Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Post-Election Day 2016
George Packer warned, on Halloween, in the New Yorker of the folly of the Whole Foods cadre who looked down on their Wal-Mart neighbors, likely distant ones, as the great unwashed. I teach many who live, for facile ease of reference, in the latter contingent. They aspire to the Costco level, and are reaching it, often having had served in the military. A few far surpass my own niche on the tax bracket, in lucrative cybersecurity and forensics. Others spend shifts at fast-food jobs or the TSA or Homeland Security or Social Security tasks part of the bureaucracy and the post-9/11 State. Some have lost their jobs in real estate and the meltdown of banking and loans in 2008. And still more are the "single moms" and dads, who try to raise kids, hold down a paycheck, and attend night classes.
The popular vote went to Her, but the electoral college to Him. Many in my FB feed from the NPR echo chamber now call for the elimination of that apparatus, although I suppose if the vox populi sounded out for the reactionaries and the rednecks, the majority of my "friends" would have happily urged the constitutional fidelity to the wise protections of our Founding Fathers against all tyrants. I received the news calmly, although my wife is in shock, as also seemed every talking head as MSM. My older son and his girlfriend, marched in their new home, Chicago, and told me they were on Fox. My younger son texted from his ultra-liberal college in upstate New York that classes were cancelled.
I am not sure why She dismissed her throngs rather than concede, and I reckoned the popular votes in narrowly contested states would take days to settle and then appeals for recounts would weigh down the courts, as neither candidate reached 270. But suddenly, the concession call came, earlier than expected, and we turned off the news. I had been reading Jung's Man and His Symbols and learned only that my frequent dreams of flying, or slight elevation above my students, superiors, and whomever filled my imagination were but portents of hubris, and foreshadowed a fall I'd better heed.
Maybe that's a warning the nation can also take to heart. Many are shattered, but this mass retreat to safe spaces, where the lashing out against the forces of fascism, the Cross, and the Standard (if not of Gold, that he who gets the gold makes the rules) appears indulgent. There's no room in Canada for a latte-drinking creative-class mob too uptight to accept a notion of a heartland that differs with "us."
My wife told me I lacked empathy and that while my circumstances would not change, her business depended on foreign customers more and more, and that many around me in our majority-minority city would suffer the wrath of an Administration bent on overturning abortion, gay rights, and fun. I responded that I felt the memes equating now to post-Weimar times were facile, and that hyperbole did not match the reality that many of all backgrounds had shifted since the Reagan Revolution towards socially liberal positions a Court could not upend without repeating the failures of Prohibition. Neither of us slept very well, however, and while I resist the siren call of CNN that has captivated her for the past year and a half, I do insist as does she that if we'd have had Bernie, well...