Site Editorial 11/10/16

(59 comments)

The Tower, at its most optimistic (which is not very) offers the destruction of illusions. I don’t know about you, but I feel like burning some shit down.

First, then: nobody is to blame for Trump’s election save for the people who voted for him. A failed resistance is not at fault for the actions it tried to prevent. Everyone in the circular firing squad is in the end wrong. The awful truth is that there is nothing you could have done to stop him. Let’s start, then, by jettisoning the illusion that said otherwise. The arc of the moral universe does not bend towards justice. The moral universe has no arc. The moral universe does not even exist. History is a butcher without face or agency - a thing that simply happens to people. There is no individual level response to it. Your relationship to history is not one of subject to narrative, but of meat to predator.

Accordingly, there is no refuge to be found in any of the liberal platitudes offered as possible modes of resistance. There is no benefit to be found in giving him an open mind. There is no point in appealing to the checks and balances of the very system that has just given him material power. There is no value in hoping that history is going to suddenly develop a benevolent streak. “What do we do for the next four years?” is as stupid a question as “What do we do about Syria?” was. We don’t do anything. We cannot stop history. It is going to proceed with a grim inevitability, as deterministic and implacable as planetary motion.

The flip side of that is that history has no moral legitimacy beyond the mere fact of its existence. The material fact that when Donald Trump orders a drone strike there will be a drone strike is not “right” or “just.” It’s just true, in the same way that a bullet is true. There is no moral dimension to mere existence. That is not to embrace the idiot fantasy of “#notmypresident” or anything. Of course he’s the President. But this is only true as a material fact, and only material concerns follow from it.

Put another way, being President has not made Trump any more morally justifiable. Nor has it made him any more competent. Even for a right-wing authoritarian he’s a fucking moron driven by easily manipulable pathologies. The material consequences of this are by and large easy to figure out, at least in the broad strokes. Spoiler: it goes badly, and not just for his targets. Deaths in the millions are the best case scenario. The worst is billions. You can’t change that either.

But that does not mean that there is no resistance to be had. It’s merely to understand that resistance starts as an individual program. The fact that there is no intrinsic morality to Trump’s material power does not mean that we cannot ascribe morality. Indeed, allow me to do so with utter bluntness: Trump is fucking evil. His supporters are fucking evil. Those who choose to serve him in government are fucking evil. Those in the legislative and judicial branches that collaborate with his administration are fucking evil. Empathize with any and all of them if you like, but do not shy away from this fact. Indeed, let it become absolute. Any definition requires a degree of negation - some moment where you don’t just say “this” but also “not that.” Let this be yours. “Who is the enemy?” is, at the moment, a question of brutal simplicity.

But what of the means of resistance? Our best weapon is, ironically, the same one as history’s - the very weapon that liberalism seeks to defang into the impotent data point of mere voting. We exist. We are a part of history, with all the implacable absoluteness that implies. And we resist by continuing at that. We resist by making sure that whatever history does, we persist. We resist by haunting the future.

An injunction, then: run. Find a bolt hole and dig deep into it. Form durable communities and live in them. Invest yourself in place until you have created what Archimedes called a firm spot to stand. If you live or are able to move somewhere with a strong leftist current, embrace that and build as much of a localized utopia as you can. If you are not, seek refuge in the virtual and imaginary. But find a space in which to live and do it. For my part, I’ll be throwing myself into the rabbit holes of my work with renewed determination, if not enthusiasm, freely losing myself in the fractal folds of times that are not right now. But this is not the only option by a mile, and I certainly don’t mean to suggest it as the best. One of the few advantages of living in uncompromising resistance to single vision is that there are an infinite number of ways to do it. This one’s just mine. Embody yours as completely as you can. But be clear: this does not mean withdrawal, or even necessarily retreat, although that is surely going to be necessary for some people. It means secession. It means engaging with Trump and the politics he represents from the outside, without the concession of participation.

Here’s the thing about ashes: they are often fertile. And in the face of such destructive forces as have presented themselves, the simple act of creativity is gloriously defiant. In a world defined by ruins, life itself is gloriously defiant. So we will exist. We will be a part of history.

It is possible that new forms of collective action will emerge from this. From this vantage point, at least, it is nearly impossible to imagine what they will look like. It seems unthinkable that they will straightforwardly be electoral politics. More plausible is that they will be a form of violence. But most of the obvious applications of violence are scarcely more satisfying than “vote Democrat next time” as a plan. A purge of Trump voters is both infeasible and pointless, and yet individual targets all fail to actually deprive the fire of its oxygen. It is possible that some clear-cut object that can be usefully destroyed will emerge, in which case we should show it not even the barest hint of mercy. But for now violence is as much a dead end as liberal democracy. Past that, most existing ideas are variations of things like a general strike - a utopian dream as impossible to summon up on an individual level as a Democratic majority in Wisconsin. But even if the much-theorized “opportunities for the left” never emerge and the course of history is simply that climate change gradually throttles resources until a massive human dieback occurs, we have our defiant and furious existence. A roaring in the ears of history.

No compromises. No accommodation. No surrender. Be everything that Donald Trump and his supporters want to destroy. Embody the very soul of what they hate. And then make them fucking choke on you.

We are still Eruditorum Press.

Comments

Tom B 10 months, 1 week ago

I do have to take issue with one of your earlier statements, "First, then: nobody is to blame for Trump’s election save for the people who voted for him." The actions of the DNC in working things so that Hillary would get the nomination instead of Bernie Sanders, and Hillary's actions themselves also shoulder a fair amount of the blame. I'm willing to believe the polls that Sanders would have beaten Trump easily. Given everything that was being revealed about Hillary by the end, I suspect that anybody but Trump would have beaten Hillary also. Both major parties chose the one candidate who would be vulnerable to defeat from the other party's candidate. We truly ended up with the worst choices of the bunch here. It seems like there was no mandate at all for a candidate; far too many of the votes were merely votes against the other party's candidate.

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Phil Sandifer 10 months, 1 week ago

I think saying that the polls showing Sanders would have beaten Trump were right is pure wishful thinking in the face of seeing how the polls saying Clinton would did. Looking at the numbers, Trump won with fewer votes than any Republican candidate has gotten since 2000. He won because of low black turnout in Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Detroit, basically. Notably, Sanders showed very little ability to energize black voters, having basically screwed himself with that demographic when he "all lives mattered" the BLM protesters back in 2015. I see virtually no reason to think he'd have performed significantly differently.

So yeah. I think this is pretty much the epitome of "crap circular firing squad opinions."

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col 10 months, 1 week ago

Phil is dead-on right about this, and I'm getting very weary of the "Bernie would have won" narrative. As said, Sanders never convinced black voters he was fully in their corner (otherwise he would've won the primaries handily: it would've been a repeat of Obama in '08) and odds are black turnout would've been depressed which would've offset any gains Sanders made w/midwest whites.

further, these polls are of a Sanders who didn't endure a brutal 4-month campaign against a Breitbart-sponsored psychopath. A Sanders who would've been defined as a dangerous Communist Jew who wanted to nationalize your job. You think that would've played well in the Midwest & south? Seriously?

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Josh04 10 months, 1 week ago

It didn't stop Obama.

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col 10 months, 1 week ago

who had historically high black turnout which Sanders would not have had. plus BS would've had serious anti-Semitic/ red-baiting propaganda thrown against him. i just don't see how he performs better than HRC given those conditions.

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Tom B 10 months, 1 week ago

By not having the emails and the look of corruption about him which was turning people away from Clinton toward the end (this would include any of the younger voters who didn't want the same old, same old from Hillary but wouldn't vote for Trump). There were enough of those people where it matters, and I don't see him losing black voters that Clinton already had - she wasn't exactly bringing the black voters in droves either, having them sitting it out instead. You need to compare where Clinton was with the black votes and whether that would really change with Sanders.

Mind you, there weren't any palatable options that were going to win the election. You were dealing with the stench of corruption from Clinton compared to the stench of Trump coming from him. The lack of stench with Sanders would make up for a lot. It would have been a question if the party rallied around him; I think they would have because they would have wanted to maintain power and wouldn't want to lose it by not backing him.

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A guy in Vermont 10 months, 1 week ago

They would have used his wife to throw stink on him.
Do a little Googling and you'll see what I mean. Whether the "questions" have any merit is wholly beside the question.

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Asteele 10 months, 1 week ago

People who backed the wrong candidate needing Trump to be an unstoppable electoral nugget aught, to assuage their egos for supporting a neo-liberal garbage candidate are the delusional ones. The lions share of the blame on our side belongs to the Democratic Party who can't seem to figure out we might not want to run super unpopular people in what are essentially popularity contests.

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Jim 10 months, 1 week ago

I doubt Sanders would have won - but then again, I didn't think Trump was going to win. I suspect he might have done better than Clinton in any case. But even if Sanders wouldn't have won, I'm sure there must have been someone the Democrats could have put forward who could have beaten Trump. And I'm pretty sure that if Clinton had led a different life up to this point she could have beaten Trump. And I'm pretty sure Trump might not have won if many of the people on the left could have got over their barely concealed hatred of the (white) working class and had actually tried to present better solutions to economic inequality than Trump's "let's get rid of the Mexicans".

"Only Trump's supporters are to blame" is a wonderful way to get out of actually doing anything that might prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

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Josh 10 months, 1 week ago

Bernie doing better than Hillary presupposes that the party rallies around him like it did around her, and wouldn't have immediately grabbed him in a bear hug and self-destructed a-la UK Labour.

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taiey 10 months, 1 week ago

There is no scale of 'working things' that could have got Sanders the nomination over Clinton smaller than "only let white people vote".

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Kyle Edwards 10 months, 1 week ago

Thank you.

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jacob chapman 10 months, 1 week ago

"Deaths in the millions are the best case scenario. The worst is billions."

But suppose that doesn't happen. Suppose that he's such a shit administrator that none of his awful promises never get off the ground and get blocked out of spite by ever politician in the establishment that hates him?

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Kit Power 10 months, 1 week ago

If you're a prayer, pray for that.

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Jarl 10 months, 1 week ago

While he does have both houses and a vacant SCOTUS seat in his pocket, I really do hope "build a wall" becomes his "close gitmo".

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Kit Power 10 months, 1 week ago

It already has, but that's a sideshow, i'm afraid.

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Megara Justice Machine 10 months, 1 week ago

This was one of your best, Phil. Also one of the best OMG WTF?! writing I've read on this terrible situation so far.

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Austin Loomis 10 months, 1 week ago

In my offline table of contents for this website, I have labeled this post not with the single "@" for general "post-TARDIS-Eruditorum content by Philip Sandifer", but with the "@@+" for "Weird Kitties, Neoreaction a Basilisk, and other content related to the war against angry dogs".

At 46, I'm not young. With deathclock.com predicting me to check out at 71, I'm closer to death than birth. And, though I have things I want and plan to do before Jim Morrison's blue bus calls me to the End, I've known for years that I've got no place here on Earth.

Jesus, the image of the invisible God, told his doomsday-cult followers to be in the world, but not of it. That's what I'm going to have to do, albeit in a different way from the "Christians" of Chambersburg who have embraced the doomsday-cult struggle against Satan's international bankers, the Communist One-World Conspiracy, and its domestic arm "the Democrat Party" (or some such garbled nonsense) while ignoring all that Marxist talk about feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and otherwise helping the Least Of These.

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bombasticus 10 months, 1 week ago

Tower rises, you gave the lightning a route. Can't wait to see where you all go from here.

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Al Maxwell 10 months, 1 week ago

I wonder what this essay would have looked like if the candidate who actually ran on hatred had won. Dude, Phil, are you serious? Trump supporters are evil, yet you wanted to elect someone who takes bribes from anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-women countries; who PAID people to attack Trump supporters; who called half of Trump’s supporters deplorable. Yet Trump is the bigot. You’re serious?

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Phil Sandifer 10 months, 1 week ago

Fuck off and gargle bleach.

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Comment deleted 10 months, 1 week ago

Phil Sandifer 10 months, 1 week ago

Was I somehow unclear about the degree to which you are welcome here?

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Austin Loomis 10 months, 1 week ago

Deflect, deflect, deflect.

who takes bribes from anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-women countries;

Partial credit, and there were plenty of us on what passes for a left here in America calling her on that exception to her general pro-gay, pro-trans, pro-women policies (because Republicans are so noted for being pro-gay, pro-trans, and pro-women in situations that don't give them a club to beat "the Democrat Party" about the head and shoulders).

who PAID people to attack Trump supporters;

[citation desperately needed]

who called half of Trump’s supporters deplorable.

She was wrong about that. In my experience, it's closer to 73%.

In conclusion, and with every whit of the respect that you are actually due, go jump in a gorram volcano, ya ruttin' cave newt.

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Alan 10 months, 1 week ago

And let's be honest -- all things considered, "deplorables" was such a kind, dignified word to describe people who were ultimately revealed as "unrepentent Klan and Nazi sympathisers."

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ViolentBeetle 10 months, 1 week ago

Please, UAE are not anti-trans. I think. Or is it just Iran?

Also, very tolerant of you, Phil. You don't really need to embarrass yourself in your own blog, you know.

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Phil Sandifer 10 months, 1 week ago

I am literally not even slightly embarrassed. If anything, I'm rather pleased with the choice of "gargle" as a word.

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Chris 10 months, 1 week ago

Given your ongoing attempts to condescend to the owner of the blog in very dim ways, I'd suggest you could also embarrass yourself elsewhere. /who/ might be better suited.

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Jarl 10 months, 1 week ago

Hey, now, /who/ probably had nothing to do with this.

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ViolentBeetle 10 months, 1 week ago

A failed resistance is absolutely at fault when every choice it makes is disastrous. To lose to Donald Trump at elections is like losing chess game to a pineapple. It have everything to do with your own extremely poor judgement. Why on Earth did Democrats field Hillary Clinton? Why didn't she back off after Wikileaks incident? Why did mainstream media shill for her so blatantly?

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Phil Sandifer 10 months, 1 week ago

I mean, the pineapple's got a 100% win rate in this analogy.

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Harmen 10 months, 1 week ago

There does seem to be the question how good the Clinton Campaign really was. I mean, why the hell didn't Clinton double down on the rust belt states after Sanders beat her in two primaries there.

For reference: Sanders won the Wisconsin primary in a surprise upset. Clinton never visited the state in the general election, whereas Trump visited several times and polling showed he had a small chance of winning the state. Lo and behold, Trump wins it with the slightest of margins and clinches the nomination.

What the hell was the campaign thinking?

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ViolentBeetle 10 months, 1 week ago

Watching Clinton campaign and supporters was like watching a man repeatedly shooting himself in the foot. First time it's a tragic accident. Second time it turns into farce. But at third time it turns into a psychological horror about a man so divorced from reality he doesn't realize he's turning his foot into a fine red mist.

But to the last moment I believed Trump was bad enough to lose to her. Turned out not even Trump is bad enough.

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Alan 10 months, 1 week ago

I'd give my right arm to see the parallel dimension in which Bernie Sanders won the nomination only to be sandbagged in the last week by Wikileaks revelations about his plan to nationalize whole sectors of the US economy or how much he really planned to increase taxes.

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John G. Wood 10 months, 1 week ago

Hm, seems to be a lot of "blaming the resistance" going on in these comments. I'm mostly with Phil on how little good this does us, though with the caveat that I think it is useful - after a cooling off period - to take a look at what went wrong (which does not mean simply engaging in might-have-beens). Not in order to blame the people who failed to stop the avalanche, but in order to come up with strategies to avoid the same thing happening again (shutting the stable door before the next horse bolts, for instance).

This has been a rough week. Despite living in the UK, people in our house were literally in tears upon hearing the result. Nevertheless, I will repeat my stance that declaring people to be evil is not useful. What Trump has said and done is evil, the act of supporting him is evil; but the people who do these things are not in themselves evil. Granny Weatherwax said something along the lines of all sin stemming from treating people as things, which is pretty good philosophy, and this kind of labelling stops you thinking of your targets as human. But it's not just a moral concept, it's also strategic: once you give someone a label like that, you are likely to both over- and under-estimate them. Make no mistake, these are still your enemies. But you are trying to stop what they do, not oppose them as part of some manichean "light versus dark" battle. Your name is probably not Luke Skywalker (or Harry Potter, for that matter).

Finally, it is noteworthy that young people overwhelmingly opposed both Trump and Brexit. My current thinking - which may change, it is early days - is that if I try to do anything active, it will be to support them, to encourage them, and to try to help them avoid going the way of the Baby Boomers as they age. If that can be achieved, and if the human race survives long enough, then this can be the last generation in which these events will happen.

Love and respect to you all.

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Lambda 10 months, 1 week ago

Obviously, some Trump supporters are evil, like that guy earlier, but if it's anything like Brexit, and it rather feels that way, the majority have probably just been lied to consistently over a long period of time, and don't have the smarts and/or time and energy necessary to find out. So they might be fixable. Especially when America fails to become "great" again.

Anyway, maybe I'm missing stuff from not actually being in the country, but it feels to me very hard to work out what Trump actually wants to do with the presidency, now he's got it. We know all sorts of things that he's said he'll do, but he's not exactly known for being truthful and honest. It might be worth waiting a bit to see what actually happens before planning any strategies to deal with it or counter it.

(Odd minor bug; I'm getting other people's name/email/website details pre-filled in the comment form. Providing this comment doesn't appear to come from peeeeeeet, just overwriting them works.)

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Phil Sandifer 10 months, 1 week ago

Known bug. We thought we'd fixed it. It's back. Anna doesn't have much developer time on the immediate horizon alas, but it's on the to-do list.

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dm 10 months, 1 week ago

"A purge of Trump voters is both infeasible and pointless, and yet individual targets all fail to actually deprive the fire of its oxygen."

This is incredibly frustrating. There was a time when you could point to one or two targets, say Murdoch and Cheney, and say "Killing those two would make the world a materially better place for the overwhelming majority of people currently alive on planet Earth". Trump is not, despite what just about everyone is saying, a movement. He is a totem for one movement, a puppet for another, and a figurehead for yet another, among them the traditional white supremacist nationalists of the KKK and the new media savvy white supremacists of the Alt Right. That's not being facetious- I sincerely doubt the KKK and MiYi (I'm loathe to publish his full name anywhere on the internet) could ever get along. But what matters is that he has a massive and disparate following, among them some vastly more competent leaders-in-waiting, so a surgical strike would likely only lead to a wider infection.

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dm 10 months, 1 week ago

Oh dear, I posted under my full name. Not sure whether to squeamishly request removal or to just own it.

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Phil Sandifer 10 months, 1 week ago

How's that?

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dm 10 months, 1 week ago

Cheers! (this is my usual handle, but that will do nicely)

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dm 10 months, 1 week ago

Argh It's happened again!

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bombasticus 10 months, 1 week ago

Autopsies are comfortingly lurid but while I might be woefully off base I think Archimedes' pivot works best when there is one enemy in sight hereabouts.

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bombasticus 10 months, 1 week ago

...which is of course the point of the original post! Friendly fire! Friendly fire!

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Jarl 10 months, 1 week ago

Now, more than ever, the world needs the Liberal Crime Squad.

"WE NEED A SLOGAN".

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Froborr 10 months, 1 week ago

I've got a lot of people trying to convince me that the obligation to resist does not require quitting my job prior to the inauguration. (I work on a contract basis supporting the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I have essentially three bosses, one of whom is not government; the other two are five steps below the President in the hierarchy.) I'm still struggling with the question.

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taiey 10 months, 1 week ago

You stay, and you don't let him do anything illegal or immoral through you.

http://www.vox.com/2016/8/26/12639588/donald-trump-executive-power

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Lambda 10 months, 1 week ago

Yes, this. If a load of employees quit their jobs, this is an ineffective form of resistance. It just means the popular vote has imposed a one-time rehiring and retraining cost on the government which has given it a workforce which will obey without question and made it more dangerous.

If people stay in their jobs but refuse to do anything unethical, it creates an ongoing problem for the government, and specifically, an ongoing problem which only manifests when it tries to do something unethical, making this more difficult for it. That's a far better way to resist. It also makes use of one advantage we do have; we're far better at continuing to think for ourselves even when an authority figure has told us to do something.

(This should work even better in Europe, where there's an explicit human right to follow your ethics.)

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Shannon 10 months, 1 week ago

It actually wouldn't involve a one-time rehiring cost - Trump's team has explicitly said that federal hiring (and presumably contracting, but who knows?) is frozen on Inauguration Day. Not only will they not create new positions, but they won't even backfill people who leave or retire. They're trying to create power through attrition by making everyone's lives miserable.

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Matt Davison 10 months, 1 week ago

Trump got slightly less votes than McCain and Romney.

Still, Trump won because a significant number of voters who made the effort to vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012 didn't show up this time - and I do think the strategy to basically make this a coronation for Clinton backfired spectacularly.

Half the country couldn't be bothered to vote at all - and that is the real tragedy.

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Daru 10 months, 1 week ago

"And in the face of such destructive forces as have presented themselves, the simple act of creativity is gloriously defiant."

This nails it for me. Really great article Phil. These words express my work and attitude to it all perfectly. Thank all of the gods and goddesses that I have actually found a creative, vibrant, leftist utopian bolt hole to work in and have the opportunity to seed inspiration and creativity with wild abandon. It's the only thing I can do I feel in the face of all of this.

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mr_mond 10 months, 1 week ago

@Daru

I feel the same. My initial anger and sadness brought by first reports of Trump supporters lashing out triumphantly (and a certain asshole co-worker) now transformed into a blazing need to create. We will keep fighting.

And Phil, it feels laughably inadequate, but I want to share this short poem I wrote today. Thank you for being an inspiration.

"Alchemy"

It's this knife scraping
On a raw nerve inside
Your inner spacetimes
That is best turned into brass -
A key strumming on a piano string

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Daru 10 months, 1 week ago

@ mr_mond:

"@Daru

I feel the same. My initial anger and sadness brought by first reports of Trump supporters lashing out triumphantly (and a certain asshole co-worker) now transformed into a blazing need to create. We will keep fighting."

Thanks so much and really enjoyed the short poem.

I had a weird day as normal on the day I heard the result. I'm Scottish and work within an arts based day service for adults with disabilities with the most creative group of people in one building that I have ever experienced (both staff & members).

I found myself telling a story for Diwali about Ganesha (the wonderful elephant God) where an evil asura was seeking power over all of the Gods and worlds. In the end Ganesha got so frustrated with him that he broke off one of his own tusks, threw it at the asura's head, turning him into a mouse. From that point on the asura was Ganesha's own 'mouse carriage'.

Somehow it all seemed like an appropriate response to the day's events and was very therapeutic for me to perform.

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saxon_b 10 months, 1 week ago

An impassioned essay Phil. Thank you.

However like a lot of commentators here I will quibble that those who voted for him aren't automatically evil racists. True there are a lot of them, and even more when you factor in the far right evangelicals who are gloating at the prospect of stripping back marriage equality or the separation of church and state. And in their triumphalism they're becoming noisy, vindictive and abusive.

But to my mind far worse is that it seems that many of the Trump voters seem to have been everyday people who feeling economic pressure and decided to lash out at 'the system' and 'the elites' - and in doing so choose a representative of 'the system' most likely to screw them over.

Because the candidates for both of the two big US parties were among 'the elites'. And even if you work on the level of harm minimisation, Clinton has a long history of public services for others, and Trump doesn't. Just the opposite. And these facts were known: the not paying of suppliers, the rolling use of chapter 11 bankruptcies, the vindictive use of litigation to shut up opponents who point out his misdeeds, including funding litigation from supposed charity trusts, the treating people horribly and thinking he can get away with it because he's Donald Trump, and all the rest.

And because ordinary people were hurting and Trump offered a way to lash out at the system that they believed was hurting them, they bought into his rhetoric and chose to ignore the facts in front of them.
And here is the important bit: Even if Trump genuinely wants to be a successful president simply in order to leave a legacy where he is not seen as a loser, and in practice manages to be an even halfway mediocre president who doesn't stuff things up catastrophically - the fact remains that the people who voted for him had all the information in front of them warning them that by his past history and temperament things could go terribly wrong. And they chose to ignore it.

This goes beyond mere partisan politics and the associated phenomenon of post truth politics. The bigger picture is the way the media landscape operates these days, with people self-selecting particular sources of information and ignoring the rest (if necessary by indulging in conspiracy theory thinking). I don't see that changing. I really wish I could, but I think that's a trend that's only going to get stronger - and have more of an impact on politics now that Trump has shown that big lie politics are back as a feasible tactic, and that as far as mudslinging goes there is now literally no longer a bottom to the barrel.

Michael Moore predicted the Trump win, and even better why and where: disenfranchisement in the rust belt states. He also predicted that that the people who voted for him would be incredibly disappointed when he failed to make things better for them. I have a scarier idea. What if Trump can't or won't make things better for them, but in their very human stubbornness to admit that they were wrong the people buy into the mythology that the Trump presidency is great? A small factoid I saw recently was that the past four presidents said that they would bring together the American people, but failed. You had to go back to someone like Reagan for a general feeling of goodwill. And what was one of the characteristics of the Reagan period? The economic policies that made things harder for people on the lower end of the spectrum, and the victim blaming that if you don't have a job it's your own fault, and a retro style callousness for minorities. And look at what Reagan's reputation as bringing in a golden age is like today.

So picture this: working class America saying "I may still be doing it tough, but at least President Trump got rid of the Mexicans and is keeping out those damn Muslims and preserving public morality by preventing those godless homosexuals from marrying."

The opening line to Neoreaction: A Basilisk: "Let us assume that we are fucked."

[End edit: Wow, reading back after finishing, this got way darker than I had expected. It started out as an observation that not all Trump voters were gibbering racist loons, and instead were people who were hurting and who bought into the flimflam and, per Moore, will be very disappointed when Trump inevitably fails them. And then my hindbrain took over and started ranting on the electronic street corner. Still, the basic premise stands: angry but otherwise normal people drank the koolaid, and that the way the social-media interaction is set up at the moment things aren't going to get better.]

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Dean Flemming 10 months, 1 week ago

I apologize for the vulgar language of the article to which I have provided a link. Moreover, the tone somewhat humorous, but I have yet to read another analysis of Trump's support as insightful than this. (Too long, didn't read: countryside versus city.)

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/

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Desdemona.GC 10 months, 1 week ago

Yes... Thank you for the link.

Please, everyone scratching their heads, or screaming in rage, read this article. I won't claim it will change your mind, but it might go some way toward helping you in understanding what just happened.

I'm Australian. And yes we have more than a ghost of a dog in the fight. Our defense policy is co-reliant on the USA, as are may of our trade deals, about one half of our TV and maybe 75% of our cinema experience. What happens in the USA does effect us in material ways. The UK, despite our traditional ties, not so much. Brexit, meh. Change of US President, edge of the seat.

In Australia the same divide is evident. I'm originally country, grandparents ran businesses and owned a farm. I grew up in a town with a population of fifteen-hundred; just over double the student enrollment of the school my son attended last year. I moved from town when I was eighteen, for want of opportunities, to one of the three largest cities in Australia.

The divide is very real and it hurts. Trump is not the answer; he never was. But, like Pauline Hanson ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Hanson), definitely more a working class Trump, he offers a blunt instrument to smack those seen as elites, the ruling class that talks down to them as much as any Lord or Lady of the Manor ever did, tells them what is good for them and laughs with the full-throttle power of the combined media, government and academia when they dare question their 'betters'.

The divide is real and getting larger.

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Turnip 10 months, 1 week ago

I don't suppose that recent events will speed up the release of Neoreaction for those of us who failed to kickstart it? I imagine the answer is "no", but I want to read it before everything burns.

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Martin Porter 10 months, 1 week ago

Brilliant as always.

I'd really like to share this on my blog, partly because it's better than anything I write, and partly because people in the UK really do want to know what people like you think.

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Akyn Drum 10 months, 1 week ago

Phil's claim that no-one is to blame other than Trump voters appears to rest on the assumption that everyone else was a failed resister. This seems to exclude all those people who didn't resist.

Phil later adds that "He won because of low black turnout in Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Detroit." In that case, shouldn't we conclude that black voters in M, P and D who didn't vote are partly to blame? Unless we're to regard not bothering to vote as a form of resistance.

If you don't vote, then the only thing you're trying to resist is any responsibility for whatever outcome arises. I'm not saying that Clinton was entitled to those uncast black votes, nor that anyone has a moral duty to vote. But, if your vote could have changed the result, then your choice not to cast it was a passive contribution to Trump's victory.

That doesn't mean that we condemn the non-voters, but we shouldn't let them avoid their share of responsibility.

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