Part of anti-Trump protest in New York City last night.
"There will be casualties on both sides. Because people will have to die to make a change in this world." - Protestor last night in NYC.
Republicans emboldened by Trump's electoral college win Tuesday night are already bloviating about "having a mandate" according to the headlines in The Denver Post this morning. But let's get it straight, no matter the GOP drunk with power delusions they have no mandate and further there is a savage backlash building which will be released when the shock wears off. In fact it's already begun with dozens of protests in 40 cities across the nation last night.
And no, this wasn't a case of them "protesting democracy" as one dumb fuck bystander blurted. Democracy would be abiding by the results of the actual popular vote which saw Clinton winning by at least 700,000 at last count. The electoral college isn't based on true democracy but a derivative alternate enumeration invented by fretful Founders to stave off the possible results of a REAL democracy - which would be a direct popular vote only.
Trumpies with short memories may also want to remind themselves that Trump himself has been critical of the Electoral College in the past. On the eve of the 2012 election, he called it “a disaster for a democracy” in a Twitter post. There is no mandate, let's get it straight, when you lose the popular vote by more than 700, 000 votes as Trump has done. It is a simple matter of math irrespective of the electoral vote contrivance: more people voted against you than for you. Same as happened to Bush Jr. back in 2000.
That means, if you are making noises about "coming together" and "unifying the country" you had better damned well mean what you say. It doesn't mean that you get giddy drunk with power and start gloating with all the programs you plan to rip apart as soon as you and your lot assume power. No, that doesn't work. If you talk like that, it means you have no intention to respect those across the aisle and that means you have brought a battle on yourselves. The GOP did this yesterday as they recklessly forecast all the programs they planned to roll back, ignoring the consequences of over-extending one's mandate.
In his post-election victory speech, Trump said that he would be the president for all Americans, and that it was "time to come together as one united people."
But many are not convinced. Trump's threats to deport illegal immigrants and ban all Muslims from entering the country has many worried they will become targets"I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans. And this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country."
GOP talk about repealing Obamacare, leaving 22 million without, or cutting Medicare and Medicaid as well as other "entitlements" is a sure way to declare war - civil war. It has already broken out with the first protests in dozens of locations yesterday - some violent with effigies of Trump being burned in California as well as some buildings firebombed. This is only a taste of what is to come next year if the newly empowered Trump nation and Republicans overreach, overstep.
No surprise either that the protesters were screaming "FIGHT! FIGHT! FGHT!" - sending warnings to the new Dem minorities in House and Senate that they expect them to fight like Tasmanian devils to protect their economic security from Trump and his minions, not roll over. Several signs carried by the protestors also featured the words: "Four Years of Fight!" Indeed, and that is what it must be for us as citizens facing an upcoming administration based on gender and ethnic hate, malice and xenophobia.
It's even worse, because like Hitler - when he vowed that if he came to power (as he did in 1933) he'd destroy the basis for democratic power, so also Trump has vowed to destroy all the foundational, civic things that make us what we are as a country. Can this be allowed? Certainly the aware and truly patriotic citizen must say 'No!'.
It is true, as numerous pundits (including Obama himself, yesterday) have stated, that: "the peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy". However, when that power has been handed over to a cabal of jackals only interested in disabling the other side and representative governance itself, it cannot be peaceful, or accepted. It was all very well for Obama to say yesterday "we are not Democrats first or Republicans first but Americans first" - but this is the typical "hopey" fluff we have come to expect from a President who muffed his best chances (by unforced errors like backing the TPP) to be transformative.
The very nature of modern elections today is based on turning out massive votes for a party and is at least ideology-based identity politics. Obama appears not to know this because he never ever espoused an ideology, which I noted in a previous post (March 12, 2014) , i.e. that here was a man, a leader without an ideology. I added:
" A leader lacking a compass of ideological conviction or defined principles ends up everywhere and nowhere. ON all sides of every issue and no sides. He takes this ambiguous stance as trying to please everyone, but the game can't last forever "
So Obama can make all the appeals for "unity" he desires, but that doesn't mean the people who will be affected by the destructive program rollbacks of the Trumpian troglodytes have to follow suit. They don't and they showed it last night, in the aftermath of the GOP braggadocio and Trump's early moves to promise to appoint a fucking climate denier to the EPA.
Obama himself, whether he realizes or not, actually laid the foundation for disunity in the aftermath by incendiary campaign statements like:
"If his closest advisers don't trust him to tweet why would any of us trust him with the nuclear codes"
Does he believe you can just say a few nice words now and throw the "off" switch? He's dreaming, detached from political reality..
Nor do we have to have respect for the "office of the President" especially if contaminated by a racist "pussy grabber" like Trump. Nope, that respect must be earned and I doubt Trump has a chance. As Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out last night the meme of "respect for the office" was invented by politicians and poltroons for their own benefit. No citizen needs to acknowledge it.
If the other side that scored the putative (e.g. electoral college) win and Trump himself - despite all his verbiage- plans to just steamroll us into oblivion, there can be no peace, no unity. I noted two days ago there will be hard feelings on both sides, no matter the winners or losers. The only way to ameliorate those feelings is to actually together instead of promising roll backs of programs that millions depend on.
It also doesn't help when those like Sen. Mitch McConnell and others talk of using methods like "budget reconciliation" to try to get their agenda passed - while talking composure and unity on the other side of their mouths. In the case of McConnell he initially said yesterday, seeming to warn his GOP brethren about overreach and "misreading" a mandate:
"I think it's always a mistake to misread your mandate. And frequently, new majorities think it's going to be forever. Nothing is forever in this country, we have an election every two years, right on schedule. We have had since 1788. So I don't think we should act as if we're going to be in the majority forever, I think we've been given a temporary lease on power and we need to use it responsibly. The American people expect results as you know, and to get them in the Senate requires some Democratic participation and cooperation.
I think overreaching after an election is, generally speaking, a mistake."
Well, I couldn't have made the case for circumspection better myself. However, in the next breath he said:
"Repealing Obamacare is a pretty high item on our agenda and I would be shocked if we didn't move forward to keep to our commitment to the American people".
Totally ignoring that the 22 million now benefiting from the ACA ARE the American people too! But it is this type of glib posturing for overreach that invites what Robert Reich last night called "reaction". As Reich then elaborated on Chris Hayes' 'All In':
"Often as we've seen when you have Republican President, Republican majorities, they inevitably overreach. They think they have huge mandates and then overreaching generates a reaction and that reaction itself is a very powerful political force."
He added that the real question is how much damage will be sustained in the meantime, also noting "the Democratic Party has a lot to answer for" in that their namby pamby policy positons have enabled the loss of so many House and Senate seats, governorships, state seats and now even the Presidency itself. Again, I pin it on a lack of true ideology other than the witless embrace of Neoliberalism - which played directly into Trump's feral hands.
Even as I write this, the news has come out that Trump plans to put a climate change skeptic in charge of the EPA personnel transition, a move that, if effected, will roll back whatever progress has been made. That in itself is a call to arms, certainly and many environmental groups are now organizing for opposition - massive opposition in every venue imaginable.
Trump and his Republican allies in congress would do very well to tread carefully the next few months (as cabinet appointments are made) and beyond. If it appears that they plan to act as if they have a mandate vastly larger than actually exists they are beckoning trouble and it will arrive, make no mistake. It will make last night's protest look more like a garden party - and the actual ones will more resemble what transpired in the Ukraine some two years ago.
The "white lash" that saw millions of racist whites (including 53% of white women) vote in a xenophobic pussy grabber, will be met by a backlash from across the spectrum - not just whites. It will seal the expectation that this nation has now descended into a "failed state" to use the words of one NY Times columnist in the aftermath of Tuesday night.
One more thing: Do not blame this fiasco on "Boomers" the go-to scapegoats for too many dunderheads, like Matthew Sheffield in a salon.com article who wrote:
"According to exit polls, Trump’s success among the boomers is what gave him the White House."
No, this again commits the fallacy of division. All the boomers I know shudder to think of this imbecile ruling the country. Also, statistics for all potential voters disclosed that 46.3 MILLION sat out this election, most of whom were youngsters (millennials) and African-Americans. I would say their lethargy in not voting contributed much more to Trump's success than 25 or 26 percent of Boomers in any given red states voting for Trump.