2016: The Electoral Aftermath

And where is now my hope?
As for my hope, who shall see it?
They shall go down to the bars of the pit,
When our rest together is in the dust.
(Job 17:15-16)

So. The 2016 election is over. The electorate has spoken, and with a loud voice has pushed the nation to the point where it teeters on the edge of the abyss. The event did remind me of something, however, a few lines from something I wrote in the early nineties — back when one particular bit of history did not seem, as it does today, predictive of our nation’s self-imposed dilemma. Here’s the brief tidbit: a few lines in Emeralds and Ashesfrom a poem entitled The SECOND GENESIS: Hell and Ash:

january 30 1933
anno domini
berlin
ein tausend jahren
REICH
was born
pangs recorded by herr doctor göbbels as
a dream
a fairy tale
and by andre francois-poncet
who wrote
the river of fire flowed past the french embassy
whence
with heavy heart and filled with foreboding
I watched its luminous wake.
and god looked away

Later, on the morning of November 9 we received, courtesy of a local wingnut, a forwarded email, one that was most certainly written in advance of the election and was now an intended insult to any and all Clinton supporters. Its text reads as follows (highlights as in original):

ALMOST DONE. JUST ONE ELECTION DECIDES OUR FATE…

ALMOST THERE

There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a socialist/communist State. The first is the most important

5 OF THE 8 ARE DONE – THE LAST 3 ARE ALMOST THERE

1. Healthcare: “Control Healthcare and you control the People”
DONE !!

2 Poverty: “Increase the Poverty level as high as possible.” Poor People are easier to control and will not fight back if the government is providing everything for them to live.
DONE!!!

3. Debt: “Increase the National Debt to an unsustainable level.” That way you are able to increase Taxes, and this will produce more Poverty.
DONE!!!

4. Gun Control: Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a Police State – total local control.
ALMOST THERE!!!

5. Welfare: Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Livestock, Housing, and Income).
DONE!!!

6. Education: Take control of what People read & listen to; take control of what Children learn in School.
ALMOST THERE!!!

7. Religion: Remove faith in God from the Government and Schools.
ALMOST THERE!!!

8. Class Warfare: Divide the People into the Wealthy against the Poor. Racially divide. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to Tax the Wealthy with full support of the voting Poor.
DONE!!!

The bases are all covered! We are ripe!

Forward this – or delete it and just sit there and wring your hands.

The message is clear. And sick. It’s the standard right wing extremist meme that blames everything they see as BAD — i.e. healthcare for everyone, class warfare, public education, helping people who need help, gun control, government debt, and poverty — on what we know as ‘Progressive Liberalism.’ They also maintain, of course, that everything ‘good’ — e.g. religious ‘freedom’ to hate and discriminate (along with the ‘right’ to twist facts when necessary in order to blame the other side for each and every right wing screw-up) — is a result of ‘Conservatism’ (aka, in enlightened circles, Fascism).

Upside down political logic is not limited to conservative wingnuts, however. For example, I’ve noticed that although Hillary won the popular vote in this election, she didn’t win the Electoral College. Curiously, that’s already happened twice in this century, in 2000 and 2016. In both cases, the popular vote for the Progressive Liberal (Democratic) candidate has been dismissed by the Electoral Vote, thereby mandating that the Electoral College select, for POTUS, the loser of the popular vote — i.e., in both cases, the Conservative Republican candidate. Because of the 2000 selection, we’ve endured two gratuitous and uncalled-for wars (thousands of deaths and trillions of  $$ in ‘costs’ included) plus the 2008 crash of the global economy (and the near Second Great Depression). And now, thanks to the second popular vote’suppression,’ the Electoral College has given us our next President — one who has zero government experience, but one who enjoys great support from white nationalists, anti-Semites, bigots, anti-immigrationists, anti-Islamists, climate deniers, along with ignorant people everywhere. He also will have a Congressional majority in both the House and Senate and a four year Supreme Court appointment window. And worst of all, beginning January 20 2017, a narcissistic egomaniacal xenophobic bigot will have control of the nation’s nuclear codes.

What could go wrong?

The bottom line is that the current Republican Party’s regressive manifestations — all of its subgroups (including evangelicals) — bring to mind a poem written by T.S.Eliot the better part of a century ago. How did he know? — or maybe ignorance and stupid is fundamental to the human species?

Excerpts From “The Hollow Men”
by T.S.Eliot

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us — if at all — not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

[. . .]

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom …

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Therein lies the essence of our problem, i.e. those “Hollow Men” to whom ‘we the people’ have just now and once again handed full power and authority of the government. We have dismissed Progressive Liberalism — the philosophy that believes the government’s main responsibility is to see to the well-being of ALL the nation’s people, and not only the well-to-do — and have validated instead the philosophy that relies on expressions of power designed to further enrich the already wealthy, and to hell with everyone and everything else.

Dante would be proud: his SALIGIA (the Seven Deadly Sins) have finally been accepted as a government mandate — by the country which has long pretended itself to be the expression of “We the people” — of the common man.

So in view of all the details noted above and elsewhere, I do hereby recommend that Republicans change their party’s name/acronym from the Grand Old Party the (GOP) to something more accurate, to something like, say, “America’s National Association of Zipperheaded Idiots’ Party (America’s NAZI Party, in other words). It fits.

In any case, on January 20, 2017 — the day of Trump’s inauguration and elevation to POTUS — it remains my hope that someone out there will describe the reality, perhaps with words something like those Andre Francois-Poncet wrote on January 30, 1933 –the date that marked the final step in Adolf Hitler’s momentous rise to full power of the German state:

the river of fire flowed past the french embassy
whence
with heavy heart and filled with foreboding
I watched its luminous wake.

******

Message to Americans:

“ACHTUNG, SIE VERLASSEN den AMERIKANISCHEN SEKTOR”

******

Final note: I’ve posted this before, but once again it seems a good fit. It’s a sonnet I wrote in the early years of the Bush-43 administration, back in the days when it seemed obvious that Bush’s general ‘governing’ policies were dangerous at least, destructive at worst. Turned out they were just that, as evidenced by the economic crash in the last few months of his second term. Obama rescued us, but now we’re faced with Donald Trump, the “businessman”who has often demonstrated the ineptness of his acumen and the consequences thereof, along with his offensive personal non-qualities. If he carries all that forward and imposes it on the government, the words “Requiem: America” will suddenly take on an entirely new meaning.

REQUIEM: AMERICA
Requiem, as dirge of sophistic love,
Exposes destinies which nations earn.
Quoth Hamlet: “conscience does make cowards of
Us all” – that is, till We the People learn,
Implicitly, that human Cowardice
Exudes contempt for Rationalities.
Meanwhile, mankind’s destiny – Avarice –
Appears in service to those Vanities
Most shallowed minds presume to be their right,
Enabling failure thus of Self, of State.
Repression blooms and quickly dims all light
Intrinsic to the heart of Freedom’s Fate –
Consumed – whilst words of Truth, now specious, Moan . . .
And stand as lifeless slogans . . . etched in stone.

******

On the other hand, Alfred Lord Tennyson pointed out that

‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. . . .

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

The choice is ours, but do we have sufficient strength ‘in will to strive . . . and not to yield’?

Time will tell.

******

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About frugalchariot

How Frugal is the Chariot That bears the Human soul. (Emily Dickinson)
This entry was posted in Election 2016, Essays, Fascism, Politics, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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