In some real ways, this feels like deja vu to me as a blogger. Thomascwaters.com began in ernest, in the aftermath of the 2008 election, where Obama won and Prop 8 passed. I had no idea what to do with the emotions I was feeling and the ideas flooding my brain, so I decided to pour it out into blog posts. And here I am following another major election in the same boat– overflowing with emotions and thoughts.
In 2008, it was so much about Prop 8, but this time the cause seems a little less exact. It isn’t a single piece of legislation, but rather the whole of the political environment that is a threat to LGBTQ rights as well as every other social justice movement. This time around, it feels like the entire world is caving in, and that is overwhelming. LGBTQ Rights and the future for queer persons of all identities was very much at stake in the election. You only have to look at Trump’s VP choice to see how central anti-LGBTQ sentiments were to his campaign. Everything we have gained in the past eight years may now be eroded away. The severity of this can not be stressed enough. But there has to be some way to move forward from this point.
There must. Somehow.
Here’s my base take on what happened last evening. I don’t mean this to be an exhaustive explanation– I’ll be posting multiple posts, trying to break this all down into manageable chunks, but here is the start.
I think we have to look at the obvious issues first. Many, many Americans have been hurting due to global economic changes since NAFTA. These people bought into Trump’s promise to bring back manufacturing. They want the manufacturing economy of 30 years ago and the fact that people without a college education could make a living wage. It isn’t coming back however. Like it or not, we live in a global economy, and the people who are responsible for shipping jobs overseas are the same corporate rich people Trump is planning to benefit with tax breaks.
Washington has been a mess with gridlock for at least the last eight years or longer depending on how you look at it. Many, many people have had enough. They wanted change. They voted for drastic change. So, when you feel like Govt isn’t working, and a loud person who claims to be able to do anything comes along, he looks like a viable option.
I heard an analogy on the TV last eve– that Trump is like Chemo. People want to see the cancer of Washington inaction destroyed. So they were willing to accept the harshest meds to accomplish that.They are wiling to accept the negative consequences to get what they believe they need, which is a return to America as an industrial powerhouse. Of course, Trump can’t fulfill those promises. But the side affect of his win is that the GOP has free reign, and all hell is about to break loose.
Yes, a contingent of Trump’s supporters (and Trump himself) may hate women, may hate minorities– but that wasn’t the biggest driving force that led to Clinton’s defeat. If however we frame it as if this was all about sexism and xenophobia, will never get the DEMS turned around. DEMS had it all wrong during the entire election– from dismissing Bernie and the Millennials, to believing that Clinton had a winning strategy, which she didn’t. Yes, she was completely qualified to be President, and yes, she would have made a good President, but her unfavorables were always too high, and she never did anything to change that. In fact the email fiasco, bot the real part and the media manufactured part, only increased her unfavorables.
It can be argued that if she had been a man, she wouldn’t have been so unfavorable, but I’m not sure that is a defendable position. I’ll write more about that in another post.