I returned election night from a day at the University of Wisconsin that involved a long bus ride, and then an hour’s slow ride filled with flag stops on Chicago’s Metra Electric line. I followed the results in agony as it became apparent that the Midwest was slipping away. Around 10:00 my daughter Hannah texted me to ask: “What is happening, Daddy?” At that point, I started to quietly cry.
I’ve spent thousands of dollars working on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s election. She deserved–we all deserve–so much better than to lose to this grifting demagogue. I knew from 538 that she had a significant probability of defeat with her polling lead spread so thin–basically what ended up happening. Still, I never really believed it would happen. Defeat came as a brutal shock. Like many Samefacts readers, I didn’t really sleep Tuesday night. Much of my life’s work in health policy may be in tatters.
I am still heartbroken. But I’m over the catatonic phase. Instead I feel oddly exhilarated, girded for coming fights. President-elect Trump won the Electoral College. So he won the election barring something very strange happening. He lost the popular vote. He has no mandate, whatever he might claim. There is a clarity in the coming battles. And the stakes could hardly be higher. We have each other. Most of the country is with us. So buck up, friends. And let’s get to work.
This is not the republic of my imagination.
–Charles Dickens, letter to William Macready, from Baltimore (1842)
Just to cheer folk up given the nail-biter of an election. If I had a tripod, the night shots would have been sharper, though I would have looked even more dorky taking the picture.
Duh, you Americans say. We have a REALLY IMPORTANT election coming up! Donald Trump might become the leader of the most powerful country on the planet!
True, but. In a hundred years’ time, which do you think will be remembered? November 8th, the day the United States dodged a bullet and failed to elect an unstable racist conman to the Presidency? Sam Wang gives the chance at less than 1%. Trump has never led in the polls from the day he announced his candidacy. It matters a great deal to the United States whether the Democrats regain control of the Senate (merely a two-thirds chance), for if they don’t, Clinton’s presidency will be one long constitutional crisis.
No. It will be November 4th 2016, the day the world started to fight back against climate change and swore to abandon its addiction to fossil fuels.
Some uplifting media for you. Continue Reading…
Some American class realities are so mundane that that they generally go unnoticed. Sunday night, I took my bro-in-law Vincent out for dinner at a nice but not particularly fancy establishment in south Chicagoland. There was a wait, and all the chairs were taken in the crowded entry-way. Vincent wasn’t real happy about that. In a few moments, a single mom who could have been Roseanne Barr’s stunt double called to her son: “Get up.” She gestured to me that Vincent should sit in the vacated seat. Vincent and I went on to have a nice dinner. None of our white and black working-class fellow customers eating out with their kids seemed to much notice or care that we didn’t always eat with the greatest decorum.
I hate taking Vincent to pricey restaurants mostly filled with my own educational/income peers. People say all the kind things. Yet it’s not uncommon for customers at nearby tables to make us feel uncomfortable when a few chunks of Vincent’s chicken ends up on his shirt or to visibly fidget when he detracts from their elegant dining experience by allowing his fingers to migrate into the tomato sauce.
Working-class people are less rattled by the practical realities of disability and caregiving. Everyone has a cousin with an issue, a parent or an aunt who works as a special education teacher or direct care worker. Unlike the students at our university’s fancy lab school, working-class kids attend gym class, share a school bus, and sit in the same lunch room with peers living with various forms of intellectual or developmental disabilities. The realities and challenges of disability are a more routine part of everyday life. And it shows.
More outtakes from the weekend.
Not shown: blown zoom shot of hawk swooping down to catch squirrel because my aperture priority f2.8 shot perfectly captured three blades of grass ten feet in front of the action.