We are buying nothing today, as is our tradition. But at this point, it's nothing but a gesture. We have bigger things to worry about. We've been too preoccupied with symbols and clever little protests. We white people enjoy that kind of fun. Makes us feel good and right with the world, like not shopping at WalMart and recycling.
Thanksgiving was pleasant enough, but after helping out with the cooking and serving, socializing and eating too much, I came home and slept around the clock. All of us were in varying degrees of shock. Our personal lives are so good; we are busy, useful, some still working, engaged with friends and family, traveling, enjoying all kinds of projects. We are privileged white people. But gloom hovers over us as we think of the years to come.
I notice that I can't depend on my sense of taste any more to make food that tastes good, so I have to rely more on recipes. This is one of those things about old age that is a surprise.
I was struck with sadness when I saw a photo on Facebook of a family having Thanksgiving dinner in a Portland restaurant. They are plain people. They do not have white skin. Everyone around them was giving them the gimlet eye. This is now their everyday experience. The stress must be terrible.
My little town. I don't even know why this came to mind.
Well, I am obviously not in a good frame of mind.
More: Had a long talk with my brilliant sister this a.m. and am feeling better. She says if Stein can push things along, that's all to the good.* We also talked about the chances of California going it alone. The problem is that the state is full of reactionaries, always has been, especially in the Central Valley and Northern Californian white enclaves. It seems that if the state government can continue to function, there may be hope. But that's just "may." She is wondering if that man will be able to get the military on his side. When he becomes the Commander in Chief, will they be compelled to follow his orders? She thinks not, because even military are not obliged to break the law if they are ordered to. (Remember Nuremberg?)
*I remain skeptical, especially when I look at this. Maybe Stein's not all that smart, or not smart enough to handle what she's gotten herself into. That's the kindest way of looking at it, I guess. And of course she loves attention.
The Dalai Lama says not to worry about that man. Certainly. I don't think the Dalai Lama will be affected at all. Besides, he is slated for recycling very soon. He might even make it to Nirvana this time around.
Bernie says, stop complaining. Stop this divisiveness. Follow me, the white man from the 60s! He's not very intelligent, at least not as intelligent as a man in his position needs to be, and pretty tactless, to boot. But he's noisy, and he says the same things over and over, so his followers can get the message. He's telling people like me to sit down and shut up. His primary subject is money. Bernie fans, how much money did you give him, and what do you think he did with it?
East Indian-American Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, will be ambassador to the U.N. That is what you might call being kicked upstairs. A sop to the right kind of immigrants, the "entrepreneurs." A lot of people will fall for this one and decide he's not a racist. Clever. That man actually makes some good moves sometimes. He has some smart, albeit evil, people working for him.
The fact is, capitalism is now a monolith. I got hints of other possibilities on my visit to Cuba, but what Cuba is is a threatened and impoverished quasi socialist dictatorship surrounded by capitalism. The Scandinavian social democracies are rooted in capitalism. They distribute the wealth more equitably than most capitalist countries, that's all. This country, the U.S., is well on its way to becoming a kleptocracy.
So are the Democrats going to grow a pair and demand a recount? Clinton won the popular vote! If it turns out that the Russians hacked the voting machines in some key precincts, that invalidates the election results. Makes me wonder if there were Russians involved in the Republican primaries, too.
I'm in charge of pupus (Hawaiian for appetizers) at Cousin's Thanksgiving get-together, so must go shopping now.
You can read her article from the NYRB that I linked to on the "sticky" post at the top of the blog. Chris asks the question I would have asked: When that man seems to change his mind on things, first saying he will jail Clinton and then saying he is going to let her alone because she's suffered enough, how can we figure out what he's going to do? Gessen says to look for the consistencies: for instance his consistent racism and hostility to immigrants. He is using deliberate tactics of confusion as a cover for his real agenda. He wants to keep this a white dominated country. That is the message behind "Make America Great Again."
As to our vaunted American institutions, Gessen points out that they are antiquated, the electoral college being an important example.
In this somewhat rushed interview Chris and Gessen clarify a lot. I hope she can return and talk at greater length with him about her findings on the mechanisms of autocracy. I often wish he could return to the round table format he had with his weekend program, Up With Chris, because he is at his best in informal conversational situations.
I am immeasurably grateful to Chris for hanging in there as he has. I think everyone should be. This can be the heroic moment for him and the news media in general, if they do not succumb to intimidation or worse.
Now I want him to get Sarah Kendzior on his show. She says the major media have blackballed her.
When people asked me about the Trump presidency and how Hawaii would fare, I said our only saving grace was Tulsi Gabbard because, unlike the rest of the Hawaii federal delegation, she did not publicly endorse Hillary.
Joy SanBuenaventura, via Facebook
I'm trying not to blame Tulsi Gabbard and Joy SanBuenaventura, respectively our U.S. House Representative and Puna District, Hawaii State House Representative, for caving in to that man. Joy I can understand. She still believes in normal politics and institutions, that you get things done by wheeling and dealing.
Initially I thought maybe Joy wasn't too bright, but now I think that she is blind to how damaged civil society is, because she has had some success as a lawyer and politician and lives in those bubbles where she appears to have some power. That is why, I presume, she is willing to back Tulsi in accommodating the new regime, for the sake of getting federal infrastructure funds for woefully under-served Puna.Still, she is only at the state level.
Tulsi, a national figure, is far more dangerous and, I think, unscrupulous. She was perfectly willing to have a meeting with that man, which she said was amicable. She understands that the only institution that really is holding the public trust is the military. This is pretty remarkable, since they have lost every war they have engaged in since WW II, with the exception of Granada! But such is the perception. She quite remarkably favors standing aside as Assad and the Russians smash "Isis," ie destroy Allepo. Which is what is happening anyway.
I suppose this kind of capitulation is going on everywhere in the country. And that man did not even really win the election. Americans no longer trust elections to be free and fair. Public trust ended when the Supreme Court handed the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000. I'm wondering if this isn't the real reason that half the electorate did not even bother to vote.
So far, Hillary Clinton is 1,700,000+ votes ahead in the popular vote; even after being undermined by Sanders and Johnson and Stein, she is still the popular favorite. Efforts by her many enemies to dump her on the trash heap have not succeeded.
I watched the German news last night. They highlight how ersatz everything around that man looks, how it's all staged. Germans are good at noticing tin-pot dictator phoniness, whether it's Putin's antics or that man's.
Angela Merkel is heroic. She is staying put and running for a fourth term. She has the kind of greatness people admire in the Dalai Lama and the Pope, and if she were not a woman that would be more evident to the masses.
Sanders says to drop "identity politics." Does he say this because he's Jewish and scared of anti-semitism? Does he want to retain his prestige position as an "unmarked"straight white male? I have no intention of giving up advocacy for women and girls as a primary interest, and if Sanders thinks that's "identity politics," so be it. Sanders likes to strike heroic poses and advocate for and defend the little people. He likes to be seen at high visibility protests like Standing Rock. But where is he now that the National Guard is attacking the demonstrators ? This could just be a rumor, but it appears that there is no U.S. press at Standing Rock right now. I'll be very interested in seeing what Sanders does in the next few weeks as the goons, emboldened by their man's victory, commit more and more hate crimes.
And what's Tulsi Gabbard up to? Will she get into bed with the new administration? She's only a Democrat because you have to be a Democrat to get elected in this state, Hawaii. Her father's a stone reactionary but a registered Democrat. This particular apple does not fall far from the tree. Good background here from The Daily Kos. Did Sanders even bother to vet her to the extent I'm doing here before accepting her endorsement?
Anyway Sanders and Gabbard are both narcissistic phonies, and everything they do is for effect.