Wednesday, November 4, 2020


What is clear already this early Wednesday morning after Election Day is that the "blue wave" we had hoped for did not materialize. I look at the election results map and I am appalled by the number of states that show up red. It sickens me that so many Americans could cast their vote in favor of a man who has proved himself in every possible, public way to be so entirely lacking in the values America pretends to embrace. He shows himself, virtually daily and with no trace of shame, to be cruel, mean-spirited, corrupt, incompetent, racist, misogynistic, narcissistic, nepotistic, and unfit for the office to which he was elected. He is subservient to those who wish us ill and contemptuous of our friends. His neglect and contempt for scientific, factual information makes him responsible for the death of tens of thousands of his fellow citizens. Given another term, he will be blithely responsible for tens of thousands more.

How could this be more plain? More incontrovertible? 

I am wearied by the effort to see "both sides" of America's divide. I am tired of tempering my language to accommodate bad faith. I am sickened by those who try to explain stupidity and self-pitying grievance away as though they were somehow defensible or well meant. There is no debate, there is no rational "other side" to reason with. There is only the ruthless exercise of power and its piteous effects on the minds of those who are willingly led by people who wish them nothing but ill. There is only money to buy power and influence, and propaganda to assure its unquestionable authority. Truth is falsehood, falsehood truth. Compassion and concern for the welfare of others are considered weaknesses. Legitimate concern for the very future of our planet home is decried as an obstacle to the growth of our economy.

I sit here holding on to the fragment of trust I have, that Trump will be ousted and Joe Biden will be elected the next president of these Divided States. Given what we see on the board that tallies the election results, however, and the real possibility that Republicans will hold on to the Senate, it is hard to see how this country can be governed even by a man who so publicly embraces reason and fairness, empathy and compassion, and promises to be president for "both sides."


Linda dev said...

I am sitting beside you Peter. My heart is broken. Win or lose, I am sickened by the sheer numbers of people willing to set aside decency, empathy and basic values as a basic measuring stick for a leaders ability to lead.

LagunaDan said...

Thank you Peter. This uncertain moment where we all cling to hope will end soon. But the reality of what you described will not. We do need a miracle. I’m hoping for one.

merely_a_matter_of_your_opinion said...

I'm going to go out on a far limb, with my saw firmly in my grasp:

We have a country with many people in it who are frightened, abused, and vulnerable. It is not unknown to sociologists and criminologists that people will vote for a "strong" person just because they think that strength will always be used for the right reasons.

"Right" reasons - a woman who marries a man who beats her, but still admires him because he'll protect her from anybody else beating her.

A guy who shows up for a job every day knowing his boss is breaking the law, but that guy needs to pay his bill and support his family, so he keeps quiet.

A lot of Trump's allure in this country right now is because a lot of Americans feel vulnerable to global forces; they see immigration and free trade as how they lost their job.

Those people don't have complex arguments with substantiated facts and nuanced discussions of policy matter. A simple dog whistle - that's one note, to a dog - a single phrase "OPEN BORDERS" is all it takes to get their vote for the guy who is against open borders.

Guns, gay marriage, abortion

look how many Latinos vote for Republicans because they leave church after their pastor/priest tells them that the only thing which matters is that Ameirica stop "killing babies". Can you expect to have a long discussion with that person about how many babies die from lack of prenatal care? Health care? Hunger? Abuse? Homelessness?

Save the baby in the womb, adn they don't care what happens to it after that, all the way through it's life.

Our country is full of simple minded people who VOTE on simple reflex. We have a country that is very complex, and it's so complex that there IS NEVER any simple answer to solve everything.

But that's how we vote - every four years, make one decision, and you've done your "civic duty" -

America is a complex country, run by leaders who depend on their voters being very simple-minded.

and that's what they have.

Caroline Gerardo said...

Regroup, refuel, plan, and get back up like every day of our lives my friend.

Marie Smith said...

What does it say about the country that there is a 2% difference in the popular vote? Shocking doesn’t begin to describe it. I fear for the world!

Marie Smith said...


I discovered this podcast this morning and thought I’d share it with you.

The podcast, by Sam Harris gives an explanation of Trump’s appeal to so many.

Chasing Clean Air said...

Thank you for expressing my thoughts and feelings so well. I’m heart broken knowing how many Americans embrace a monster, who daily spews hatred and vulgarity and policies that are anti-American and ant-science.

Peter Clothier said...

I wish I knew how to make individual replies to comments, but I don't. I used to, with the old Blogger I "grew up with"... Thanks, anyway, to everyone who took the time to read and comment. Marie, I'll check out the Sam Harris podcast. I have admired his work for years.

I do have some thoughts about "merely's" comment (thank you!), because a part of what I was trying to say in my post was that none of the explanations or justifications, no matter how "understandable", get to the root of the problem: that nearly half of America has proved willing to vote for a (fill in your blank) man for reasons that I (in my infinite wisdom!) judge to be trivial beside the enormity of the challenges we face together as a community of human beings, as a country, as a world. If we humans prove unable to look beyond ourselves and our personal needs, wants, traumas even, we are in for bad times ahead. It's not hyperbole to say extinction.