"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words." ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Monday, November 14, 2016

Election Aftermath

"We live in a perpetually burning building,
what we must save from it, all the time, is love."

~~ Tennessee Williams ~~

The Burning of the White House, 1814
painted in 2004 by American artist
Tom Freeman (1952 - 2015)


Also on my book blog

A month ago, I shared some words of deep wisdom from my brother Bruce Carriker concerning the upcoming election. Now the day has come and gone, and in the wake of the event, I remain stunned that so many citizens aided and abetted in the election of a sociopath. I take no blame for that. And I dare them to look me in the eye without shame.

I resent the platitude going around that in the end we all share more similarities than differences. Guess what? No we don't! It's not just a difference of political opinion and we can now kiss and make up. This is utterly and absolutely abhorrent! This is about humanity vs inhumanity.

Every person who voted for Trump gave the message that it is acceptable to belittle women, to mimic disabilities . . . the list is so long, but I'll stop there. What more does one need? He showed us who he is -- believe him! I simply cannot fathom how anyone could condone his comportment. I'm dismayed to live in a country where nearly half the voters, both men and women, think that's okay. As my son Ben texted, as early as 10:30pm, when we began to see the writing on the wall: "What the actual f - - k?"

On the other hand, Ben also offered a ray of light: "The sky will sit a little lower, but it won't fall. America is robust to this sort of nonsense" (also, see comment from Ben below and click here for sobering and reassuring post - election thoughts from Bruce).

I still don't have an answer to the questions my friend Anna Loh asked: "How do we explain this to our children? How do we hold ourselves up as an example to the world? We just rewarded hatred, classless, bigoted behavior. . . . And please understand the message that the granddaughters of this country got last night. We'd rather have a hate filled, bigoted, angry man as president than a woman who has given her entire life to service."

Deplorable! That actually is the correct adjective, even though Hillary tried to apologize for saying it. Not me -- I will say it! Deplorable!

It has been a tough and tearful week.

In one of his recent articles, Tim Urban repeats a line that we have been encountering repeatedly to explain why people would vote for Trump:

"People vote for hope and change when they’re in pain."

What this comment seems to overlook or underrate is that for me and my friends -- and all those women who took their little daughters to the polls or voted in honor of their grandmothers -- a vote for Hillary wasn't a vote for the status quo -- it was a "vote for hope and change."

For now, I'm keeping the following passage in mind, because it seems to capture our collective broken heartedness:
"The world is violent and mercurial - it will have its way with you. We are saved only by love - love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share: being a parent; being a writer; being a painter; being a friend. We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love."
~ Tennessee Williams

An Ironic Post Script to this Post Mortem
Unbeknownst to us at the time, we foretold the future . . .

Looking through my damning emails, I came across a note from November 2012, asking a friend if she had attended an election vigil in neighborhood and telling her about the one at which I inadvertently found myself: "There were actual Romeny / Mourdock supporters in the room. Can you believe?! It nearly made me sick to my stomach. Why would anyone knowlingly invite mixed - party guests on election night? I felt so self - righteous but also obnoxious for putting my foot in my mouth before I realized -- and when I did realize, I felt as if I had been duped into attending. Even though Obama won, my soul is still shocked that the popular vote was so close, that we live in a country filled with so many deluded cold - hearted selfish greedy holier - than - thou asshats (and that I myself was at a party with some of them).

My eloquent facebook friend Michael Lipsey, also writing in 2012, expressed it so much better than my rant about being invited to a stupid party under false pretenses:

"I feel drained today; it’s been a perilous cliffhanger. Not that I think we’re about to embark on something great, but that we narrowly avoided something enormously worse that has metastasized out of greed, religious fanaticism & intolerance, and loony economic theory. The Republicans fought the New Deal, social security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, national health care, inheritance taxes for the rich, integration, equal rights for blacks, women, minorities, immigration reform, gay rights, regulation of banks and Wall Street, environmental protection, Clean Water, consumer protection — just about everything decent thing the government has ever done these bastards have opposed.

"Pundits are saying that this now virtually lily-white, aging party with a base of fundamentalists and bitter, uneducated, conspiracy - minded extremists clinging to the fringes of the middle class, is going to have to become more inclusive or be doomed to perpetual minority status in a rapidly diversifying and more highly educated America. Given their record and having driven every liberal and progressive out of their party, I’m not holding my breath. Let’s hope that Obama, with four more years and free of the burden of reelection, will be able to take his shot at greatness, as the more sensible members of the Congressional majority are licking their wounds and rethinking their mantra of NO to anything the least progressive."

Michael so accurately described their deplorable methods -- opposing all that's decent and saying "no" to anything progressive -- yet it worked out for them, and here we are four years later not even in the same boat, but in a much much worse boat.

As Gerry has warned me many a time :
things can always get worse!

Next Fortnightly Post
Monday November 28th

Between now and then, read
my shorter, almost daily blog posts

Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading


  1. More from Ben: "I think we all need to take a deep breath. There's still so much we don't know. We must try and be heartlessly rational and organized. We'll deal with the policies he puts forward one at a time. And fight the ones that absolutely must be fought. America is not ending. We can calm down. Go read Tally's book again to remind yourself that America is a huge stone rolling with a ton of momentum and will not be nudged too far in a different direction by 2 years of a GOP government. (And wasn't nudged too far in a different direction by recent democratic governments).

    The broader issue -- that too much of the country feels abandoned by the government -- is where we need to focus our attention. The financial sector absolutely needs to be restructured. Wealth absolutely needs to be redistributed. And the message has to be clear and simple. Hillary was too detail oriented for the electorate. Ain't nobody got time to wade through her website. People don't want to feel like they're getting screwed with their pants on and Hillary didn't do enough to convince people she was going to fight for them.

    A funny tweet: "Hillary has all the charisma of a tree stump. She lost the working class vote to a man who literally lives in a gold plated skyscraper." It seems almost as if the roles of the two parties switched. Trump ran on a platform of protecting the working class and Hillary ran on social issues (it's still not really clear to me what her elevator introduction was). The party running on social issues doesn't win. At least not yet.

    I'm jumping on the Elizabeth Warren train. Her route to the white house might be easy if the financial sector explodes again sometime in the next four years -- which it might very well do (this independent of a trump presidency. The incentive structure in banking compensation is primed for another crisis)."

  2. People here are literally ill. If the west coast could have a referendum to leave this country and join Canada it would probably pass. I not only despise everyone who voted for Trump, but also every Democrat or independent who found reasons not to vote for Clinton, thinking they were making some kind of stupid protest.

  3. Kitti, I missed this post the first time around. I'm glad I saw it now. I love many of your lines, but this one, especially: "This is about humanity vs. inhumanity."

  4. Filled with dismay to hear people I know saying how nice his golf courses were; I was speechless. If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem; I'm sorry, but anyone who goes to those golf courses and hotels is part of the problem, and bragging about ostentation is not the way to impress me.