Tuesday, November 15, 2016


And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs 
--What's Going On? 
4 Non-Blondes   

I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;   
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,   
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,   
And in short, I was afraid. 
--The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock,
T. S. Eliot 

In every heart there is a coward and a procrastinator.
In every heart there is a god of flowers, just waiting 
to stride out of a cloud and lift its wings 
--The Kookaburras,
Mary Oliver

After five days of violent rioting in East and West Coast cities which did not vote for Trump, the President has finally issued a tepid request for the protesters to cease their violence and to accept the election results.

Of course, the press, with egg on its face, will not go quietly. More than anything, they bear the brunt of the destruction, for when some people inclined to theater are validated by the media, they will not hesitate to give vent to their dissatisfaction in the modern flash-mob style.

The New York Times keeps grinding the organ stoking the malcontents, and CNN found an unhinged protester who actually called for blood. [At least, we would call her "unhinged" if she were a Trump supporter and had done such a thing.]

We should remind ourselves that we are a society which prides itself on the rule of law. This is a terrible way to allow a duly-elected President to enter office. It enforces division -- and much worse.

Mr. Obama's statement was even less convincing than when he first endorsed candidate Clinton -- it was faltering and non-ringing.

The calls are for Trump to quell the violence, but these are not his people. Much as when the "groping gotcha" emerged, Mrs. Clinton remains silent.

She had a potential chance for greatness then. She could have thrown up a dramatic mock-protest and asked the talking heads to stay on-topic and to not stray into personal fallibilities.

She could have spoken from the force of conviction, referencing her husband's own moral failings. She might have earned both a modicum of sympathy and admiration.

Instead, not a peep. She looked like nothing so much as a weasel peaking out of his den.

Obama has squandered the same opportunity for greatness. He could have vindicated the racial strife evidenced by repeated protests in major cities throughout his presidency by stepping up to the podium and delivering a large and impassioned speech on the necessity for a Union.

The People would have listened. It is easy to imagine they would be relieved to lay down their anger if they were told it would be the righteous thing to do. He could have turned on a bit of that Reverend Wright fire that he once (almost) displayed, and peace would have been restored

It could have been a defining moment for Mr. Obama. Yet another chance for the Democrats to show leadership, yet another chance, lost.

We must ask ourselves what sort of nation we wish to be. We can no longer ride on the fiction that we are the City on the Hill.

The violent protest do not make sense. We have a democracy that worked. We have selected our next President. What is the source of this destruction?

To paraphrase Golda Meir, "We will have peace when people love their children more than they hate the Other."

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Anonymous mike said...

Obama has spoken out.

Trump is the one that needs to curb his bullyboys before we end up with a Trumpocalypse.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 1:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Not that you're wrong, but I'm not sure Clinton or Obama coming out earlier would change matters. What is playing out on the left is exactly what we were speculating on this site about playing out on the right the week before the election: people desperate enough in the wake of the election that they've simply headed out to proclaim their anger, without any meaningful plan or statement except their disgust. Clinton and Obama would simply be written off as modern-day Quislings.

Again, not saying they shouldn't do it anyways, but I do question the effect it would have.

While the culture wars are fought out on the streets, the game plays on in Washington with the benefit of everybody outside the city being distracted. This is the moment, for both Trump supporters and opponents, when his administration will be pressured to choose its key staff and set its agenda. The fact that it is done behind closed doors with lobbyists and bankers while everybody else is watching the street protests on TV is probably going to be a problem later on.

I see this afternoon that the New York Times, valiant champion of the public that it is, has naturally tried to resolve this by devoting a lengthy and breathless column to the incredible crisis caused by a brief delay in Trump's transition team signing a non-disclosure agreement with the White House. Very exciting stuff. Now that the election is over, the Times and the rest of the establishment do not care about the plight of Black Lives Matter and other folks taking to the streets. They just want their business to continue as usual with whoever happens to be in power. Somehow one is not surprised. Their chosen candidate lost, so they expect they will simply make deals with the new one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 4:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

Beams and splinters and one's own eye seems to be the response.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 10:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


To be very clear:

I never said, "people simply headed out to proclaim their anger" by voting for either candidate. While I am sure some people do vote in protest, I honestly believe from speaking with people that the majority who voted for Trump did so in good faith.

They knew nothing would change under Clinton; they had a glimmer of hope that they might change under Trump. Clearly, Trump was not owned by anyone; he was a free agent. That is a new thing in modern times for someone elected President.

That he won without his party's undivided backing is amazing -- the political story of modern politics, really.

Yet we don't have time for such serious things. Least not in the entertainment (="news") industry.

A separate issue is the hatred that has been imputed to those who elected Trump. The media find the small percentage of malignant racists in the nation who may have voted for Trump and whitewash everyone with that brush.

It would be as absurd as saying all Democrats are anti-Semitic, and support BDS and want all support yanked from Israel, and would like to drive Israel into the sea ("sorry, Jewish people.")

While I know some otherwise intelligent people who DO say this, certainly that sort of racism does not motivate all Democratic voters, does it?

That is not the prime mover ... I would think most people vote their pocketbooks, no?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 11:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

No Lisa, I wasn't talking about voting, I was talking about the post-vote protests. The week before the election, because there were all the rumors floating around about angry militia members responding to a Clinton victory, Avedis and I talked this out. Jim had some very important thoughts on the topic.

Now the election happened, and it turns out we should have been talking about the Clinton supporters instead, but my analysis is the same: those people are angry and they are acting on that anger. They don't have a real plan or agenda, it's not as if their demand is that Clinton be magically declared the winner, so Obama and Clinton can't really quell the protests. We simply have to wait these out and hope people channel their anger in more productive directions, so far as I can tell.

Spot on in terms of the Trump voter's perspective, though, I think.

The news industry is still worth reading although not always for objective analysis. While the proles were rioting in the streets, notably, the New York Times and the Washington Post op-ed writers were debating what deals can be struck now that a new faction of the elites has risen to power. They do not care about the issues of the protesters in the streets except when they need their votes. The financial elite would be just as happy making their deals with Trump as with Clinton provided they get what they want, which is the question still to be decided.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 1:49:00 AM GMT-5  

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