Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day: Paragraphs of angry vitriol deleted

Well, here we are. Election Day.

It kinda feels as if every possible take on this election has already been generated by the roomful of monkeys that is the Internet. But a couple folks wondered what I thought about it all, so here goes. I doubt anybody's going to like what I have to say:

[Paragraphs of subsequent anger deleted.]

You see? It's like that. I am angry. Very angry at what has been done to this country that I love. And there's more than enough anger out there today. Nobody needs me adding to it.

[More paragraphs of angry vitriol deleted.]

Sigh. Let's try again.

So here's the thing. I am a Democrat for a lot of reasons. But I also believe that to make this country and this system work we need to have a functioning two-party system led by people of good will who have different perspectives, who grapple with the facts, and who negotiate to find reasonable solutions to our problems. And through that process we generally do as much good for as many people as is reasonably possible.

Right now the Republican Party is broken. Badly broken. And I'm mad at the people who broke it.

Yes, I know that some of you would disagree with that point. Let me remind you that you made Donald Trump your nominee for President of the United States. And Donald Trump isn't the aberration. Donald Trump is what the Republican Party has become. It's popular to say that recovery starts when you acknowledge that you've hit rock bottom. Nominating Donald J. Trump for President of the United States is rock bottom.

Politics isn't perfect. Politicians aren't perfect. (Lord knows politicians aren't perfect!) Heck, the preamble to the US Constitution doesn't promise to form a perfect union, just "to form a more perfect union." And the founding fathers were starting with the mess of the Articles of Confederation, so more perfect in that context was really just aiming at marginally functional.

Over the past couple of decades we as a nation have been working towards a less perfect union. It makes me angry.

I would start listing all the ways in which I think the GOP has run off the rails. But that would only lead to me typing "[more paragraphs of anger deleted]" again. So I'll settle for pointing out that when George Orwell wrote "Ignorance is strength," it was a warning, not a recommendation. You need to pull yourselves out of your fact-free media bubble and start dealing with the real world. I genuinely wish you luck in trying to build a functional, rational party out of what you have created. Really, I do. We need you. You want to capture my attention? Show me that -- for example -- you can acknowledge the simple fact that global warming is real, man-made, and a long-term threat to the well being of the United States. Then propose some conservative solutions.

That is what a functioning two-party system looks like. And this country badly needs one again.

Let me take a moment here to add that my fellow Democrats also have some things to work on. I very much hope and expect that Hillary Clinton will win the election today. And when she says she wants to be a President for all the people, I hope she means it. We shall see. A lot of people feel the Democratic Party has abandoned them. We need to listen.

And that's it. I could go on to type and delete more paragraphs of anger, but why? There's a whole Internet full of it today.

More than anything else, I'm hoping for a massive electoral rejection of Trumpism and all that it entails today. And I hope that this election marks a low point in our political history. We shall see.


  1. "(W)hen George Orwell wrote 'Ignorance is strength,' it was a warning, not a recommendation" is going to become my new email signature.

  2. " we need to have a functioning two-party system"

    Is the BARE MINIMUM. I'd be happy with a parliament and 4 parties. Let the Racist no-nothings go form there own party and the rest of us can happily ignore them instead of allowing them to hijack our thoughtful conservative friends.

  3. errr... how embarrassing.

    That would be.. "know-nothing" obviously.

    1. Sometimes there are places where you really, really don't want to make a typo....

  4. Thank you, John! The meaning and the consequences of this election cycle could not have been better described. And you even offer hope that rational people will come to their senses and begin the hard work of healing our nation.

  5. Thanks John!
    So nicely put.
    Let us hope that people of good will on all sides of the current battle lines are ready to work hard at rebuilding the trust necessary to have a functioning democracy.