did not purge America; America purged Clinton.

Hillary Clinton’s loss is one for the history books, and not just because she was the first woman major party candidate for president an overdue 96 years after women were given the right to vote and fell short despite expectations she would prevail.

While Clinton was unsuccessfully trying to shatter the biggest glass ceiling, Trump was shattering a few barriers of his own, and the yuge-ness of his support, which had seemed illusory from the outset of the general election campaign because he had won a mere 13 or so million votes in the primaries, was just enough to get him over the line.
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Donald Trump’s campaign at times seemed to be more like a comedy act, but it was unambiguously a proto-fascistic message of hate-drenched white nationalism that galvanized, yes, a basket full of deplorables.

When it came to domestic and foreign policy, Trump could barely manage the jumble of policy positions ginned up by his advisers and further muddled by his lack of discipline — which is a deeply frightening trait since he is now president-elect — and a never ending series of unforced errors. This despite Come to Jesus interventions where his family, aides and Republican National Committee leaders repeatedly pleaded with him to stick to the teleprompter and not wander into the weeds where he invariably got himself into trouble.

A drearily predictable pattern emerged after Trump had vanquished a field of lightweights in the Republican primaries by preaching a raw wall-building nativism and then faced only Clinton and a suddenly hostile news media (well, some of it, anyway) that belatedly rediscovered fact checking and drilled deeper and deeper through the layers of a seamy past that revealed a man who may never have done an honest thing in his life in inflicting decades of balance-sheet carnage, including cushioning nearly $1 billion in business losses by not paying federal income taxes, ran a shell game disguised as a charitable family foundation, and repeatedly forced himself on women.

If there was a day that best typified the sheer depravity of Trump’s campaign, it may have been September 16.

It had been just another ho-hum week for Trump, who had boasted about his testosterone levels on a television celebrity doctor’s show, accused the Fed chairwoman of corruption, mocked an African-American pastor, again referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” again hinted his supporters should shoot his opponent, and again refused to release his tax returns.

Then on the morning of September 16, Trump summoned journalists for a “major news announcement” that turned out to be an infomercial for his new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. and yet another opportunity to punk compliant cable news channels that had breathlessly gone live.

But before the morning was out, there was much bigger news than that even if it took Trump a mere 31 seconds to deliver it: He grudgingly and unapologetically disavowed his self-made lie that Barack Obama was not American born, but immediately jump started yet another false conspiracy by blaming Hillary Clinton for creating the birther controversy that he himself had ignited and fanned for the last five years in a sick effort to undermine the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president.

And then there was October 7, the day the Access Hollywood hot-mic video surfaced. Trump boasted in vulgar terms about how his celebrity status allowed him to sexually assault women with impunity, and that led to revelations by 12 women that they had been victimized by Trump, an exodus of backers and an announcement by House Speaker Paul Ryan, perhaps the most powerful Republican, that he would no longer defend or campaign for Trump, in effect prematurely conceding defeat for Trump and the party.

To the horror of the party elites, Trump happened to be the very kind of presidential candidate the party’s restive base had been clamoring for after years of being repeatedly stiffed by Bushes, Roves, Ryans and McConnells adept at mobilizing right-wing populist anger while coddling Wall Street and the super rich. And the elites, when confronted with the horrifying reality that their beloved party had become a victim of its own hubris, putting the White House even further out of reach, rolled over and allowed him to diddle them like extras in a bad porn flick.

The down-ticket fallout from Trump’s candidacy was virtually nonexistent. Democrats did pick up a Senate seat, electing the first Latina senator, while Republicans kept a substantial majority in the House and did well in state races.
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As Donald Trump misplaced and then tried to regain his primary season swagger, he invariably took the bait dangled in front of him by Clinton and her surrogates.

Chief among them was Barack Obama, who delighted in messing with Trump’s febrile mind as the president’s popularity plateaued in sync with the campaign, and his wife Michelle, who may have delivered the best speeches of the campaign in scolding Trump and beseeching blacks and women to come home to the formidable voter coalition her husband galvanized in 2008 and called on again in 2012. Then there was Bernie Sanders, who belatedly if never completely convincingly supported the nominee.

Taken together, the three presidential debates were the most complete evisceration of a candidate in modern history, not that it mattered.

By the first debate on September 26, the polls seemed to be too close for comfort, but Clinton was dominating where it would matter most — the states with the most electoral votes — and Trump began cratering in many swing states as undecided voters began coming off the fence and opting for her.

That first debate was a catastrophe for Trump because it was his last best opportunity to prove that he was more than an intemperate windbag. But Trump made a fool of himself, falling into the trap Clinton set for him over former beauty pageant winner Alicia Machado while she cooly made the case that her worldview and three decades of public service made her best qualified to lead America over the next four years.

The second debate on October 9 was a tawdry street fight in which Trump wobbled between conspiracy theories, threats, glowering and rage while Clinton struggled to keep her dignity.

That debate was bookended by release of the Access Hollywood video and Ryan’s withdrawal of support and the candidate’s increasingly desperate claims that the election had been rigged by “crooked Hillary” as he crashed in the polls, and then the emergence of his biggest and baddest conspiracy theory of all — there was “a global power structure” of corporate interests, the media and, of course, Clinton herself that was conspiring to doom him.

By the third and final debate on October 19, it seemed to be all over bar the shouting, of which there was plenty.

Clinton was the clear winner, but in a pulse-stopping moment that will go down in history, he thumbed his nose at the American tradition of a peaceful transition of power by refusing to say that he would concede defeat although it was increasingly appearing he would lose.

It did not help that Trump’s shambolic campaign organization became a revolving door as he kept shedding campaign bosses, but in the end that didn’t matter either.

Sane didn’t work, so the campaign tried crazy. When that didn’t work, it went back to sane, and then crazy again as Trump settled on Steve Bannon, an “alt-right” warrior from the Breitbart school of scorched earth politics as his navigator. Bannon was comfortable in Trump’s parallel universe of dystopian true believers and vowed to let Trump be himself. Which he was. Perhaps Trump would have fooled more people if he had listened listened to his saner advisers.

Ever the hypocrite, Trump’s most effective weapon against Clinton was her deletion of 30,000 emails from when she was secretary of state. She asserted those emails were personal, while the FBI concluded no crime was committed and grudgingly reasserted that after FBI Director James Comey’s outrageous 11th hour announcement of the discovery of new emails in a clumsy move reminiscent of the tactics of J. Edgar Hoover. Trump, meanwhile, had destroyed thousands of emails, digital records and documents demanded in official proceedings over the years, often in defiance of court orders.

Trump’s policy panels were filled with right-wing cranks. His spokeswoman was an encyclopedia of false information. His campaign manager clashed with him with mind-numbing frequency, often publicly disagreed with her boss. His inner circle was dominated by ice-cold spalpeens, some with troubling ties to Trump’s favorite dictator, Russian President Vladimir Putin. His ill-fated transition team leader was a disgraced governor who faces possible criminal indictment for the Bridgegate scandal. His war chest was woefully inadequate as major Republican donors turned off the spigot. He further muddled his interests by mixing his business interests with his campaign.

And his ground game virtually nonexistent even if that ended up not mattering.
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Hillary Clinton was not a great candidate and seemed to have a predilection for bad judgment, but she ran a disciplined, stay-on-message campaign underwritten by an immense, billion dollar-plus war chest.

Clinton was “historically disliked,” but she never was accused of lacking Trump’s basic decency. Her negatives also had less to do with Benghazi, private email servers, Wall Street speeches, family foundations and the toxic tandem of Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner than good old sexism.

Clinton has lived a life antithetical to what a lot of us expect of a woman. While she did not make us feel cuddly like women are “supposed to do,” she did not try to hide her ambition while never being boastful about a long career that focused on the needs of the disadvantaged.

Shortly before the polls began closing last night, I reread my post-mortem on the 2012 Romney-Ryan flameout. Although I expected there would be differences between that race and this year’s race, I was blown away by the sheer meanness of the Trump campaign, although I have covered it for the last 16 months.

The complicity of the news media in creating the Trump monster cannot be understated. The media’s most grievous of many sins was to swallow whole the bloviations of the right-ring noise machine that Clinton was corrupt, and by the perverse calculus of this election season that somehow cancelled out the media having to note that Trump was not only unqualified to be president, he was dangerous.

And how a political party could have allowed someone as profoundly toxic as Trump to get so close to the presidency needs to be seriously examined after the last scrap of confetti is swept up. John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate in 2008 is a distant second, although that extraordinarily cynical decision did pave the way for Trump.

The Republican Party, of course, pretended that Trump was somebody else even when repeatedly confronted with his repugnant behavior.

It is bad enough that he will haunt the country as president and wreak god knows how much damage even if his border wall is never built and the U.S. does not leave NATO. Party leaders — and Mike Pence, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell in particular — should be horse whipped not just for their support of a man who threatens to undermine the very foundations of our democracy, but stood idly by while he consolidated power as did Der Führer in the 1930s, which is one Hitler analogy that is appropriate.

Now that Hillary Clinton has failed to save the country from Donald Trump and America finds itself looking into the abyss, we will have to pray that the republic can save itself.

§

This is the 163rd and final Politix Update column. I would like to say that it’s been real, but Campaign 2016 was unreal, and in too many respects surreal.

Journalists aspire to live in interesting times, but that can be a curse as this campaign has proven. I’m cooked, but I sincerely thank you for your input, patience and good cheer.

POLITIX UPDATE HAS BEEN WRITTEN BY SHAUN MULLEN, A VETERAN JOURNALIST AND BLOGGER FOR WHOM THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN WAS HIS 12th SINCE 1968. CLICK HERE FOR AN INDEX OF PREVIOUS COLUMNS.
© 2015-2016 SHAUN D. MULLEN

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  • epiphyte

    Shaun, I’m sorry I didn’t have the self-discipline to read your missive properly before commenting. I’m a little rattled after spending the past couple of hours attempting to reassure my two teenage daughters that things will get better, whilst trying to skate past the reality that they are very likely going to get a whole lot worse first. One of them said to me, through her tears, “I thought America was better than this.”

    …as did I.

  • Shannon Lee

    I would like to congratulate poor uneducated white people on their victory. I hope President Trump brings your jobs back. I apologize to the rest of the planet. Our future has been flipped on its head and I fear the new Trump-Putin alignment is going wreak havoc on our civilization.

    America you deserve the democracy you voted for…you deserve President Donald Trump.

    I think it is time for countries like Germany to retake their roles as world powers. I hope the German people see this as a wake up call to rebuild their military to counterbalance the Trump-Putin alignment.

    Germany must reassert its military might.

    • rudi

      Trump can’t bring back jobs, automation and robots took those jobs. This technolgy started in the 1980’s with the first robots. fast food is even going as far as automation with man-less kiosks. Even good paying jobs at UPS are in danger of losing out to drones.
      http://www.businessinsider.com/self-service-kiosks-are-replacing-workers-2016-5

      The Trump family won big, average Americans lose. The next Congress will end the “Death Tax.” Trumps children will pay NO TAXES when the father dies. Yet, when a rural Trump voter wins $500 million at Powerball, they pay the top tax bracket for their luck, while the lucky Trump siblings pay nothing.

      • JSpencer

        Exactly right. All those white uneducated males who believe Trump can bring back manufacturing jobs are suckers. He knew how to push their buttons, but how will they react when they discover it was all BS?

  • Slamfu

    I’m still in shock that he won. I can’t believe we have that many people who would put a total incompetent like Trump in the White House. Maybe somehow it all works out, clearly the world is not what I thought it was.

    • Shannon Lee

      I am in the anger stage… I hope he seriously damages the country. As I wrote before…America asked for Trump…now they have him. You reap what you sow. I wont be moving back to the US for another 5 years, of that I am sure.

      • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

        I think Shannon it would be that half of the persons eligible to vote who actually voted, asked for Trump, the other half of eligible voters who voted, and the millions upon millions who are not old enough to vote, did not ask for anything trumpian.

        We have a lot of work to do, regardless. And most of us will put our shoulder to the wheel to do it. Encouragement is always appreciated.

        • Shannon Lee

          True, yet in a democracy we must abide by majority rule. I feel terrible for the children that have to grow up with Donald Trump as the President. Who knows what other horrible deeds will come out over the next 4 years. The behavior they will learn to think is normal from leadership. This is a tragic day. I can only hope his coming horrific behavior has dire consequences for the US. Only that way will people learn the importance of leadership…..and maybe electing someone that might be a serial rapist to POTUS is a bad idea.

          • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

            Dont know what horribles might occur… just listening to Sharpton on tv, saying ‘we will not go down without a fight’. Many have much to lose. And Shannon, I hope you will see that wishing us ill, is truly not equal to who I know you to be in ethics. My family is an immigrant and refugee family. We love our country, and do not wish ill for anyone. Life is already for most of us, hard enough as it is. Thanks.

          • Shannon Lee

            Dr E.
            I think there are times in life that a little tough love is the answer. You can talk and discuss with people until their ears turn blue, but only hard experience brings the message across. We have hit rock bottom and America needs to be sent to rehab. It is not ill will…as it is a hard lesson. Hard lessons have to hurt.

      • Brownies girl

        Even if you’re in the anger stage, Shannon, I disagree so much with your hope that

        I hope he seriously damages the country.

        That’s a vicious and mean thing to write, since if Trump hurts the US, he’ll be hurting a whole bunch of other countries — Canada would likely be one of them. And dozens of other countries too.

        My wish is that he has enough grey matter (faint hope) to understand what power he now has, and what the repercussions are if he uses that power unwisely. As to your decision not to move back to the US for another few years — I can understand that. I know for sure, I’ve probably made my last visit to the US for a long LONG time too. I just won’t feel comfortable down there while this man has the hammer.

        Meantime, an editorial cartoon I saw someplace on-line this morning, from a Canuck paper — shows an RCMP officer riding a moose, patrolling the longest unguarded border in the world, stopping folks from the US who want to sneak into our country. (We don’t have enough bucks to build a wall unfortunately) …. seeing that cartoon was the first (and last) laugh I’ve had all day.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    thanks Shaun. I am sorry you will not write Politix further, and am glad you will still be writing. You are needed.

    • Shaun Mullen

      I was unclear. I will not be writing my Politix Update column any more, a decision I had made long before Tuesday night. I will still be writing, and sometimes it will be about politics.

  • The Ohioan

    My daughter’s question “Mom, what are we going to do?”. My answer -“Move to Canada.” Might as well; SS and Medicare are on the way out, the stock market will be too shaky for investing, and – the jobs are not coming back.

    I guess, as of now, we can call this black humor.

    http://www.dailydot.com/unclick/6-alternatives-for-americans-not-moving-to-canada/

    • epiphyte

      @TO… You’re on to something there – but there’s no running away from this. Up here in MN we’re wondering if perhaps we should be thinking out of the box, and move Canada to here instead.

      (How’s that for black humor ? 🙂 )

      • The Ohioan

        There’s more merit to your suggestion than may first be apparent. If we all joined the Republican party and changed it from the ground up, it would surely make a difference.

        One good thing about electing Trump instead of Cruz is that he will be fierce in his payback to those who tried to obstruct his path. Watching the disintegration of the Reps in reaction to that is going to be interesting to say the least, since president-elect Trump seems to have no notion of how government works and, I would guess, neither do any advisers he seems inclined to listen to.

        If we can avoid a first strike (from our enemies or from our own troops on someone else) we may get through this battered and bruised but in a more hopeful mode than now seems likely.

      • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

        i like your idea epiphyte. we’ve much kin in canada and probably aside from two completely different gov systems, many of us feel at home with canadians and usa people together.

        • Brownies girl

          All you Americans will have to switch to a parliamentary system if you’ve got a chance of that happening, Dr E., we sure as heck ain’t going to be switching our system to a republic. Not a chance! Plus, be prepared to swear allegiance to good old Queen Liz! 😉

          • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

            I very much care about the queen and have often felt for her as she was wound through complicated life with her kids and more. I saw her coronated when I was about 10 years old, the entire long ceremony on tv in black and white [we went to someone’s house who HAD a little tv, we didnt then], and she so very young, and the robe and crown so very heavy. And the carriage, and the royalty, and the queen mum …and she has had quite a life.

  • SteveK

    Oh it’s not just the ignorant, uninformed people of the world we have to thank for this… It’s the dducks, Kevin Purcells and Ron Chusids too.

    I hope they’re proud of their 24 / 7 lies and misinformation campaign… They done good.

    • The Ohioan

      Not sure why you left me out.

      I was as adamant as anyone about the stupidity of using a private server when she was told not to or about erasing thousands of emails without government oversight. I was as concerned as anyone about the legality of not complying with FOIA requests when it was found that State Department communications were included in the erased emails.

      As well blame Bernie Sanders as those of us who warned about possible problems in the election process and in a HRC presidency. I warned about the distrust and fear the uninformed had toward her. I warned about giving her a pass no matter what turned up. If blame is to be assigned, there’s plenty to go around, but the most belongs to the people that voted for Trump, not those that did not.

      • SteveK

        O.K. sorry I left you out, Your name is now on that list too…
        I hope you all enjoy the fruits (and responsibilities) of your labors.

        • The Ohioan

          I do try to be responsible, but there’s little enjoyment in being a Cassandra, nor should there be in being a Madame Defarge.

          • KP

            THIS^^^^^^

      • Shannon Lee

        Bernie wasnt the problem. He was just a normal part of the political process. It is the people that went from supporting Bernie to supporting Trump that were the problem. That sort of swing demonstrates extreme life and political ignorance. It is like when a dude gets all mad and punches a wall…. ends up breaking his hand. I think this is more like a headbutt though…repeated headbutts into a concrete wall.

        • Slamfu

          It is the people that went from supporting Bernie to supporting Trump that were the problem.

          I think the desire of the voters to elect someone outside the establishment was wildly underestimated, especially by the DNC as it turns out. There is a lot of noise that it was just angry white men being racist/sexist, and while that was certainly a factor, we managed to get Obama elected twice with the same electorate. I would never have guessed that enough people would rather vote for a loon than see Clinton elected, but here we are. I was certain that Trump was so far out there that the misgivings about Clinton’s electability were no longer a factor. Like 2004, I thought it was a lock, but I was dead wrong.

    • dduck

      @SK: Finally a direct, non-snaky comment. 🙂

    • KP

      @SteveK … You are silly.

      Dr. Chusid spent time at TMV sharing why support of Hillary might be misplaced and potentially hazardous; why she was so vulnerable.

      You preferred to place yourself in the “cone of silence”.

      As it turns out, your ‘less than good’ decision was on a par with the IQ of Agent 86 and your idea of CONTROL, which is now Dem KAOS.

      Chusid didn’t vote for Trump. I didn’t vote for Trump; neither did dduck (or The Ohioan). If you want to be angry at someone start with the DNC. Dems had a candidate (who I voted for, over Hillary, in Cali) that would have beat Trump.

      • Shannon Lee

        KP… keep in mind that she has not been indited on anything the Reps have been attacking her with over the past 2 years. She has been cleared of it all in one form or another. The DNC should never allow lies from the RNC to affect how they choose their candidate. Yes, the people “felt” in their “gut” that she was guilty…but this is because the RNC used their power in Congress and the FBI to make her look guilty. Hey, maybe something is coming down the pipe that we are not aware of…could be, but lets also keep in mind that we are not aware of it and making major decisions based on unknowns is very unwise.

        Lets not forget that Bernie called himself a socialist…yes, I know his exact words were socialist democrat, but Trump USA doesn’t hear that…they just hear socialist. Trump would have beaten Bernie over the head with that because the only thing worse than being a criminal is being a communist.

        and if Ron actually had facts to base his arguments on he would have been just fine here at TMV…but he didn’t…and he got taken to task on it. He preferred preaching to the choir so he left.

        Anyone at TMV that bases their opinions on facts and sound logic is treated people well around here…regardless of ideology.

        • dduck

          @SL: “Anyone at TMV that bases their opinions on facts and sound logic is treated people well around here…regardless of ideology.’
          B_______.

          • KP

            THIS^^^^^^

        • KP

          Hello Shannon Lee. I don’t disagree with anything you said in your first two paragraphs.

          Ron got one thing correct. He warned that Hillary was a vulnerable candidate and unpopular.

          Michael Moore predicted she would lose back in July. He called it “The Hillary Problem”.

          Michael Moore blamed Hillary and the DNC. He didn’t blame, a guy in California, who didn’t vote Trump and made some comments at TMV.

          You said “Hey, maybe something is coming down the pipe that we are not aware of…could be,”

          If that is the case it would be my sincere wish that the President (Obama or Trump) would pardon her.

        • KP

          He preferred preaching to the choir so he left.

          He didn’t leave.

          There is a difference between leaving town and being forced out of town. Having said that, one might be forced out of town for good reason in the old west.

          You are top shelf when it comes to integrity, so I thought you should know, leaving wasn’t his decision.

          BTW, _nobody_ clashed more on issues over the years with Ron Chusid than I did. He hit me hard with his ‘facts’ and his links that supported them.

          In my mind “Links please” is synonymous with Dr. Chusid. I respect him. However, I was correct more often than not : – )

          Unintended consequences are part of the reason Trump was elected.

  • Markus1

    I am one of those who’s views were rejected by a majority of the electorate. All of us in that boat should be quiet and thoughtful for a while. Every defeat has the seeds of victory and every victory has the seeds of defeat. What prevails is grace and resilience. The Democratic Party should carefully reexamine its goals, tactics, and message. This is best done after the heat of battle has passed.
    To those who think that I was wrong all along, you won, feel free to mock me.

  • Markus1

    I forgot something important in my post. Thank you Shaun Mullen for your work. Always enjoyed it.

    • Shaun Mullen

      Thank you. Onward through the fog.

  • JSpencer

    Right on the money Shaun. This has been crappy year for me. Lost my parents, messed up my back, lost my dog, and now this… I’m just glad my parents weren’t around to see it. They were decent people, and these are not decent times. That said, I remain resolute in the battle of light against the darkness, love against hate, knowledge against ignorance. I expect I’ll be a little less patient with the usual fools for awhile, but so be it.

    • Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist

      Sorry about your losses and problems, Joe, and thank you for your “resoluteness.”

      Don’t worry about being a little less patient — you are in lots of (good?) company.

      Courage!

      • dduck

        What DDW said.

        • JSpencer

          Thanks dd.

      • JSpencer

        Thanks Dorian.

    • The Ohioan

      A terrible year for you for sure. So sorry about all your losses. My dad was a lifelong Republican and he would have been as outraged by all this as we are. Take care of yourself.

    • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

      sorry joseph, so very sorry for so many losses of people and furry relative. Im with you… my father esp would have not only feared and disliked t-RUMP, [sorry, cant help it,] he would have condemned him as a true fascist, not as a name calling, rather from dad’s old country agonies in wwii, a lived truth unvarnished.

      Are you doing effective things for your back? A couple weeks ago an old man not paying attention, ran into me with his flat bed cart at costco. I staggered all over the place cause he clipped me behind the knees. I tried not to fall, but fell ON the metal cart and … well, i am walking like I just learned to walk. lol. I have done many things to help and four of the best are acupunture, deep ow ow ow massage, and epson salts and stretching. Have you done any of those? I tend to not attribute slower mending to age, but to the severity of the injury, lol, as I think you and I are about the same age.

      And regarding your dog? May I ask, what is your dog’s name? Was your dog a big or little one? Shaun and I both have written on tmv about our dogs passing. It was as you know, hard beyond hard. Brownie’s girl also wrote at length about her Brownie passing. Hang in there…

      And finally, I find the MSM in some absurdist fugue state. They are scratching heads, oh my how could this happen, we must have been wrong???

      I wonder, instead about the integrity of the voting machines, the electronic counters, the hand counting, the absentee ballots, the early voters, and why no one seems even vaguely inquiring.

      I wonder hard WHY VETERANS in VA hospitals had NO poll places to vote in,

      and what the h is going on with russian hackers, and assange and comey? comey literally acting like a weirdo miss pittypat all a tither about something he hadnt even looked at before blubbering around.

      And I wonder about the FBI who I’ve always thought of as protecting most citizens, not having an internal groupie group of hillary hatin’ guys with high security clearances who cant control their emotional feelings at the 11th hour of a democratic election.

      I wonder too about the lack of inquisitivness in MSM, lack of inquiry, lack of investigative reporting.

      I see instead a whole bunch of helmet head guys opining, bloviating as though their opines are somehow gold. They are not. They’re lower on the elemental table for sure.

      Lack of concern about putting sleepy old Ben as head of health, icky two timing rudy [who did not protect first responders at Ground Zero with adequate safety equip] as atty gen, and newtie as laughable sec of defense and palin as head of EPA or BML? Seriously wondering if t-rump thinks we all just gonna bow.

      No way. Im ready. How about you Joseph? Come on, I’ll wheel you around in style, we could outfit the chair in decor of your choice. Sending loving prayer to you and for your healing, in all seriousness.

      Ive gotten so old, I dont even care about sending a personal letter, publicly, lol.

      Someone stop me before I sin again, lol

      • JSpencer

        Thanks Dr. E. and others, believe it or not, it wasn’t my intention to hijack this thread, but it’s just been one thing after another. Even so, I’m doing well enough overall. Sorry to hear about your Costco incident Dr. E. That feels painful even from here. Glad you found some that help. I’m mostly walking and some stretching here, nothing compared to what I used to do, but it’s a process.

        I’m right there with you re: your concerns about this election, and “fugue state” strikes me as an apt description. Like many other people, I’m still in sort of a state of shock, and have found myself reassessing how I view the people around me. I truly don’t understand how anyone who considers him or herself to be a decent individual could give DT their vote. I can’t watch any news programs right now (too raw still) and just read a little here and there. It’s very strange, I’ve been seeing quite a few suggestions lately from people to get over it, we need to unite, time to heal, all these insane platitudes. They seem utterly without a clue about what just happened. It’s like telling someone who has been grieving for 3 days that it’s time to buck up.

        Anyway, I just re-upped with the ACLU and also the LCV, and since I’ve been so angry lately, I decided this morning that before I respond to anyone who gets my hackles up, I need to ask myself, what would John Lennon do. We’ll see how long that lasts. ; ) Speaking of hackles, my dog’s name was Jackie, and she was an Aussie, Border Collie mix. A smart, loyal, and wonderful dog to me, but her formative years before I rescued her must have been rough, since she remained suspicious of strangers her entire life – despite my best efforts to re-socialize her. Anyway, it doesn’t matter now. The last thing I said to her as I was holding her in my arms was to keep an eye out for me because I’d be following along one day. I’d post a pic of her, but not sure how.

        Meanwhile, I look outside and the world looks the same, but everything feels different. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I don’t think so.

        • Shannon Lee

          I have the same problem JS. I can’t watch tv news at all. For some reason I can read…but that is about it. I refuse to watch anything showing Trump’s face. I will not watch any of his speeches for the next 4 years or however long he is in office.

          I am pretty much disgusted with the United States of America. Heart broken.

          • yoopermoose

            I haven’t been able to watch TV either. The fawning of the media sickens me. I have been listening to progressive radio on my way to and from work. At least I can listen to other liberals complaint. I also feel like I should be doing something to fight back, but don’t know what.

          • JSpencer

            Yooper, I think we’ll discover ways of fighting back as we go along. It’s early yet…

          • JSpencer

            “I am pretty much disgusted with the United States of America. Heart broken.”

            So am I. So much potential just wasted, and not for the first time, not by a long shot. So many good people have given so much for this country, and for what? Still lots of people with hearts and heads in the right place, but clearly not enough of them. Some people create, and some people destroy. We are afflicted with too many of the latter.

        • KP

          Joe, if you send me an image via e-mail I will include it in a post with images of my late mate and Queensland Heeler, Reno. It might be a nice diversion from current events.

          • JSpencer

            Thanks Kevin. Can do, but would need email info.

          • KP

            Sure.

            Anyone else at TMV who has a pup or had one they have lost, but have an image; I would be pleased to include them in a post. kevprcll at aol dot com

            Feel free to send along a description of the relationship personality traits or quirks, how you found one another, etc.

    • KP

      @JSpencer; I hear you on the challenging year, pally. If we wrote out our recent emotional and physical miseries over the last 12-18 months and compared notes we might smile and shake our heads in an understanding way.

      As hard as it has been, I try to remember that I am not terminally unique. Love and being in a human body guarantee emotional and physical pain.

      Each low point in my life has been followed by a high point that may not have happened absent new wisdom. Pain is quite an education.

      Shoulder to Shoulder

    • Brownies girl

      JS writes:

      I expect I’ll be a little less patient with the usual fools for awhile, but so be it.

      You can shout and rail at me all you want, JS — I got a thick skin. Meantime, take care of yourself, am so sorry for your crappy year. Be strong, am rooting for ya! BG

  • Robert P. Coutinho

    He asked the light beings the question, “Will the United States be the leader of the world in this change?”

    The light beings replied, “The United States has been given the opportunity to be the teacher for the world, but much is expected of those to whom much has been given. The United States has been given more of everything than any country in the history of the world and it has failed to be generous with the gifts.

    “If the United States continues to exploit the rest of the world by greedily consuming the world’s resources, the United States will have God’s blessing withdrawn.

    “Your country will collapse economically which will result in civil chaos. Because of the greedy nature of the people, you will have people killing people for a cup of gasoline.

    “The world will watch in horror as your country is obliterated by strife. The rest of the world will not intervene because they have been victims of your exploitation. They will welcome the annihilation of such selfish people.

    “The United States must change immediately and become the teachers of goodness and generosity to the rest of the world.

    “Today the United States is the primary merchant of war and the culture of violence that you export to the world. This will come to an end because you have the seeds of your own destruction within you. Either you will destroy yourselves or God will bring it to an end if there isn’t a change.”

    From interviews and writings of Howard Storm (Near-Death Experience). 1985

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    TO ALL: HEAD’S UP

    ok my friends, things have gotten a little ad hominem-y here.

    Please stay with topic if you cant be civil, and do not continue whiffle-whopping one another.

    Thanks.

    • KP

      I appreciate you noticing.

  • Lorie Emerson

    The problem of those who didn’t vote, or voted third party is simple- there can be only one president. It was a binary choice.
    It left Bernie powerless in congress. He can complain, but he has no power. He can filibuster- they will just change the rules.
    The party that believes in a policy of voter suppression, the party that is stealing control of the Supreme Court, now has all the power. Those that couldn’t make an adult decision, or get off their couch, are to blame. Accept it. Learn from it.
    Ideological purity leads to losses and creates demagogues. Our road just got much harder.
    For right now, raise our voices that Garland should be appointed- otherwise it is a right wing coupe. They are stealing a branch of our government.
    Organize to take over your state government at all levels. i am working on putting together a program that works year round- an adopt a voter program. Go to the DNC and get the list of Dems who didn’t turn out to vote. Assign a certain number to volunteers to engage with them once a month for the next few years. Come up with solutions together and create community with a blue print of expectations. Teach people how to vet sources. Throw bbqs. Whatever- but we have to reconnect with our fellow citizens on a personal level.
    Ignore Republicans and Trump supporters- they are a minority of the electorate.

    • Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist

      Good, constructive ideas, Lorie.

      Just wondering, however, whether the DNC can provide lists of Dems who didn’t vote. I thought the ballot was secret.

      Edit: Correction, I guess it can be dome by comparing polling places lists to voter registration lists?

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