Wednesday, November 9, 2016

About last night

Elaine and I went to sleep, of a sort, at midnight. We couldn’t bear to stay up for the inevitable news. I woke up at two-something and remembered what Lee Hays said at the Weavers’ farewell concert, November 28, 1980 (shortly after the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency):

“We’ve been around long enough to tell you: be of good cheer. This, too, will pass. I’ve had kidney stones, and I know.”
And then I thought of Edvard Munch’s The Scream , and then I somehow fell asleep for another hour.

The New York Times this morning:
Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Tuesday in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy.
Without institutions and ideals you don’t have much of a democracy, or much of a culture. Donald Trump’s Improv Tour has revealed his contempt for the rule of law and for the house we live in, which holds countless varieties of human identity, ability, and purpose. As head birther, he had already long revealed his contempt for fact. Without fact, you don’t have much of a reality other than that which those in power declare: 2 + 2 = 5. Trump is by all indications incapable of a day’s worth of sustained attention to the work of the presidency, much less four-years’ worth. And yet he was elected.

I have long thought of 1968 as the darkest year of my small chunk of American history. But now that year is 2016.

Four related posts
Duce redux
Dunning K. Trump
Eyes on the plane
Kristol, Palin, Trump

comments: 12

Chris said...

Well said, Michael. This morning I thought of Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Son," with America as Saturn devouring its future. But the future will have its day.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Chris.

Here is what Chris wrote about the election. It’s well worth reading.

Fresca said...

I'm at a coffee shop overhearing a conversation:
"I don't know how if I was a teacher I would tell my students about this---especially the kids of color."

My god. When my fellow citizens fear for the children after a presidential election...

Chris said...

Fresca: a friend of mine who is a teacher and works mostly with the children of immigrants was pondering the same question in almost the same words this morning.

Michael Leddy said...

I know teachers who are facing these problems. What do you do when the president is a bully, and much worse than a bully?

Fresca said...

It's insane, isn't it?
I think Hillary gave a good concession speech, and if I was a teacher I would show it to kids---"We need to you keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives."

Barnaby Capel-Dunn said...

Thank you, Michael.

Michael Leddy said...

Here’s to a saner world, Barnaby.

Zhoen said...

Sounds much like our night. I kept singing Peter Gabriel's Don't Give Up. Joined ACLU, sending donation to Planned Parenthood.

What do I say to my neighbors, who are not white nor straight, depending which way I turn? Gods.

Michael Leddy said...

And what do I say to mine? I’m in a county that went two-to-one for Trump.

Elaine said...

Hillary did win the popular vote, which helps (a little)...but we wonder if we will have four years left to us, so that we'll outlive these sad days. (DHubby is 75; I'm not quite 70 yet, but both of us have had health challenges, and the Obituary section is not comforting. Yes, I calculate the average daily...)

Finally slept through the whole night (almost) last night.

Michael Leddy said...

I’m finding that a couple of glasses of wine work wonders. I slept through the night last night, first time since Monday. We will have a great new senator and a tiny local sales tax to help our schools — I’m trying not to feel utterly defeated.