Wednesday, November 9, 2016

So How About That Election?

Aiee, the noob got elected. The streets are full of protesters. I’m fairly certain needless death and suffering will occur. And I’m sort of numb, the way I typically am when something eventful happens.
I’m old enough to remember the landslide for Reagan, in which an astounding number of voters went Republican, because back then the edges were smaller and the center bounced between them, making mercurial decisions. The stone cold partisanship arose during the Bush administration, when the red and blue voters solidified. Before that it was common for people to be liberal on some issues and conservative on others.  These days it seems like it’s more of an all or nothing kind of situation.

Much of blue America seems to be absolutely stunned by the appearance of so many contrary voters, having become accustomed to spending their time in a world that filters those people out. Similarly, it looks like red staters can surround themselves with conservative memes if they so choose. All of us cocooned in our own private halls of mirrors, stroking our egos with constant reassurance that we’re geniuses and everyone loves us. I think a lot of liberals thought it was a given that Trump would be buried under a sea of blue votes, similar to the reception the Puppies received in Spokane.

Except that didn’t happen here. He won, Clinton conceded. I’m going to just accept that data without pitching a tantrum or questioning it and move along. The plethora of angry liberals marching in the streets tonight reassures me that Trump has plenty of opposition for whatever he intends to do. I’m basically aligned with Bernie Sanders in that I’ll accept him as our lawfully elected president up to the point where he starts indulging in bigotry.

His constituents do have a very glaring and valid point – the worthless mainstream media, including FOX, basically dismissed and ignored them. They were shining us liberals on, assuring us there was no need to worry, Hillary’s got this, according to the polls everything is fine. They were not reporting the facts. They were massaging everyone’s confirmation bias.

During the Puppy madness, the puppies were complaining that the media automatically wrote them off as racistsexistcommienazis without giving them an objective evaluation, and I saw a little of that occur. Some of it was emotional hyperbole but some of it definitely seemed like a slight.  During the Trump election I saw it all over the place. Conservatives were written off as laughable dimwitted rednecks who all dropped out of college (sort of similar to how Bernie Sanders supporters were all hackysack-playing sexist bro-dudes).

I'm a Sanders supporter. I do not like Hillary Clinton. In fact, arguing over the Clintons was sort of the first structural crack that developed in my ill-fated marriage. I liked her even less for making me feel obliged to endorse her in this last election. As I’ve posted before, I think Trump is a noob and the job requires experience. So I voted for her. There are a whole lot of people I’d rather vote for, and quite a few women that would make a better Madam President.

Meanwhile, I flashed back to arguments I used to have during the GWB administration. I was shunned as a pariah back then for leaning libertarian – I voted for Nader, so Bush was therefore all my fault. I’m watching similar accusations being leveled against the Jill Stein (and Harambe) voters now, and it’s moderately disturbing. The wrath focused in my general direction made me a little more sympathetic to the way conservatives get shunned and shouted down. It made me try to do that a little less, although I still indulge on occasion. I think we all probably mutter to ourselves about how our opponents are morons from time to time. And we need to keep that kind of thing to ourselves, because respect is important. 

My beliefs about being blacklisted as a writer stem from this era. I had some epic libertarian arguments with a bunch of more authoritarian liberals involved in the verbiage industry, including science fiction. The acrimony was present whether or not these beliefs are true, and that’s why I’m self-published. And that’s also why I’ve granted the Puppies a fair shot at my attention span and voting ability – I know what it’s like to get negative attention for failing to color within the lines.

We deserve better press. 

We probably deserve a better president too, but this is the one we’ve got for the next four years. 
Maybe he’ll surprise me.

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