Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Post-Election Thoughts III: Cabinet of Horrors

Trump's closest advisors
My emotions are in turmoil about the election. We are being asked to "normalize" Trump. Now if it were Kasich, Jeb Bush or even Rubio, I wouldn't be in such despair, but Trump goes beyond that. I do accept that he's won, but if I support him and wish him well, it would be like supporting all the racist, crude, disgusting things he said and did during the campaign (and everything before that). It would be saying, "It's okay to be racist and to discriminate against Muslims and make fun of disabled people." It's okay for a MALE, buffoonish, sexist crude oaf with questionable business practices and violent tendencies to be my president instead of a highly qualified FEMALE who may have made a mistake with her email (a mistake which many of her predecessors as Secretary of State evidently also made). BTW, ain't it ironic Pence is trying to keep his emails secret?

Trump is the manifestation of all this white, entitled rage. He's a reaction against our first black president. Obama represented the direction the country is going in: towards inclusion. His election was a sign that it was not cool to exclude any minorities from a place at the table. It was not cool to make black jokes or gay jokes or to grope women or imitate disabled people. We no longer tolerated that sort of thing. And some people resented that. They thought, "Hey, I have these thoughts and I want to say them and not feel guilty about it." That's why there is this uptick in violent acts against women and minorities. These people feel unleashed. "Trump has validated my feelings and now I can act on them." I saw an ironic photo posted on Facebook of a white couple wearing T-shirts that said "Trump 2016: Fuck Your Feelings." The irony is that Trump's election has a lot to do with feelings, just not those of "others"--like me. His election is a validation of the feelings of white people as being oppressed because their cushy lifestyles and cultural dominance are now being threatened. By big business on one hand and all us bad old diversity-lovin', politically correct, NPR-listenin' people on the other.

Trump's cabinet
I get it that not everyone who voted for him is a racist, sexist, homophobic jerk. Trump appealed to huge numbers of working and middle class people who are suffering economically. Hillary Clinton did not make the case that she would help them. At first I was angry that on Charlie Rose, Maureen Dowd said that Hillary's campaign was basically "It's my turn" and "I'm not Trump." It made me angry because the election was so close, the polls all showed her winning without breaking a sweat because she was ahead in the right states. Now everyone is pointing fingers and laying blame. But it seems Dowd is somewhat right. Clinton took too much for granted and needed to reach out more to the devastated middle class. Maybe she had the right answers but she got shouted down by Trump, Comely, and the fake news noise machine which I now include CNN and NBC and the rest of them as well as Fox. The regular MSM did not do its job. They treated Trump as a ratings machine with constant softball exposure until it was too late. Matt Lauer and Jimmy Fallon started the "normalizing" process long before the Orange Nightmare won. Les Moonves was right: Trump is bad for the country, but great for CBS.

I don't want to be like Rush Limbaugh who famously hoped Obama would fail. I don't want to wish Trump ill. But when he announces this Bannon guy, a racist alt-right whack job, as his chief strategist, and the leaked cabinet "finalists" being incompetents like Sarah Palin and extremists like Ted Cruz, Bolton, the now deranged Rudy Guiliani, climate change deniers, Islamophobic bigots, and that Dimon guy who contributed to the Great Recession of 2008, it makes me feel like I'm watching that episode of the 1970s animated Batman series where the Joker shockingly won the election for Mayor of Gotham City and then appointed the Penguin and the Riddler as his top appointments. At least Ben Carson had the sense to turn down a high-level job, admitting he wasn't qualified. But didn't he run for president? Did he think he could be prez but not a member of his staff? Too bad Trump hasn't come to the same realization as Carson.

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