The Watering Hole; Th/Fr Nov. 10/11 2016; The Electoral Aftermath

So. The 2016 election is over. The electorate has spoken, and with a loud voice has pushed the nation to the point where it teeters on the edge of the abyss. The event did remind me of something, however, a few lines from something I wrote in the early nineties — back when one particular bit of history did not seem, as it does today, predictive of our nation’s self-imposed dilemma. Here’s the brief tidbit: a few lines in Emeralds and Ashesfrom a poem entitled The SECOND GENESIS: Hell and Ash:

january 30 1933
anno domini
berlin
ein tausend jahren
REICH
was born
pangs recorded by herr doctor göbbels as
a dream
a fairy tale
and by andre francois-poncet
who wrote
the river of fire flowed past the french embassy
whence
with heavy heart and filled with foreboding
I watched its luminous wake.
and god looked away

Later, on the morning of November 9 we received, courtesy of a local wingnut, a forwarded email, one that was most certainly written in advance of the election and was now an intended insult to any and all Clinton supporters. Its text reads as follows (highlights as in original):

ALMOST DONE. JUST ONE ELECTION DECIDES OUR FATE…

ALMOST THERE

There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a socialist/communist State. The first is the most important

5 OF THE 8 ARE DONE – THE LAST 3 ARE ALMOST THERE

1. Healthcare: “Control Healthcare and you control the People”
DONE !!

2 Poverty: “Increase the Poverty level as high as possible.” Poor People are easier to control and will not fight back if the government is providing everything for them to live.
DONE!!!

3. Debt: “Increase the National Debt to an unsustainable level.” That way you are able to increase Taxes, and this will produce more Poverty.
DONE!!!

4. Gun Control: Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a Police State – total local control.
ALMOST THERE!!!

5. Welfare: Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Livestock, Housing, and Income).
DONE!!!

6. Education: Take control of what People read & listen to; take control of what Children learn in School.
ALMOST THERE!!!

7. Religion: Remove faith in God from the Government and Schools.
ALMOST THERE!!!

8. Class Warfare: Divide the People into the Wealthy against the Poor. Racially divide. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to Tax the Wealthy with full support of the voting Poor.
DONE!!!

The bases are all covered! We are ripe!

Forward this – or delete it and just sit there and wring your hands.

The message is clear. And sick. It’s the standard right wing extremist meme that blames everything they see as BAD — i.e. healthcare for everyone, class warfare, public education, helping people who need help, gun control, government debt, and poverty — on what we know as ‘Progressive Liberalism.’ They also maintain, of course, that everything ‘good’ — e.g. religious ‘freedom’ to hate and discriminate (along with the ‘right’ to twist facts when necessary in order to blame the other side for each and every right wing screw-up) — is a result of ‘Conservatism’ (aka, in enlightened circles, Fascism).

Upside down political logic is not limited to conservative wingnuts, however. For example, I’ve noticed that although Hillary won the popular vote in this election, she didn’t win the Electoral College. Curiously, that’s already happened twice in this century, in 2000 and 2016. In both cases, the popular vote for the Progressive Liberal (Democratic) candidate has been dismissed by the Electoral Vote, thereby mandating that the Electoral College select, for POTUS, the loser of the popular vote — i.e., in both cases, the Conservative Republican candidate. Because of the 2000 selection, we’ve endured two gratuitous and uncalled-for wars (thousands of deaths and trillions of  $$ in ‘costs’ included) plus the 2008 crash of the global economy (and the near Second Great Depression). And now, thanks to the second popular vote’suppression,’ the Electoral College has given us our next President — one who has zero government experience, but one who enjoys great support from white nationalists, anti-Semites, bigots, anti-immigrationists, anti-Islamists, climate deniers, along with ignorant people everywhere. He also will have a Congressional majority in both the House and Senate and a four year Supreme Court appointment window. And worst of all, beginning January 20 2017, a narcissistic egomaniacal xenophobic bigot will have control of the nation’s nuclear codes.

What could go wrong?

The bottom line is that the current Republican Party’s regressive manifestations — all of its subgroups (including evangelicals) — bring to mind a poem written by T.S.Eliot the better part of a century ago. How did he know? — or maybe ignorance and stupid is fundamental to the human species?

Excerpts From “The Hollow Men”
by T.S.Eliot

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us — if at all — not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

[. . .]

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom …

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Therein lies the essence of our problem, i.e. those “Hollow Men” to whom ‘we the people’ have just now and once again handed full power and authority of the government. We have dismissed Progressive Liberalism — the philosophy that believes the government’s main responsibility is to see to the well-being of ALL the nation’s people, and not only the well-to-do — and have validated instead the philosophy that relies on expressions of power designed to further enrich the already wealthy, and to hell with everyone and everything else.

Dante would be proud: his SALIGIA (the Seven Deadly Sins) have finally been accepted as a government mandate — by the country which has long pretended itself to be the expression of “We the people” — of the common man.

So in view of all the details noted above and elsewhere, I do hereby recommend that Republicans change their party’s name/acronym from the Grand Old Party the (GOP) to something more accurate, to something like, say, “America’s National Association of Zipperheaded Idiots’ Party (America’s NAZI Party, in other words). It fits.

In any case, on January 20, 2017 — the day of Trump’s inauguration and elevation to POTUS — it remains my hope that someone out there will describe the reality, perhaps with words something like those Andre Francois-Poncet wrote on January 30, 1933 –the date that marked the final step in Adolf Hitler’s momentous rise to full power of the German state:

the river of fire flowed past the french embassy
whence
with heavy heart and filled with foreboding
I watched its luminous wake.

******

Message to Americans:

“ACHTUNG, SIE VERLASSEN den AMERIKANISCHEN SEKTOR”

******

Final note: I’ve posted this before, but once again it seems a good fit. It’s a sonnet I wrote in the early years of the Bush-43 administration, back in the days when it seemed obvious that Bush’s general ‘governing’ policies were dangerous at least, destructive at worst. Turned out they were just that, as evidenced by the economic crash in the last few months of his second term. Obama rescued us, but now we’re faced with Donald Trump, the “businessman”who has often demonstrated the ineptness of his acumen and the consequences thereof, along with his offensive personal non-qualities. If he carries all that forward and imposes it on the government, the words “Requiem: America” will suddenly take on an entirely new meaning.

REQUIEM: AMERICA
Requiem, as dirge of sophistic love,
Exposes destinies which nations earn.
Quoth Hamlet: “conscience does make cowards of
Us all” – that is, till We the People learn,
Implicitly, that human Cowardice
Exudes contempt for Rationalities.
Meanwhile, mankind’s destiny – Avarice –
Appears in service to those Vanities
Most shallowed minds presume to be their right,
Enabling failure thus of Self, of State.
Repression blooms and quickly dims all light
Intrinsic to the heart of Freedom’s Fate –
Consumed – whilst words of Truth, now specious, Moan . . .
And stand as lifeless slogans . . . etched in stone.

******

On the other hand, Alfred Lord Tennyson pointed out that

‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. . . .

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

The choice is ours, but do we have sufficient strength ‘in will to strive . . . and not to yield’?

Time will tell.

******

OPEN THREAD

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40 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Th/Fr Nov. 10/11 2016; The Electoral Aftermath

  1. From a friend:

    “I think it appropriate at this junction to formally acknowledge some of the silent partners who helped bring about this New World Order. I tip my hat to Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation; the anarchists founding and operating Wikkileaks; and Mr. Comey, Director of the FBI, for his precedent- setting releases of unfound allegations.

    I don’t know about you, but whenever Russia likes something, I get a little nervous.
    I have some others that deserve recognition– 3d party devotees and Sanders’ promoters who never let it go (democracy is HARD)– but I suppose you could never convince them, even now, that they made an error. I think we also must credit a united, racist, and homophobic right wing and my absolute conviction that while every Trump supporter was not a racist, pretty much every racist was a Trump supporter. Oh, and our beloved conservative christian brothers who proved, with admirable consistency, that they worship Jesus but refuse to pay the least attention to his teachings.

    Did I leave out anybody?

    I am now represented with an uninterrupted chain of republican representatives, from state senate/representatives through the White House. Every. Singe. One. I think most of them have the values of a vampire brood, so I’m not expecting much; but, on the other hand, I can also blame them for EVERYTHING! EVERY. LAST. THING. Oh, and I will!

    Well, democracy IS hard. We all lose elections. But, at least when that happens I have never cried ‘Take my country back!’ I mean, ‘back from whom?’ The last time I learned that elections were desperately important affairs was when Al Gore lost to one of our least effective, lazy, and incompetent- but- personally- upright- presidents, George W. Bush. I thought, after all the recounting was over and Gore conceded, ‘well, heck, this is America– how bad could it be?’ That was something I learned, 2 wars and an economic collapse later. Yep, elections have consequences.

    I think we’re all going to learn a lot, a lot. So I am going to try to enjoy it, because the entertainment level has just rocketed off the charts. If only it weren’t for those ghostly footsteps of Mussolini I hear goosestepping through this narrative, I would enjoy it more. Silvio Berlusconi, Rodrigo Duterte, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump: you guys are just SWELL.”

    • I have a post about this on my FB page, and have angered quite a number of people by asking they not make any comments. One person just called me names. She’s no longer a friend.

      Anyway, a lot of my friends are posting absurd justifications for the electoral college. It’s another 250-year-old concept that’s outlived it’s usefulness.

      I’d rather have the popular vote pick the winner of an election 100% of the time instead of 90% of the time.

      • Article II Section 1 Clause 3 defines the problem. I suppose back in the days when results were delivered on horseback and not by computers and mass media the concept might have made a little sense, but IIRC, those days have passed?

        The EC, in this day and age, makes zero sense, and needs to be tossed.

        Hmmh. Change ‘EC’ to ‘GOP’ and . . .
        Never mind. 😯

  2. Whoever wrote that list of eight steps toward Communism is full of worse smelling shit than Trump. The author displays an incredible ignorance of not simply the facts, but of how government works. Our problem is that the Conservatives in government WANT an uneducated populace who will believe anything they’re told as long as it confirms their biases. (Liberals want an educated populace who will understand that the truth has a liberal bias.)

    1) The government has NOT taken over healthcare. In fact that’s the reason some insurance companies are making their customers pay double-digit increases. If healthcare was controlled by the government, that would not happen.

    2) Income inequality (a staple of conservative fiscal policy) is the reason there are more poor people.

    3) The debt is as high as it is precisely because the Conservatives in govt cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans (based on a flawed concept of taxation) and refused to pay for two losing wars and an Rx drug plan. When taxes are increased again, it will be on those whose taxes were irresponsibly cut before.

    4) During the last eight years, gun rights were expanded. This is simply NRA bullshit propaganda talking.

    5) Welfare…DONE! Really? Why would you not want the government to regulate how your food can be legally processed and sold to you and your children? Does any sane person really want businesses to have the right to sell us anything they want, labeled any way they want, and as unsafe as they feel like making it? (It;s a documented fact that most large corporations will lie and mislead when defects are found ion the products they sell. Most, not all.)

    6) Education is nowhere near being in the control of the government. I don’t know many details about Common Core, but it’s not common to all school systems, and it does have its flaws. Doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. But I do know that teaching kids that the Civil War was fought over States’ Rights and not White Supremacy, as specifically spelled out in their secession statements, is a huge problem.

    7) Religion – this is constitutionally a secular nation. Would the Spanish Inquisition have been possible if Religion didn’t control government? Again, an education matter as most Americans don’t know history very well.

    8) As for class warfare, the fact is it;s the rich who have been conducting class warfare on the rest of us. Their taxes should be raised to help make the society that enabled them to get rich possible. And I don’t care what anyone says, there comes a point where you literally have more money than you or your children or your grandchildren will ever need in their lifetimes. The economy doesn’t work if there isn’t enough money circulating. Allowing families to hoard it just causes economic problems like we faced in 2008 (and 1929.)

    If you know who wrote that crap, tell them they should try going back to school and learning something.

    • Excellent, Wayne.

      I wish I knew the prime author, but I don’t. I only know that most people around here have seen it, thanks to the fact that most recipients are wingnuts who then forward it to everyone they know. That’s how we got it. (One thing I’m sure of is that Trump didn’t write it. I know, he “knows many words” — but not THAT many).

      Your analysis of the whole thing is spot-on, esp. the summation that “they should try going back to school and learn something.” My fear is that that’s never going to happen because, as Forrest Gump once pointed out, “stupid is as stupid does” — and if there’s ever been a political movement that is definable by a single word, it’s “Conservative” = STUPID!

      Hmmh. Seems there’s another movement that’s definable by one word as well. “Bowel.”

      Fascinating, captain.

      • I’m sure he meant the Medicare Rx thingee from Dumbya — Medicare pays, but can’t negotiate prices — there’s no better incentive for Big Pharma to raise prices anywhere.

      • Frugal’s right. Early in Bush’s first term, Rep Billy Tauzin got the Medicare Part D plan passed which, as frugal noted, prohibits the govt from negotiating for lower drug prices. Doesn’t just leave the subject out of the bill, it specifically PROHIBITS the govt from negotiating for lower prices. Once it passed, Tauzin, who survived a bout of cancer thanks to drugs, resigned from Congress mid-term to head up Big Pharma, the lobbying arm of the drug manufacturer group (which may or may not have violated laws about lobbying after serving in Congress.)

        And that’s one of many reasons why, thanks to Republicans, we can’t have nice things. I am getting so sick and fucking tired of Conservatives who want to protect corporate profits over living people.

        • The most disgusting aspect is that so many millions of voters have become too uninformed, too stupid, to grasp the fact that the ONLY things the goopers give a damn about are money and the power implicit in monetary wealth. To any Republican politician, anyone who doesn’t see it that way is either a lazy bum (prolly “colored”) or a Communist (or both, maybe). Could also be ‘queer’ I guess — those people ain’t worth the powder to blow ’em up (unless they vote Republican, of course).

          The politics in this country have become despicable; how do we-who-ain’t-stupid fix that?

  3. ACHTUNG! Sie verlassen JETZT den Americanischen Sektor.

    League Of The South Hails Trump, Wants ‘No Mercy’ Towards ‘Jews, Minorities And Anti-White Whites’

    As white supremacists and neo-Nazis celebrate the results of the presidential election, Michael Hill, president of the neo-Confederate League of the South, reacted to Donald Trump’s victory yesterday by vowing to show “no mercy” to “the enemies of our God, our Folk and our civilization” and to finally “drive a stake” through the heart of “the globalist-progressive coalition of Jews, minorities, and anti-white whites.”

    Once the globalist-progressive coalition of Jews, minorities, and anti-white whites stops reeling in confusion from the results of yesterday’s election, we can expect them to start striking back with trickery and violence. Thus, we as Southern nationalists face both danger and opportunity.

    Now, more than ever, we need tight organization and numbers to help drive a stake through Dracula’s heart and keep him from rising once again to menace our people and civilization. No mercy should be shown to the enemies of our God, our Folk, and our civilization. None would be afforded us.

    Gee, Donald. Thanks! *blush*//

    . . . a Trump presidency may represent a God-given “short reprieve” from the “demise of old white America,” telling members that they must use this opportunity to fight for and build “White Man’s Land.”

    Someone please pass the barf bucket.

    Jeebus. Is this really what we’ve become?

    • I have stepped up my walking ans swimming regimens. If worse comes to worst I just pick a direction, walk till I hit water too deep to wade, and start swimming. I figure, if I am forced to migrate, even a disused oil rig or chunk of driftwood might be more attractive than the good ol’ U.S.A!

      • But unless things have really changed in Minnesota over the last 50+ years, swimming in Minnesota starting in November is NOT a really good idea!

        What may prove to be a big advantage, though, is you being so much closer to Canada than Colorado is.

        • The water would be a bit on the chilly side but things have, indeed, changed in Minnesota. It was 62 today, has been in the 60’s or very high 50’s all month and we even nipped at 70 a few times over the last two weeks. There are still plenty of green leaves on the more hardy trees, the duck migration has barely begun, and I don’t think we have even been below freezing more than twice here on the southern edge of the Twin Cities. Our October ended up around 8 degrees above normal, the new normal that includes 1998 and 2006, and, though I have not done the math, my guess is that the average for the last two weeks in October and the first week plus in November is probably 10 degrees or more above.

          I am fully aware that local weather is different than global, or even regional, climate but it takes an ignorant fool to spend one of these spectacular November days outside and fail to realize that this weather is definitely NOT NORMAL!

          Also on my side is the fact that I have a little more blubber than I did 20 years ago and I can probably avoid really deep water, almost indefinitely, by using bridges! I promise I won’t become suicidal until and unless I reach a warm body of water I have no hope of traversing. And? There’s always the chance that events during my migration would compel me to stop at some point before I decide to just strike out swimming or I might find that abandoned oil rig or hunk of driftwood!

          • I hear you. Here in Colorado on the eastern slope, the high daily temps are in the 60s and 70s, and we’re still waiting for the first nighttime frost. The front range — 12-13,000 ft seven or eight miles ‘over there’ is still snowless (as is, afaik, the Continental divide about 75 miles to the west. No snow. Period. First time I’ve ever seen that. But, I guess since this is the hottest year around/across the globe since records have been kept, I shouldn’t be all that surprised.

            Damn Chinese. How’d they pull it off, I wonder?

  4. Rudepundit has emerged shellshocked as he like many of us concluded Tuesday evening that the Tangerine Shit-Gibbon was consigned to the depths of reality TV once again.

    “This conflagration of anger at the coalition of dumb fucks, assholes, and shitheads who voted for Trump is going to take a long time to calm down to the usual dull roar of blind rage at the fuckery of the ignorant”

    Yesterday’s however was particularly sober and insightful –

    http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2016/11/american-eclipse-part-1-ignorant-voter.html

    • Interesting math. I don’t have the exact numbers before me, but Wyoming has approximately a population of 589,000 and has been awarded 3 electoral votes. California has a approximate population of 39 million, and is rewarded with 55 electoral votes. Equal representation per population says that California should receive 199 electoral votes. The only place in the democratic world, including the US, that an election is won with no concern to the actual popular vote is our presidential race. Clinton in any other place in the world won the election. Shame on Alexander Hamilton. We need to change this.

  5. Frugal, I unstuck your post for Leonard Cohen. I hope you are ok with that, if not I’ll stick it back on.

  6. Sorry, I had posted this in the wrong thread earlier.

    If righties felt Trump was the lesser of two evils, that still make him evil.

    • If “President” (*ick*) Trump carries forth on all the crap he spewed during the primaries and the campaign, my somber prediction is that America dies, and the rest of the world follows not too far behind.

      Q: Would that be the consequence of ‘evil’ — or maybe not?

      Is ridding a country and its planet of tyranny a bad thing? Or is tyranny implicit in the genome of each and every life form everywhere, so therefore getting rid of it means total life extinction?

      We could start an investigative experimental program by extincting Republicans/Fascists and then see what’s left. I could go along with that — or is that tyrannical too?

      Life’s a bitch.

  7. So I’m feeling that when Trump takes office, I may have to tell my right-wing friends that I plant o show him the same respect, courtesy and deference they showed to Obama.

    Sadly, this will go over their heads.

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