Thursday, November 10, 2016

some not-so-light reading

That I should come out of a blogging hiatus to post twice in two days about politics -- how strange!  And yet, here I sit.  

I followed this election cycle, from the primaries through Tuesday's election, with interest, but somehow I am perhaps even more intrigued now that it's all over than I was before.  Maybe the fact that I could have called it all so incorrectly is part of what now has me so very interested in understanding more.  (Maybe the fact that a lot of the time leading up to the election found me sleeping every moment I could, in the haze of the first trimester, and now I find myself with a little more energy, also factors into it!)

I posted yesterday some thoughts upon waking up the morning after the election to the news that Donald Trump would be our next president.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  I thought I knew how this nation would vote; it turns out, I was within an echo chamber of sorts.  Having been against Donald Trump for his character (or lack thereof) and equally against Hillary, I voted third party and of course, read a lot of articles from others making the same choice.  I truly thought this was the year for third party votes to skyrocket, and I was excited about it!  (I wasn't the only one who thought this way.)  I also read a lot and heard a lot from my friends who were voting for Hillary.  In the meantime, I could count on my two hands the number of people I knew voting for Trump.  Was I foolish enough to think this was a representation of the entire nation?  No, but... maybe a little bit?

Today I'm just sharing a few links that I found fascinating as I think about all of this.

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From a Bernie supporter: Dear Democrats, Read This if You Do Not Understand Why Trump Won.
"I took it upon myself to understand Trump, and his supporters. What I found was millions of great Americans who had been disenfranchised, normal people like you and I, who did not recover from the Great Recession. They’re pissed off about Obama Care, endless wars, trade deals that have killed jobs, higher taxes, a rigged economy–and, they are not wrong."

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A really well-written piece, quite enjoyable to read: Millions of Americans Support Donald Trump.  Here's Why. by Thomas Frank
"This gold-plated buffoon has in turn drawn the enthusiastic endorsement of leading racists from across the spectrum of intolerance, a gorgeous mosaic of haters, each of them quivering excitedly at the prospect of getting a real, honest-to-god bigot in the White House.  All this stuff is so insane, so wildly outrageous, that the commentariat has deemed it to be the entirety of the Trump campaign. Trump appears to be a racist, so racism must be what motivates his armies of followers."
"But there is another way to interpret the Trump phenomenon. A map of his support may coordinate with racist Google searches, but it coordinates even better with deindustrialization and despair, with the zones of economic misery that 30 years of Washington’s free-market consensus have brought the rest of America."

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"The American white-collar class just spent the year rallying around a super-competent professional (who really wasn’t all that competent) and either insulting or silencing everyone who didn’t accept their assessment. And then they lost. Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away."
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A really interesting piece by a Sanders supporter with facts on immigration, crime, and what Trump has actually said: The media needs to stop telling this lie about Donald Trump.

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An interesting perspective from David Bahnsen, a voice on the right: The Day After, What it All Means, and Where We Go From Here

"You cannot call every single person you disagree with on perfectly reasonable issues a racist, sexist, and homophobe, and them expect people to take you seriously when a real demagogue enters the fray.  The left’s hysteria and lack of charity with those they disagree with for years has led to a credibility deficit.  I find Trump’s behavior towards women and comments about Hispanics revolting, but when I see the left say to choose love not hate (in opposing Trump), I think they fail to see how utterly hateful they have been towards God-fearing non-hateful sincere Americans for years.  I don’t agree with the punishment, but the reality is that too many middle Americans were tired of being insulted so unfairly, and took it out on the other side by voting Trump."

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From the Washington Post, an article by an associate university professor: Trump Won Because College-Educated Americans Are Out of Touch

"The most important divide in this election was not between whites and non-whites. It was between those who are often referred to as “educated” voters and those who are described as “working class” voters.  The reality is that six in 10 Americans do not have a college degree, and they elected Donald Trump.  College-educated people didn't just fail to see this coming -- they have struggled to display even a rudimentary understanding of the worldview of those who voted for Trump.  This is an indictment of the monolithic, insulated political culture in the vast majority of our alleges and universities."

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Written back in January; read it now.  This ought to give every single one of us pause, I think: The 'Other Side' Is Not Dumb
"When someone communicates that they are not “on our side” our first reaction is to run away or dismiss them as stupid. To be sure, there are hateful, racist, people not worthy of the small amount of electricity it takes just one of your synapses to fire. I’m instead referencing those who actually believe in an opposing viewpoint of a complicated issue, and do so for genuine, considered reasons. Or at least, for reasons just as good as yours."

"Sharing links that mock a caricature of the Other Side isn’t signaling that we’re somehow more informed. It signals that we’d rather be smug assholes than consider alternative views. It signals that we’d much rather show our friends that we’re like them, than try to understand those who are not."

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And finally, a nice reminder that the world isn't ending from John Mark Reynolds: Wonderful to Be an American in 2016.   Yes.  Our elections are free and fair.  We have a system of checks and balances.  We have a peaceful transfer of power.  We should not take these things for granted!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I found a couple of these as well today. Here's a couple more that I passed along to some friends in the liberal side who were asking "why."