I Always Thought It Was Salad

1.  We know that Trump is sexist, racist, dishonest, the list goes on.

2. The bulk of Trump’s voter base was uneducated white males (‘primarily white males with no college degree’), and those from the rural and suburban areas.

3. I thought Clinton was a shoo-in. To me, the result was unthinkable (crazy, ridiculous). How could they not see what kind of a person he was? What legitimate reasons could they have for voting Trump?

4. We know (1) with certainty because the NYT, New Yorker, Guardian, Telegraph, Buzzfeed and all the shows that mocked each gaffe of his – The Daily Show, Late/Late Late, Colbert – pounced on every bit of awfulness that he displayed and broadcasted it to us again and again. But these reports were never meant to and never would have reached a rural/suburban audience. They were always targeted at the in-touch, politically-savvy, enlightened & aware millenial.

5. The same media outlets are now writing about how Trump is soon to become ‘the most powerful man on Earth’, as if American supremacy is a fact and not a sapling that can be tossed about by capricious political/economic winds.

6. The polls were wrong, the political analysts were wrong, and perhaps this is what happens when you are quick to brand people that you disagree with as ‘stupid’ and as ‘bigots’.

7. Tonight I’m just sad, and still sort of surprised, and hoping against violence, and telling myself to listen. Brexit came and went, Trump has touched down, and i hope that teaches us to stop digging our heels in and to try for empathy and dialogue and bridging.

**chunks of words to keep here as i read more:

0. And now he is going to be president of the United States. The woman we were constantly assured was the best-qualified candidate of all time has lost to the least qualified candidate of all time. Everyone who was anyone rallied around her, and it didn’t make any difference.

1. “People are much more frightened than they are bigoted,” is how the findings were described to me by Karen Nussbaum, the executive director of Working America. The survey “confirmed what we heard all the time: people are fed up, people are hurting, they are very distressed about the fact that their kids don’t have a future” and that “there still hasn’t been a recovery from the recession, that every family still suffers from it in one way or another.”

2. The views of working-class people are so foreign to that universe that when New York Times columnist Nick Kristof wanted to “engage” a Trump supporter last week, he made one up, along with this imaginary person’s responses to his questions.

3. There is another way to interpret the Trump phenomenon. A map of his support may coordinate with racist Google searches, but it coordinates even better with deindustrialization and despair, with the zones of economic misery that 30 years of Washington’s free-market consensus have brought the rest of America.

4. It wasn’t poor whites who criminalized blackness by way of the “war on drugs”. Nor was it poor white who conjured the specter of the black “welfare queen”. These points should not minimize the horors of racism at the lowest economic rungs of society, but remind us that those horrors reside at the top in different forms and with more terrible power.

5. This was a rebellion against the elites, true. It was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it’s true,” Jones said. “But it was also something else.. This was a whitelash against a changing country,” Jones continued. “It was a whitelash against a black president in part… I know it’s not just about race. There’s more going on than that, but race is here too and we have to talk about it.”

6. When we grit our teeth and tweet that a large swath of America isn’t mentally fit to cast a ballot, we are blinking away the rotting log in our eye and jabbing furiously at the speck of dust in theirs, choosing to shout at and silence them to appease our inner unrest.

7. How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach?

8. His goal.. was to convey the human complexity that daily news misses.. his mission arose from frustration with “hot takes” written by people living several time zones and income brackets away from their subjects.

9. The American white-collar class just spent the year rallying around a super-competent professional (who really wasn’t all that competent) and either insulting or silencing everyone who didn’t accept their assessment. And then they lost. Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.

10. All of us who read these hot takes will nod, even ponder them slightly, then return to comfortable chairs and resume our study, or our work. Globalization and specialization have brought us progress, and with it distance, and a growing disconnect.

11. He did well with anyone who isn’t in the urban class. The “rural” class (including residents of large towns) voted Trump overwhelmingly. It’s a different socio-economic distinction, and culture plays a big part of it. Also, for me and many older people at least, what matters is not my current income, but my economic prospects.


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