Thursday, November 17, 2016

Obligatory Post Election Blog Post: Part 8--Final Thoughts

Part 2: I think I've Become Very Out of Touch
Part 3 I Was Wrong. I Was so so so SO Wrong
Part 4 All the Reasons It Seemed Donald Trump Could Never Win
Part 5: All the Reasons Donald Trump Actually Won
Part 6 The Racism Issue
and Part 7: The Fascism Issue

A co-worker was talking to me about the election.  "As horrible as it all is," she said, "It is kind of neat to think that we are living in a time which future historians will study someday."

It was on the tip of my tongue to say: We are always living in a time which future historians will study.
But I swallowed it.  I knew what she meant.  She meant that this would be one of those seminal moments in world history, like Caesar at the Rubicon, or Columbus discovering America.

The young woman who said this to me was in her early 20s.  I, on the other hand, am rapidly approaching middle age, and I feel like the extra years have given me some perspective.
Namely: Everything feels like a big deal when it's happening, but most things fade into obscurity within a few years.

Perhaps all the craziness we are experiencing right now will just become yet a footnote in history 50 years from now.

And yet...There are definitely a lot of things about President Trump that are unprecedented.  Never before in history has a Presidential administration gone into the White House with so little experience or expertise.  (For some scary articles read here and here).  But then again, we've had very stupid Presidents before.

For a counterpoint, however, see Noam Chomsky's latest interview:

 I think it is important to spend a few moments pondering just what happened on November 8, a date that might turn out to be one of the most important in human history, depending on how we react.
No exaggeration.
and later in the same interview:

On November 8, the most powerful country in world history, which will set its stamp on what comes next, had an election. The outcome placed total control of the government -- executive, Congress, the Supreme Court -- in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history.
Apart from the last phrase, all of this is uncontroversial. The last phrase may seem outlandish, even outrageous. But is it? The facts suggest otherwise. The Party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand.
Is this an exaggeration? Consider what we have just been witnessing.
During the Republican primaries, every candidate denied that what is happening is happening -- with the exception of the sensible moderates, like Jeb Bush, who said it's all uncertain, but we don't have to do anything because we're producing more natural gas, thanks to fracking. Or John Kasich, who agreed that global warming is taking place, but added that "we are going to burn [coal] in Ohio and we are not going to apologize for it."

To me, however, the take away quote from the interview was this:

It is hard to find words to capture the fact that humans are facing the most important question in their history -- whether organized human life will survive in anything like the form we know -- and are answering it by accelerating the race to disaster.

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