Home > Uncategorized > We are all activists now

We are all activists now

November 9, 2016

Go bake your pie, your lasagna. Get your comfort food made, and check on the kids.

And then contribute to your favorite, most hard-hitting independent journalism organization, if you have money to spare. Look to the future, don’t dwell. Ignore conversations about what happened, about the mathematics of polling, of demographic nonsense. It’s time to prepare for whatever the hell is happening next. It’s up to us to focus, to value information over propaganda. Nobody else is going to do that for us.

Because we are all activists now.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 9, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Per your exhortation, I just joined The Guardian. Now I’m off to give TheBradBlog some support.


  2. November 9, 2016 at 5:53 am

    I would prefer the word organizers (per Astra Taylor), but hell yeah.


  3. Josh
    November 9, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Thank you


  4. November 9, 2016 at 6:55 am

    It’s always been, Organize, Vote, Organize and it still is now.

    I’m a subscriber to http://www.nakedcapitalism.com


    • November 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Susan Webber today seems very pleased with the Trump victory, and in today’s posting here’s what she thinks Trump should do:

      “There is one more Trump campaign promise that will serve as an important early test of his seriousness as well as his survival skills: investigating Clinton. Even if Obama pardons her, as our Jerri-Lynn Scofield has predicted, it will be critical for Trump to carry out a probe of the Clinton Foundation’s business while Clinton was Secretary of State.”

      If you want to spend your money supporting this kind of agenda, I suppose you can, but I’m not about to.


      • sglover
        November 13, 2016 at 2:11 am

        Not to worry. Within a few short years the Clintons & the Trumps will be frolicking together once again. It’ll be a wonderful moment of National Healing.

        I mean, c’mon…. Weren’t we all delighted to see Michelle Obama and “Mission Accomplished” Bush embracing, showing that there are no real differences worth squabbling over? She looked so great in her gown! He looked so relaxed! It’s great that he’s still looking fit and trim!

        It was so **affirming** to know that there are no real differences in our “two party” system, am I right?


  5. November 9, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Thank you very much, Cathy!


  6. November 9, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Thanks, I needed that …


  7. Andrea
    November 9, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Can you please make some suggestions for such organizations?


  8. November 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Facebook keeps pestering me with things I posted in previous years. Here’s one I wrote 4 years ago today that sorta fits here:

    November 9, 2012 at 10:36pm ·

    It’s funny that economists are the worst people in the world for being able to follow the money. Their models of what the über-rich actually do with their money completely ignore one of the main outlays these days, which is funding public disinformation. I guess that creates jobs for disinformers, but the net effect is to render society more dysfunctional with every passing day.


  9. November 9, 2016 at 9:16 am

    It’s also time to stop calling people racists and bigots and find out what kind of pain they were in to vote for someone like Trump. As I’ve argued again and again, look at jobs. Look at small towns like Mt. Olive, NC, Turkey, NC, Kenansville, NC. In those small towns – each less than a 30 minute drive from the other – I just named off over 1000 jobs gone overseas. And that’s blue collar. Suntrust, Disney, and most recently HCSC have laid of hundreds of IT workers and replaced them with cheap foreign labor – and forced the laid off IT workers to train their replacements or lose their severance pay.

    Trump spoke to those people. Clinton did not. Immigration and a path to citizenship sounds awesome until you realize those millions of people have to live somewhere (making housing go up) and work somewhere (causing layoffs and wages to go down).

    And the more people on this blog, and elsewhere, yelled racist and bigot, the more they yelled white privilege (I was attacked on this blog once, myself, by a commentator), the more you cemented the will of those in pain. Congratulations. You may have helped this happen.

    We are a nation that doesn’t communicate any more. And now, here we are.

    I don’t like Trump. I don’t like him at all. But I voted for him as someone whose been laid off and wondered how I was going to put my little girl through college. And I have a degree in Computer Science and yet I was still laid off. And now I compete with H1B’s for work as we bring them into this country in droves. Hillary did not speak for me in the least.

    God help us all.


    Liked by 1 person

    • November 9, 2016 at 10:02 am

      If you want to know what happened to all those manufacturing jobs that were lost in what’s known as the Rust States that helped elect Donald Trump president don’t look at China. Don’t look at Mexico. A recent study reported that 88 percent of those lost jobs were lost to automation, robots. Only 13 percent were outsourced to other countries.

      Since 1979, 7 million manufacturing jobs were lost but production in that sector doubled. Trump lied that the U.S. doesn’t make anything. Yes it does. The U.S. manufacturing sector was still #1 in the world up until a couple of years ago when China become #1 and the U.S. #1. And what about steel from China. That’s bull shit. The U.S. still manufacturing about 80 percent of its steel needs and even exports steel to countries like China. Only frauds and cheats like Trump buy steel from China.

      Trump boasted, lied, that he’d bring those jobs back. No he won’t. He can’t. Even if that 13 percent came back, most of that work will be done by robots, and that 13 percent of production is coming back because labor costs have gone up in China. But those jobs aren’t coming back for humans. The only reason that production us returning is to cut out the cost of shipping products made in China by robots to consumers in the U.S.

      Yes, China is replacing humans with automation too.

      Trump made fools of all the ignorant Americans that voted for him. There is very little he can do to deliver on any of the alleged promises he made, but did he ever really promise he’d do anything? I don’t think so. He just made the fools think he was promising to do what they wanted, because he never was specific on how he would do anything except how he grabs pussy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Matt
      November 9, 2016 at 10:13 am

      racists and bigots might be the right term. Those Trump voters who were not motivated by racism and bigotry were at least willing to tolerate it.

      It is true that name calling won’t help, but seeing things clearly will.


      • November 9, 2016 at 10:32 am

        No matter which one you voted for, you have to forgive their shortcomings. So, yes, the non-bigoted had to tolerate the bigoted to get Trump in.


      • ed
        November 11, 2016 at 2:10 am



    • JV
      November 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

      Lloyd’s reply is right on as is Jon’s 2012 comment.
      But how can you not acknowledge that sexism and misogyny is still rampant in this country?
      I’ve observed what I call the ‘Hillary Hysteria” for DECADES. No one in this country has been as vilified – and unustifiably so.
      A lot of the Trump supporters voted for him because they couldn’t vote for a woman.

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 9, 2016 at 10:33 am

        I didn’t mention sexism and misogyny. I don’t have to. It’s right there. What I am doing is mentioning the one thing that gets no attention at all.


  10. Matt
    November 9, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I think it is important to understand the failure of polling. Does this mean that it will never provide a useful forecast again?

    Perhaps this is not the place for that.


  11. November 9, 2016 at 9:44 am

    We can’t ignore conversations about what just happened; we have to understand how the deplorable underbelly of America was tapped & motivated starting with Nixon to overtake this country. Given the education level/quality of Americans, we may not even be able to stop it any longer, ’til history runs its course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 9, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      For further reading: https://medium.com/@trentlapinski/dear-democrats-read-this-if-you-do-not-understand-why-trump-won-5a0cdb13c597#.2bqaavpmn

      I voted Trump. Does that mean I’m automagically deplorable?


      • November 9, 2016 at 11:06 pm

        It means at minimum that you are extremely naive. Everyone starts out that way and it’s merely a question of how many times they have to get burned before they learn. Some never do.


        • November 9, 2016 at 11:18 pm

          And I would argue that you are also extremely naïve. I see the commentators on this blog getting stuck on Trump being a bigot, racist, etc. The economic issues – the issues that really counted and mattered – along with the failure of the DNC and all the proof of wrong doing laid out by WikiLeaks being ignored.

          But before you call me racist or bigot, be reminded that the very states that a full of people just like me that so many liberals think are so racist VOTED FOR OBAMA TWO TERMS IN A ROW. Are we really saying that things changed that much over night? That suddenly so many good people just went bad?

          Racism and bigotry do NOT explain all those blue states turning red. At all.


  12. November 9, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Yes, they’re all MAHANGTTIA (mad as hell and not going to take it anymore) but until they figure out who’s really puttin it to them they will just keep on taking it.


  13. Weinstein, Jonathan
    November 9, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Right on. Was discussing this possibility with my wife a few days ago and said “I guess we’ll be dissidents.”

    Incidentally, while I pledge never to forgive Agent Orange for the hundred unforgivable things he has said, I will also not play Mitch McConnell and oppose all policies just because their success might make Agent Orange look good. Even a clock pointing angrily in random directions is right every so often. Well, in theory, though I can hardly remember it happening in the last year.


    • Allen K.
      November 9, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      He was right to say that if you don’t believe in punishing women who have abortions, then you must not truly believe abortion is murder. (Though he stated it as the contrapositive.) I was very grateful to him to have this argument aired in public.


  14. November 9, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Naive Is:
    (1) Failing to understand the ways of con artists.
    (2) Failing to understand how demagogues work.
    (3) Failing to grasp the dynamics of scapegoating.
    (4) Failing to track who really controlls the country.

    No, they are not bigots, they are not racists, Oh no, not them. But a bigot and a racist and a whole lot more -ists “spoke” to them, and pointed to some folks over there as the cause of their problems, and they bought it. Because he “spoke” to that cowardly little voice inside them that always finds it easier to blame the innocent than to face up to the powerful few who are really screwing them.


    • November 9, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      But the point is Trump did speak to them. Who else did? And wasn’t throwing the cherry picked establishment pawns under the bus and electing Trump not the very epitome of facing up to the powerful few who are really screwing them? Trump – jackass as he is – a true outsider?

      Be reminded that any Trump supporter must forgive Trump his failings to elect him. However, the same is also true for Clinton. Any here who supported her had to forgive a great deal, indeed. And, forgive my pointing out the Captain-Obvious here, but Trump being a jackass isn’t a crime. Much of what Hillary did. . . well, Trump was right. If any of us had done it we’d be in jail for a long, long time.

      By the way, I do note your not addressing my comment about all those blue states turning red.


    • sglover
      November 12, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      “(1) Failing to understand the ways of con artists.
      (2) Failing to understand how demagogues work.
      (3) Failing to grasp the dynamics of scapegoating.
      (4) Failing to track who really controlls the country.”

      You **do** realize that HRC fits every one of those bullet points also, don’t you?

      Jeez, aside from horror at the Republican sweep, it is frustrating as hell watching believing Dems try to shift blame to everything but their OBVIOUSLY lousy candidate. Sanders supporters tried to tell them this months ago. I get zero pleasure out of saying “told ya so”, especially when huge swathes of what’s supposedly “my” side seem to be too dim to function.


      • November 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm

        Not much time today, maybe more of a reply later, but you should know that you are talking to someone who has supported every most liberal candidate he could since Eugene McCarthy, and all I can tell you is that people who think Bernie could have won the national election just don’t know the country they are living in.


        • sglover
          November 13, 2016 at 1:54 am

          It’s not 1968 any more. But people who seem to think it is have a lot to do with Dem myopia and timidity.


  15. RTG
    November 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    It may be too late to be joining this conversation, but hopefully not. I want to respond specifically to concerns raised by JamesNT, because being from Michigan I very much understand and respect your POV. But hopefully you can understand mine, especially why I feel so gut-punched by people who say that they were willing to set aside what they acknowledge to be Trump’s bigotry in the hopes of a better economic future for themselves. And then call me blind or elitist for not being more accepting of why they did what they did.

    I’m a woman of color in a STEM field. I have experienced all manner of prejudice throughout my life…and I have at times felt quite unsafe in my school or my place of work. I have organized and fought to be recognized as someone deserving of the basics of human dignity let alone equality in my workplace. This has been in very blue states at very liberal institutions. I get emotional just thinking about all the Obama Administration has done to finally validate and address the problems that have plagued people like me in my workplace. This, despite the fact that I also felt very betrayed at the start of his administration when he appointed Larry Summers as an adviser.

    I supported Clinton in both the primary and the general election, because I feel that more than any other candidate in my lifetime (even in some ways than Obama), she spoke to the need for inclusiveness, equality, and decency. To me, these needs are more basic than even economic well-being. In fact, when I was organizing for better treatment, I was repeatedly warned that it would harm my career and I should wait until I was better placed. As it turns out, I’ve been able to navigate a financially secure career thus far.

    I don’t want to play the pain olympics and debate whether my experience is worse than yours. But it is the case that Trump explicitly dismissed the concerns of people like me with his campaign. He railed against what he called PC-ness run amok; when to me it has often just been about the right not to be treated as less than human. Change that arrives on the back of a frothing monster of hate cannot be good…least of all for someone like me. So please do not pretend you are the only person who had something deeply personal at stake in this election. I honestly keep finding myself moved to tears about the possibility that other women will again have to walk into their schools and workplaces in fear and without the belief that their leadership has their back. I find myself worried the same might happen to me as well.


    • November 12, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      That was so beautifully said! Thank you so much.



    • sglover
      November 13, 2016 at 2:00 am

      “…the need for inclusiveness, equality, and decency. To me, these needs are more basic than even economic well-being…”

      How on earth can you expect the former when so many — in your vicinity! I’m originally from Detroit! — do not enjoy the latter?!?!? Trump represents neither — but for many people he was at least a roll of the dice. Clinton **pays lip service** to the former, but emphatically represented more oligarch government, and people know it.

      I’m sorry, but you’ve almost perfectly encapsulated the fundamental Dem misconception in a single phrase!


      • RTG
        November 13, 2016 at 4:48 am

        I don’t believe human decency must be predicated on economic well-being. People can apparently disagree on this point, and Trump’s victory is a clear indication of that. But it’s not a Democratic misconception to think this way. While there are obviously many people who don’t, their opinions are no more valid than mine. That being said, I can think of no historical precedent for economic gains that come on the backs of other people’s human dignity turning out well in the long run. If you have counter examples, please share them.

        And please don’t lecture me on the plight of Detroit. You don’t know me or what I have done professionally to address the very real concerns I began by acknowledging. I will also point out that not every economically devastated person in the rust belt voted for Trump specifically because of his rhetoric, and many of the minorities targeted by Trump are economically worse off than “the non-college educated white men” who are now apparently the only people we should all care about. It’s also worth noting that Clinton won with a 37 point lead in Wayne County. Detroit decisively did not vote for Trump.


        • sglover
          November 13, 2016 at 2:48 pm

          I didn’t “lecture” you about Detroit. The only reason I mentioned Detroit was to indicate that I have some acquaintance with your own vicinity. If you want to call that “lecturing” and write me off, I think that’s pretty telling.

          “I don’t believe human decency must be predicated on economic well-being.”

          Believe what you want. I mean, if you **really** believe that maybe you can explain to me why people aren’t flocking to places like Guatemala and Moldova and Chad, why there’s a lot more vicious fighting in Congo and Ukraine than Rotterdam.

          Lots of Dems want to believe that America suddenly turned into a fascist hellscape stalked by alt-right bigot squads. It makes them feel noble and martyred. Unfortunately for their feelings, it’s not really so. Oh sure, Trump’s regime has police tools at its disposal that are truly scary (thanks for that, Obama Dems!), but it is NOT TRUE that a large bloc of ordinary Americans suddenly became a pack of Klansmen.

          Dems have been happy to write off the Rust Belt’s economic foundations (oops, I must be lecturing you about Detroit again, sorry) for a quarter century, now. Dems lost because they put up a candidate who is practically the poster child for that “strategy”, and who further has always shown lousy judgement and dodgy ethics.

          Add to these “assets” profound, truly extraordinary political incompetence. Look at all the time Clinton spent sucking dollars from oligarchs during the campaign. Look at the stupid celebrity antics she basked in. Look at all the resources she had. Yet she couldn’t be bothered to put together even limp county-level get-out-the-vote drives where it was needed. I mean, how the hell does a marginally competent Dem NOT clear enough votes in Philly to win PA?

          If Dems don’t discard “strategies” and “leaders” like these, I hope they at least “update their brand”, and change the name to something like, say, the Veal Pen Party.


        • RTG
          November 13, 2016 at 6:49 pm

          sglover, I’m happy to continue to engage in this discussion, but I’m starting to feel a bit like you are more invested in painting me as everything that’s wrong with the Democratic party than hearing what I have to say. Hopefully that’s not the case.

          With regard to your first point, I honestly have no idea what you are trying to say so I can’t address it. What does moving to Chad have to do with my belief that it’s possible to treat other human beings decently even if you are not well off economically? In fact, I believe it’s even possible to reject an economic hand out if it comes on the back of someone else’s dignity. I’m not saying this always happens, but I don’t understand how you can say it’s not possible. There are plenty of economically devastated places in the world that are not engaging in genocide or civil war. There are also many rich Democrats who vote against their economic self-interest and in favor of social justice.

          I also have no delusions that America became racist in the wee hours of Nov. 9, 2016. I’ve known that there is, at the very best, massive tolerance for racism (if not active racism) in America my whole life. I grew up in the midwest, and I was sometimes the target of it. And, as I said, most Trump voters I know freely admit that he appealed to bigotry. My initial point was directed at JamesNT who explicitly acknowledged this along with his willingness to set it aside.

          I also think it’s far too simplistic to say Democrats have been happy to write off the economic fortunes of the rust belt for over a decade. It was President Obama, over the objections of many Republicans, who oversaw the massive bailout of the auto industry early in his first term. Beyond that, though, you have to be careful about overgeneralizing based on narrow margins of victory. Since this is a site about data, let’s look at numbers. Based on current tallies, Clinton lost Michigan by less than 12,000 votes, and Stein garnered more than 50,000. While one must be careful about making too many assumptions about third party voters, I think it’s reasonable to assume that a tiny minority of Green party voters would have otherwise voted for the mainstream candidate who seems to be making dismantling nearly 4 decades of environmental progress one of his first priorities. So, instead, if you believe that at least 25% of Stein’s voters would have affirmatively preferred Clinton over Trump if they were forced to choose, Michigan would have flipped blue. If you really wanted to, then, you could convince yourself of a narrative where the real problem was that Democrats were not aggressive enough on climate change.

          I’m not going to defend Clinton as a good campaigner, since she plainly is terrible at it. But it’s not nothing that she has managed to garner more votes across the country than the President-elect in spite of that. And most importantly, I’m not arguing against finding a way to connect with white, working class rust belt voters. I’m just saying that you need to be careful about dismissing all of the other people who define their allegiance to the Democratic party for other reasons…and specifically for many of the reasons that Trump actively subverted when reaching these same voters.


        • sglover
          November 17, 2016 at 3:30 am

          “With regard to your first point, I honestly have no idea what you are trying to say so I can’t address it. What does moving to Chad have to do with my belief that it’s possible to treat other human beings decently even if you are not well off economically?”

          I really don’t understand how you interpret my remark as a suggestion that you move anywhere. Are you aware of conditions in any of the countries I named?

          What I’m saying is pretty straightforward, and pretty much the dreary constant of human history: If you want to see people behave in a humane way, it is essential that they can enjoy some minimum level of material decency and security. It’s not like everybody needs to live as they do in Grosse Pointe — but there needs to be a reasonable expectation that the floor isn’t going to drop out next week. In the absence of that, people turn fearful, grasping, defensive — vindictive. Assuming that they won’t is wish-thinking. It ignores history.

          “I also think it’s far too simplistic to say Democrats have been happy to write off the economic fortunes of the rust belt for over a decade. It was President Obama, over the objections of many Republicans, who oversaw the massive bailout of the auto industry early in his first term.”

          Specifically, he bailed out GM; Ford never took any money. Wasn’t there some deal with a European auto company that kept Chrysler afloat?

          Anyway, that bailout came after a fair amount of hemming and hawing. I don’t really blame Obama for that, because GM upper management were a deeply clueless bunch. I remember them doing a little contrition act after they all jetted to the Congressional hearing in corporate jets, rather than commercial airliners. Bad PR when you’re begging Uncle for money. But I cannot believe I am the only person who noticed this at the time: While the auto industry had to do public penance, the big “punishment” for the finance industry — which created the whole goddam 2008 disaster — was being in suspense for a few weeks about whether the taxpayers were going to pony up for their bonuses! And there were **never** any prosecutions — not even any serious investigations! — under Obama and that corporate scutboy Eric Holder. This will always be among the greatest failures of Obama’s presidency, and it’s a severe one.

          Look, since the days of Slick Willy the Dems have signed on to the neoliberal dogma: Representative governments must **always** defer to the needs of multinational capitalism. Communities, entire regions can come and go — but the privileges of investors can never be hindered. I never met anyone in Michigan who didn’t say the word “NAFTA” the same way one might use a profanity. The Clinton years gave us boatloads of “reforms” like that. As did the years of Bush the Lesser. And Obama kept right along with the dogma.

          Many — most? — people believed that Obama and the Congress were planning to pass the TPP essentially in the dead of night, AFTER this last election in a lame-duck session. True or false, it was a reasonable expectation. And it’s a good bet that it cost Clinton some votes, too. Trump’s election seems to have killed the TPP. We gotta give the devil his due, it’s a real public service.

          YouTube has a superb lecture by Mark Blyth, called “Global Trumpism”. It’s an excellent economic and historical survey of the severe stresses that neoliberalism is inflicting on representative governments on both sides of the Atlantic.

          When you talk about the narrow vote margin, I believe you’re just making my case. Dems want to blame Greens, Comey, bigots, Russians, misogynists — everyone but themselves. Why were these margins so close in what are supposed to be Dem bastions?!?! (Blaming the Greens is a stretch, because in Michigan the libertarians pulled **three times** the Greens’ vote tally, and almost certainly did so at Trump’s expense. Both major parties had their defectors.)

          I don’t think this election says a single thing about Americans that wasn’t already common knowledge. Of course there are racists, and of course they aligned with Republicans. Of course there are people who discount the consequences of racism, and they aligned with Trump also. But neither of these blocs gave Trump his win.

          DEMS gave Trump his win. Full stop. They chose the shittiest candidate possible, the candidate **uniquely** capable of losing to a buffoon like Trump. Said candidate is practically a living monument to widely detested neoliberal doctrines, and to that she added a deserved reputation for self-dealing and horrible judgement.

          Sanders would have won handily. But the Clintons had years to make the Democratic Party their machine, and it produced the result they paid for. WE all get to live with the consequences. Which is kind of a fitting testament to the Clinton legacy, really.


  16. November 14, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Reader Advisory. If you are chatting with someone on social media and you find yourself thinking, “No one could possibly be that stupid and live”, there is a very good chance you are talking to a person with a job in IT (internet trolling). Their job is to prevent any kind of educated, informed, intelligent discussion from happening in that neighborhood. Unless you enjoy hearing endless reprises of the same FOX News cliches you’ve been hearing for the last 10 years, you might as well just hang it up.


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