Wednesday, November 9, 2016

State of Siege



Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. This post is not about the complex reasons for this unprecedented event in  human history. It is about the potential consequences. 

The operative word here is uncertainty. While I would  consider a Right Wing government a terribly harmful development, if that is the only result of this event I would consider that a consequence of democratic process that one could live with. Though an inexperienced President is also extremely undesirable thing in a dangerous world, I also consider that the price that a democracy sometimes needs to pay. 

We will be lucky if the above were the worst of it. The United States is a military, economic and social power the like of which the world has never seen. Donald Trump, from the best that I can tell is a manipulative abuser. He may be a sociopath. He is an extremely dangerous man. His movement is similarly  malevolent.  

As a result of this event American Democracy is threatened. There is reason to believe that our basic civil liberties may come under siege. Even worse, as he is dangerously reckless and unprepared for the job, we face the increased chance of a nuclear war. Economic chaos and perhaps collapse is another potential consequence of these events. There are numerous other potential horrendous outcomes that may result from this potential calamity. 

In short my nation is threatened. Our global civilization is threatened. Perhaps we are even threatened as a species. Every human being on this planet is threatened. I fear for everyone's future. I fear for everyone I know, and everyone I do not know. 

Up until this time I have been more or less been an optimist about the future of humanity. Though I am not without hope I now fear that my optimism may have been misplaced. I am not unaware of the reliance of post - industrial democracies. I am not unaware of the good that exists in the world. However, at this moment  it seems like those things may become easily overwhelmed. 

At this moment thinking about the future is difficult. I am not sure what the future of this blog holds. Given the current situation it is hard to imagine just going back to blogging about books. Though it is perhaps far fetched, I also am concerned that those who speak out about Trumpism may find their families under threat.

The world seems like very dark place right now.


67 comments:

Caroline said...

I'm not surprised about what happened but that doesn't mean I'm not shocked. It's appalling.

HKatz said...

I'm mostly numb at the moment, also angry. The way I've heard some people talk, they didn't take this election seriously. They treated it as entertainment. Some reached conclusions of "the two are equally bad" which I'm not sure how they could think that... There's this sense that critical thinking, knowledge, etc. don't matter much.

As for my own blog, I'll probably go on blogging the usual on it, because I treat it as a little refuge from the world when I need a break. Whatever you choose to do with your blog, know that I value both your commentary on books and on social/political issues. But I know it's hard not to feel disenchanted, especially with the reminder that measured reflection isn't held in high regard, and that we're paying dearly for this disregard.

Tracy Terry said...

As a Brit it has been commented that this has little to do with me but even I (someone who isn't as politically aware as they should be) can see the global implications this man as president could have.

Still coming to terms over Brexit and now this, truly scary times.

Fred said...

Well, we survived a civil war, so it may be rough, but I'm optimistic.

Jillian said...

My vote? Don't stop spreading light. X

Resh Susan said...

The world does seem like a dark place. Yet we have to live in it. It seems inappropriate to say the usual ' Everything will be okay' . That sounds hollow. Because so many things are going to be different

R. T. (Tim) Davis said...

The alternative was a malignant option.
"Hope" -- as Emily Dickinson wrote (see my blog today) -- is a thing with feathers.
Remain hopeful. Remain confident. Remain committed to action to be part of the healing and the future. Avoid doom and gloom. The Constitution will preserve us all. Embrace the feathers.

Stefanie said...

The world is a very dark place right now and like you I am struggling. So much uncertainty. We can't give up though. Don't give in to despair.

Suko said...

Brian Jospeh,
I do possess " the audacity of hope", and am cautiously optimistic, at this point in time. I think a lot will depend on who is in the Cabinet.

Lory said...

I know how you feel, Brian, I had the same thought. I think our book blogs have value, but certainly we all need to wake up and become active in other ways too. Maybe an "and" rather than "or"?

R. T. (Tim) Davis said...

Here is my solution for all the angst in current events; I have escaped into a new blogging adventure -- the world of crime, detective, and mystery fiction (i.e., where chaos is resolved when crimes are solved and criminals are captured).

Visit here:
http://beyond221bbakerstreet.blogspot.com/

Emma said...

It is more than ever the time to read and blog about books.

CyberKitten said...

When the world gets dark the only option is to bring more light!

The Bookworm said...

I'm still in a state of shock. I still can't fully wrap my mind around it. I agree with your sentiments here about the current state of events.

Our blogs are such a great way to express ourselves and a wonderful creative outlet. Maybe a mix of both book blogging and current events and issues?

We can only hope for the best now, continue to stand up for what we believe in and not lose faith in humanity.

Mudpuddle said...

i'm still in shock... and afraid to think about the future... if we get through the next four years without a planet wide catastrophe i'll be very grateful... someone said it: intelligence is a flash in the pan but stupid goes on forever... many tx for the post that says it better than i could...

Brian Joseph said...

Thank you everyone for your sentiments, Everyone seems to be in a state of shock. I look at this post and I think that it is the most negative thing that I have ever written, In retrospect maybe it should have been a little more positive. With that, I have chosen not to modify it.

I will likely continue to blog about books, though I may not be around visiting blogs for a few days.

Stay safe everyone.

Mel u said...

In these times where ignorance is a virtue and stupidity a badge of honor. We must keep blogging on. Part of the cause of this is the total decline of American educational systems, part is white fear.

Violet said...

(((HUG)))

Gently Mad said...

Hello Brian! Your comments so interesting because the people who voted Trump into office had the exact same fears you expressed about Hillary.

These are indeed uncertain times, Brian. I must confess that as a Christian, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness!

That probably does not make sense to you but by that I mean that I do not place my trust in human principalities or governments but He who has dominion over all creation. And that gives me the peace that passes all understanding.

I know you don't believe in that, but I know that whatever comes, Who is in control.

Incidentally, I agree with R.T. that alternative was equally malignant, maybe more so for me since I apparently belong in the "basket of deplorables". I can only imagine what the future of my Civil Rights would have been "Under the Hill."

Take care, Brian! I pray for your peace of mind. (And also your salvation. There. I said it!)

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks again to everyone.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Sharon - You certainly should never be labeled as a deplorable or anyone as such. Hillary was wrong to make such a statement. Hillary is flawed and should not be above criticism. However, in my opinion, there is no comparison to the moral depravity that Trump shows and Clinton's failings. Trump also reparents a level of threat to this planet that Clinton never comes close to.

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks again everyone who commented. I just want to emphasize that I would not and did not have be having this reaction if almost any other Republican had become President. That includes George Bush or even Dick Chaney.

Maria Behar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria Behar said...

P.S. I fully agree with your statement that you would not have had this reaction if any other Republican had been elected. Indeed, it's highly significant that the Bush family actually REFUSED to attend the Republican National Convention. So did Mitt Romney, whom, by the way, I have always considered a really decent guy. That really says something! Paul Ryan also initially refused to endorse Trump.

Furthermore, in a recent Internet article, I read an interview with Max Lucado, in which he (Lucado) totally repudiated Trump. In case you're not aware who Lucado is, he's a very prominent evangelical pastor who has published several bestselling Christian books. He stated, in this interview, that he usually tries to stay away from political topics, but that, in the case of Trump, he just HAD to speak out against him. This, too, is very telling indeed.

Maria Behar said...

P.P.S. Please don't stop blogging. We NEED to keep discussing and posting about books. Books will preserve our sanity in these new Dark Ages!! :)

Maria Behar said...

(I deleted my first comment because I realized that I stated something that is not true -- that "real" Christians don't engage in acts similar to Trump's. This has obviously not been borne out by the evidence of history. I apologize, Brian. My revised comment appears below.)

I can see that this is a very heartfelt post, Brian....and I totally concur. I NEVER in a million years thought that such a person would EVER ascend to the highest political office in the land. And this is no ordinary high political office. We are the leaders of the free world, but how can continue to call ourselves that, with this so-called 'president' sitting in the White House?

I'm not surprised this man was, and is, supported by white supremacists. He panders to the lowest of the low.

I am aghast, I am shocked, I am SOOOOOO FREAKING depressed.....WHY don't we do what other nations do, and have a MULTI-PARTY system? WHY do we have that STUPID electoral college? Hillary won the popular vote. SHE should be the one working with Obama through the transition process. Yes, I am against abortion. But, with the looming threat of NUCLEAR WAR, you can forget about the abortion issue! Because it won't be just the UNBORN BABIES whose lives will be in danger. It will be ALL of our lives!!

Hillary has made her mistakes, no doubt about it. But, SO HAS TRUMP. And Trump is FAR more dangerous than she ever was or will be. SHE would not have posed a threat to our very lives with the possibility of war. Trump, on the other hand, thinks he's a GUNSLINGER in the Old West, and is TOTALLY trigger-happy. Is he the type to sit down at the negotiation table, and calmly discuss differences with another world power? NO, NO, AND NO. He's the "shoot first, and ask questions later" type. People complained about George W. Bush, and how he got us into that UNNECESSARY war in Iraq? Well, this guy is WORSE.

You know, the other day, on Facebook, I saw a video of Trump being prayed over by some Christian pastors. WHAT A HYPOCRITE! But then, Christians have historically shown they are just as capable of intolerance, hatred, and bigotry as anyone else. I'm sad to say this, being a Christian myself, but it's indisputably true.

I'm sorry, Brian, as I know I'm just adding to all the pessimism. Perhaps I should try to be more optimistic in the face of the darkness of the times....but I've been VERY honest with my feelings here. I never did and never will like Hillary, but THIS is ABOMINABLE.

We're all in a state akin to mourning right now. We are mourning the very possible end to our democracy. Let us continue to hope, and those of us who are believers, to pray, that God will protect this country, and the world, from the consequences of last Tuesday's election.

Thanks for this post!!

In solidarity,

Maria

Laurie @ RelevantObscurity said...

I hear you. And agree with everything you say here. Having a President who is inexperienced, a narcissist with delusions of grandeur is never a good thing. And there are so many unknowns at the moment in terms of how or will Congress pull the plug on what he ran on. Even if he is somehow impeached, we are left with Pence, who is certainly a version of Cheney.

What gives me hope, and the way I am dealing with what this country has done, is the knowledge Clinton won the popular vote. The majority of Americans rejected him and voted for her. If there was no electoral college she would be in the Oval Office. That is stunning and I hope it gives Clinton some solace. It does me.

R. T. (Tim) Davis said...

Re: democracy.
https://beyond221bbakerstreet.blogspot.com/2016/11/democracy.html

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian Joseph said...

Hi Caroline - Appalling is really an understatement.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Hilla - The "both sides are equally bad" argument has allowed true evil to triumph.


A lot of people who did not take this seriously are now in shock. Many more will be soon.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Tracy - I guess Brexit was kin of a preview to this.

Everyone in the world is threatened by this man.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Fred - I agree that we may survive. But the damage that that he will do is incalculable.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Killian - i agree that we have to spread kindness, empathy and good. I think that we also have to fight evil in other ways. That is what Trump is.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Resh.


I so agree. It does not look like everything will be OK.

With that, we need to keep fighting.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Stefanie - I agree that we cannot give in. We do have to vigorously fight this.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Suko - I agree that he might moderate. I could say that the Right wing control of everything will still be very harmful. However, I can accept that as a part of democracy.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Lory - Are blogs do indeed have value. Hopefully in a few days I can get back into the swing of all this.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Emma - I agree, we need to go on and keep pushing culture.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Cyberkitten - I agree we need to keep shinning a light on the world. I also believe that we need to fight evil in other ways.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Naida - Our blogs really do have value.

We do have to keep fighting. I have not lost faith in humanity. With that, I recognize that there is something terribly ugly in humanity.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Mel - We do have to keep blogging.

I also agree, we need less fear and more education.

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks Mudpuddle - I think Global Catastrophe is the number one concern.

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks so much Violet, that means a lot :) (((HUG)))

Brian Joseph said...

BTW Sharon - Though i am not a believer, I thank you for your prayers :)

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Maria - We kind of watched this happen together on Twitter :)

As i have said. This is, at its heart non - partisan. There are so many Conservatives, Liberals, Moderates, Unaligned, Feminists, people critical of Feminism, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, I could go on and on, opposed to this man.

I agree, our electoral college is terrible. It needs to be changed.

Though I vigorously disagree with so many of Pence's positions, I do not think that he would destroy our democracy and I do not think that he would start a nuclear war.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Laurie = It is a good thing that Clinton won the popular vote. there is good in the United States,

I think that we are in for a rough time however.

Maria Behar said...

You know, I think that Pence is WAY different from Trump He strikes me as a well-balanced person, which makes me wonder WHY he accepted being Trump's running mate. Should anything happen to Trump, I do think he would be a good leader for this country. At least, I don't think we would have to worry about nuclear war with him at the helm. And he certainly doesn't strike me as being a bigot, nor a HUMONGOUS narcissist, as Trump does. (Hmmmm....I wonder if this whole thing was somehow planned....) Not that I wish any evil upon Trump. God help me! But he's just SO frighteningly inept, SO disgustingly bigoted. I don't think we've EVER had a president-elect who has polarized the ENTIRE country the way ha has!

We who are believers need to pray. The United States of America was founded on integrity and a firm belief on the value of the individual. This man is totally threatening that.

Maria Behar said...

typo,...."the way he has"

Brian Joseph said...

Hey Maria - I agree with you. Pence would not be threat to our democracy and he would not start a nuclear war. Though I vigorously disagree with his policies, if he were becoming President my worst fears would not exist.

I am nit a believer but I appreciate your praying for some kind of a good outcome. There is a lot of good in The United States. We have to try very hard to assert it in the face of evil.

Fred said...

Brian Joseph,

Perhaps this may serve as a wake-up call to those who sat out the election.

Priya said...

I was stunned too when I read it. I had just left work and called people up frantically to get a fair idea of what it would mean for the rest of the world (us.) Many people I know are working in the US right now, also for them. But the luxury of worry left us fairly soon, on the same day the Indian government demonetized our highest currency notes and now all we can think of is getting them changed. I need to believe the larger future will be fine so that I can take care of the nearer future. But it is indeed a wake-up call... after this and Brexit, the world really cannot function if we only take ourselves and the popular perspective seriously.

Kathy's Corner said...

Hi Brian

I hope you will not give up your book blog. I think I speak for all of us when I say how much we enjoy your thoughts on books and how much we've learned from your blog. You have created something really important here and as someone once said "books will be there for you when you need them".

I go back and forth as to how worried I should be. Trump as I understand has made a statement months back about nuclear weapons where he is supposed to have said "well if we have them why can't we use them". Its chilling. The constitution protects the press and I think its an impeahable offense for a President to go after his critics, investigating their taxes for example. But the introduction of Putin and Wikileaks into the mix its occurred to me is a way for Trump to go after his "enemies" and still retain deniability. Trump wouldn't even have to direct Putin to go after the emails at the NYT CBS or whoever Trump is mad at. Look at the help they offered him during the campaign. So agree we are in dangerous territory.

Kathy

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Priya - Wise words in regards to taking trends seriously. I fear that we may be beyond a wake up call however. There are so many dangerous aspects to this. Right now in my opinion we face near term serious threats that are both national as well as global.


Brian Joseph said...

Thanks Kathy.

I will likely continue blogging. Right now it seems hard to concentrate on anything else.


As for how worried we should be, I am thinking that while most outcomes are bad, there is a solid chance we will not enter a catastrophe. But there is a real chance that we will.

I do not completely disregard our Constitutional protections, but with Trump having more or less control over the Congress and court appointments, they may not hold up as well as we hope.

In regards to Wikileaks and Putin, it seems like there has been a devil's cocktail at work.

Fred said...

My guess is that a deal has been struck between wikleaks and Trump. In return for the release of the Clinton emails and the holding back of whatever Wiki has on Trump, Trump will drop all charges against Assange (sp?).

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Fred - While it is hard to know what happened for sure, the result might be catastrophic.

Fred said...

Brian Joseph,

I hope I'm wrong, but all we can do now is wait and see what happens. I also wonder in what way Trump will come to some sort of a recompense for Putin for his support.

thecuecard said...

I agree with you Brian. I'm just seeing your post for the first time since the election and it's been a very rough week. I cannot seem to turn on any News, or do much of anything. It just feels like black days. I too believe we will be under threat with Trump as president. But what kind of country or populace would do this? Don't you feel extremely let down by the country we were born in? I feel the country is really a different place than I thought it was. Sure there was the election of George W. Bush against Gore but even that was different than this. This is something much more malevolent, and disturbing. And Shocking. I feel glad for once that I no longer live there. how strange and awful a feeling that is. thx for your post.

James said...

I appreciate your concerns about our new President. They sound heartfelt and sincere. I hope your expectation of dire consequences does not come to pass. While I am also appalled at many of Trump's statements I have some optimism, hopefully not misplaced, that more moderate minds will temper his Presidency.

Richard said...

I share your concerns, Brian, esp. given the fact that with only one candidate prone to racism, religious intolerance, an advocate of torture, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and accused of sexual assault and fraud, it was the other candidate branded "a malignant option" in one of the comments above. Rather depressing.

So many books, so little time said...

Oh Brian even many of us in the UK couldn't believe it. Continue to keep you guys in my thoughts, very uncertain times ahead. *hugs* xxx

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Brian Joseph said...

Hi James - I do believe that your optimism may be warranted. Or it may not. As I alluded to, I think that there is a lot of uncertainty.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Richard - Indeed, one of the great evils about what happened was the way that Trump created a false equivalency between his evils and and Hillary's flaws.

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks so much Lainy. Your support means a lot.

The Reader's Tales said...

Brian, I know how you feel, over here in Switzerland, we have the same thought. But we have to be optimistic (wait and see). Have a great day;)

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Reader's Tales - i think Wait and See would be a mistake now. Trump is already behaving unstably, is making dangerous cabinet appointments, he and his surrogates have continued to threaten to jail political opponents and protesters.

I believe that now is the time to organize. I have already donated to the ACLU and will be joining a protest soon. I think that support for journalists and politicians who will oppose him is key. I am trying to do that on social media.

I think that it is now time to resist.