This election was not about Republicans, Democrats, Trump, or Hillary, it's much deeper than that. It's a sign of the times and I believe it could be a very good one. It's about change and not the typical change we hear about in every election cycle, what ever "change" is.
Bernie Sanders was was relatively obscure socialist politician with little money and without the powerful backing that Hillary had. He literally gave Hillary a run for her money and nearly beat her. On the other side Trump beat the evangelical Christian conservatives hands down, not to mention the moderates. Again with little money and no political experience.
This was an all inclusive movement against the establishment. So what does this mean? There many dynamics to politics but I would like to put to microscope to just the humanist/Atheist movement not to suggest that it is the most influential of factors but merely to look at how our country has steadily become more secular and how it may apply and indicate a possible improvement to our nation.
We as Atheist love to look at the statistics of how exponentially more and more Americans describe themselves as unaffiliated as a religious preference. I believe the major push of this change of culture started with the hippies or flower children of the 60s. With this movement there was certainly less dependence on theist beliefs and much more focus on free thought. Since then we've had the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, the lgbti movement to name a few. All of these were anti-establishment in nature.
Trump was simply the most anti-establishment candidate in the running. This is not an indication people believed he was the best but simply the furthest from run of the mill politicians. This indicates a civil rebellion! So What exactly are we rebelling against? Business as usual? Perhaps a bit of theistic politics and the limitations of freedom thereof. We certainly as a nation have not gravitated towards stricter "Morality" laws.
I don't know what " change" is coming or even if Trump will be a good President. What I do know is that the fact that we the people have rejected the establishment is a very good sign when looking at the big picture for the humanist/Atheist community and by proxy our nation as a whole.
Tom, I've been delayed in responding to your observations in word choice. Thank you for provoking much thought and self reflection. I love the intensity of the word must as it expresses my enthusiasm, perhaps should would have been a better word in this context. Thank you
Cu, words have interested me since I started reading. Their political uses have interested me for the forty-plus years I've been doing politics.
Growing up in a tyrannical and occasionally violent family, and being sent to tyrannical (i.e., Catholic) schools, gave me attitudes I had to change.
I came to see:
'shall' and 'shall not' as words used by tyrants,
'must' and 'cannot' as words used by authoritarians, and
'should' and 'should not' as words used by idealists.
All of them are in a hurry and leave their needs and rules unsaid.
I came to see 'let's negotiate; as words used by small-d democrats. There is always much said, which angers people who are in a hurry.
I can't buy this argument. The media pundits keep saying that Trump tapped into the fear, the anger, and the angst of ordinary people who find themselves somewhat at sea in a rapidly changing world, but he blamed their perceived problems on an entire herd of scapegoats. They think immigrants are taking their jobs. In fact, people don't have to immigrate to take lower middle class jobs because the "job creators" are only too happy to export jobs to where labor is cheap and regulations are loose. Terrorists are coming to kill them, but lightning kills more Americans every year. People of color are sucking us dry with welfare and food stamps, but in fact these programs represent only about two percent of the federal budget and corporate welfare is far more expensive. God is angry with America for allowing homosexuality, abortion, and feminism. Taxes are too high, though they are the lowest in sixty years. Crime is rampant, though crime rates have dropped steadily for decades. We've lost the element of surprise against Isis, as if there ever was an element of surprise to lose in the face of a massive military buildup, but the generals in fact don't want to surprise Isis but to convince them to leave Mosul with as few Iraqi and American casualties as possible. Hillary's in bed with the bankers and got rich through nefarious means such as best selling books and the same hefty speaking fees commanded by Bill and Rudy and Jeb and Mitt, though Trump has made money out of bankruptcies that left investors and contractors holding the empty bag and by misusing the tax laws to duck the IRS. Climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, though 97% of climate scientists agree that it is real and caused by human activity. Obamacare is a disaster, though it brought affordable (or semi-affordable) health care to twenty million people.
So say goodbye to affirmative action, abortion rights, gay marriage, taxes on the one percent, good middle class manufacturing jobs, rights for women, LGBTQs, people of color, and immigrants, fair banking practices, and health care. Say goodbye to facts. Say goodbye to the bull market. Say hello to a government run according to the way the wind is blowing this week--or by Vladimir Putin's hackers.
While you're doing all this, find out who the electors are in your state, and if your state is one of the 21 that have no law requiring electors to vote with their party, demand that they change their votes to the candidate who won the election by more than a million votes. It is their constitutional duty, dammit.
I'm very afraid that you're absolutely right. I don't know about the chances of the electoral college changing the outcome, but my hopes aren't high. Even if they did, the ensuing chaos might be even worse. Basically, we're fucked.
So ok I hit a sore spot, or a place of fear I'm ok with that. It provokes thought. So now we can feel sorry for ourselves or plan and take a specific course of action to ensure our, and the freedom of others. I have suggested we keep the course and continue doing what we are doing(we have seemed to have the momentum) and support financially great atheist organizations. What else can we do? I'm all ears. We all agree that this sucks so let's make it a positive and react perhaps smarter, better and more organized. I see only opportunity, the conservative right might get more stupid than ever. This provides the opportunity to show it for what it is and stop it once and for all. Remember a great number of Americans are closet atheist or don't know that they really are atheist. We.actually have a voice now. As compared to ten years ago and we are a powerhouse compared to twenty. I will not accept a defeatist attitude when we are clearly at our best and strongest. Bring it on we have reason on our side.
No fear and no defeatist attitude or intention of changing course. The fact remains that over 60 million Americans voted for a con man who offered no specific plans, no evidence for his opinions, and no understanding of the modern world. The right wing propaganda machine succeeded in making Hillary Clinton, whom Politifact rated as the most honest candidate in the campaign, while their candidate spouted a lie about every three minutes. It reminded me of how the Dubya gang painted John Kerry, a bona fide war hero, as a coward while convincing the Dubya was some kind of hero. Josef Goebbels would have been proud of them.
we the people have rejected the establishment is a very good sign
I agree, wholeheartedly. The establishment kept us bound in wars that were wars of people wanting to be in control of their lives and not controlled by people who wanted their fossil fuels or their slave labor. The whole world is fed up with the status quo; people called for change. Not all change is good, Cancer is the change in cells that all too often lead to death. The healthy change was fought against by those who wanted things the way they were. They lost, big time.
I don't know if Trump will turn out to be cancer or a healthy change.
There exists another change that needs to occur if we want a healthy society. Another article, today, defined it far better than I can. Briefly, it was the need to change from the dependency on superhuman power to solve our problems. Religion reveals itself to be more and more toxic as I observe the consequences of fundamentalisms of any kind. People need to rely on their own observations and wisdom instead of a Big Daddy coming to rescue them. There is no extraordinary energy that will appear out of the ether and take care of us. If we survive, it will because we STOPPED, THOUGHT, TOOK A DEEP BREATH, TOOK ACTION, AND EVALUATED OUTCOMES.
I agree that there is finally a growing resistance to the political establishment (which included both the Democrats and the Republicans). Details notwithstanding, Trump managed to completely shake up both parties at the same time (which is much better than just doing one). We may have a chance to do some house cleaning now.
It's not just the US. Europe also is getting more anti-establishment--people are getting sick of being told what they're supposed to believe and what they're allowed to say.
[BTW, I enjoyed wearing my Wikileaks T-shirt the weekend after the election]
Last Saturday I went to see my wife so we could finish the divorce proceedings and she would allow me to go forward with this. On the way to her apartment I bought gasoline for $1.67 a gallon. Inside the local gas station I made the remark that gasoline hadn't been that cheap in a long while. Somebody replied to me that it was the Republican way of saying thank you. In my wife's town 40 miles away gasoline was $1.89 but I don't look for this to hold in any way.
Once T Rump takes office they will be pushing it for the $5 mark as soon as they can. GWB was doing that same thing while he was president.