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pipe & tabor

Facing the unthinkable

As I write this (1:30 AM), it seems almost certain that the Republicans retain a majority in the Senate, the Republicans retain a large majority in the House, and (the unthinkable part) Donald Trump will be elected President.

When Reagan was elected, I thought "he's a genial idiot, with a lot of opinions I disagree with, but we'll survive." All of which turned out correct. The country took a lot of wrong turns and suffered some permanent (environmental, economic, and political) damage under his leadership, but we survived.

When Dubya was elected, I thought "he's a genial idiot, with a lot of opinions I disagree with, elected through a lot of political chicanery, but we'll survive." He turned out worse than I expected, but we survived. The country took a lot of wrong turns and suffered some permanent (environmental, economic, and political) damage under his leadership, but we survived.

Trump is not a genial idiot. He's a mean-spirited, mind-bogglingly dishonest, mind-bogglingly ignorant alpha-male-primate who cannot take the slightest criticism without "hitting back". The best I can say for him is that he's not a right-wing ideologue; he has no particular attachment to any ideas or principles except promoting himself and crushing his enemies. But since the Republicans running both houses of Congress are mostly right-wing ideologues, he'll probably go along with them as long as he gets to claim the credit for whatever they do. The U.S. will probably survive, because what else is there to do? Although there's a nonzero chance of him throwing a temper tantrum with U.S. troops and/or nuclear weapons, in which case a lot of us might not survive.

Aside from the question of survival, there's been a lot of talk this year about what lessons the Republican Party would learn from the Trump mistake. It now looks as though the lesson they'll learn is "This works. This wins elections."
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Say good-bye to Social Security, Medicare, the ACA, same-sex marriage, OSHA, and any hope of bending the curve on climate change. This not only doomed America, it's doomed the planet.

I feel like someone kicked me in the head.