The way forward

As you know, I work in a University, which means that most of my friends has the mother of all sads from the election results.

Here I just want to say that things are not as bad as they look and the path forward is not as daunting as it might seem.

I am not a fan of president elect pumpkin spice. Didn’t vote for him, think he’s wrong on virtually every social and economic issue. But I don’t see either the accuracy or utility of labeling his supporters as racists, bigots, misogynists, …… Some surely are, but the great majority of them are people with strong grievances (real or perceived) against the current system and treating them with contempt only makes the problem worse.

OK, so here’s my pitch for why we can be optimistic about the future.

The election was really close. We really only need to persuade a million or so folks to change their views. Plus, maybe the dems can learn a bit and run a candidate that doesn’t have so much baggage and doesn’t dismiss a big chunk of the electorate as “irredeemable”.

Second, the future is brighter. Young voters overwhelmingly rejected pumpkin spice, even when the alternative was tepid dishwater. Time is on our side for social progress.

Third, time is also on our side as folks have an additional 4 years now to see that gay marriage does not hurt them, that Islam is not their enemy, etc. Slowly but you know what, some folks may come around. Remember, it doesn’t have to be everyone.

So rather than labeling and demeaning, I suggest we reach out in a spirit of love to try and understand the grievances of the spice brigade and see if we can cut a deal.

If we build a wall (or renegotiate NAFTA and scupper the TPP) and go after China in the WTO can we drop the deportation stuff and maybe even increase legal, vetted immigration and refugee acceptance?

If we include rural whites in affirmative action type programs, can we agree to continue to use government to help disadvantaged minority groups?

We have no problems buying off teachers unions and other types of interest groups, let’s figure out what we can do the raise the status / self esteem of a couple of million pumpkin spicers going forward. Because believe me, the republicans will run other populist demagogues until it is decisively shown not to work.

Nearly half of the electorate that bothered to vote voted for Trump. Yelling at them, no matter how good that may feel,  isn’t going to make their numbers go down. If we want to consolidate and build on the social progress we have attained, we have to find a way to incorporate some of them into the movement.

In the immortal words of Will Toledo, “I want a deal, let’s cut a deal..”





5 thoughts on “The way forward

  1. After reading this, I’m left wondering “who is ‘we?'” Democrats? The same people who want to curtail the 2A, reduce freedom of speech through bullying (e.g. the PC SJW movement), and start more wars (Libya, Syria, Somalia)? Why is it good that these people win?

    As a member of the millennial crowd (who turned out for Hillary, though I didn’t), I see the libertarian/conservative fusion that is slowly occurring as the problem Democrats will have in decades to come. Younger conservatives don’t care so much who marries whom or who smokes weed, but they’re deeply concerned about the right to free speech and self defense. I don’t think the next few decades will see the ushering in of Democrat hegemony.

  2. I largely agree, but one sticking point is the issue of climate change–Trump and his cronies have some certifiably insane and anti-scientific views on climate change, and are poised to take a chainsaw to anything that looks “anti-fossil fuels” and “pro-clean/renewable energy”, and current global decarbonization pathways already looked like they were not enough to avoid dangerous levels of carbon emissions. Its not clear what needs to be done at this point, but it will most definitely need a vigorous extra-electoral opposition against Trump’s environmental policies.

  3. The time to cut a deal was 2011. Or at the latest 2014. Now Orange has all the power. Both houses of Congress, Supremes, large majority of governors and statehouses. But we put up TPP and DACA and ACA and PNTR and BLM and mass refugee resettlement to shove it all down their throats with no pause, remorse, or mercy.

    They responded the only way they could. And they managed to pull it off.

    There’s no negotiation. They will now get all they want. The question is how to win back some power in 2018 in statehouses and maybe in Washington in 2020. Then we can negotiate.

    Until then, we’re like them for the past 15 years. We take whatever they do to us and hope to weather the storm. We have no power to wield to resist.

  4. And the top pick Trump has for Education… you’ll never guess who… Ben Creationista Carson. and as an avid Backpacker/Nat’l Park enthusiast im not too excited about having Palin as Secretary of Interior…

    All aside, I agree with the overall aim of your post. The number of Supreme Court seats filed and by whom may have a larger long term effect than everything else combined.

  5. I think everyone underestimates trump even now. I am not sure what he really will do given that more than a decade ago he was more of a centrist conservative..

    However for me it was clear that another 4 years of Democrat presidential powers might be dangerous. Liberals are much better on all issues when they are not running the show.

    All that said, in my opinion both sides have imo backwards thoughts. Liberals on economic issue and even understanding those topics (decidedly they also don’t want to understand them sometimes) and conservatives on social issues. Though for me as a European I have more issues with his foreign affair views and they might be grave for Europe.
    If he stays true to his message, then Europe will have to increase defense spending in the future and we will have to find a better way of dealing with Russia. It might, however, be very beneficial for the middle east if the US restrains its ambitions there.

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